The Deals: SEB Signs With Mom+Pop, WorldStarHipHop Launches Indie Distribution Service
A roundup of notable music industry deals from the last two weeks.
Independent label Mom+Pop Music has signed rising pop artist SEB to a worldwide deal, with plans to release his debut EP titled IT’S OKAY, WE’RE DREAMING July 30.
Adding SEB, who’s accumulated nearly 6 million monthly Spotify listeners, is Mom+Pop’s latest achievement on the artist front this year– pop singer-songwriter Ashe’s “Moral of the Story” became a TikTok phenomenon and Porter Robinson snagged his first-ever charting single with “Look at the Sky.”
“We’re excited to partner with such a talented writer and producer, and excited to help build a long career,” Mom+Pop Music co-owner Thaddeus Rudd said.
The upcoming EP will follow the Chicago-raised artist’s latest release, a track titled “seaside_demo.” Moving away from exclusively releasing singles, IT’S OKAY, WE’RE DREAMING will find SEB “exploring the themes of freedom and endless possibility that follows high school graduation, as the world opens up to youthful ambition,” the press release reads.
“I’m so excited to be teaming up with a label who sees as far into the future as I do!” SEB said in a statement. “Mom+Pop truly embodies everything I value, so I knew I was making the right choice.”
Music media platform WorldStarHipHop announced that they have launched Worldstar Distro, a complete music distribution service for independent artists. The new service is powered by Create Music Group and helps indie artists by distributing their music to all of the major DSPs for the low price of $1.99 per month, according to a press release.
Artists who release via WorldStar Distro have the potential to receive exposure on the company’s sprawling social media channels, including WorldStarHipHop.com, YouTube and Instagram, each with millions of followers. Recent successes from WorldStar Distro includes Atlanta rapper Lil Donald, whose single “Do Better” was certified Gold by the RIAA.
Over the years, WorldStarHipHop has also been involved in growing audiences for artists like Cardi B, Kodak Black, 6ix9ine and Blueface.
“We see thousands of promising new unsigned artists come through our platforms every year,” said WorldStar executive Will Hoopes. “Being able to offer them additional support via WorldStar Distro is something that we’ve wanted to do for a very long time. Our partnership with Create Music Group, a company that is unparalleled in its work launching viral artists, ensures that WorldStar Distro artists will be backed by the latest distribution technology available anywhere.”
Country band King Calaway has signed with Red Light Management and plans to release new music this summer with Stoney Creek Records.
The five-piece act — comprised of original members Caleb Miller, Chris Deaton, Simon Dumas, Chad Michael Jervis and Austin Luther — spent their downtime during the 2020 pandemic working on the new music. “As a band, we’ve been very eager to release the new music we’ve been working on this past year and to get back on the road,” they said in a statement. “We couldn’t be happier to have Red Light behind us in support of a new direction and an exciting new chapter.”
The yet-to-be-released music follows King Calaway’s 2019 album Rivers.
“I’m incredibly excited to welcome KC to the Red Light family,” said Gaines Sturdivant, who will manage the band. “I can’t wait for everyone to experience the new iteration and sonic evolution they have tirelessly perfected over the last several months. It’s a freshness of the highest caliber which captured my attention immediately.”
Red Bull Records announced its partnership deal with Ebony “WondaGurl” Oshunrinde and her label imprint, Wonderchild. The producer, songwriter and music executive will work alongside Red Bull Records executives Greg Hammer and Kenny “Tick” Salcido in what a press release called “the first deal of its kind for Red Bull Records.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to announce this partnership with WondaGurl,” Hammer said. “As one of the most groundbreaking producers in her field, we look forward to investing in WondaGurl’s creative vision and championing her future signings.”
Hammer, Salcido and WondaGurl will collaborate on signing new talent to the label, with Toronto rapper JUGGER being the first to sign. His upcoming project was executive produced by WondaGurl, who became the first Black woman to receive the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Award at the 2021 Juno Awards.
“It has been a pleasure working with the Red Bull Records team this past year in developing my first artist, JUGGER,” WondaGurl said. “Kenny, G, Greg, and the rest of the team have given me the time and space to create. As an artist and producer, that means everything. I look forward to the release of our first project together and everything to come with this relationship.”
Atlantic Records UK has embarked on a joint-venture with Trust It Entertaiment, an Irish entertainment company representing artists like A92, Andre Fazaz and Offica. Under the new partnership, Atlantic will support Trust It by investing in signing, developing and providing marketing support for artists.
Another focus of the partnership is on growing the local Black music market. Trust It’s CEO and director Solomon Adesiyan will work closely with Atlantic to develop strategies for doing so, with Adesiyan acting as an A&R and culture consultant.
“We’re really happy to be partnering with the team at Atlantic as with their backing, we’ll have the resources to further find and develop the best talent in Ireland,” Adesiyan said. “In addition, it’ll be great to tap into Atlantic’s global network and showcase our artists on an international level.”
Executive vp of Atlantic Records UK Austin Daboh said that Adesiyan, who founded Trust It in 2016, is the “linchpin that’s helping drive the Irish Black music scene forward to new heights.”
“It feels like Black music has found its voice in Ireland, and Solomon and the Trust It Entertainment team are right at the heart of it, setting the cultural agenda and inspiring the next generation of talent,” Daboh said. “We’re looking forward to working with them to help develop and champion the extraordinary artists that are flourishing in the region and introducing them to a global audience.”
Triple 8 Management is working to expand their services into the producer space with eight new producers on their growing client roster. “It all started with Alena Moran,” said Triple 8 owner George Couri of the decision to start representing producers. “I heard from her and multiple GRAMMY-winning producer and mixer Reid Shippen about wanting to all work together, even though we didn’t manage producers at the time. It has gone exceedingly well to serve him, and so, with Alena and others on the team now, we look forward to continuing to grow this area of our business.”
All eight of the newly-announced producers bring a diverse list of credits to the Nashville-based management company. Cason Cooley has worked with NEEDTOBREATHE, American Authors, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors and Ingrid Michaelson; Luke Dick has a Grammy nomination and projects with Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore and Jackson Dean to his name; and Shani Gandhi has earned multiple Grammy nominations for her work with artists like Sierra Hull, The Mountain Goats and Sarah Jarosz.
Also new on Triple 8’s roster are Martin Johnson, who’s worked with Elle King, Chase Rice, Lady A, Pentatonix, Betty Who, Nick Carter and Seth Ennis; Brandon Paddock, whose resume includes Elle King feat. Miranda Lambert, Chase Rice, Lady A, The Night Game and Betty Who; and Jon Randall, a GRAMMY, ACM and CMA Award-winning producer whose production credits include Dierks Bentley, Parker McCollum and Dwight Yoakam.
Rounding out the list are Danen Reed Rector –who’s completed projects for Charlotte Sands, Kyd The Band, Betty Who and Quinn Lewis — and F. Reid Shippen, multi-Grammy Award-winning engineer who’s worked with Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley and Ingrid Michaelson.
Rising country artist Alana Springsteen has signed with talent and entertainment company UTA for worldwide representation across all areas.
Springsteen’s signing means she will join a roster that includes Toby Keith, Jamey Johnson, Jimmie Allen, Matt Stell, Blanco Brown and new signing Billy Ray Cyrus. Her new agents at UTA — Jeffrey Hasson and David Zedeck — say they can’t wait to share the “super star in the making’s” talent with the world.
“We’re beyond excited to represent such an amazing artist, songwriter, and performer as Alana Springsteen,” they said in a joint statement. “From our first meeting, we were impressed by her drive, purpose, and raw talent. Alana’s unique ability to capture emotions in the songs that she writes, and her commanding presence onstage, is a very rare gift.”
The 20-year-old singer has been working since she was a young teenager, signing her first publishing deal at age 14. She has quite a few singles to her name — including latest release “California” — and has recently been promoting her upcoming single “Zero Trucks,” which comes out July 9.
“The UTA team blew me away with their passion, excitement, and plan for me and my music,” Springsteen said in a statement. “They understood me and my vision from day one, and UTA definitely felt like home. They’re brilliant at what they do, and I’m so grateful they’re now a part of the fam.”
Tribl Records announced their new partnership with The Orchard, a global distribution company. According to a press release, “The agreement marks the largest collaboration for any minority-owned, inspirational label.”
“Tribl’s commitment to uplifting artists and fostering meaningful partnerships, along with The Orchard’s mission to empower artists, makes this collaboration even more dynamic and significant,” said Alan Becker, senior vp of product development at The Orchard.
The religion-oriented record label has already begun working with The Orchard, having released Maverick City Music’s Juneteenth edition of their album Jubilee last Friday (June 18) together. Co-Executive produced by senior vp of Provident Entertainment, Phil Thornton, the tracks include features from Ciara, Koryn Hawthorn, Jonathan McReynolds, Montel Fish and more.
As co-executive producer, Thornton will collaborate with Tribl to expand their footprint across film, television and the content development space.
“I’m excited to collaborate with the Tribl team to expand their footprint in media, podcasts, and additional content development,” Thornton said. “It’s refreshing to work with such an innovative team that continues to raise the bar in Christian and Gospel.”
“The industry talent we have curated at an executive level to build Tribl is incredible,” Tribl co-owner Norman Gyamfi said. “We were each ‘disrupting’ the industry in our respective fields and joined together to not just evolve a genre but to redefine an entire industry.”
Atlantic Records announced the signing of Glasgow-based duo Saint PHNX. The alternative pop group, comprised of brothers Stevie and Alan Jukes, released their inaugural Atlantic track “Happy Place” on July 2.
Prior to their signing at Atlantic, the pair have racked up more than 19 million Spotify streams, toured with Yungblud and opened for both Lewis Capaldi and Imagine Dragons. Their independent full-length debut, DDMN, was released last year. “We are two brothers from a small town in Scotland and to sign with the biggest record company in the world is actually f***ing nuts,” Saint PHNX said. “We love Pete and the whole Atlantic/ATCO team. I hope the next time we’re in Billboard it’s on the charts.”
Atlantic’s A&R president Pete Ganbarg said he’s excited to welcome the brothers, who first met a few years ago in London, to the “ATCO and Atlantic family.” “When Marc and Alistair played me ‘Happy Place,’ it felt like a record totally made for this time,” he said. “At once incredibly personal, and also universal. I’m very excited to welcome the guys to ATCO and the Atlantic family.”
Triple 8 Management has announced a partnership with Crush Music to sign Morgan Evans. Evans’ signing, which is the first co-management endeavor for Crush, means Evans will join a roster of clients including Sia, Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Lorde, Weezer and Panic! At The Disco.
Evans, who’s signed to Warner Music Nashville, is set to join Brett Eldredge on the Good Day 2021 Tour this fall. The Australian musician released his latest single “Love Is Real” in June and has over 1.5 million Spotify monthly listeners, with his song “Kiss Somebody” boasting more than 120 million streams.
“It’s hard to not marvel at what Crush has built – numerous global arena and stadium artists,” said Triple 8 owner George Couri. “I always felt our individual experiences and strengths could be used to strong effect if combined. I am honored to be their first ever co-management partnership and look forward to growing Morgan’s promising career together.”
7digital, an end-to-end digital music solutions company, announced that global fitness brands Barry’s and Barcelona’s Volava are new clients. According to a press release, 7digital’s music platform is “being utilised by a fast-growing number of fitness companies” including London’s Apex Rides and Los Angeles-based FORME.
As a client of 7digital’s, Barry’s will use the company’s playlist tool and catalog of cleared music and will leverage 7digital’s built-in integration with MRI for publisher clearances. Volava will also access 7digital’s catalog of music from major labels via the playlisting tool for their bike-based online fitness offering in Spain and, soon, other locations such as Germany.
“Even as the world begins to re-open, 7digital is continuing to see huge demand for in-home fitness experiences, for which having the perfect licensed music to power fitness goals has never been more vital,” said Paul Langworthy, 7digital CEO. “We are pleased to partner with Barry’s and Volava as they scale across territories and add new online experiences that meet emerging customer demand and expectations to complement training in their physical locations.”