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Publishing Briefs: Sony Snaps Up ‘Savage’ Writer & Swedish Pop Star Zara Larsson

A rundown of the latest moves in publishing, including Sony's signing of "Savage" producer J. White and Swedish pop star Zara Larsson.

Hitmaking songwriter-producer J. White Did It, a.k.a. Anthony Jermaine White, has signed a global publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing for a portion of his catalog and future releases.

The deal comes ahead of Sunday’s Grammys, where J. White is nominated for Record of the Year and Best Rap Song for his work on the Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyonce. As a writer-producer, he was nominated for two previous Grammys: Record of the Year for Cardi B’s “I Like It” feat. J Balvin and Bad Bunny (2019) and Best Rap Song for Cardi B’s breakthrough hit “Bodak Yellow” (2018). His collaborations with the rap superstar also include her hit 2018 single “Money.”

J. White has also worked on such chart and streaming hits as “A Lot” by 21 Savage feat. J. Cole and “Big Booty” by Gucci Mane feat. Megan Thee Stallion. He also served as executive producer on Iggy Azalea’s 2019 album In My Defense and its first single, “Sally Walker.” He’s managed by Chad Wes, Nic Warner and Lucas Keller at Milk & Honey.

Sony Music Publishing also signed Swedish singer-songwriter and dance-pop star Zara Larsson to a worldwide publishing deal.

Larsson’s global hits include “Ruin My Life,” “All The Time,” “Lush Life” and “Never Forget You,” as well as collaborations with BTS (“A Brand New Day”) and Kygo & Tyga (“Like It Is”).

Larsson’s most recent single is “Look What You’ve Done,” which is included on her new album Poster Girl. The collection also features hits including “Wow,” “Love Me Land” and “Talk About Love” feat. Young Thug. Larsson scored a breakthrough with her 2015 hits “Lush Life” and “Never Forget You” feat. MNEK, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her other singles include “So Good” feat. Ty Dolla $ign, “Symphony” with Clean Bandit and “Ain’t My Fault.”

Country music superstar Luke Bryan has renewed his longstanding global publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing covering his catalog and future releases.

Bryan has co-writing credits on several of his hit singles, including “I Don’t Want This Night To End,” “Huntin’, Fishin’, And Lovin’ Every Day,” “Move,” “Fast” and “What Makes You Country.”

Bryan’s seventh and latest studio album, 2020’s Born Here Live Here Die Here, has spawned four No. 1s on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart: “Knockin’ Boots,” “What She Wants Tonight,” “Down To One” and “One Margarita.” A deluxe version of the album, slated for release on April 9, will add six new songs to the 10 original tracks.

Launching his music career as a songwriter, Bryan first gained attention after co-writing Billy Currington’s Country Airplay No. 1 single “Good Directions.” He scored his breakthrough as an artist with the single “All My Friends Say” off his debut album, I’ll Stay Me. Over his career, he has earned seven RIAA album certifications, 22 platinum singles and 12 multi-platinum singles. His awards haul includes seven ACMs, including two Entertainer of the Year awards; two CMAs for Entertainer of the Year; seven CMT awards; five Billboard Music awards; and four American Music awards.

Sony Music Publishing has announced the launch of Sony Music Publishing Indonesia (SMPI), a new, independent publishing company dedicated to developing and promoting Indonesian songwriters both locally and around the world.

Under general manager Anti Ariandini, SMPI will work closely with Sony Music Entertainment Indonesia and other music publishers and associations to develop international networks and partnerships for Indonesian composers and songwriters, along with creative projects bringing both international and Indonesian repertoire together to enhance global appeal.

Ariandini started her career as a publishing country manager at Universal Music in 1997 and later EMI Music Indonesia in 2004, where she served until the company shut down in 2008. She subsequently pivoted to the tech sector, where she worked for nearly four years as country manager at both Huawei Indonesia and Baidu Technology. In 2015, she founded the Indonesia e-commerce association, idEA, and later joined the Indonesia Fintech Association as general secretary in 2019.

“We are delighted to launch in Indonesia,” said Guy Henderson, president, international, Sony Music Publishing. “As the first international publishing company to establish itself in the country we look forward to developing the careers of Indonesian songwriters, including domestically, across Asia and around the world. We also look forward to the many opportunities that this exciting and interesting market can create for our global roster of songwriters.”

“SMPI will bring together the best of both worlds from SMP and SMEI,” added Ariandini. “Combining their expertise and reach enables us to provide a fantastic new offering for Indonesian songwriters and composers, including potential collaborations and co-writing projects. I’m excited about the upcoming projects and initiatives we will be announcing in the coming months.”

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed hitmaking songwriter and artist Julia Michaels to a global administration agreement.

Michaels has racked up an impressive repertoire over her career thus far, writing for major artists including Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Janelle Monáe, Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa, among many others. Twenty-five of her songs have charted on the Billboard Hot 100, including two No. 1 hits: Bieber’s “Sorry” and Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me.”

After signing to Republic Records as a solo artist, Michaels broke through with her five times platinum-selling single “Issues,” followed by three EPs: Nervous System, Inner Monologue Part 1 and Inner Monologue Part 2. She’s been nominated for two Grammys, one for Song of the Year and the other for Best New Artist. In September 2020, she released “Lie Like This,” the lead single from her upcoming debut studio album.

Reach Music Publishing has acquired a 50% interest and worldwide administration rights to the song catalog of Glenn Tipton, a lead guitarist for the iconic metal band Judas Priest and co-writer of several of their biggest songs.

The acquisition covers Tipton’s songwriting catalog of nearly 200 songs as a member of Judas Priest, beginning with their third studio album, Sin After Sin, through their most recent album, 2018’s Firepower. Tipton’s solo albums, Baptizm of Fire and Edge of the World, are also included in the deal.

Tipton’s co-writing credits for Judas Priest include such tracks as “Breaking The Law,” “Heading Out To The Highway,” “Hell Bent For Leather,” “Living After Midnight” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” all of which are included in the deal.

Judas Priest is slated to go back on tour this summer, continuing the band’s 50th anniversary celebration. Also scheduled is the release of their career-spanning 42 CD box set.

“I deliberated for a long time on whether to relinquish 50% of my publishing to another company and realized as soon as I had a conversation with Michael Closter and Scott Rubin from Reach Music just how knowledgeable they are of both mine and Judas Priest’s catalog and that they would be really pro-active with the songs,” said Tipton in a statement. “I believe I now have a team who understand and are geared up to deal with metal and look forward to working together in the future!”

Reach was represented in the transaction by attorney Jeff Sacharow, partner at Lapidus, Root & Sacharow, with support from UK counsel Rupert Sprawson of James Ware Stephenson. Tipton was represented by Simon Esplen, managing partner at Russells.

MAG (a.k.a. Marco Borrero), who executive produced Bad Bunny’s No. 1 Billboard 200 album, El Último Tour del Mundo, has signed a global admin agreement with Warner Chappell Music.

MAG was credited on 9 of 16 songs on El Último Tour del Mundo, which shot him to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 Producers and Latin Producers charts. He has also collaborated with artists such as Astrid S, Bebe Rexha, Nicky Jam, Rauw Alejandro and Flo Rida, the latter on the six-times platinum single “My House.”

El Último Tour del Mundo was the first all-Spanish language album ever to reach the top spot on the Billboard 200.

Sony Music Publishing has signed rising indie-pop singer, songwriter and producer Dayglow (a.k.a. Sloan Struble) to a global publishing deal.

Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, Dayglow scored a streaming smash with the track “Can I Call You Tonight?”, which has crossed 190 million streams worldwide and peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart.

Looking ahead, Dayglow has set the release of his sophomore album, Harmony House, on May 21. His latest singles are “Something” and “Close to You.” He started his career while in college, when he released his 2018 debut album Fuzzybrain, which included “Can I Call You Tonight?” along with the popular tracks “Hot Rod” and “Listerine.”

Songwriter Ilsey Juber has renewed her global publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing.

Juber has written tracks for artists including Beyoncé, Shawn Mendes, Mark Ronson, Miley Cyrus and Major Lazer, among others. Her most recent credits include “All My Favorite Songs” by Weezer and “Midnight Sky” by Cyrus, along with two other tracks from Cyrus’ 2020 album Plastic Hearts.

Juber’s past writing credits include such hits as Panic! At the Disco’s “High Hopes” (No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100), Mendes’ “Mercy” and Ronson’s “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” feat. Cyrus. She also worked extensively on Ronson’s 2019 album Late Night Feelings and Lykke Li’s 2018 album So Sad So Sexy.

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed emerging singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone to a global publishing deal covering all of her songs.

Humberstone has risen quickly in her native UK, being awarded second place on the BBC Sound of 2021 poll; she was also included on BBC Radio 1’s 2021 Brit List and chosen as Apple’s Up Next Artist in 2020. Her debut EP, Falling Asleep at the Wheel, has racked up over 50 million streams so far.

Humberstone is slated to kick off her UK tour, including four sold-out Omeara London shows, this summer. She’s managed by Josh Sanger at Deep End/Closer Artists.

Grammy-winning DJ and producer Roger Sanchez has signed a global publishing agreement with Sentric’s concierge electronic music publishing division, Black Rock, covering his full catalog and future releases.

Sanchez is best known for dance hits including “Another Chance,” “Lost” and “Turn on the Music” feat. G.T.O. He received a Grammy in 2003 for his remix of No Doubt’s “Hella Good.” He has also remixed songs by artists including Michael Jackson, The Police, Diana Ross, Jamiroquai and Maroon 5 and has had prominent residences in Ibiza over the last two decades, along with performances at festivals including Creamfields, Glastonbury, Tomorrowland and We Are FSTVL.

Sanchez’s latest track “Dream On Me” — a collaboration with Ella Henderson — has racked up 6 million total streams in three months. He has an album slated for release in early 2022.

Reach Music Group has signed a global admin deal with rapper Tom MacDonald for his full catalog and future releases.

MacDonald topped Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart in February on the success of his single “Fake Woke,” which also debuted at No. 96 on the Billboard Hot 100. His latest single, “Clown World,” reached No. 2 on iTunes’ U.S. Songs chart.