Executive Turntable: Artist First Taps New VP, Jaxsta Appoints CMO

Claudio Ferrera, Charlie Rapino
Angela LoPriore

Claudio Ferrera and Charlie Rapino

Italian distribution company and record label Artist First has appointed Charlie Rapino to the role of vp, international and communications. Rapino has been a consultant to the company since 2016 and now assumes overall responsibility for A&R and talent acquisition.

Based in London, Rapino will also oversee international communications for Artist First in addition to his A&R responsibilities. He brings with him a reputation for dance music production, having been one half of The Rapino Brothers. Alongside Marco Sabiu, he worked with artists like Corona and Take That.

Founded by Claudio Ferrante in 2009, Artist First works with both Italian and international acts. The company also does distribution for labels and has artists like Gazzelle, Fulminacci, Alfa, Dardust and Zero Assoluto on its own roster. The hiring of Rapino signifies Artist First has “bolstered its global presence,” according to a press release.

“His expertise and experience, particularly in the international marketplace, has been a major factor in our continued growth and success and as we expand our global footprint he will be taking a key strategic role in helping us navigate the way forward,” Ferrante said in a statement.

Rapino has also served as consultant to Sony international under David Massey, before leaving to become an advisor to composer Ennio Morricone. He went on to be president of A&R at Decca Records and, in 2011, a judge on Italian TV talent show Amici. “Artist First is a wonderful success story and has been at the forefront of innovation in the Italian music industry for many years,” Rapino said. “They are incredibly ambitious and eager to build a presence in the international marketplace so it is an absolute privilege to be taking on this new role and to be part of this exciting new chapter in their story.”

Jaxsta Limited, a dedicated database of official music credits, announced the appointment of Beth Appleton to the position of chief marketing officer, effective July 12. Previously, Appleton served as the general manager and senior vp of marketing Australasia at Warner Music Australia, overseeing campaigns for artists such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Twenty One Pilots and Michael Bublé.

Based in Sydney, Appleton will work to develop Jaxsta’s ongoing marketing strategy as it returns to a paid service in late July. Partnered with major and independent record companies, publishers, distributors, royalty agencies and industry associations, Jaxsta's free subscription service provides B2B data solutions for the music and related media industries meanwhile Jaxsta ProBeta helps music industry professionals connect.

“Beth’s extensive experience and tenure within the industry truly speaks for itself,” said Jacqui Louez Schoorl, Jaxsta CEO and co-founder. “Her reach and impact is demonstrated through her work with global stars such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Michael Bublé, and local Australian talent including Thelma Plum, Morgan Evans and Jack Gray. We are beyond thrilled to welcome Beth to our Team as we enter this exciting growth phase of the company.”

Appleton has more than 25 years of music industry experience under her belt, having previously served as senior vp global marketing at Warner Music Group in the U.K.; director of digital at Universal U.K.; and head of digital and business development at V2 Music in the U.K.

“I am a firm believer in teamwork, and every song is the beautiful outcome of creative teamwork,” Appleton said in a statement. "Jaxsta uses official sources to credit all those involved in the creation of music, a critical mission in our ever more complex musical landscape. I am so excited and proud to be joining Jaxsta as CMO as we work together to facilitate incredible possibilities for our global music community.”

Los Angeles-based concert promoter Goldenvoice announced that Marcus “Don Dada” Johnson will join the company as talent buyer. He previously spent nearly two decades as an independent promoter and marketer for events throughout Southern California.

Reporting to president and CEO Paul Tollett, Johnson will handle talent buying for the company’s various festivals and clubs -- including The Novo in downtown Los Angeles -- in his new role. “Marcus brings a level of musical taste and knowledge that fits perfectly with what we do here at Goldenvoice,” Tollett said in a statement. “He’s basically been part of the family, so I’m very excited that we are making it official.”

Hailing from Oakland, Johnson’s career is rooted in booking, producing and marketing large-scale events in the Los Angeles area, including artist-driven experiences at Hollywood nightclubs. He’s been a Goldenvoice collaborator since 2009, ticketing many of its shows and festivals and working with artists like Post Malone, YG, Saweetie and Ari Lennox.

“Hip-hop and R&B play such an important part in moving the needle on popular culture, and the same can be said for Goldenvoice,” Johnson said in a statement. “The team always has a finger on the pulse. And after spending the last 12 years working closely with everyone here, this feels like a natural progression. I can’t wait to see what we all do together.”

Nashville technology platform Project Admission has hired Derek Palmer as its chief revenue officer. He was previously COO at Qcue, a software company utilized by sports and entertainment organizations to price and distribute tickets.

In his new role, Palmer will work to optimize revenue growth across all departments, working with Project Admission’s product, engineering, operations and sales teams. He will help “lead their mission of helping brands, fans and influencers buy and sell authentic tickets through direct and social channels,” according to a press release. “Derek adds a wealth of knowledge and experience,” said Project Admission CEO and co-founder Stephen Glicken in a statement. “Combining those with his longstanding relationships across the industry will be a great addition to an already amazing team at Project Admission. We’re excited to have him.”

Palmer brings with him 28 years of experience in the ticketing industry, and has served as the chairman of the board of directors for the International Ticketing Association (INTIX). He held senior roles at for almost 15 years, holding the positions of managing director and executive vp international.

On joining Project Admission, Palmer said the company is building a platform designed to position the ticketing industry and patrons well for life post-pandemic. “Everyone in live entertainment is discussing how we as an industry recover from the pandemic and what the keys to successful reengagement with patrons will look like,” he said in a statement. “I am thrilled to join such a dedicated team focused on improving the total customer experience.”