New Signings December 16, 2015

New Signings & Team-Ups: Dec 15

Sophie Lowe assigns ANZ bookings to Niche

Sydney-based singer/actress Sophie Lowe (pictured) assigned her Australian and New Zealand bookings to Niche Productions.

This year she played sell out shows with Meg Mac and Montaigne, had triple j have her Understand on full rotation, had a hit with Pink Flowers from EP 2 and directed her own videos. In between she had acting roles in US series The Returned and Aussie ABC drama The Beautiful Lie.

Sony/ATV inks two Latin superstars

Sony/ATV finalised worldwide publishing deals with two Latin superstars.

Pop-bachata singer Leslie Grace, who at 17 became the youngest woman to top Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart with her bachata cover of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, went on to chart in the Latin and Tropical charts with her self-titled debut album. That she can speak both English and Spanish fluently has Sony/ATV expecting her to bridge both audiences when she releases her next album on Sony Latin.

Rene Perez, better known as Residente, is the frontman of Calle 13, which he formed with his stepbrother Eduardo Cabra and which won a record 22 Latin Grammys. The pair this year announced they’d be working on solo projects.

HopeStreet, Native Tongue, strike up strategic alliance 

HopeStreet Recordings and Native Tongue Music Publishing will jointly develop and work HopeStreet’s diverse catalogue. Its current roster has Emma Donovan & The PutBacks, The Meltdown, The Bombay Royale, The Cactus Channel, The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra and Quarter Street.

The label was set up in 2009 by musicians Tristan Ludowyk and Bob Knob, who produced the 24 vinyl releases. “We’re hugely inspired by labels like Stax, with an in-house family that could do everything from write, arrange, produce and perform on the hits”, explained Ludowyk. Native Tongue’s Matt Tanner said “We’re excited to work with Hope Street, who are a Melbourne institution that continually deliver the best soul and funk artists and releases that Australia has to offer.”

Spunk digs up Flowertruck

Spunk Records will release Sydney garage pop rock band Flowertruck’s Dirt EP on January 29 after bringing them into its family. Drawing influences from the likes of Talking Heads, The Smiths and The Go-Betweens, the band started out as a duo with Charles Rushforth and Hamish Dobinson and a drum machine, before expanding to a four piece with Will Blackburn on drums and Sarah Sykes on synth duties.

Falls, Music Tasmania, introduce new stage

A tie-up between Music Tasmania and Falls Festival Marion Bay will see the Tasmanian leg of the festival introduce the inaugural Homebrewed stage this year. It will showcase 29 acts of all styles to accentuate the diversity of the island’s music scene. “It’s always exciting to see what new acts are around Tassie and projects like these provide artists with great experience and exposure”, says Falls’ Paul Piticco. 

Hatebreed expand Nuclear Blast deal

US hardcore merchants Hatebreed, expected here for Soundwave in early 2016, extended their deal with Nuclear Blast to a worldwide one. They’re currently in the studio with long time producer Zeuss for an early 2016 release.

OpenLIVE, Yamaha Music, work on MusicCast

Two companies with recent wins for their inventiveness in the Sound+Image Awards, have teamed up on a product campaign for the MusicCast wireless multi-room system. Until January 1, Yamaha customers who buy certain products in the MusicCast range get a $50 credit for the OpenLIVE download store. OpenLIVE allows acts to record their gigs for upload and paid download. 

All in a Tees 

Sydney dreamy house-pop duo Tees signed to the Wollongong-based Farmer & The Owl label, which just released their new single Spending Your Heart. According to a hilarious post on their website, Sean and Lizzy recall meeting at her home in Redfern when she made him “a special tea” and then again when both were in a “similar subconscious state of wonderland.” Sean was writing songs with a female singer in mind but hadn’t found anyone, so he poached her from her band. Their first recording session worked even though Lizzy suffered a bad cold and was losing her voice. 

Presto now on PS3, PS4

Presto has begun streaming to Sony PlayStation 3 and 4 games consoles, just as Sony began its 20th anniversary celebrations of the top selling Playstation. Its owners can download the Presto app through a registered PlayStationNetwork (PSN) account. Presto CEO Shaun James called it “another big step in providing existing and new Presto subscribers with great new ways to access our premium TV and movies on demand on the big screen.”

Eventbrite expands to Ministry, WOMAD 

Global self-service ticketing platform Eventbrite extended its services in the UK to Ministry of Sound and WOMAD particularly through smartphones.

Tickets on MoS’s Sound Club website will now be sold on the Eventbrite platform, allowing MOS group ticket buyers the option of receiving tickets on their own devices instead of meeting before the event to collect them. 

WOMAD made its move after research showed that mobile sales account for well over two thirds of all online ticket sales, especially with younger patrons. Partnering with Eventbrite makes sense given their expertise in quick and simple buying options, and outstanding mobile access to both,” said WOMAD Director Chris Smith. 

Warner/Chappell expands in Middle East

Warner/Chappell Music Publishing is expanding its presence in the Middle East. It became the fourth major music publisher to sign a representation deal with PopArabia, a music publisher and rights consultancy serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). PopArabia, set up in in 2011 by rapper, producer and songwriter Spek (aka Hussain Yoosuf) represents the publishing majors Universal, EMI and Sony/ATV and independents as Imagem and peermusic.

Illy makes it swear

As part of the release of his track Swear Jar about people behaving irresponsibly and cruelly on social media and online, platinum rapper Illy has set up his own swear jar. Every time he drops a swear word, he donates to anti-depression charity beyondblue. He encourages the rest of the community to do the same.

Dannii Minogue spruiking Target

Three weeks after tapping Jessica Mauboy for its Christmas campaign, Target is using Dannii Minogue to front its summer female fashion offerings. The new ad soundtracks Minogue’s duet on 100 Degrees from sister Kylie’s Christmas album.

ABC Arts, Screen Australia, opens doors for film makers

Art Bites is a new initiative by ABC Arts and Screen Australia to “uncover fresh, engaging and entertaining arts series from emerging Australian filmmakers.” ABC wants four web series, each 6 x 5 minute episodes, about the arts for its arts channel on iView. The target audience is aged under 35. Each project budgets out at an average of $1000 a minute, plus you can also get private funding. Hit them with a preliminary proposal by January 16.

As the sun sets over Fairfield

Over Melbourne’s summer months Multicultural Arts Victoria and the City of Yarra will bring back the free Fairfield Summer Series showcasing emerging acts. It is held every Sunday in February, 5pm-7.30pm at the Fairfield Amphitheatre. 

Each afternoon is themed – Songs and Stories, Love is in the Air, Heatwave and Come Together. Among the acts are Emma Donovan & The PutBacks, Dave Arden, Latin rhythmic, Clambé, Senegambian Jazz Band fronted by kora maestro Amadou Suso, Kenyan funk-soul singer Louis Majiwa, French gypsy swing virtuosos La Mauvaise Réputation, Cookin’ On 3 Burners, Neda Rahmani, 1930’s party band The Furbelows, family Island reggae outfit T-Rhythm and dance troupes covering salsa and Bollywood. Details at multiculturalarts.com.au.

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