The music industry is on the move: FKA Twigs partners with Atlantic Records
Brett Yormark was elevated to COO of Roc Nation, Compant CEO Desiree Perez announced this week. Yormark previously served as co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified and president of business operations and strategy.
According to the announcement, Yormark will provide leadership and strategic vision across Roc Nation’s verticals while continuing to develop and execute long-term organizational goals to support the company’s continued growth.
Perez said, “There are few people who understand the essence of Roc Nation. Brett Yormark has proven to be a fearless leader and will be dynamic in the role of COO. His proven track record ensures Roc Nation will be in a unique position to grow our business and influence in the years to come.
Yormark added, “I am thrilled that Jay-Z, Desiree and the Roc Nation Board of Directors have given me this opportunity and I look forward to growing the business according to their vision. After these last two years working at Roc Nation, I have seen that with determination and an entrepreneurial spirit, anything is possible.
Prior to joining Roc Nation in 2019, Yormark was CEO of BSE Global, where he played a key role in the rebranding of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the opening and content development of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and the reopening from the Manhattan Webster Hall venue.
+ Audible has partnered with Issa Rae’s Radio for an exclusive multi-project development agreement. The collaboration will result in original audio projects including scripted comedies, entertainment-based non-fiction, and expansions of existing content.
+ Scott McDowell and Charles Hamilton have joined King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano as partners, the company announced this week. McDowell joins Warner Chappell Music, where he was Executive Vice President/Head of Legal and Business Affairs; he was previously director of legal and business affairs for Warner Bros. Records. Hamilton comes to the firm of Saban Music Group, where he was responsible for business and legal affairs; he was also previously at Warner Bros. as senior vice president of business and legal affairs.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to have brought Scott and Charles on board,” King Holmes managing partner Howard E. King said in a statement. “Their depth in music publishing and recorded music enhances our ability to serve our customers innovatively and with the highest quality. To have them both join us now is an incredible blow.
+ Range media partners announced three key new hires to join its growing entertainment company. Kyle Wilenski will act as artist manager and vice president of music tours, Bo Balogun as the brand’s narrative and creative lead, and Haley Hey joined as Head of Game Talent, Partnerships and Strategy.
Wilensky, who will lead Range Media Partner’s new music touring division, joins after 17 years as a touring agent at CAA, with a roster that included Avril Lavigne, Grouplove, Kesha, Lukas Nelson, Modest Mouse and more . Balogun comes from Nike, Inc., where he oversaw marketing for the company’s partnerships with the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Dodgers, Neymar Jr. and USC football. Hey began her career with esports organization Echo Fox and later consulted on projects for clients including FaZe Clan, ESL, Fortyseven Communications and others.
+ Sony Music Edition named Ari Gelaw vice president of creation. Based in the company’s New York office, she will report to senior vice president of creative Ian Holder. She was previously Director of A&R at Universal Music Publishing, where she signed and worked with Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Coi Leray, producer Earl on the Beat and Speaker Bangerz and others. She previously worked for two years in the urban A&R department of Atlantic Records.
“Ari’s commitment to songwriters and the creative community is nothing short of admirable. She represents the culture we are committed to building here at SMP and I look forward to seeing her flourish in her new role,” said Holder.
+ DistroKid appointed Matthew Ogle to the newly created position of Vice President of Corporate Products. Ogle joins CNN, where he led the network’s direct-to-consumer initiative, and held positions at Canopy, Instagram, Spotify, Echo Nest and Last.fm.
“Matt has over 20 years of experience creating products that strengthen the bonds between people,” said DistroKid COO Phil Bauer. “We are thrilled to have him at DistroKid where he will focus on adding tools that help artists with promotion, content creation and audience engagement.”
Wednesday January 19
+ As part of this year’s virtual Sundance Film Festival, BMI will offer a duo of panels with composers of films selected for the festival in conversation with their directors, actors or producers, including one with Common and Patrick Warren and another with Amy Poehler and David Schwartz.
Hip-hop star and actor Common, who stars in thriller ‘Alice,’ will sit down with the film’s composer, Warren, to discuss how they both came to work on the film in conversation “Score to Screen” scheduled for January 23. The Sundance entry tells the story of a woman escaping slavery on a Georgia plantation, but with twists to come.
Poehler, best known as a comedic actress, bows out as a documentary filmmaker with “Lucy and Desi,” and she’ll be joined by composer Schwartz on Jan. 22 for a panel on directing Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. in a doc that follows the fictional depiction recently seen in “Being the Ricardos.”
More than 20 Sundance entries will have scores from BMI-affiliated composers, the performing rights organization said. Information on viewing the panels is available at festival.sundance.org.
+ Hip Hop Producer Nik Dean signed a global agreement with Ultra Music Editing, in partnership with RVG Publishing, which covers a full range of creation, synchronization and administration services for its catalog and future works. Dean’s work can currently be heard on Gunna’s “25k jacket” with Wheezy and Lil Baby; his previous credits include tracks by Anuel AA, G-Eazy, Miguel, The Game, Kodak Black, NAV and Quavo, among others.
Dean is replaced by Matt Geffen, Jamil Davis, Matt Bauerschmidt at The Revels Group and Matt Buser at Buser Legal.
Tuesday, January 18
+ Along with his “Caprisongs” mixtape on Friday came the news that FKA twigs has “associated with Atlantic Records for this exciting next phase of his art,” according to the announcement. In the UK, she will continue to release music through the Young label (formerly Young Turks) through Beggars Group.
“FKA twigs is the kind of artist you dream of signing – one with a truly original vision, voice and presence,” said Atlantic President and COO Julie Greenwald. “She is among the most compelling talents ever, always pushing her creative boundaries to deliver emotionally honest music that is both intensely personal and universal. We are thrilled that she has chosen the Atlantic as her home as she pursues her fantastic musical adventure.
“The progression of FKA twigs’ music over the past decade has been extraordinary,” said President and CEO Craig Kallman. “She’s never content to stay in one place – constantly crossing musical boundaries, embracing new sounds, telling new stories and exploring what’s next. An incredible singer, songwriter, lyricist and producer, she has barely scratched the surface of her potential, and we are incredibly excited to see what she will bring to her fans in the years to come.
+ Artist services company A.W.A. promoted Jennifer Kirel to the senior vice president of catalog and retail marketing. Based in New York, she will report directly to Ron Cerrito, President of AWAL North America, and oversee and support partner artists and labels. Prior to joining AWAL, Kirell spent 11 years at Sony Music Entertainment at Legacy Recordings, where she led global marketing campaigns and audience development strategies for artists including Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and others. Cerrito said, “Jennifer is a goal-oriented, follow-obsessed, results-oriented, serial success-driven person with a deep understanding of modern music marketing. She is also a thoughtful leader and people manager. We are proud to have Jen as a member of our leadership team and look forward to continuing to redefine catalog and retail marketing in the future.
The 2021 deal which saw Kobalt sell AWAL to Sony for $430 million remains under review by the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
+ RCA recordings named Alex John advertising director. She joins after two years at Red Bull Records, where she worked with Blxst, the Aces and producer WondaGurl. During her seven years with the company, she also worked for Listen Up (where she worked with Martin Solveig, Kevin Saunderson, Jamie Jones and others), FYI Brand Group (Jhené Aiko, Tyga, DJ Khaled) and M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment (Sprite, Coca-Cola, WAV Media).