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The Deals: Roc Nation Signs Maeta, Warner Music Asia Partners With Esports Players League

A list of the latest moves in publishing, including new deals for Maeta with Roc Nation, Warner Music Asia with Esports Players League and more.

Roc Nation signed rising indie pop and R&B artist Maeta to a label deal under which she will drop her new EP Habits on Friday (April 30).

In 2019, the 21-year-old Indianapolis native moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music career. She quickly caught the attention of Roc Nation co-president Omar Grant and has since released two singles: “Teen Scene (feat. Buddy)” produced by Kaytranada and “Toxic (feat. Beam)” with help from Skrillex.

Maeta has one of those rare natural voices that will stop you in your tracks,” said Grant. “When I heard her sing live for the first time, she already had the poise, presence, and instincts of a much more established artist. I’m so glad she is beginning her career at Roc Nation.”

“We are so happy that Maeta decided to join the Roc Nation family and allow us to help guide her career. We can’t wait for the world to hear her music and be mesmerized by her gorgeous voice like we continue to be,” added Roc Nation co-president Shari Bryant.

Warner Music (WM) Asia partnered with Esports Player League (ESPL) to become their exclusive music partner. The deal will bridge the gap between gaming and music, allowing ESPL to embed WM songs into its platform and drive awareness of their artists to esports players and fans around the world.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with ESPL. There’s a huge audience crossover straddling gaming and music, and ESPL’s community of grassroot esports players, along with their engaged fans, will help us to bring the two segments together,” said Darren Ho, svp of music entertainment and partnerships at WM Asia. “ESPL’s trusted ecosystem will also enable us to deliver an array of new, authentic, and bespoke experiences, with gamers forefront of mind, and we can’t wait for everyone to see and experience them for themselves.”

“Esports is the fastest growing industry in the digital age of entertainment. Warner Music has been active in the ever-changing landscape of today’s world and so this strategic partnership will bring a value proposition to both players and brands across our global network that we are confident will elevate amateur esports to another level,” added Michael Broda, CEO and co-founder of ESPL.

Serving over 600 million gamers globally, ESPL is the first amateur and casual esports platform in the world. The league ensures esports are available to gamers of all levels. The new partnership will also enable authentic and compatible brand partnerships across ESPL’s partners, through to video game publishers, developers and brands.

Grammy-winning producer FORTHENIGHT signed to fellow producer Wondagurl’s label Wonderchild. The imprint is a joint venture with Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Cactus Jack Publishing.

FORTHENIGHT began producing at the age of 15 before releasing his first sample pack in 2018. He received praise from Wondagurl, who has produced hits for Travis Scott, Don Toliver and Rihanna, amongst others. Taking inspiration from horror film scores and dark soundscapes, FORTHENIGHT’s sample pack led him to land major placements for names like Bad Bunny, Don Toliver and Dave East to name a few.

AWAL extended its agreement with Tom Misch.

The English musician/producer released his debut album Geography in 2018. Since then, he has sold out his tours and amassed 1 billion streams across his catalog. Misch also produces all of his music and has production credits on tracks for other artists including Loyle CarnerJorja Smith and John Legend.

“Tom is a trailblazer not just with his music but also in how he has built such deep connections with his audience,” said AWAL CEO Lonny Olinick. “He has been an important priority for AWAL since day one and has proved to be a blueprint for so many other artists. We believe Tom’s talent will continue to carry him forward and we’re excited to build on his already incredible success.”

“Tom Misch is one of the most important and successful artists in AWAL’s history,” added Matt Riley. “We have worked with Tom and his manager Duncan Murray from day one and it’s been an ever evolving and exceptionally successful partnership with over a billion streams to date. First and foremost, however, we are thrilled to continue to work with such a special musical talent whose originality and consistency shines through.”

UTA Music signed Canadian music group Walk Off The Earth.

Throughout their career, the band has released numerous gold and platinum singles and performed on Ellen, Good Morning America and at various sporting events. Most recently, they wrote and performed “The Journey Starts Today” for Pokemon Journey: The Series. The band’s new album is slated to drop this summer.

Beatchain, the music marketing and distributing platform, partnered with independent record label Better Noise Music, sparking an initiative to better help artists and listeners connect using fan engagement data.

“Data is Better Noise Music’s secret sauce, driving us to be the #1 active rock radio label for the last 3 years,” said Dan Waite, president of Better Noise Music. “Beatchain’s data guided us in compiling the songs used in Better Noise Films’ upcoming horror-thriller feature The Retaliators and on the film’s highly-anticipated original soundtrack. Additionally, we have used Beatchain data to increase our daily streams of Dirty Head’s hit ‘Vacation’ tenfold in 4 months, from December 2020 to April 2021, allowing us to correctly target those fans engaging with the song through the trending TikTok ‘Vacation Transition’ challenge.”

Beatchain possesses an insights dashboard that tracks every online social media post and song stream an artist has online. Better Noise works alongside some of the biggest names in heavy rock, metal and alternative music including Mötley Crüe, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, Dirty Heads and more.

“Time and time again, we have seen our technology help artists at every level to grow their fanbase,” said Luke Mendoza, CMO of Beatchain. “Working with Allen [Better Music CEO and founder] and the expert team over at Better Noise Music will continue to amplify both team’s commitment to indie artists, and their opportunities for career growth and development in a competitive industry.”

Songtradr acquired Pretzel, the world’s first platform to provide stream-safe music for livestreamers, and Tunefind, the world’s most comprehensive database and online source of information for music in television, film and video games.

Pretzel offers rights holders such as artists and labels exposure to millions of new, highly engaged listeners through live broadcasts. They currently provide over 12,000 hours of music for monetized streams on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.

Tunefind partners with music supervisors to source song data directly from the experts responsible for selecting music to be featured in the aforementioned industries. They also provide API data services under contract to clients.

“Music and gaming has always gone hand in hand and gamers are some of the most engaged and valuable music fans,” said Paul Wiltshire, CEO of Songtradr. “The explosive growth of lifestyle and gaming live streams opens up an array of opportunities for our artists and our clients. We immediately saw the potential for Pretzel’s groundbreaking user experience and rights management technology in our ecosystem and a clear alignment of vision, values and culture.”

“Tunefind is a key trusted industry resource for music use across all major entertainment formats. The depth of its database and coverage are unparalleled,” continued Wiltshire. “As we continue our ambition to develop the best tools for B2B music discovery, Tunefind’s encyclopedia of music used in TV, film and gaming has considerable unrealized value, and equally our extensive data from advertising music use will expand the Tunefind offering.”

ONErpm and Big Circle Music Group teamed up for an exclusive marketing and distribution partnership to bring R&B music to worldwide audiences.

“The ONErpm team is proud and honored to start its collaboration with Big Circle Music Group,” said Marco Bissi, A&R and head of business development at ONErpm. “As a leading digital solutions music company, ONErpm has consistently demonstrated its competitive advantage by breaking emerging and top-tier artists by providing robust technology, genre specialization, superior marketing performance, and tailored execution. We are confident we will build something truly unprecedented with Carlos and Darryl’s vision for their new R&B label, Big Circle Music Group.”

ONErpm was founded in 2020 by Grammy award-winning songwriter Carlos Battey. Darryl Johnson, music industry veteran and CFO, created Big Circle to bring the R&B genre to the forefront of pop culture. Via ONErpm, Battey, a.k.a. Jackie’s Boy, released his new single “No Lifeguard” last Friday (April 23).

Venezuelan artist Reggi signed with Aftercluv, the dance entertainment division of Universal Music Latin Entertainment, and Global Talent Services.

“We are thrilled to welcome Reggi to the Aftercluv and Universal Music Latin Entertainment family,” said Alejandro Duque, managing director of Universal Music Latino. “His unrivaled talent and passion are palpable and contagious, and his music proposes not only to bring a new and fresh sound to urban Latin music, but also further Venezuela’s legacy as one of the great contributors to the scene today.”

Reggi began his career in 2011 when linked up with Venezuelan pop duo Chino y Nacho. From there, he produced several tracks for the two, including “Bebe Bonita.” In 2018, Reggi moved to the U.S. and has since worked with big names like Ozuna, Anuel AA and Daddy Yankee.

“I have thought about taking this step for a long time, and the stars have aligned for this new chapter in my musical career, now as an artist, and I am grateful to the AfterCluv / Universal Music Latin Entertainment and the GTS family for believing in me and my music,” said Reggi.

Sound Royalties and Cosynd struck a new partnership that will enable both companies to further their mission of assisting artists in protecting their copyrights, while also providing their communities of songwriters, performing artists, producers and more with royalty financing services.

Under the deal, Cosynd users will be given direct access to Sound Royalties’ funding service. Those earning over $5,000 in royalties annually will also be provided the opportunity to work with a dedicated royalty specialist, receiving a complimentary consultation and free income analysis.

Sound Royalties customers will also be given user discounts to Cosynd’s suite of copyright tools in order to register their copyrights, establish ownership and create agreements to protect their work.

Sound Royalties allows music creators to access their royalty payments in advance. Their financing process doesn’t require personal guarantees, collateral or ownership of a customer’s copyrights.

“The process of establishing ownership of and protecting copyrights can be complex and time-consuming,” said Alex Heiche, CEO of Sound Royalties. “Cosynd and Sound Royalties both work towards the same mission: helping musicians keep their copyrights. We’re looking forward to providing Cosynd users with direct access to our royalty funding services, while simplifying the copyright process for our own Sound Royalties community.”

“Our alliance with Sound Royalties is a natural fit — both companies understand the unique challenges that creators face around copyright ownership and share a common goal of protecting musical works,” added Jessica Sobhraj, co-founder and CEO of Cosynd. “We are delighted to provide an affordable, easy copyright protection service to the Sound Royalties community and look forward to working together to help Cosynd users thrive in their careers financially.”

Vere Music Company signed singer/songwriter Matt Rogers, with distribution through ADA.

“We are proud of what we are building at Vere Music,” said label head Rusty Harmon. “Matt embodies the spirit of of our mission. He is talented, tenacious, ethical, and has developed an impressive arsenal of brand partners over the years. Our goal is to take all of those qualities to build out his already impressive resume and help Matt realize his full potential.”

Rogers has reached a global audience through his weekly residency at Ole Red in Nashville, touring the U.S. and penning songs with major musicians in Music City.

“Vere is a great home for my music,” said Rogers. “Rusty and Alyssa [Vere A&R executive] are real champions for artists and their music. They have all the necessary expertise to guide a career and still provide a clear lane for the creative process.”

Music marketplace Artist Republik acquired the collaborative platform Featured X.

“FeaturedX is not just a platform but a community. These individuals are my friends and together we were able to support each other through one of the most difficult years for a touring musician,” said Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary, Featured X co-founder. “It was incredible to see what we were all capable of when we stuck together and that’s what FeaturedX is really all about. The table is large, everyone is invited and everyone can eat.”

Featured X is known for its roster of alt rock, indie rock, hardcore, pop-punk and metal musicians. This new acquisition is Artist Republik’s latest effort in establishing itself as a leading marketing resource center and social networking platform for musicians around the world.