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Publishing Briefs: Warner Chappell Signs jxdn and Ben Billions, Round Hill Breaks a Sweat

A rundown of the latest moves in publishing, from jxdn's Warner Chappell signing to The Orchard's partnership with Sony/ATV.

Warner Chappell Music has entered into a global co-publishing agreement with singer-songwriter jxdn for his full catalog and future works.

Since signing with Travis Barker’s DTA Records in May, jxdn has released three singles, including the streaming and chart hits “Angels & Demons” and “So What!” Born Jaden Hossler in Dallas, he first gained recognition on TikTok, where he parlayed his massive following into a music career. In January he independently released the track “Comatose,” leading to his signing with DTA.

WCM also announced this week that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide administrative publishing agreement with producer/songwriter Ben Billions, who has worked extensively with The Weeknd and Beyonce, as well as Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Future, Travis Scott and Maroon 5, among others.

“Ben is one of the most talented and distinctive producers out there, with recognizable beats that don’t even need a tag,” said Ryan Press, WCM’s A&R chief in the U.S. “A true craftsman, he’s quietly spent the last decade creating breakthrough moments for some of the biggest names in the game. I’m incredibly proud to welcome him to the Warner Chappell family.”

R&B icon Keith Sweat has signed a worldwide administration agreement with Round Hill Music that encompasses all of his songwriting credits and future works. The catalog is jointly owned and controlled by Sweat and Open On Sunday, LLC.

Sweat started his career as lead singer of the band Jamilah in 1975 before launching a solo career in 1984. His 1987 debut album Make It Last Forever went triple-platinum and spawned the hit single “I Want Her,” which was instrumental in ushering in the New Jack Swing era of R&B. He has released a total of 13 solo albums and two albums as part of the R&B supergroup LSG.

Concord has announced a global administration agreement with artist, songwriter and producer Robert Glasper that covers his full catalog and future works. The deal falls under Concord’s creative venture with Loma Vista Recordings, which released Glasper’s F*** Yo Feelings mixtape featuring YBN Cordae, YEBBA and Herbie Hancock in October 2019.

Glasper, who broke out with his 2013 album Black Radio, has won three Grammys and an Emmy, the latter for co-writing and co-producing the song “Letter to the Free” along with Common and Karriem Riggins for Ava Duvernay’s Netflix documentary 13th. He is a member of several supergroups: August Greene with Common and Riggins, hip-hop/jazz group R+R=Now and Dinner Party with Terrace Martin, Kamasi Washington and 9th Wonder. He additionally composed the scores for the Emmy-nominated documentary The Apollo and The Photograph starring Issa Rae.

Glasper’s most recent release as an artist was the single “Better Than Imagined” feat. H.E.R. and MeShell Ndeocello, which is featured on his forthcoming album BlackRadio 3.

Songwriter-producer David Hodges has sold his catalog to Kobalt Capital’s fund, where it will continue to be administered and serviced by Kobalt Music Publishing. Under the deal, Hodges has agreed to continue his long-time publishing partnership with Kobalt for all future works.

Hodges has written hit songs for Evanescence (of which he is a founding member), Christina Perri (“A Thousand Years”), Kelly Clarkson (“Because of You”), Maren Morris & Vince Gill (“Dear Hate”), Carrie Underwood (“See You Again”) and Kelsea Ballerini (“Miss Me More”).

Music distribution and music rights management platform Highvibes has partnered with Songtrust to power its publishing administration service in Africa. The deal will establish Highvibes as a multi-tiered option for music rights holders on the continent who desire royalty collection on both the recording and publishing sides.

Under the agreement, all songwriters, producers, and creators in Africa who distribute music through Highvibes will be able to collect their publishing royalties in Africa and across the globe via Songtrust’s worldwide royalty collection network, which spans 215 countries and territories.

“It’s inspiring to see how Highvibes has devoted itself to helping and educating songwriters, artists, and producers across Africa on the importance of protecting their intellectual property, and appreciating its financial value,” said Songtrust director of business development for EMEA and APAC Mandy Aubry, who led the partnership. “Songtrust’s mission is to build a more equitable music ecosystem, and global partnerships like this are another step in the right direction.”

In Nov. 2019, a music publishing survey conducted by Highvibes found that 95% of songwriters, producers and creators in Africa have been unpublished since 2018.

Established in 2019, Highvibes has distributed over 1 million songs from over 100,000 artists across 32 countries to date. It retains 10% of royalties generated by artists and songwriters who utilize its service.

Reservoir has signed songwriter-producer and multi-instrumentalist Jon Green to a global publishing deal that covers future works. The publisher declined to clarify whether the agreement is admin, co-publishing or publishing.

Starting his career as a member of the band The Bonfires, Green later became a sought-after live and studio session musician in the U.K. That led to a career as a songwriter and producer in multiple genres. He most recently co-wrote and co-produced Kylie Minogue’s latest single, “Say Something,” off her forthcoming album Disco.

Across the pond in Nashville, the London-based Green has become an in-demand songwriter-producer for artists including country band Lady A (“What If I Never Get Over You”), Kane Brown (“Live Forever”) and Little Big Town (“Questions”). He has additionally worked with a slew of artists in other genres, including Linkin Park, 5 Seconds of Summer, Paloma Faith and James Bay.

Sony/ATV Nashville has signed a co-publishing deal with country songwriter Marv Green for all future works.

Green is a force behind hit songs from artists including George Strait (“True” and “It Just Comes Natural”), Carrie Underwood (“Wasted”), Chris Young (“Who I Am With You”), Lonestar (“Amazed”), Tim McGraw (“I Called Mama” and “Shotgun Rider”) and Rodney Atkins (“Farmer’s Daughter”).

Though Green’s Sony/ATV deal is go-forward only, several of his tracks — including “I Called Mama,” “Who I Am With You,” “Shotgun Rider” and “Farmer’s Daughter” — are now in the Sony/ATV catalog via the publisher’s purchase of THiS Music back in January.

Singer-songwriter Phil Plested, or “Plested,” has renewed his worldwide publishing agreement with Sony/ATV.

Based in the U.K., Plested is known for writing such hit songs as Lewis Capaldi’s “Before You Go,” Little Mix’s “Touch,” Kygo’s “Remind Me to Forget” feat. Miguel and Kygo and OneRepublic’s “Lose Somebody.” As a solo artist, he is signed to Atlantic Records.

Entertainment One (eOne) has struck a global publishing and label deal with U.K. soul/R&B singer, songwriter and producer Sam Wills. The deal will see eOne collecting all publishing revenue for Wills’ full catalog and future works while providing label services for his debut album slated for 2021.

As a songwriter and producer, Wills wrote “Where Did I Go?” for Jorja Smith and has collaborated with Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, Cadenza, SG Lewis, Joe Hertz, Disclosure, Joe Hertz and Barney Artist.