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Executive Turntable: UMG’s Bravado Taps General Manager; Alicia Keys Boards Soundwide

Also: Pophouse hires a head of entertainment research and development and BMG opens an office in Mexico City.

Jesper Poulsen was hired as general manager at Universal Music Group’s merchandise and brand management company, Bravado, out of Los Angeles. He will play a key role in continuing to develop Bravado’s global merchandise strategy in the music and fashion industries as he oversees day-to-day operations of both Bravado and Epic Rights. He can be currently reached at Jesper@epicrights.com (though he has a new email address coming at the end of April).


Alicia Keys was appointed as a member of the artist board at Soundwide, the newly announced parent company of Native Instruments and iZotope, where she will contribute to the brand’s mission to empower and inspire creators. The new board also includes: recording and mix engineer Ann Mincieli; producer and rapper EL-P of Run the Jewels; musician, producer and composer Jacob Collier; composer Ludwig Göransson; producer and engineer Noah “40” Shebib; production duo Take A Daytrip (David Biral and Denzel Baptiste); singer-songwriter Tayla Parx; and producer and engineer Young Guru.

James McKnight was hired as head of entertainment research and development at Pophouse Entertainment out of London, where he will open a new office. McKnight will develop new and large-scale entertainment projects for global artist brands the company has invested in. He will also collaborate closely with Pophouse principal and ABBA founder Björn Ulvaeus, who is actively engaged in the company’s creative development processes. He can be reached at james.mcknight@pophouse.se.

BMG is opening a new office in Mexico City mid-year to serve as the company’s Latin American hub. The company has begun recruiting for a general manager, plus synch and copyright staff for the new location. The initial focus will be on developing services for BMG’s existing Anglo-American and Spanish-language clients, before building a local repertoire roster.

In De Goot Entertainment opened a Nashville office and also announced the promotion of several staff members: Michael Iurato to president of A&R and artist development, Adam Lebensfeld to president of promotion, Alison Shepard to president of marketing & strategy, Gwyther Bultman to senior vp of artist management, Chris Frank to vp of promotion, Katrina Tumandao to digital marketing director and Matthew Young to director of digital marketing/artist manager. Shepard can be reached at ashepard@indegoot.com and Iurato can be reached at miurato@indegoot.com.

Sean “Diddy” Combs joined hologram start-up company Proto Inc., formerly PORTL, as an advisor out of Los Angeles. Diddy also invested in the company. Proto Inc.’s technology, which allows a person to appear at a location in real-time when they can’t be there physically, is used across various industries.

Kate Hendry was promoted to head of label operations and James Cattermole was promoted to head of label services at Absolute Label Services. Hendry will help scale and drive the label operations department, overseeing all aspects of campaign management, product management, physical platform management, product marketing and stock control. Cattermole’s new role spans both label management and digital areas of the business and involves interdepartmental coordination to ensure the best service offering to Absolute clients.

Lisa Bergami was promoted to vp of creative synch at Kobalt out of New York, where she will manage the New York synch team and continue working closely with the Kobalt roster to facilitate and manage all advertising and brand-related licensing deals for the company’s diverse song catalog.

Capitol Records partnered with Universal Music Italy to rebrand Polydor as Capitol Records Italy. The newly christened label will be led by Daniele Menci.

Alex Kennedy was hired as managing director for the U.K. at Believe. He will lead the three business lines that Believe operates in the region: Premium Solutions (including label and artist solutions and artist services) and Automated Solutions (TuneCore), with a focus on fine-tuning Believe’s M&A strategy in the U.K. He can be reached at alex.kennedy@believe.com.

Maria Lanao was hired at Live Nation as Latin talent buyer for the Northeast region of the U.S. She will book and promote Latin touring artists across states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts while contributing her insight and expertise in Latin music and live events to expand Live Nation’s touring portfolio to more diverse artists. She can be reached at MariaLanao@livenation.com.

Chris Fabiani was promoted to national director of radio at Warner Music Nashville, filling the vacancy left by Anna Cage, who was elevated to vp of radio earlier this year. Ray Mariner, who currently covers the West for WMN, will transition into Fabiani’s former role as regional manager for the South on team WEA.

Erin D.D. Burr was promoted to vp of communications at Big Machine Label Group, where she will seek media placements and contribute to opportunities for artists including Tyler Rich, Eli Young Band, The Cadillac Three and Riley Green, while introducing newcomers like Laci Kaye Booth and Heath Sanders.

Ty Salazar was promoted to vp of creative synch, film and television at Position Music, where he works closely with Emily Weber, vp and head of synch and specializes in film and TV synchronization efforts. Salazar’s promotion marks another high-profile organizational move for the growing Position Music executive team, which recently hired Delmar Powell as vp of A&R and J Scavo as its general manager of recorded music and vp of marketing. The company previously welcomed Frank Handy as vp and head of administration; and Michael Frick as vp of brand partnerships and creative synch. Salazar can be reached at ty@positionmusic.com.

Warner Music Nashville hired Jen Danielson as senior director of streaming and Jamie Graves as director of streaming. Danielson will work with Pandora and Amazon Music, while Graves will work with Spotify and Apple Music.

Music executive Christine Osazuwa was hired as U.K. director at shesaid.so, a global community of women, gender minorities and allies. She will be responsible for overseeing development and operations of the organization’s chapters and initiatives in London, Brighton and Northern England while also starting new relationships and continuing existing partnerships with artists, trade bodies, DSPs, label groups “and everyone working to make the UK music industry a safer and more equitable place,” according to a press release. She can be reached at christine@shesaid.so.

Mark Lourie was hired as an agent at Madison House, Inc. out of Boulder, Colorado, where he brings clients Caitlin Canty, Darlingside, Enter The Haggis, MarchFourth, Mick Flannery, Oshima Brothers, Perpetual Groove, Talisk, We Banjo 3 and Zoe Keating. He can be reached at mark@madison-house.com.

Essential Broadcast Media, LLC (EBM) announced several promotions within the Nashville firm: Joseph Conner to senior director, Janet Buck to public relations director, Ashley Gaskin to publicist and Rachel Heatherly to publicist. Conner can be reached at joseph@ebmediapr.com.

Ryan Williams-Reid was hired as client relationship manager at Voly out of Manchester, England, where he will be responsible for overseeing all of the company’s music clients’ needs, maintaining relationships and onboarding clients onto the Voly platform. He will also have a remit to source new business and play a key role in the company’s ambitious growth strategy. He can be reached at Ryan@volymusic.com.

Samantha Thornton was promoted to director of marketing and digital partnerships at G Major Management. In the new role, she will take on added responsibility as she handles marketing and digital relationships with partners including Amazon, Apple, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube for all G Major clients, including Thomas Rhett. She can be reached at samantha@gmajormgmt.com.