Exclusive: Downtown Records Launches Immortal Music Publishing

Credit: Nick Widmer

Downtown Records’ co-founders Josh Deutsh and Terence Lam are rebuilding the empire with the launch of a new music publishing division. The New York-based execs have established Immortal Music Publishing, and announced its first signings.

Almost two years have passed since Downtown Music LLC, the privately held parent company of Downtown Records and Downtown Music Publishing, sold its recorded music business to Deutsh and Lam.

Now, the pair have established Immortal with an ambition to focus both on emerging talent and identify catalog acquisitions and administration and co-publishing agreements with established writers.

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“Music Publishing is in our DNA as a business and we are thrilled to announce the launch of Immortal and its exceptional team,” comments Deutsch in a statement. “As in past endeavors, I see tremendous opportunity for growth in the publishing space. Immortal Music Publishing offers songwriters and artists the best quality services along with a premium adminsitration platform. We have always been a very proactive sync licensing company, and with the expertise and energy of the Downtown/Immortal team, we are excited to work with the most compelling writers and catalogs to create and increase value.”

Among Immortal’s first deals is a worldwide administration agreement with No Other Music, a recently-launched publishing business established by Jake Friedman and Jason Foster of the artist management company We are Free, and Mike Sniper, founder of indie label Captured Tracks and Omnian Music Group.

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Through the arrangement, Immortal administers No Other Music’s catalog including the 2014 Polaris Music Prize nominee Mac DeMarco. "Jason, Mike and I are used to working from the ground up in all facets of artists' careers, and No Other Music will be an extension of what we do best," says Friedman in a statement. "We are extremely excited to partner with the Immortal team, who share our values as an independently owned music company focused on emerging talent."

Also, Immortal has signed rapper/producer Le1f, whose XL Recordings debut will arrive in 2015, in addition to pacts with various writers currently on the Downtown Records roster including Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin), Amalie Bruun (Ex Cops), Thomas Arsenault (Mas Ysa), Dillon Groeneman (Slow Magic), Nicholas Principe (Port St. Willow), Lawrence Rothman, plus Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans (YACHT)

To help build the new division, Eric Scott has been recruited as VP, publishing operations. Most recently Scott served in senior positions at BMG Chrysalis and Spirit Music Group. He’ll be based in Immortal’s New York headquarters and report to Deutsch and Lam.

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The Downtown and Immortal executive teams have been building in recent weeks and months with the hires of creative marketing exec Miles Catalano (formerly senior director, film and TV licensing at Warner Brothers Records), manager, A&R and writer relations Wyatt Wolfram (formerly with BMG Chrysalis) and coordinator, licensing administration Martine Carlson. Both will be reporting to Jen Pearce, vp of licensing and brand partnerships.

Since launching in 2006, Downtown Records has released albums by artists including Gnarls Barkley, Cold War Kids, Duck Sauce, Justice, Major Lazer, Miike Snow, and Santigold, and has built a catalog of more than 5,000 songs.

Earlier this year, Relativity Media acquired a stake in Downtown Records in a move to increase overall content holdings and production. On announcing that deal, Downtown Records said it expected to use the capital infusion from Relativity to sign new artists and acquire and market other catalogs.