Indie publisher peermusic has signed Scottish singer/songwriter Robert Shields to an exclusive, worldwide co-publishing deal.

The 19-year-old Shields, from the small town of Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire, is in the studio recording with producer/engineer Mark Needham. Steven Melrose, president of Leftwing Music that has a joint venture with peermusic, discovered Shields after the Glasgow Sunday Herald named him Young Scot of the Year and One of Scotland's Top-20 Most Influential Teenagers.

"I have never heard of anyone that age, who grew up in that kind of environment, who has written such big, orchestral songs," says Melrose. "They are truly astounding."

Shield's debut album, Skywriter, was released independently in Scotland on his own label, Black Ivory Records, with funding from the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust.

"We are honored to welcome songwriter Robert Shields to our roster of artists," says Kathy Spanberger, peermusic U.S. president/COO. "He is an incredible young talent with an amazing, enduring career in front of him which peermusic is thrilled to be a part of."

Shields recently performed at peermusic's Los Angeles office for Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell during his visit to the city. The publisher reports that Shields is already being courted by several U.S.-based record labels.