New Signings August 23, 2016

New Signings & Team-Ups: August 23

Paul McCartney back at Capitol

After a brief pit-stop at Concord Music, Paul McCartney has signed a worldwide deal with Capitol Records. It marks a return to the label in which he began with The Beatles in the ‘60s, although now Capitol is owned by Universal Music Group and not EMI. The deal includes his entire solo recordings (seven of which topped the US charts) from the McCartney album in 1970, which Capitol will start re-releasing from mid-2017.

McCartney, who is working on a new album, said: “This is genuinely exciting for me. Not only was Capitol my first U.S. record label, but the first record I ever bought was Gene Vincent’s Be-Bop-A-Lula on the Capitol label.”

Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge called McCartney’s signing “a homecoming of one of the greatest musical artists of all time to the label that first helped bring his incredible music to the world,” adding that “Paul’s astonishing career has shown no limits — in creativity, in commercial longevity, and in its impact on people and cultures in every corner of the globe. We are thrilled at both Capitol and UMG to be able to contribute to the next chapter.”

New management for Rag n’ Bone

Perth act Rag n’ Bone, whose single I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore is getting triple j play, joined the Sweet Mate management roster. Sweet Mate don’t seem to holding a grudge since Rag n’ Bone were in the top team of last year’s RTR-FM quiz night which dethroned the reigning champs of three years which, er, just happened to be Sweet Mate.

Rag n’ Bone will play some Perth shows over the next few weeks, before heading to Singapore in September to perform at the Music Matters Live showcase event (along with fellow Perth acts Slumberjack and Sydnee Carter). Following this the Boners head to China where they have a slot on the Concrete and Grass Festival, alongside The Cribs, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks and Health. 

New clients for Brett Oaten

New music and fashion additions to Sydney-based entertainment legal firm Brett Oaten Solicitors’ client roster include APRA’s 2016 Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year Alex Hope. In the past year Hope has written with Troye Sivan, Wrabel, Broods and many others. Says Oaten, “The APRA Award is a great honour and has previously been won by our clients Craig Nicholls (The Vines), Empire of the Sun and 360. We can’t wait to work on Alex’s next project.”

The firm has also taken over legal representation for Sarah Beck whose latest album Panacea is out via Create Control as well as Australian designer Lee Mathews as part of its presence in the fashion world.

Apple Music pact with Birdman, Cash Money

After striking exclusive deals with individual acts, Apple Music has concluded one with a whole record company –with producer Birdman and Cash Money Records, which includes Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj as its marquee artists. Details of the deal remain sketchy. But it poses the question as to whether it just includes music or also incorporates film and television. What does this mean for Drake’s existing deal with Apple Music? What of Lil Wayne who is a co-owner of Tidal and currently in lawsuits against Cash Money and Universal Music?

Pandora Warehouse Event has Holden in driver seat

Pandora’s inaugural Warehouse Event, announced by TMN yesterday as held in a secret location in Sydney on October 8 before 1000 customers, has Holden as major partner. The carmaker’s Senior manager – Media & Brand Partnerships, Paul Balbo, explained: “As Holden works to transform its brand, we are continually looking to engage with new audiences in a more innovative and creative way. 

“By partnering with Pandora’s first Australian Warehouse event, we are able to resonate with young Australian consumers via their passion for the music industry and give them an opportunity to experience the power of Pandora through a live event experience.”

Cole Guitars wields Bob Spencer axe 

Cole Guitars and Skyhooks/Angels guitarist Bob Spencer have used 100% sustainable Australian wood for the new Signature model guitar. Spencer says he’s come close to making his perfect guitar with other companies. “But this is the first time that all my boxes have been ticked. It’s a corker of a guitar! Sounds gorgeous, plays beautifully, looks are understated, yet elegant” He adds, “it’s even vegan!”

Sony Music turns taps

Sony Music has signed to a three-album deal Michael Forsyth, a 30-year-old Scottish plumber whose independently released album topped the iTunes chart in the UK. H’s been working with LA-based ex-Black Grape bassist Danny Saber who produced a Michael Hutchence album.

Duff joins Scooter roster

Hilary Duff is the latest to join Scooter Braun’s SB Management roster, which includes Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jespen, Kanye West, CL and, most recently, Usher and Vic Mensa. After releasing her fifth album Breathe In. Breathe Out last year, Duff is currently starring in the third season of her TV series Younger.

Phil Rudd re-releasing solo album

Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is re-releasing is debut solo album Head Job. Working with New Zealand musicians Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin, he first released it in 2014 in Australia and New Zealand, making a promo visit here and planning to tour here. However that went pear-shaped after his well publicised legal woes in NZ, which landed him an eight-month home detention term. He now insists that his “hell raising days are over. I see a psychiatrist once a week and I’m closer than ever to my children. I still have all my flash cars but now I want to grow chillies.”

Rudd is re-releasing the album worldwide on September 30 through Wave 365 Media. He will be visiting the UK and Europe at the end of September to promote the re-release.

Management deal for rock band Australia

On the eve of an eight-date East Coast run between September 2 to 30 which includes a BIGSOUND showcase, Sydney-based rock band Australia appointed Nathan Farrell Entertainment to take over management duties. The band just issued a single Breathe In. Their album Portraits Of People, Places And Movies was made over ten days in a small beach house on the NSW South Coast.

Barry Weiss’ RECORDS brings in Dev

RECORDS, the label set up last year by US veteran Universal and RCA/Jive executive Barry Weiss and SONGS Music Publishing, has signed Dev, Billboard reported. The electro-pop singer is best known as the voice of Far East Movement’s US chart topper Like A G6. Dev’s new R&B-flavored synth-pop single #1 was released last week after premiering on Beats 1. It features Nef The Pharaoh and was written by Dev, Lil’ Aaron and Nef with production by Felix Snow (Kiiara, Leona Lewis, Nicole Scherzinger).

Virtual Jukebox enters Australian market 

Virtual Jukebox, the UK-developed international interactive music, entertainment and marketing provider for the retail and hospitality sectors, has entered the Australian market. It has signed a five-year deal with discount chain The Reject Shop which has 350 outlets. Alongside background music, the service also entertains the customer by allowing them to select at a venue via their smartphones. It also includes a pay-per-play option, providing extra revenue for businesses through each request.

Imran Malik, Project Manager for The Reject Shop explains that it provides a greater choice of music selection and frees up staff time. “Attracting people to experience what The Reject Shop offers is a hugely important factor for the business. This new entertainment package will help the company to engage with customers and to achieve continued success. The Virtual Jukebox offering is also particularly competitive in the Australian market and this was another primary reason for our switch.”

Andy Hill, CEO of Virtual Jukebox, added, “Following our recent developments in the USA, Canada and South Africa, The Reject Shop is another important customer which will help us continue to expand the business globally. The Reject Shop is a big high street brand in Australia, and we look forward to delivering an outstanding music and technology service for the company over the next five years.” 

US brewery makes a Kanye West-inspired craft beer

US brewery Stillwater Artisanal has introduced a new craft beer inspired by Kanye West. The 8% strength imperial porter is called I Miss The Old Kanye after a self-referential skit that appears on the rapper’s Life Of Pablo album. The tagline reads: “I’ve been afflicted by not one, not two, but all twenty-three flavours. I’m always one-of-a-kind.” The Baltimore-based brewery has previously bottled beers honouring both Drake and Kendrick Lamar.

Metal Blade digs up Tombs

Metal Blade Records, released in Australia through Rocket, has a worldwide signing of Brooklyn-based experimental metal outfit Tombs. The act, which formed in 2007, will start work on its fourth album and then tour the US extensively.

Festival pacts between Adelaide, Edinburgh

The Adelaide Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “develop and promote creative, business and community collaborations”, including co-commissioning artists to create major work which is then premiered in Edinburgh or Adelaide. They will work with each other to ensure the sustainability of the events 

South Australia Arts Minister Jack Snelling was in Edinburgh to announce the MOU pact. Edinburgh is currently hosting the Made in Adelaide delegation, made up of artists, companies, festivals, venues, directors and producers. Up to 30 Adelaide artists are showcasing in Edinburgh this month.

The Adelaide Fringe has also signed a deal with Edinburgh ticketing software company Red61, which last year sold 2.3 million tickets to 50,459 shows in 313 venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Red61 will set up an Adelaide office, creating eight new jobs.

Ian Scobie, Chair of Adelaide Festivals, said: “These great festivals like the arts upon which they are built, thrive on the creative energies of collaboration through which peoples’ lives are enriched and changed and this exciting moment reflects the beginning of Adelaide’s festival culture in 1960 – inspired as it was by Edinburgh’s enlightenment and ambition to welcome the world.”

Interscope enters multi-million dollar JV with 4Hunnid

Interscope Records entered a multi-million dollar joint venture with US rapper YG and his company 4Hunnid Records (400 being his lucky number). Compton-born YG (Keenan Jackson) came to attention six years ago when his Toot It And Boot It reached #11 on the Rap Charts. The joint venture was fuelled by Joie Manda, President of urban music at Interscope Geffen A&M, who’s been championing YG for two years, and hastily offered him a label deal last year when YG began talks with Capitol.

New management for Young Performers Awards

The ABC Young Performers Awards will return in 2017 following an agreement and ongoing partnership between the ABC and the Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd (MOST). MOST will take over the management and staging of the competition which was set up in 1944 for young classical performers, ABC Classic FM continues to broadcast the awards and Australian symphony orchestras will continue to provide performance opportunities and prizes.

Chance sets up radio to promote indie scene 

Chance The Rapper has launched RapperRadio.com, a crowd-sourced campaign to help get independent artists on the radio across the US. Fans type in the city they’re in, and are given a list of radio stations they can contact to request a track by an independent artist. 

AKG moves to CMI Music

AKG Microphones and Headphones have shifted from Hills to CMI Music and Audio for Australian distribution. CMI has been successfully looking after Harman brands for 30 years. It has three divisions: musical instruments, music technology and pro audio.

Mentally Friendly acquires Digital Eskimo

Digital agency Mentally Friendly acquired 15-year-old design house Digital Eskimo and will rebrand the business as Future Friendly. It will focus on working for business, government and not-for-profit organisations. 

Kilka expands to NZ 

Australian online retailer Kilka has expanded operations to New Zealand, where online buying has shot up in recent years. The Melbourne-based retailer has 2,000 brands. One of its NZ partners is internet auction site Trade Me which has 3.7 million users in a country with a population of 4.7 million.

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