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Publishing Briefs: WCM Goes Steady With LVRN, Primary Wave Acquires (Most) of Wilson Phillips’ Catalog

A rundown of the latest moves in publishing, including a new partnership between Warner Chappell and Summer Walker's label LVRN.

Warner Chappell has struck a publishing partnership with Atlanta-based record label Love Renaissance (LVRN), home to artists including Summer Walker, 6LACK, Shelley (formerly D.R.A.M.) and Westside Boogie.

Led by LVRN founders Tunde Balogun and Justice Baiden, the partnership also includes the label’s recent signees BRS Kash, Cruel Santino (formerly Santi), GMK and Genio Bambino. Warner Chappell has additionally extended its deal with Walker.

LVRN was founded in 2012 by Balogun, Baiden, Carlon Ramong, Junia Abaidoo and Sean Famoso McNichol. The label signed a distribution deal with Interscope in 2017.

“LVRN is made up of inspiring young visionaries who helped to put Summer Walker on the global stage,” said Warner Chappell Music co-chair and CEO Guy Moot and co-chair and COO Carianne Marshall in a joint statement. “They’ve successfully built one of the most forward-looking and progressive music imprints out there and are exactly the type of entrepreneurs we’re looking to be in business with. Both of us, along with Ryan Press, Wallace and our whole team are excited to work with them to help even more artists, songwriters and producers reach their full potential.”

In their own statement, LVRN co-founder and president Balogun and co-founder and head of A&R Baiden said, “Our main focus since the label’s founding has been the development of artists. We are now committing the same focus and approach with publishing to develop the best songwriters, producers, and artists. It’s pivotal to continue building with a talented team around you, which is what we found with Warner, and why this partnership is so important to actualize the next step which includes the ability for the label’s publishing arm to administer writers they publish on their own and to fully partner with WCM. Wallace Joseph, Ryan Press, and Shani Gonzales have been close friends of ours for years, so we are thrilled to be in business with them in this new venture.”

Primary Wave has acquired the copyrights and income interests in the music publishing catalog of Chynna Phillips and a writer’s share in the catalog of her Wilson Phillips cohort Carnie Wilson. The publisher has additionally acquired both women’s master royalties.

The acquisition includes all three of Wilson Phillips’ Hot 100 No. 1 hits — “You’re in Love,” “Release Me” and “Hold On” — as well as Phillips and Wilson’s names and likenesses. Both women will be given access to Primary Wave’s marketing and publishing infrastructure, including digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities and film & TV production.

“We could not be more thrilled to welcome both Chynna and Carnie to our family!” said Primary Wave partner and president, digital strategy Robert Dippold. “Together as members of Wilson Phillips they took the pop music world by storm with their eponymous debut album filled with their signature harmony-rich sounds. In addition to writing unforgettable music, Carnie and Chynna also have an uncanny ability to reimagine and re-interpret songs putting their own stamp all their own. We truly look forward to getting creative with their catalog and hidden gem songs!”

Heard Well, described as “the first music media company powered by social tastemakers and their communities,” has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Big Family, the joint venture established last year by songwriters Julian Bunetta and John Ryan, Family Affair Productions and Hipgnosis Songs Group.

Heard Well, which works with influencers to curate streaming playlists of up-and-coming artists, was formed by writer-creator Jeremy Wineberg, Andrew Graham and Connor Franta. Under the deal, Big Family/Hipgnosis will collaborate with Heard Well’s influencers and curators with the intent to sign emerging songwriters and artists.

According to a release, Heard Well boasts a combined follower reach of over 350 million across more than 70 youth creators.

“Heard Well has built a vast network of influencers whose musical tastes often enable them to discover rising talent well before it reaches industry ears,” said Big Family co-president and executive vp of A&R Casey Robison. “This deal enables us to tap into them as an A&R source and identify up-and-coming songwriters and artists very early in their careers. We can’t wait to get started.”

Added Wineberg, “This partnership with the brilliant team at Big Family/Hipgnosis Songs Group enables Heard Well to offer a new, dynamic publishing capability to our artist partners, while helping us further fulfill our goal to elevate emerging talent around the world.”

Concord has renewed its global admin deal with British artist, songwriter, composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jacob Collier. The agreement includes Collier’s entire catalog and go-forward releases.

The extension comes at a high point for Collier, who is up for three Grammys this year: Album of the Year (Djesse Vol 3), Best R&B Performance (“All I Need”) and Best Arrangement, Instruments & Vocals (“He Won’t Hold You”). Collier previously won four Grammys.

Most recently, Collier co-wrote and performed on SZA’s hit single “Good Days” and co-wrote two tracks off Coldplay’s Grammy-nominated album Everyday Life: “Cry, Cry, Cry” and “Church.” He also co-wrote “Restore the Feeling” off Daniel Caesar’s album Case Study 01.

Collier’s Djesse Vol. 4 – the final entry in a four-album series – is slated for release later this year.

Grammy-winning songwriter-producer Swizz Beatz, most recently known for co-creating the livestreaming music battle series Verzuz alongside Timbaland, has moved to ASCAP.

Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean, is known for his work on songs including DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” T.I.’s “Bring Em Out,” Lil Wayne’s “Uproar” and Mýa’s “The Best of Me,” among others. He is the founder of Full Surface Records and a recent graduate of Harvard Business School’s owner/president management program. Beatz got his start working at his uncle’s record label, Ruff Ryders, while still in high school.

“Swizz Beatz’s talent as a songwriter-producer is second to none,” said ASCAP executive vp and chief creative officer John Titta in a statement. “The music he has created over the last two decades reached the heights of the hip-hop, R&B and rap charts and continues to endure. From his classic late-90s records with Ruff Ryders to Verzuz, Swizz Beatz’s talent has made him one of the greatest producers and music creatives around today. We are so happy to welcome him to the ASCAP family.”

Five-time Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music Spain for his full catalog and future releases.

The publisher also renewed its global publishing deal with Catalana dancehall artist Bad Gyal, covering her full catalog (minus her first EP released in 2016) and future works.

Originally hailing from Uruguay and now based in Spain, Drexler has released 13 studio albums under his own name and written for artists including Rosario and Shakira. He won the Best Original Song Oscar in 2005 for the track “Al Otro Lado Del Rio,” which he wrote for the 2005 film The Motorcycle Diaries.

Drexler, who signed to Sony Music U.S. Latin in 2019, will release his fourteenth studio album later this year.

Bad Gyal signed an exclusive recording deal with UMLE and Interscope’s dance and global cultures division, Aftercluv, in 2019. Her best-known tracks include “Alocao” with Omar Montez, “Jacaranda” with Dubbel Dutch and “Pai,” a cover of Rihanna’s “Work” sung in a blend of Catalan, Spanish and English.

Artist management company YMU Music and producer-songwriter Mark Ralph have formed the joint-venture music publishing company Reaktor Music, which will seek out, mentor and develop songwriting and producing talent.

Under the deal, YMU Music will work closely with Ralph to offer expertise and resources to support and fund signings to the new company, with Sony Music Publishing providing global admin services.

Ralph, a longstanding management client of Phil Morais and Iain Watt at YMU Music, will use his West London studio complex, Club Ralph, as a base for songwriters to write, record and collaborate.

Reaktor Music’s first singing is producer-songwriter Dennis White, who has written and produced for artists on labels including Ministry Of Sound, Kompakt and Late Night Tales and done remixes for Atlantic, Domino and Decca.

“Reaktor Music is all about finding exceptional producers and songwriters and helping them realise their ambitions,” said Ralph in a statement. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to work closely with them, to share my experience and if needed to be a mentor where I can.”

Concord Music Publishing has announced a new music and art partnership with music curation service Playlister.

Dubbed Music Seen, the initiative will entail curation specialists showcasing Concord songs in playlists featured on the Playlister website, as well as on Spotify and an accompanying Instagram account,, which will unveil an associated playlist visual weekly by both established and emerging illustrators.

Launched on Jan. 1, the project has already spotlighted tracks from George Harrison, A Tribe Called Quest, Pink Floyd, James Blake and Frank Ocean. Music Seen presents one track per day, with each week’s selections tied together with a theme pegged to song anniversaries, writer events, lyrical motifs, cultural moments and more.

Concord has additionally teamed up with the charity War Child UK to showcase the mission of the nonprofit, which seeks to “protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children affected by conflict.” War Child UK will work with both Concord and Playlister to mark important dates throughout the year, including World Refugee Day, Universal Children’s Day and Giving Tuesday.

“The main focus of our work here in sync is making sure that the right people hear our music,” said Sara Lord, senior vp international sync and project development at Concord. “A real driving force for us has been to create new and innovative ways to showcase and platform our wonderful songs to our commercial clients and partners.”

Added Playlister’s Pete Bowker, “MUSIC SEEN is such an exciting project for me, bringing together and celebrating music and illustration in a slightly different way to normal. In the world of sync more often than not the choice of music is in response to the ‘visual’ element, supporting the message intended – Music Seen flips that on its head! The illustrators are all being given the tracks and playlist ‘themes’ for the relevant week and largely have carte blanche to respond visually in their own styles. We’re using a broad church of artists from some great new up & coming talents to some better established faces, working across a wide range of illustrative styles, mediums and techniques. The work so far has been really great – I can’t wait to see more as the project develops throughout the year.”

Concord tapped the London-based design studio, Studio BND, to develop the Music Seen brand and identity.