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Daddy, James Franco’s Band, Signs Worldwide Deal With Kobalt

Daddy, the duo comprised of actor James Franco and multi-instrumentalist Tim O'Keefe, have signed a worldwide multi-year deal with Kobalt.

Daddy, the duo comprised of actor James Franco and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Keefe, have signed a worldwide multi-year deal with Kobalt.

The act has a full-length album and film titled Let Me Get What I Want that is not only largely inspired by the work of the Smiths (the project’s title is clearly taken from the group’s 1984 song, “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”), it features Smiths bassist Andy Rourke on each track. Both projects are due in 2016; further terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

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“We are really excited to partner with Kobalt on our upcoming Daddy album and film,” the duo said. “Kobalt has the right forward-thinking approach to work with a project as unique as ours, where we see our work not only existing within the music realm, but extending into the film, art space and beyond on an independent basis.” 

james franco, daddy, record label, 2015
James Franco with band Daddy sign to a record label on Oct. 30, 2015. Tawni Bannister

Kobalt Label Services‘ existence is built on supporting artists’ vision and giving them global representation on their terms,” says KLS president Diarmuid Quinn. “We’re here to support their vision, whether in media or sync and licensing or whatever it takes, and that’s true of everyone we work with, from Lenny Kravitz to Joss Stone to Nick Cave. We do it as a real partnership and give them all the resources they need.” 

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Kobalt scored a coup earlier this month by signing Deadmau5 and his Mau5trap label. The company, which was founded by Willard Ahdritz in 2000, has become the largest independent music publisher in the world, with Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Trent Reznor, Thom Yorke, Skrillex, Max Martin and Beck among its clients. The company’s three divisions — Music Publishing, Label Services and Neighboring Rights — collectively represent 8,000 artists and songwriters, 600,000 songs and 500 publishing companies. 

The Daddy project’s inspiration came from Franco’s book Directing Herbert White: Poems, which includes two sections titled “Poems Inspired by Smiths’ Songs.” Those poems, which were loosely based on people Franco knew at Palo Alto High School, are named after the Smiths songs that inspired them. Franco and O’Keefe began making music as Daddy after meeting at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Digital+Media MFA program.