With Taylor Swift going pop and Nashville attracting and producing such talent as Jack White and “All About That Bass’ co-writer Kevin Kadish, music publisher Sony/ATV has appointed A&R executive Mark Abramowitz to specialize in non-country music out of its Music City office.
Abramowitz, 25, who previously worked as A&R coordinator in New York, relocated to Sony/ATV’s Nashville office in February and has been promoted to the title of manager, A&R/creative. He will report to co-president Danny Strick with oversight by Sony/ATV Nashville President and CEO Troy Tomlinson.
Tomlinson tells Billboard that, particularly over the last 10 years, Nashville has seen an influx of non-country writers and artists. “I felt sort of hamstrung, if you will, that there were so many times when obviously gifted writers and artists would walk into my office, and I didn’t know what to do with them,” he explains. “So, [Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO] Marty Bandier and Danny said, ‘We have so much non-country music coming out of Nashville, why don’t we take one of our A&R people who understands these other genres of music and move him to Nashville and let him focus on finding and developing non-country writers and artists — boots on the ground.'”
Abramowitz, who started at Sony/ATV as an intern in 2011, notes that the move works well for him because “a lot of my roster is based in Nashville, and it’s been a lot easier to work with them and see them face-to-face.” Artists in his stable include Kadish, who co-wrote and produced eight songs on Trainor’s debut album, including “All About That Bass” and “Lips Are Movin'”; Marc Scibilia, whose cover of Woody Guthrie‘s “This Land Is Your Land” attracted media attention after it was featured in Jeep’s Beautiful Lands” Super Bowl commercial; and Wild Cub, a Nashville-based synth pop band that’s on the Mom & Pop label.
Sony/ATV is the number-one music publisher in the United States. In fourth quarter 2014, it had a 26.2 percent share of the market. Its Nashville division also topped the country market with a 22.8 percent share of the market.
“There’s a sense of urgency that emanates from Marty about finding what’s next and who’s next,” says Tomlinson. “Bringing Mark here and having him move into an apartment that’s three minutes from our office and in the middle of the music community is a first, deliberate step to finding those answers.”