New Signings January 12, 2016

New Signings & Team-Ups: Jan 12

Image: Sydney’s With Confidence have inked a deal with Hopeless/Unified

Perth’s Make Them Suffer pact international deal

On the eve of a US tour, Perth metal band Make Them Suffer signed an international deal with US-label Rise Records for outside of Australia. The band has an existing partnership with Roadrunner Records at home through which they released Old Souls in mid-2015, which had a high ARIA debut.

The band just dropped a video for the track Fake, directed by collaborator Jason Eshraghian. They also embark on a 9-date national tour January 20 to 29. After that, they hit North America with Like Moths To Flames and Thy Art Is Murder.

With Confidence sign to Hopeless Records/Unified

Four-piece Sydney alternative rock band With Confidence (pictured) have been added to the Hopeless Records/Unified roster. This month the band have hit the road with Neck Deep and State Champs on the Australian leg of their world tour, which finishes up on Friday.

The band’s latest single is We’ll Be Okay, watch the clip here.

Giving Daniel Johns the eye

Daniel Johns and Chronicles of Never founder and designer Gareth Moody have jointly created a limited edition unisex eyewear collection in with Australian boutique eyewear company I Lab. The 8-piece collection features cool frames handcrafted in Japan (each frame underwent a polishing process of 150 hours), in black, silver, tortoise and crystal.

Johns and Ksubi co-founder Moody have worked together on projects before, and the singer/guitarist has long been a fair of the label for its “futuristic Sinatra” vibes. Aside from helping to design the eyewear, Johns also created the music for the visual campaign, filmed at wind farm near Lake George, outside Canberra. Johns says, “After understanding the look and feel of the collection, I went away to create a suitable soundscape to compliment the collection and the film piece.”

Vallis Alps get UK agency representation

Sydney based electronica duo Vallis Alps signed with Olly Hodgson from Coda Agency in the UK/Europe. Parissa and David are also represented by Owen Mallon from Windish for the US and Canada, and Evan Davis and Andy Gumley at Village Sounds to cover them in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The duo, from Canberra and Seattle, were the second most played act last year on triple j with their self-titled EP.

Universal gets Demi Lovato publishing

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) will globally represent the music of Demi Lovato. UMPG Chairman and CEO Jodie Gerson called her “an authentic role model and a compelling artist and songwriter who I truly believe in.”

The deal includes a j/v with Safehouse Publishing, which is co-owned by Lovato, her manager Phil McIntyre and Nick Jonas. It’s just signed Chord Overstreet, son of country music troubadour Paul Overstreet and a Glee cast member. 

Pandora widens licensing deals

Pandora continues to build bridges with the music industry to widen its geographical footprint. New licensing deals with US performance rights organisations ASCAP and BMI allow them to deliver “improved” performance royalties for their songwriters and publishers, while Pandora will benefit “from greater rate certainty and the ability to add new flexibility to the company’s product offering over time.” Pandora will also drop its appeal against a court mandated rate of 2.5% of revenue for the BMI blanket license.

In recent few months, Pandora struck direct deals with Sony/ATV, SONGS Music Publishing and Downtown Music Publishing, /Chappell as well as independent label body Merlin, and settled a case that dealt with royalties on music recorded prior to 1972. Sources say Pandora agreed to give publishers their pro-rata share of 10% of revenue up from 4.1%.

Anthrax extend Nuclear Blast deal to A/NZ

After signing to Nuclear Blast for Europe for their new album For All Kings, Anthrax have now signed for Australia and New Zealand for a February 26 release of the record – “the most metal Anthrax album ever, fitting for all our most metal friends in Australia and New Zealand,” according to guitarist Scott Ian.

Nuclear Blast Australia & New Zealand’s John Howarth says, “I am so proud to continue a long standing relationship with Anthrax. The album is their crowning glory. It is a true masterpiece. This album will add another decade to their career and will open the doors to a whole new fanbase.’’

Inertia calls out Ben Abraham

Inertia Music inked Melbourne folk singer Ben Abraham and will release his impressive 2014 album Sirens on March 4. The record includes Gotye (who says, “When Ben sings, I listen”), Gossling, Tim Shiel, Ryan Meeking, Lawrence Folvig, oh and Grammy-winning Sara Bareilles with whom he toured). The son of Indonesian pop stars in the ‘70s, Abraham left school wanting to be a filmmaker and at 22 picked up the guitar.

WA acts hit screen as the cartoon band The Shapes

West Australian musicians Timothy Nelson (of Timothy Nelson & The Infidels) and Ofa Fotu (Odette Mercy & Her Soul Atomics) are involved in WA production company Mad Kids’ first animated series, The Shapes. The musical comedy show, on ABC3 TV and ABC iview, showcases videos from raucous cartoon band The Shapes.

Aside from Nelson and Fotu, the music and lyrics are also handled by actress Gemma Sharpe (Blue Square) and Matt Lovkis who co-wrote and co-directed the series with Henry Inglis.

SAATSUMA through Blank Tape 

Melbourne based ambient electronic project SAATSUMA is releasing the track Storm through Blank Tape, as a taster for an EP due early 2016. The project consists of Memphis Kelly, Joel Ma and Cesar Rodrigues, with the sessions mixed by Declan Kelly (aka Dream Kit).

iHeartMedia strikes virtual reality-focused partnership with UMG …

U.S. digital radio service iHeartMedia struck a partnership with Universal Music Group focussed around virtual reality (VR) for American consumers. It will enable the companies to connect artists, music fans and brands and sponsors “in a series of immersive experiences” for the first time on scale. They will also invite brands to partner with them to develop, produce and distribute these one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences, using integrated approaches to connect their brands and products to both artists and consumers using state-of-the-art VR technology.

… and expands into Canada

iHeartRadio’s free digital radio and music streaming service is moving into Canada through a deal with Canada’s Bell Media. To come into effective mid-2016, it covers music, news and sports incorporating live and televised events, auto dashes, handheld devices, wearables and consumer electronics. It puts Bell, which has 106 terrestrial radio and 70 TV stations and in an advantage over its rivals which have more traditional leanings. iHeartRadio launched in America in 2011 and moved into Australia and New Zealand in 2013, and has 75 million registered users.

Newcastle track for children’s charity

A group of Newcastle singers and musicians teamed up for a cover of John Lennon’s Happy Christmas (War Is Over) to raise money for The Vulnerable Children Fund. It works with poor communities where children are vulnerable to trafficking, abuse, early marriage, disease, disaster and exploitation.

Involved were singers James Boff, Matty Purcell, Marissa Saroca, Ben Kidd, CrocQ Lucero, Pepper Deroy, Jesse Vee, Tom Blake, Amy Vee and Komiti J Levai. The session was produced by Tim Hickey who also played piano, with others including bassist Klaye Sanders and drummer Lachlan Coffey. The idea was Hickey’s, son of John Hickey is the CEO of Baptist World Aid Australia, which operates the fund.

Round Hill buys Offspring catalogue for $35m

New York-based Round Hill Music bought US ‘90s pop punk band The Offspring’s catalogue for a reported $35 million. It covers their Columbia/Sony albums which have sold 10 million – including the five-million seller Americana, featuring radio smash Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) – and their entire publishing. The early recordings (which have shifted 7 million units including the breakout Smash) remain with Epitaph. The catalogue has made a profit of $3.1 million.

Twitter moves into headphones

Twitter moved into headphones, investing in startup Muzik. It was founded in 2012 by product designer Jason Hardi whose wireless headphones offer playback control and social media sharing by pressing on the sides of the device. Hardi says Muzik was launched to bring “the same kind of disruption to audio products that smartphones brought to cell phones”.

Two deals for Kllo

Melbourne cousins Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul (aka Kllo) have only released an EP but that’s taken them far. They’ve played festivals abroad, debut single Make Me Wonder was picked up by BBC Radio 1, They were named “Artists to watch in 2015” by Spotify and Elle Magazine.

Now they’ve signed two overseas deals – with Ghostly International for North America and Different Recordings/PIAS for Europe and Japan.

Sony/ATV adds Maya Jane Coles

Sony/ATV globally signed British/Japanese songwriter, artist, and producer Maya Jane Coles. Her standing in the EDM scene lifted when Nicki Minaj sampled Coles’ What They Say for her million selling US Top 20 Truffle Butter.

Cheap Trick machine rolls on

A week before Cheap Trick are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes Bang Zoom Crazy … Hello through their new record label Big Machine Records. It is the home of Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Steven Tyler.The record, their 17th, is Cheap Trick’s first in five years. The band continues to tour, visiting Australia last year in a tie-up with The Angels.

Storming up a vibe

Melbourne band Storm The Sky are the first signing to Chris O’Brien’s new management firm What A Vibe. The band records for Unified. O’Brien, former GM of Soundwave, this month also joined Destroy All Lines as GM of Touring.

Toyota adopts Ford’s software

Toyota has taken up on rival Ford’s offer to use its in-car entertainment software SmartDeviceLink. Ford is offering it to other car makers as Honda, Mazda and Subaru. It is part of Ford CEO Mark Fields’ strategy to keep Google’s Android Auto and ’s CarPlay from dominating auto software by getting rid of the problem of developers having to create new apps for each different car brand.

Xtra Research to provide regional radio surveys

Xtra Research will take over from this month to provide the regional radio surveys issued by Commercial Radio Australia. “The industry looks forward to working with Xtra to provide valuable insights into the regional listening audience for stations, advertisers and agencies,” said CRA CEO Joan Warner. The prohibitive cost of surveys means many regional areas miss out.

GfK continues to handle the five capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and major centres of the Gold Coast, Canberra and Newcastle.

Cairns project for slain children 

Queensland singer-songwriter Roz Pappalardo is behind the Songs of Murray Street CD released this month on iTunes. Funded by the Red Cross, the album is part of a year-long healing project to bring the community of Manoora in Cairns together one year after the alleged murders of eight children for which their mother has been charged. Pappalardo and musician and community worker Will Kepa held songwriting sessions from October to December with local children to write and immediately record the songs. A concert with a number of musicians was held in Cairns last month along with candlelight vigils and memorial services.

ADKOB join

Sydney indie pop outfit ADKOB have joined the booking agency, repped by Katie Rynn. The band, which is working on its sophomore album this year, last year did a national tour and has won the triple j Laneway slot for the Sydney show of the touring festival. It is managed by Egg Nest Music.

WAM announces studio sponsors for Song Of The Year 

West Australia’s peak music association WAM has unveiled the studios involved in the WAM Song of the Year. Part of the $40,000 prize pack includes free recording packages for winners of each of the 16 categories. 

They are Artisan, Blackbird Sound Studio, Crank Recording, Debaser Studios, Electric City Studios, Fremantle Recording Studios, GibSONICS / Belltones Studio, Poons Head, Shanghai Twang, Sonic Lolly, Soundbaker, Sovereign Studios, Sumo Sound Studios, Tone City Recording Studio, Rada Studios and Underground Studios. Submissions for the competition close on January 25.

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