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Publishing Briefs: U.K. Rapper Dave Renews Warner Chappell Deal, Krept and Konan Sign With Concord

A list of the latest moves in publishing, including U.K. rapper Dave renewing his deal with Warner Chappell Music and Krept and Konan's new global pact with Concord.

BRIT Award-nominated rapper Dave has renewed his global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music, the company announced Tuesday (Feb. 11). The deal covers his full catalog and future releases.

In a press release, Amber Davis, Warner Chappell’s head of A&R in the U.K., says the publisher hopes to break Dave in the U.S. market.

“The US is a market that Dave is close to conquering,” she said. “He and his team have created a hugely significant project on both of sides of the pond and I firmly believe the innovative ideas from our International team will add value to it. We are excited to support and celebrate each and every step of Dave’s career and artistic progression.”


Warner Chappell co-chair and CEO Guy Moot echoed Davis, adding, “we pride ourselves on delivering international value to our artists so I’m delighted that he has chosen to continue to put his trust in us as we embark on the next stage of his journey.”

Dave’s Mercury Prize-winning 2019 album Psychodrama topped the U.K. album chart and spawned four Top 10 singles there. He is nominated for four BRITs at this year’s show including Male Solo Artist, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Album of the Year. In the U.S., he is currently slated to play Coachella and Governor’s Ball and is expected to announce more Stateside dates soon.



British hip-hop/grime duo Krept and Konan have signed a global publishing deal with Concord Music Publishing, the company announced Feb. 4. The agreement covers the group’s partial catalog and all future releases, including the mixtapes 7 Days and 7 Nights and their latest album Revenge Is Sweet.

Commenting on the deal, Concord’s London-based director of A&R Harri Davies said Krept and Konan — comprised of Casyo “Krept” Johnson and Karl “Konan” Wilson — “are consistently setting the pace for UK rap.” Revenge Is Sweet just debuted at No. 5 on the U.K. album chart, while the album’s first single “I Spy” was certified Silver in the country in January. In December, the duo became the first U.K. rap artist to headline a solo show at London’s O2 Arena.

Krept and Konan shot to stardom in the U.K. when their Young Kingz mixtape rose to the Top 20 on the U.K. album chart. After signing with Virgin EMI in 2015, the pair released their major label debut The Long Way Home. This past summer they also served as judges on BBC TV’s The Rap Game.



Singer-songwriter Jehnny Beth has signed a worldwide administration deal with Kobalt, it was announced Feb. 6. The deal, which includes Beth’s writing partner Johnny Hostile, covers administration, synchronization, and creative support for their current catalog and Beth’s upcoming debut solo album To Love Is To Live (releasing May 8) along with other future releases.

In a statement, Kobalt’s senior vp business development, creative Nick Robinson said he’s been a fan of Beth’s ever since he heard the track “Husbands” from her rock band Savages, which she formed in 2011. “There’s no question Jehnny Beth is an iconic singer, artist and songwriter and she and Johnny have taken a huge creative step forward with this amazing upcoming album,” he said.

Beth is the singer and co-writer of Savages, which received Mercury Prize nominations for their albums Silence Yourself and Adore Life. Beth has also recorded with Gorillaz and The Strokes?’ Julian Casablancas. With Hostile, she recently recorded the soundtrack for XY Chelsea, a documentary about Wikileaks whistleblower and activist Chelsea Manning; the pair also currently host the Beats 1 radio show Start Making Sense and recently premiered the French music TV series Echoes with Jehnny Beth.



“Psychedelic pop label” Fire Records has signed an exclusive worldwide administration deal with Third Side Music for its publishing arm Fire Songs. The deal encompasses the entire Fire Songs catalog and all future releases.

“I’ve always looked to Fire for inspiration and can still remember hearing Josephine Foster’s immaculate ‘I’m A Dreamer’ for the first time,” said Third Side Music’s vp of A&R Brontë Jane in a statement, in a reference to one of the label’s artists. “I can’t think of a better partnership to kick off 2020 for us.”

Fire’s roster also includes Vanishing Twin, Jane Weaver, Death and Vanilla, Virginia Wing, The Chills and Pere Ubu.

“It was very obvious early in discussions that our two companies have a very similar approach to the modern music business,” added Fire’s managing director James Nicholls. “We are beyond happy to have them by our side as we enter an incredibly exciting new decade”.



Los Angeles-based songwriting and production team Dreamlab have been signed to a worldwide publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing for their recent catalog and future works, it was announced Tuesday (Feb. 11).

Comprised of husband-and-wife team Daniel James and Leah Haywood, Dreamlab has worked with artists including Selena Gomez?, Demi Lovato and Nicki Minaj. They also co-wrote and co-produced Katy Perry’s “Never Really Over” and Kygo?’s “Not OK” feat. Chelsea Cutler.

In a statement, Sony/ATV director, A&R Sam Reas praised Dreamlab’s “ability to effortlessly cross genres.”

Haywood and James hail from Australia, where both enjoyed successful careers as artists. Haywood’s solo album Leah was nominated for two ARIA awards, while James served as the lead vocalist for the band Receiver.



Anthem Entertainment has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with singer-songwriter Luke Preston, the company announced Feb. 4. The deal covers part of Preston’s catalog and all future releases.

“Luke’s lyrical and melodic sensibilities are wonderful, and he brings a great work ethic to boot,” said Tim Wipperman, president of Anthem Music Publishing Nashville, in a statement. “He will be a top writer in Nashville and adds a unique flavor to our writing crew.”

Added Preston, “When I met the Anthem team, I knew I had found kindred spirits…I couldn’t have found a better team of champions and I’m so stoked for what the future holds.”

Based in Nashville since 2011, Preston has played bass for Walker McGuire, Cale Dodds and Caroline Spence and written with Elvie Shane and Johnny McGuire, among others.



France-based publishing trade associations CSDEM and CEMF have released figures showing that the country’s publishing market was worth €393m (U.S. $466 million) in 2018, a 7% increase from the previous year. The figures were published in the groups’ new “Barometer of Music Publishing” report, which resulted from a survey of 280 independent and major music publishers.

The reasons behind the year-over-year increase include an investment in new signings and investments — the report states that nearly two-thirds of the more than 15,000 French musical works published in 2018 were from new talent — as well as a 17% increase in digital rights.

The report adds that the while the market grew, there was actually a 5.4% fall in profitability due to “heavy investments in creation.”