Tobias Jesso Jr. and Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of UMPG

Tobias Jesso Jr. and Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of UMPG photographed in Gerson's Santa Monica, Calif. office at UMPG Headquarters in 2015.

Courtesy Photo

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed buzzing songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. to an exclusive, worldwide co-publishing agreement.

It's the first major -- and highly competitive -- acquisition by UMPG chairman and CEO Jody Gerson, who took on the CEO role at the start of the year.

Already receiving accolades for his 70s style balladeering (Adele's first tweet of 2015 was a YouTube link to Jesso's song "How Could You Babe"), Jesso released his debut album Goon on March 17 via indie True Panther. It has sold 7,000 track equivalent album units so far, according to Nielsen Music.

“It’s our complete focus to sign and help grow the careers of the very best creative talent in the business, and Tobias Jesso Jr. certainly falls into that category," said Gerson in announcing the publishing deal. "He’s simply brilliant. Throughout the years, I've had the privilege of discovering and developing some really talented artists and songwriters. Tobias is truly one of the most talented and gifted I have ever known."

Added Jesso: “If I could be anyone in the music industry, it would be Jody Gerson. Now I am one step closer."

Jesso is in the midst of playing showcases on both coasts. On March 26, he appeared at New York's Mercury Lounge, and this coming weekend, he performs in Los Angeles at the Echoplex and the Bootleg.