New Signings & Team-Ups: Niche, Warner/ Chappell, EMI, Remote Control & more
JESSB JOINS NICHE AGENCY
The latest addition to Niche Talent Agency is New Zealand hip hop name JessB whose collaboration with SWIDT generated 1 million streams.
In NZ she has played major festivals, opened for Stormzy last year and secured the first female appearance on David Dallas’s’64 Bars’ – a Red Bull backed project whereby MC’s are invited to take the mic and freestyle over a fresh beat.
“She came in and handled it first take. She’s got a vibe, and she’s super confident” says Dallas.
Of Kenyan descent, JessB was raised in Auckland by her adoptive parents and gravitated towards hip-hop from an early age to explore her identity.
After meeting high profile producer P-Money via SoundCloud in 2014, he became her mentor, producing her debut release ‘Soul Free’ and some of the Bloom EP.
She follows up the release of new single ‘Take It Down’ feat. Rubi Du (“I am very passionate about my role as a female artist and what I want to be saying in my songs” with Australian dates later in the month on the Genesis Owusu Wit Da Team tour.
FOALS RIDE INTO GLOBAL PUBLISHING
While working on their fifth album due out in 2019, Foals signed a worldwide deal with Toby L, Tim Dellow and Lilas Bourboulon’sTransgressive Publishing and Warner/Chappell Music. It covers their back catalogue and all future releases.
Mike Smith, MD of Warner/Chappell UK called them “without doubt one of the most forward-thinking and constantly innovating rock bands to have emerged in the past ten years. They never fail to release thrilling music.”
FOOTSTOMP BRINGS PARK THE VAN TO ANZ
Queensland’s Footstomp Music will bring the roster of New Orleans label Park The Van to Australia and New Zealand.
Their latest releases have been by Broncho, Cayucas, and The Magic Numbers.
The label was set up in 2004 by Chris Watson, first as an artist development platform for bands like Dr. Dog, Generationals and Floating Action and then focussing on artist management.
After a 6 year hiatus from releasing new music, the label is back on the fast lane.
Footstomp’s Graham Ashton says, “The Park The Van team are one of the most forward-thinking indie labels in the US and we are stoked to be representing them in Australia and New Zealand. They have great ears and great strategies.”
‘60S BAND ZOIT COME FULL CIRCLE TO EMI
‘60s band The Zoot have returned full circle, signing with EMI Music, the label they had success with in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with ‘1x2x3x4’, ‘Monty & Me'(produced by Ian Meldrum, dog whistles by John Farnham) and their heavy rock version of Paul McCartney’s ‘Eleanor Rigby’.
Fifty years after their debut single, EMI is releasing a 24-track career retrospective, Zoot Archaeology on November 23, with a new reworking of The Dream Academy’s ‘Life In A Northern Town’ and live renditions of The Beatles’ ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ and Neil Diamond’s ‘Shilo’.
There are liner notes by two of the members, Been Birtles who later helped form Little River Band, and Rick Springfield who became a recording and acting star in the US notably with ‘Jessie’s Girl’.
EMI will also reissue Zoot Live – The Reunion CD and DVD, recorded in 2011, on the Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise in the Caribbean.
It was to have been followed by a full-scale Australian tour, their first in 40 years, but singer Darryl Cotton was diagnosed with liver cancer and died in 2012.
Springfield later discovered that Cotton and he had independently recorded versions of ‘Life In A Northern Town’.
Zoot merged the two versions, and Birtles was asked to add his vocals.
He says, “Fifty-four years after I met Darryl (in Adelaide), we have a new Zoot song. Thanks to Rick, I got to sing one more time with my best friend.”
SARAI GROWS HER CROWD
Singer-songwriter Sarai, who is signed to music exec Rob Scott’s Source Music, has been widening her reach with a number of synchs.
These include placements in the Channel 10 series Playing For Keeps and a Glassons online branding spot.
At the same time, she’s also having success on streaming services, with the latest being new Latin-electro feel single ‘Let Me Let You In’.
The soulful singer explains, “It’s about letting go of things, relationships and situations that do not serve you.
“There are so many distractions, deadlines, people making demands, many things that don’t deserve the energy they require. This song is about taking back control.”
SUNSET CITIES AT BEDROOMSUCK
Bedroom Suck has picked up rights for Sunset Cities, a new music project combining hip hop and psychedelic soul from South Australia’s south coast.
Last year in Adelaide over a plate of Ethiopian food, MC’s Nelson Dialect and Cazeaux O.S.L.O. crafted the basic principles of the project: the first produced by Melbourne beatmaker Skomes (known for his work with Caseaux O.S.L.O under the moniker SO.Crates) and the second by Adelaide resident Alnitak Kid.
First single ‘Black Tapes’ was inspired by their memories of 1980 cultural item, the VHS tape.
SEAFORTH SPLASHES ON RCA NASHVILLE
Australian country duo Seaforth – both Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson came from the Sydney suburb of that name – are now with Sony Music Nashville’s imprint RCA Nashville.
They are recording their debut with producer Dann Huff.
Says Jordan, “Nashville is the international home for the sound we’re making.
“From the day we wrote our first song together — a song that was organic and guitar-based, but also very modern in its approach — we knew we needed to be here.”
MELBOURNE DUO SIGN US DEAL
Melbourne electronic purveyors Two People finalised a record deal with Brooklyn, New York City-based Terrible Records.
The label’s Max Wortman saw them at BIGSOUND and was he says, swept away by the intensity of their live performance.
BLEACH FESTIVAL FINDS PARTNER
Gold Coast arts and music festival Bleach* signed a three-year partnership with Griffith University.
The centrepiece of next year’s festival will be a blockbuster outdoor performance of Verdi’s Requiem, featuring students from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
They’ll work alongside a full cast from Opera Queensland for a spectacular concert under the stars at the Home of the Arts (HOTA) in April.
Bleach* artistic director and CEO Louise Bezzina, herself a Griffith alumnus, said the partnership would provide opportunities for students across the university, from marketing and events management to urban planning.
REMOTE CONTROL HOOKS HXXS
Remote Control will distribute in Australia the music of California’s HXXS as part of their signing to Captured Tracks.
HXXS are Jeannie Colleene and Gavin Neves who got their start in a cramped San Jose warehouse.
The vocal takes on debut EP MKDRONE (to be released here in early December) were often ruined by the performances in the porn studio next door.
LANA DE RAY, JARED LETO, JOIN GUCCI CAMPAIGN
Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto are the faces of a new Gucci fragrance campaign that will “show off the talented duo channelling enigmatic, eclectic and glamorous personas.”
The two join the likes of Tom Hiddleston and Florence Welch (Florence + the Machine) as ambassadors for the brand.
UNIVERSAL EXPANDS IN AFRICA
Universal Music Group (UMG) signed a landmark licensing agreement with Boomplay, Africa’s leading music streaming and download service.
Boomplay will distribute music from UMG’s labels through its streaming and download platform in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
Earlier this year, UMG set up Universal Music Nigeria, a new division within Western Africa to provide artists with opportunities throughout the region and to provide pan-African talent the best possible launch pad for wider international success.
NEW DEAL FOR GARY NUMAN
Gary Numan, still an inspiration to today’s electro-pop stars from his ‘80s hits as ‘Are Friends Electric’ and ‘Cars’, now has a record deal with UK label Big Deal.
DOWNTOWN BUYS PUBLISHERS
Downtown Music Publishing has acquired Salli Isaak Songs and Salli Isaak Music Publishing – which include Paloma Faith and Jimmy Napes on their roster.
The two publishers claim credits for 20 UK Top 10 singles and nine No.1s.
TROYE SIVAN CUTS QUEEN COVER FOR AIDS FUND
Another Australian act has covered a Queen song to raise money for the Mercury Phoenix Trust for AIDS research.
Troye Sivan has released a rendition of the gospel-inflected “Somebody To Love” from Queen’s A Day At The Races.
Said Queen’s manager, Jim Beach: ‘’Troye’s version is a unique take on this Queen classic.
“It is both moving and totally original. Thank you from us all at the Mercury Phoenix Trust – fighting AIDS worldwide.”