Music Industry Moves: R&B Singer Maeta Inks Publishing Deal With Warner Chappell Music

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Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has signed a global publishing deal with R&B singer-songwriter and Roc Nation artist Maeta.

Last year, the songstress released her 13-track project, “When I Hear Your Name,” which included the Billboard Adult Airplay chart-topping “Through The Night” ft. Free Nationals. Maeta has also collaborated with artists including SZA, Ty Dolla $ign, Demi Lovato and Kehlani, among others.

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“Maeta’s talent is undeniable,” said Ryan Press, president of North American regions for WCM. “Her soulful vocals and authentic storytelling not only set her apart from other new, up-and-coming talent but also allow her to resonate with fans on a personal level. Her journey is one we deeply believe in, and we’re excited to welcome her to the Warner Chappell family.”

An Indianapolis native, Maeta rose to prominence in 2019 with the release of her debut EP, “Do Not Disturb,” followed by collaborations with James Fauntleroy and Ambré, among others. In 2021, Maeta announced her record deal with Roc Nation and released her first major-label EP, “Habits,” featuring the Kaytranda-produced hit songs “Bitch Don’t Be Mad” and “Teen Scene.”

+ Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has announced the promotion of Jenni Pfaff to executive VP of strategy, integration and operations. Reporting to WCM’s Co-Chairs, Guy Moot (CEO) and Carianne Marshall (COO), Pfaff will additionally oversee WCM’s newly created business intelligence division, which was formed to help the team make data-driven decisions.

She’ll also continue to work closely with WMG’s tech department and senior leadership to enhance the company’s technology portfolio and support the development of user-friendly systems.

Pfaff joined WCM in March 2019 as the People Strategy leader, where she was quickly promoted from VP to senior VP. She transitioned to oversee the global business strategy in 2021, taking on the role of senior VP and head of global strategic integration and operations.

“Jenni has been on this journey with us from the beginning, helping transform how we operate as a global team so we can continue to do great work for our songwriters and their incredible songs,” said Moot and Marshall. “She is deeply committed to Warner Chappell and has spearheaded initiatives that allow us to be more collaborative. Technology, business, and data go hand-in-hand, and the work that we’re doing with Robert [Kyncl] and team will help shape the future of music publishing.”

+ Country artist Gashi, who recently left RCA, has launched a label called Orca Sounds Records where he has signed AlexSucks. Gashi is also set to release his new album, “Brooklyn Cowboy,” via Orca Sounds. As part of Orca, Gashi has signed artist AlexSucks whose single “If I Could” debuted at No. 34 on the Alt Airplay Billboard charts.

+ Bossy Songs, the publishing venture founded with Sony Music Publishing by music industry veteran Barry Weiss (CEO and Co-Founder of Records/Records Nashville) has announced the signing of rising singer-songwriter Cheyenna.

Cheyenna is a gender-free singer-songwriter whose folk/pop music has been deeply inspired by their nomadic lifestyle and solo travels, and credits Gordon Lightfoot, Dan Fogelberg and Kenny Loggins as major stylistic influences. Recent co-writes include the viral hit “Austin” and “Even Cowboys Cry” by Dasha (Warner Records). “Austin” debuted at No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100, is currently on over 20 viral charts including global, U.S., UK and Australia.

“We are thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented singer-songwriter Cheyenna to the BOSSY SONGS family,” said Weiss. “Cheyenna is a fresh, compelling writer and artist and we are excited to work together to further build and expand their songwriting career.”

+ Firebird has announced a partnership with Los Angeles-based Jet Management.

Jet was founded in 2020 by John Scholz and Tyler Goldberg, formerly of C3 Management, and their roster includes Justice, Suki Waterhouse, Sam Gellaitry, LP Giobbi, Madeon, Girl Talk and more. Firebird serves as a premier resource for artists, labels and management companies, providing the skills, capital, and scale for them to grow.

“Firebird partners with artists and their teams to build longer lasting, higher impact, and more profitable careers” says Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Firebird. “Jet is on the cutting edge of building the brands of the most respected artists that influence culture. Tyler, John and their team have an impressive track record of partnering with artists of all types to ignite both their fan bases and businesses in harmony.”

“The music industry is evolving rapidly and power is continuing to shift towards artists and their teams. Firebird’s artist-first ethos and ambitions around empowering the core team is what drew us in at the start, but the people are what kept us around,” said John Scholz, co-founder, Jet Management. “This is a great group of sharp industry veterans walking the same path as us that we couldn’t be happier to lock arms with.”

Tuesday, April 9

Music Will (formerly Little Kids Rock), the largest non-profit music education program for schools in the United States, will hold its annual benefit on April 24 honoring Josh Groban, Andra Day and Rhiannon Giddens.

Set to take place at the Novo in Los Angeles, the event will have music direction from Michael Bearden (Lady Gaga, Whitney Houston) and feature special guest performances to be announced, along with a silent online auction and remarks from key artistic and business supporters.

The benefit will provide essential funding for Music Will’s ongoing mission to provide teacher training, a diverse curriculum, and free musical instruments to students—connecting them with the music that ignites their interest.

“We’re excited to announce Music Will’s second Los Angeles Benefit on April 24th,” said Mike Wasserman, Music Will CEO. He continues, “Music Will brings innovative and engaging programming, resources, and instruments to a community of thousands of music teachers and more than 600,000 students across the country every year. We can’t wait to celebrate on April 24th with such generous and talented artists like Josh Groban, Andra Day, and Rhiannon Giddens, as well as student bands from local Music Will partner schools. For one night, our community of educators, corporate sponsors, industry partners, and everyone who believes in the power of music will come together for an amazing celebration of music, and all proceeds will support Music Will’s programs for students and teachers across the country. Together, we’re changing lives through music.

Past honorees have included Babyface, Tom Morello, Idina Menzel, Bonnie Raitt, Smokey Robinson, Elvis Costello, Warren Haynes, Usher, Steven Van Zandt, Mavis Staples, Joan Jett, Trombone Shorty, Wiz Khalifa, and Clarence Clemmons, among others. Performers and presenters have included Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Alice Cooper, Darlene Love, Carlos Santana and Yo-Yo Ma, among many others.

+ Ntertain and the Latino Film Festival have joined forces to launch the Nvision Film and Music Festival, slated for Oct. 10-12 at the Palm Springs Art Museum in California.

Taking place across three days, the festival includes film screenings, music performances, art exhibitions, technology showcases, and conference-style panels and presentations. Submissions are open for U.S. and International Shorts and features in genres including Drama, Horror/Sci-fi, Documentary, Comedy, Experimental and animation, and Music Videos. The top awards for best U.S. and international features will be $10,000, respectively, and for best U.S. and international shorts, they will be $5,000.

Lex Borrero, CEO of Ntertain says, “Our goal is clear: Impact every area of the media industry by changing the narrative and perception of what could be achieved and created as a culture. Danny Hastings, the creator of the festival, has built an incredible platform. We’re here to maximize its potential and give creators a prominent platform to display their art.”

+ HarbourView Equity Partners (HarbourView) have announced an investment in Mucho Mas Media – an inclusive LatinX multimedia platform cultivating talent and producing content for global audiences.

Through this investment, HarbourView will work closely with Mucho Mas’ management to drive ROI, leveraging HarbourView’s proprietary data-driven insights into global audiences to deliver value to Mucho Mas and the HarbourView stakeholders.

Alongside Mucho Mas, HarbourView will executive produce the films in the Mucho Mas content slate including the upcoming feature “The Long Game,” an adaptation of Humberto G. Garcia’s inspirational golf novel “Mustang Miracle.”

This investment marks HarbourView’s second partnership in the film and television space since they invested in Charles D. King’s multi-platform media company, Macro, last year.

“We are thrilled to partner with Javier, Vincent, Simon and the Mucho Mas team and look forward to working closely with their immensely talented executives to support their ambitions,” said HarbourView CEO Sherrese Clarke Soares. “We believe Mucho Mas possesses the skillful ability to drive ROI by centering audiences and delivering compelling stories, including the upcoming film The Long Game — a true American story that highlights the perseverance of faith and the human spirit. With rich, universal stories for all audiences, we couldn’t think of a better partner to invest in as we grow our portfolio.”

+ Country singer-songwriter Payton Smith has signed a management deal with The Familie ahead of the release of his new EP, “Up From Here.”

“I could not be more excited to sign with The Familie as my new management team,” said Smith. “I believe their approach and vision to managing an artist is exactly what I need for my career and I am so excited to get to work. It is fitting that my new EP is called ‘Up From Here.’ Chase, Royce, Steve, Nano and the whole team… let’s get after it!”

Smith entered the music scene in 2019, quickly garnering over 50 million streams with his debut single, “Like I Knew You Would.” In late 2022, Payton Smith inked a deal with Combustion Masters and released his debut album, “What Colors Your Wild,” in March last year.

+ Secretly Distribution has signed new distribution deals with Jazz Is Dead and Linear Labs, two companies led by artists and producers who have turned crate-digging into a global community.

Founded by Adrian Younge, A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Andrew Lojero and Adam Block, Jazz Is Dead is a record label and concert series. Linear Labs is a recording studio and sister label to Jazz Is Dead. Focused on new progressive music with a cultivated compositional perspective and high-quality sonic palette, Linear Labs has worked with artists as wide-ranging as Ghostface Killah and the Delfonics and released numerous scores and soundtracks that Younge has created for CBS, Hulu, and Netflix series and films like Black Dynamite. Past and future releases from Linear Labs will also be distributed and supported by Secretly Distribution.

“Jazz Is Dead and Linear Labs are passion-driven visionary music businesses built with legendary musician-producers at the helm,” said Jacqui Resur, director of client relations at Secretly Distribution. “Their aesthetic values, relationships, and musical projects at once look back to the history of jazz, hip-hop, and related genres while also constructing its future. We are honored to partner with two labels whose impact on contemporary jazz has already been significant, and whose impact on music culture at large continues to grow.”

“Jazz Is Dead is excited to be joining the Secretly family,” says co-founder and partner, Andrew Lojero. “As we enter into this next phase of growth of our overall business, we believe Secretly – with its commitment to and respect in the independent label community – is the perfect partner to make sure our music can be found and heard.”

+ The Recording Academy has appointed Adam Roth as executive VP of global partnerships and business development, effective immediately.

Roth will be responsible for growing the Recording Academy internationally through developing integrated partnership programs with globally recognized brands and local on-the-ground sponsors. Additionally, Roth will create new IPs and build a business around existing IPs to create new global revenue opportunities for the Academy.

“We are thrilled to have Adam as our EVP of Global Partnerships & Business Development,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “Throughout his tenure, Adam’s unwavering dedication and foresight have consistently delivered remarkable results for our organization. As the Academy continues its work serving music and its creators around the world, I am confident that Adam’s new role will continue to steer our business development to allow our work to expand in exciting new ways.”

Roth previously served as senior VP of partnerships and business development for the Recording Academy, using his deep network of industry relationships across the arts, fashion, music, entertainment, and technology industries to create 360 deals to drive new business across all entities of the Recording Academy, including MusiCares, the Grammy Museum and the Latin Recording Academy.

+ South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals has tapped Leanna Rossmann as chief financial officer.

“I’m thrilled to be joining SXSW and its exceptional team,” said Rossman. “Leveraging my strategic finance expertise in the music and entertainment industries, I am excited to spearhead innovation and capitalize new revenue opportunities for this remarkable brand. I am deeply appreciative for the growth and leadership experiences I gained at Warner Music Group.”

Before joining SXSW, Rossmann began her career at Universal Music Group (UMG). From there, she joined Twentieth Century Fox in 2005 to oversee finance and accounting operations for the Fox Music division until 2019. In 2019, Leanna became an employee of the Walt Disney Company upon the acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox. While at Disney, she continued to serve as VP of finance and accounting for Fox Music financials and partnered with the Disney senior management to ensure a smooth integration of teams.

+ Colombian singer Feid has released a new comic book in partnership with Marvel Studios titled “Ferxxo The Green Man,” a narrative intertwining the elements of fantasy, personal struggle, and the journey towards self-discovery, set against the backdrop of Medellin, Colombia.

+ After signing a new deal with indie label Dale Play, Argentinian music superstar Paulo Londra has signed with WME for representation worldwide. Londra is currently working on new music with subsequent plans for a global tour in the works as well. Londra continues to be managed by Ignacio Amato and Cruz Pereyra Lucena (Buena Productora).

+ Top composer agents Michael Gorfaine and Sam Schwartz were honored for their long careers by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) Saturday night at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

The success of LACO, said executive director Ben Cadwallader, was “directly connected to the health and vitality of film and TV scoring right here in Hollywood,” as many LACO musicians are able to continue playing classical music because of their “day jobs” playing movie music. The honor was dubbed the LACO Hollywood Ally Award.

The Gorfaine-Schwartz Agency, created in 1982, represents many of the top composers in the field, several of whom attended Saturday’s event: John Williams, James Newton Howard, Thomas Newman, Mike Post, Alan Silvestri, Brian Tyler, Harry Gregson-Williams, John Debney, Steve Jablonsky, Sean Callery, Glen Ballard and Theodore Shapiro, among others. Numerous top studio music executives also attended.

LACO musicians performed music by Mozart, Vivaldi and Bartok. Also honored were philanthropists Shaheen and Anil Nanji. A record $1 million was raised for the chamber orchestra at the gala fundraiser.

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