There’s a changing of the guard at Mushroom Music Publishing (MMP), which sees long-standing managing director Ian James handing over the reins to the Australian company’s veteran head of A&R, Linda Bosidis, in the new year.
With effect from Jan. 1, 2019, James will transition into a senior consultant role, with Bosidis succeeding him as managing director. After that time, James will continue providing strategic advice to MMP and serving as the company’s representative on the boards of APRA, AMCOS, the International Confederation of Music Publishers and the Independent Music Publishers Forum.
James is one of Australia’s highest-profile music industry executives, both at home and abroad. A gifted story-teller and astute deal-maker, the Melbourne-based executive is a regular Midem attendee and, to many executives in north America and across the U.K. and Europe, the face of Australia’s music publishing community, He’s also one of the longest-serving employees at Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group, having clocked-up 32 years in his current role.
With James at the helm, MMP blossomed from a staff of three to the most successful independent publishing company in the land. “When I started with Mushroom Music in 1986,” says James in a statement issued Wednesday (Oct. 3), “it was a fantastic environment. The three exceptional albums that year were the first Crowded House album, Paul Kelly’s Gossip and Hunters and Collectors’ Human Frailty. They’re still iconic.
“Michael was a unique character then and always will be. He has been my mentor, my professor. It’s been an honor to work with the extended Mushroom family and Linda has been a valued member since she started. She will be great. I’m pleased to continue this adventure in a new role.”
Gudinski paid tribute to James and his decorated career, during which time he signed some of the world’s most prestigious catalogs, including Chrysalis, Kobalt, BMG, Reservoir, Big Deal and Downtown, and a long list of artists for publishing in Australia and New Zealand, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the White Stripes and many more. “Ian has made such an incredible contribution to not only Mushroom Music but the music industry as a whole,” he said. “Together we have put Mushroom Music on the world map. He is one of the true characters of the industry and we look forward to drawing upon his great knowledge, experience and contacts in the years to come.”
Speaking with Billboard, James says his decision has been received with warmth and good faith from colleagues, friends and associates. And he can see himself playing his part “in a way, keeping the heartbeat alive.” Mushroom is a “very unique place,” he explains. “Whatever started in 1973 hasn’t gone away and it’s very much here in Linda and the other people that work with me, and Michael. That’s something we want to keep rolling on with. That’s the rock ‘n’ roll spirit, and the great energy of Mushroom hasn’t diminished over the years. Part of my role is to make sure that keeps going.”
In the broader industry, James serves as chair of the AMCOS board and deputy chair of the APRA board and, in 2015, was awarded the music publisher of the year title at the 2015 International Music Industry Awards.
MMP’s incoming leader Bosidis has served as head of A&R at Mushroom Music Publishing since 1996, and is considered among the very best in the business. During her time with Mushroom, Bosidis has signed the likes of Violent Soho, Julia Jacklin, Gordi, Jack River, Chet Faker, The Temper Trap and King Gizzard, and forged joint ventures with UNFD and Ivy League.
“We are incredibly proud to make this appointment,” says Gudinski in the statement. “Linda’s success in A&R speaks for itself but it’s her integrity and ability to get the best out of our staff and writers that will make her a great Mushroom leader. Linda has the respect, ideas and drive to truly modernize Mushroom Music and we look forward to her taking the company, that she has been a part of for twenty years, to even greater heights.”
In her new post, Bosidis says her focus will be to “continue the dedication to our incredible songwriters who are first and foremost the priority, they are and always have been the heart and soul of Mushroom Music.” She adds, “It will be a privilege to lead the team at Mushroom Music – an inspiring group of proactive, creative thinkers who listen to the individual needs of our writers and encourage meaningful change to enhance the art.”
As managing director of MMP, Bosidis will work from MMP’s Melbourne office and report into Mushroom Labels and Publishing COO, Chris Maund.