Indie Publisher Mojo Music Expands Catalog With HoriPro Acquisition

George Strait
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Essential Broadcast Media

George Strait performs during one of his exclusive worldwide engagements, "Strait to Vegas" at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 9, 2016 in Las Vegas.

With its acquisition of Nashville-based HoriPro Entertainment Group, the Mojo Music & Media Group is having its coming out party as a new force in independent music publishing.  

While terms of the deal are undisclosed, the HoriPro catalog numbers 15,000 songs including tracks by REO Speedwagon, Kiss, Jerry Reed and George Strait, according to the announcement.

Mojo Music was started by former Spirit Music Group principals Mark Fried and Peter Shane, in conjunction with Alan Wallis, a former Ernst & Young executive. The company's website says it has offices in New York, Nashville and London. Fried had founded Spirit Music but left the company in 2015, starting Mojo Music in 2017.

"I'm thrilled to be launching a new venture with driven, like-minded partners and surrounded by some of the best songs and songwriters on the planet," Mojo Music founder and CEO Mark Fried said in a statement. "We aim to build a modern-day Brill Building, not only pitching songs and syncs like our lives depended on it but bringing our writers' songs and stories to life across traditional and new media."

According to the company announcement on the HoriPro deal, prior to making that acquisition, Mojo had acquired songs written or co-written by Artie Kornfeld, including Crispian St. Peters' "The Pied Piper" and the Cowsills' "Rain, The Park and Other Things"; Johnny Burke, including the song he added lyrics to, Johnny Mathis' "Misty"; Bernie Wayne, including Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet"; and Paul Evans, including Vinton's "Roses Are Red"; and Bobby Robinson, including the Fearless Four's "Rockin It."

In its latest deal, country songs in the HoriPro catalog include tracks recorded by Johnny Cash, George Jones, Reba McEntire, Alabama, Gretchen Wilson, Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton.

Moreover, the company says its current writer roster includes Bart Butler, Joe Clemmons, Neil Medley, Sarah Allison Turner and Mike Walker; and includes such songs as Thomas Rhett's "Make Me Wanna," Sam Hunt's "Make You Miss Me," Kenny Chesney's "The Boys Of Fall," Jon Pardi's "Head Over Boots" and "Heartache On The Dance Floor," and Rodney Atkins "Caught Up In The Country."

The Mojo Music company's staffing includes former HoriPro executives Butch Baker, svp creative; Carrie Wilkins, vp administration & business affairs; and song pluggers Keithan Melton and Courtney Crist. The company has also appointed former HoriPro international executive Nobu Yamamoto to pursue new writer and catalog opportunities in Los Angeles and strengthen its presence in Japan and throughout Asia, the announcement says.

Baker called the acquisition of HoriPro Nashville by Mojo a good fit. "With Mojo, we now have the resources to super-serve [songwriters] here in Nashville and take them beyond our borders into cross-genre co-writes, custom syncs and creative projects with TV, film and new media producers all over the world," he said in a statement.