Publishing Briefs: Morris Higham Management Launches Publishing Company, Hayley Kiyoko Signs With Kobalt & More

Basak Kizilisik
L to R: Evyn Mustoe-ASCAP, Clint Higham-Morris Higham Management/Toby and Molly Music, Jeff Biederman-Manatt, Chase Wright, Robert Filhart-Morris Higham Management/Toby and Molly Music, TD Ruth-Serling Rooks Hunter McKoy Worob & Averill LLP, Jesse Willoughby-Kobalt.

With over 40 years in music management, booking and production experience, Nashville-based Morris Higham Management has now added publishing to its list of client services. Through a joint venture with MHM president Clint Higham, Kobalt Music and publishing industry veteran and manager Robert Filhart, the group has formed publishing company Toby and Molly Music, LLC  with its flagship signee being 22-year-old Chase Wright.

"It's challenging for new artists to focus on their art when the stress of commerce and business occupies their days," said Higham in a statement. "Logically it was the next step in the full-service model we offer our clients, intended so they have the freedom to focus on the music."


Kobalt Music announced an exclusive worldwide agreement with singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko on June 26The partnership includes publishing administration, creative services and synch for all of her catalogue and future works. Kiyoko has become one of pop music's most celebrated new artists since releasing her debut album Expectations. Kiyoko's recent accomplishments include two VMA nominations (Best New Artist and Push Artist of the Year) and being featured on NPR's "21st Century's Most Influential Women Musicians" list.

Jamie Kinelski, vp creativecommented on the deal, "Hayley has made a name for herself in the industry as both a songwriter and performer. I've been a believer of hers for the last decade and we're thrilled to welcome her to the Kobalt family. We look forward to working with her on forthcoming releases and helping her achieve even more global success."


Singer-songwriter Summer Walker has signed a global administration agreement with Warner Chappell Music. Announced July 9, the deal covers all existing and new compositions written by Walker, including her hit single, "Girls Need Love" featuring Drake, which hit No. 1 on Billboard's R&B Streaming Songs chart 

"I'm really excited to have my songs looked after by the fantastic Warner Chappell team on Summer Walker," said LVRN Records president Tunde Balogun and head of A&R Justin Baiden.

"She's already writing songs far beyond her years, and we have no doubt that she has a long and important career ahead of her," added Wallace Joseph, Warner Chappell senior director A&R, urban music. 


EMI Production Music has partnered with Goldsmiths, University of London to release film and TV music composed by the university's students. EMI Production Music, which is a division of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, announced the partnership July 3 with the release of Goldsmiths: Sounds One, a compilation album of 18 tracks composed by 15 students and recent graduates from the university.

EMI Production Music content and distribution manager Paul Sandell said: "The students learn all about production music composition at the University so they have the skills to help them flourish as composers. The music submitted by the Goldsmiths students did not disappoint and we hope this is the first of many collaborations with Goldsmiths."

Goldsmiths: Sounds One can be previewed here.


Concord Music Publishing has signed an exclusive publishing deal with singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, the leading independent publisher announced July 10.  Kelly is set to have his next album released by Rounder Records in 2020. 

"Refreshing the air in a writer's sphere is bittersweet but also necessary at times," said Kelly. "Signing with Concord is just that for me, and I'm very excited to have such an enthusiastic and driven team here."