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Executive Turntable: YM&U Names Global President of Music; Interscope Promotes Matt Morris to SVP

In this week's roundup of industry moves: YM&U names their Global President of Music, Matt Morris is promoted to SVP at Interscope, and more.

YM&U Group promoted Matt Colon to Global President of Music. Colon will continue to directly oversee the US Music Division and will expand his role by leading global strategy and integration across the world, bridging the UK and US Music divisions. He will also lead growth strategy for the organization with new manager acquisitions and key hires.

Of Colon’s promotion, YM&U CEO Mary Bekhait said, “I am delighted that Matt has agreed to lead YM&U’s Music business globally. He has a history of being at the forefront of emerging cultural and tech trends, is a strategic and astute leader and possesses great taste. Bringing our music divisions even closer together will enable us to better serve our global clients and provide more opportunities for our colleagues. I am excited for the next chapter.”


Colon said, “I have always approached management from a global perspective when it has come to my own clients. As access to entertainment has increased, along with more opportunities for artists, the need for a global footprint has become increasingly apparent for clients in the digital age. With this new role I hope to empower our team and more importantly our clients to have the confidence that we’re equipped for the challenge.”

This year, Colon helped guide long-time client Steve Aoki toward becoming a pioneer in the NFT space. He aided Aoki’s efforts to co-found the Rogue e-sports organization and brokered a deal that made Aoki the first artist to perform a live concert on Twitch. Previously at YM&U Group, Colon held the position of Managing Director of US Music. He joined the company in 2017 after Deckstar, an artist management company he co-founded, was acquired.

Interscope Geffen A&M has announced the promotion of Matt Morris to the position of senior vp of A&R. Morris will continue to sign and develop artists for the label as well as oversee the company’s A&R Research department.

Morris is credited with signing pop star Olivia Rodrigo to Geffen Records along with his colleagues Sam Riback, executive vp, Co-Head A&R and fellow A&R Emerson Redd. He also helped bring Kali Uchis to Interscope in 2017. Morris works closely with both artists.

“Matt has been a vital part of the Interscope family for a decade now and has helped to build our A&R Research department into one of the best in the industry,” Riback said. “Beyond that, Matt has become a truly well-rounded A&R exec, as adept at identifying new artists as he is signing them and guiding them through the recording process. He is very deserving of this expanded role at the company.”

“I’ve grown so much as a person and executive over the past decade at Interscope,” Morris said. “I’m really grateful for John Janick and Sam’s guidance over the years and their continued support. We share a common vision of identifying generational artists who go against the grain and shape culture. My goal has always been to help artists at the highest level, and to get to do that at the most forward-thinking record label in the world is an honor. I couldn’t be more excited for this next step.”

Morris grew up in West Virginia and started in music as a blogger when he was in college, eventually joining Interscope’s A&R department as an intern in 2011. He served as a digital marketing manager for several years before returning to A&R in 2015.

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) has announced that Dr. Richard James Burgess’ contract as President and CEO has been renewed for a third term. A2IM has seen 28% membership growth since Burgess took the helm in January 2016. He will continue his work in advocacy, education, and community across the independent music industry — including continuing the fight for diversity and gender equality as well as equal pay policies.

“The recorded music industry is at an inflection point. We are faced with the maturation of the streaming business model in the U.S. and the ongoing challenge of preserving the value of copyrights,” Burgess said. “A2IM will be at the forefront of leveling the playing field for independents and returning more of the value generated by recorded music to its creators and investors.”

Prior to stepping up as CEO of A2IM, Burgess served on the board for two and a half years and was chair of the board for the last six months of 2015. He was promoted to President and CEO in the 2019 renewal. Burgess’s current contract, which commences in January 2022, will run for four years.

“Richard has proven to be a dynamic leader, expanding the reach of A2IM in the past several years,” said Zena White, Chair of the A2IM Board and Managing Director of Partisan Records. “The team he leads is stronger than ever, having been able to grow its membership and execute meaningful community initiatives, such as BIMA, at a time when our community is most in need. The board of directors looks forward to continuing A2IM’s mission with Richard at the helm as our industry faces new challenges, both known and unknown.”

Angie Magill, svp, legal & business affairs, Sony Music Nashville, announced the promotion of Alli Champagne to senior director, legal & business affairs.  Champagne will report directly to Magill, and continue handling contract negotiations in connection with the label’s artist roster, serving as counsel to all label departments, and as Sony Music Nashville’s Radio Compliance Officer.

Of Champagne’s promotion, Magill said, “Because of her knowledge, positive attitude and terrific work ethic, Alli is an invaluable member of the Sony Music Nashville Team. I’m proud and happy to announce this well-deserved promotion.”

“I am honored by Angie’s confidence in me, and I look forward to her continued mentorship,” Champagne said. “I am proud to take on this new role and grow further alongside the incredible Sony Music Nashville team, its groundbreaking artists, and unmatched executive leadership.”

Alli Champagne joined Sony Music Nashville in 2014 as manager, legal & business affairs and was promoted to director for the department in 2018. Two years prior, Champagne was a member of Viacom/CMT’s legal & business affairs team, prior to which she practiced entertainment law and litigated copyright infringement cases for law firms in Nashville.

Phebe Hunnicutt has been appointed to the newly created role of svp, international, Warner Recorded Music. Reporting to Simon Robson, president, international, Hunnicutt will help grow the evolution of Warner Music internationally, to stay ahead of changes impacting the recorded music industry.

As Warner Music Group is expands its global footprint, Hunnicutt will work closely with WMG’s business development team, as well as division, label and territory heads across the Warner Recorded Music business.

Hunnicutt joins from hayu, the subscription-based video streaming service owned by NBC Universal International, where she led on its global expansion projects, new territory launches and its commercial strategy to drive subscriber growth in established markets.

Of her hiring, Hunnicutt said, “It’s an exciting time to join Warner Music as it works with partners to tap into opportunities in rapidly developing new markets, as well as to drive innovation and offer fans new ways of enjoying music.  I’ve navigated similar change in the media sector and want to bring my experience from that to bear in this new role.  The more we can grow our presence worldwide, the better we can support our extraordinary roster of artists, wherever they’re from.”

Robson said of Hunnicutt’s hiring, “I’m so pleased that Phebe is joining the team and know she’ll play a critical role in our ongoing global expansion.  She combines invaluable international experience in the fast-changing media sector with a passion for music, so is a perfect fit for this role.  We’re always looking to expand our global network through strategic acquisitions and partnerships which will super serve our artists in an industry that’s now truly without borders.”

Phil Kaso has been promoted to svp of rock promotion for Atlantic Records/Elektra Music Group. Kaso was previously vp of Rock promotion for Elektra. The new role expands his current duties to lead promotion strategy and campaigns for both Atlantic’s and Elektra’s rock rosters. The individual labels’ regional promotion staffs will continue to work their respective artists, under Kaso’s direction. Based at Warner Music Group’s New York headquarters, he now reports jointly to Andrea Ganis, president of promotion for Atlantic, and Greg Dorfman, evp, promotion for Elektra.

Kaso’s appointment follows the recent retirement of veteran rock promotion executive Lea Pisacane after 34 years at Atlantic.

“Lea Pisacane is beyond extraordinary on so many levels – clearly a total legend in rock promotion and a brilliant, vibrant, charismatic person to boot,” Ganis said of Pisacane’s retirement. “We’ve been together for over three decades, and I’ve been lucky enough to witness her strategically put all our artists on the map to thrive and succeed. A 34-year run is remarkable in any business, but particularly in ours, which has sustained so many changes – it’s a tribute to Lea that she’s flourished consistently, and to say she will be missed is a vast understatement. She leaves very big shoes to fill, but if anyone can do it, it’s Phil. From his two decades at Roadrunner to his latest Elektra post, he’s been a passionate and dedicated rock champion, driven by a true fan’s enthusiasm. We’re excited that Atlantic will now also benefit from his unmatched expertise.”

“Phil is one of the greatest promo people in the business,” Dorfman added. “His devotion to our artists and their music is total and tireless. He’s done tremendous work with Slipknot, Trivium, Motionless In White, Theory of a Deadman, and countless others. Phil is deeply respected and admired by everyone across the rock music community, and we’re very happy that he’s now taking on this much-deserved role at both Elektra and our sister company, Atlantic.”

“When I first started at Roadrunner many years ago as a regional promo guy, I couldn’t have imagined that one day I’d be heading the rock force at two of the most iconic labels in history, Atlantic and Elektra,” Kaso said of his promotion. “Lea is a legend, and it will be tough to follow in her footsteps, but she leaves behind one of the greatest rock rosters in the business. I’m really looking forward to working with everyone at Atlantic, while still working with my beloved team at Elektra. A huge thank you to Andrea and Greg for this dream opportunity.”

Z2 Comics has announced its expansion into toys & collectibles by bringing in Clint Weiler as their new vice president of Collectibles. Weiler will oversee this new division of Z2 bringing years of experience from his role as owner and operator of the punk and pop-culture collectible brand Aggronautix.

On Weiler joining the team, co-publisher Sridhar Reddy said, “Clint brings to Z2 a specific expertise and insight to the world of collectibles. The amazing success he built with Aggronautix aligns perfectly with our strategy of providing unique collectible toys and figurines to our premium bundle products; he understands the demands and workflows of manufacturing and the nuances of what discerning fans want out of memorabilia and toys. We’re thrilled to have him on our team.”

Weiler said, “I’m insanely stoked to join the talented crew at Z2. I was blown away by the quality and craftsmanship of their books, and instantly knew it was a place I wanted to be. I hope to translate what I’ve done with Aggronautix on a much larger stage and scale. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I intend to make magic.”

In conjunction with Weiler joining the company, Z2 and Weiler have unveiled a “The Hellion” resin statue that pairs with the upcoming Judas Priest graphic novel, set for release in July 2022. The graphic novel will include an extensive interview with original cover artist Doug Johnson on the process of creating the award-winning album cover design and the origin of the metallic bird, “The Hellion.” Moving forward, Z2 looks to incorporate a collectible pairing with every graphic novel release.

Leila Oliveira has been promoted to general manager of Warner Music Brazil. In the new role, Oliveira will have oversight of the company’s A&R, marketing and business development functions, and will report to president Sergio Affonso. Oliveira has been at Warner Brazil since 2013, heading up its business development operations, playing a fundamental part in shifting the company to a digital-first model.

Of her promotion, Oliveira said, “I’m honored to be asked to step up into this new position, supporting Sergio and helping the team as we continue to strive to be the number one choice for artists in Brazil.   We’ve seen how our Brazilian artists, such as Anitta, can win the hearts of fans around the world and we look forward to running even more impactful global campaigns in the years to come.”

“Leila has been instrumental in the transformation of our company to a digital-first business over the last decade,” Affonso said. “She always has an eye on the horizon, as well as being across what’s happening day-to-day.  She is the perfect choice for this new role and I know she’ll do an amazing job super serving our incredible roster of artists.”

Oliveira moved into the entertainment industry in 2007, working as a production manager at Bandit Films & Digital, a company that specialized in creating adverts and branded online and TV content.

Warner Chappell Music announced that Natascha Augustin has been promoted to vice president of WCM Germany. She will continue to report into Lars Karlsson, managing director, WCM Scandinavia and Germany.

Augustin, who previously held the role of senior creative director, has helped cultivated the rise of Germany’s rap and hip-hop scene and has made WCM Germany the favored publisher for artists and songwriters. Her work has been factor in WCM Germany holding the number one domestic publisher spot for the last three years running. She will be based between Munich and Berlin, where she has opened up WCM’s new office and will run its new creative hub.

Of her hiring, Augustin said, “I’m honored to be taking on this wider role at Warner Chappell Music. We’ve enjoyed an incredible few years as we’ve continued to raise our game and hold onto the number one domestic publisher spot.  It’s an exciting time to be at Chappell as we open our new creative hub in Berlin and continue to sign and work with culture-shifting songwriters.”

“Natascha’s phenomenal work in the music scene and within Warner Chappell cannot be overstated,” Karlsson said of Augustin. She’s been a key driving force in our success and I’m delighted that she’ll be taking on a wider role in the company.  I’m looking forward to continuing to work closely with her as we push our business forward.”

Guy Moot, co-Chair and CEO, added, “Natascha is a fantastic executive and a key player in our global team.  She has incredible ears and has put her faith in a number of Germany’s biggest stars before anyone else – winning their loyalty through hard work and dedication.  We’re all behind her as she takes on this more prominent role within the company, and I know she’ll continue to deliver amazing results.”

Acast, an independent podcast company, announced the appointment of Veronika Taylor as svp of its Creator Network, leading its podcast team globally. Previously managing director for the Americas and Content Director for the US, Taylor will now direct the company’s strategy for attracting sought-after podcasts from all around the world. Samantha Skey has also been appointed director of the board within Acast’s US entity. Skey is an experienced media and technology executive focused on rapid growth companies, and as CEO of SHE Media works closely with a broad range of diverse talent across the US.

CEO Ross Adams said, “Veronika has completely transformed our Creator Network in the US, not only attracting big names to Acast but helping a diverse and broad roster of podcasters to find their voice. Her new role is a vital part of the Acast senior leadership team, and pivotal in our mission to work with the world’s biggest and best podcasts. But, above all, she’s a stellar Acaster — and someone who has already taught so many of us how to lead with real empathy.”

On Skey’s hire, Adams said, “Bringing Samantha onto the team is another big statement of intent for us. We’ve been working together for a short time already, but her knowledge of both the talent in the market and the ad industry — the two audiences we’re focused on — will help us further grow the Acast business in the US.”

“I want to continue bringing Acast’s creator-centric approach to podcasters and listeners the world over, as the joy of podcasting continues to spread across the globe,” Taylor said of her promotion. “Creators worldwide are supportive of our efforts to champion the open ecosystem and, while our growth in the US has been strong in recent years,  we look forward to stepping this up further — alongside our efforts internationally. One of the things I’ve been most proud of during my time here has been our efforts to bring more women and LGBTQ+ creators to the forefront, and there’s a lot more we want to do to bring more diverse voices into the space and help them scale their audiences and revenue.”

Christina Carlo has joined Heavy Duty Projects on the West Coast in the newly created position of executive producer, Creative Partnerships. Her hiring was announced by Kate Urcioli, Heavy Duty’s New York-based managing director and partner, and Josh Kessler, founding partner and CEO.

Carlo joins Heavy Duty Projects after 16 years of building businesses and crafting custom music and sound. Her role will focus on expanding the company’s relationships with clients in the advertising space, and expanding partnerships with clients in the world of trailers, features and TV series. She most recently was with Squeak E. Clean Production, and prior to that, with Nylon Studios.

“Heavy Duty’s unique vision bridges the gap between radio-ready pop music and music for content, with multi-Grammy winning producer and songwriter Ariel Rechtshaid as ECD and Founding Partner at the helm, and an exclusive roster of composers whose credits earn praises from Billboard and Pitchfork alike,” Carlo said. “I’m excited to join at such a busy growth period for the company, with recent musical contributions to varied media such as the score for HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” reboot, major film and TV trailers, e-sports properties and ad campaigns for blue chip brands including Apple, Samsung and Indeed, for which we did their recent Super Bowl spot.”

“When you find out that someone like Christina may be available, you find a way to work with them,” Urcioli said of hiring Carlo. “There are only so many people in our industry with her talent, skills and intuition, so it was a no-brainer. We feel lucky to have her!”

Danny Myrick and Deluge Music announced the formation of Los Angeles-based Canyon Coast Entertainment. CCE’s mission is to find and develop emerging Americana and country artists in the region, providing production, publishing and live performance opportunities based in their own backyard. 
Deluge’s managing member David Robkin, said, “We could not be more excited to launch Canyon Coast under the leadership of Danny Myrick. In addition to being a fantastic songwriter and producer, Danny’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit has brought us to California to develop and support the amazing talent based in the West. We are confident that this will be an exciting opportunity for Deluge Music and the artists/writers who work in or near the West Coast.”
Of CCE’s formation, Danny Myrick said, “From Buck & Merle to The Flying Burrito Brothers, to Ronstadt, the Eagles and Jackson Brown, to Dwight, Blackhawk, Highway 101 and Gary Allan, the untamed wildness of the California ‘country’ sound has always deeply resonated with me in an almost spiritual way. I believe the main reason that sound is essentially nonexistent in current country music is the lack of attention given to the immense and unique talent pool in that region.”

Music publishing company Tree Vibez Music announced the promotion of main staff member Emily Peacock to senior creative dirrector. She first joined TVM in 2018 after working at places like Low Monkey Music and Advanced Alternative Music.

“Emily’s dedication to our roster and attention to detail is unsurpassed,” said TVM general manager Leslie T. DiPiero. “We are grateful for her enviable work ethic and air traffic control skills. Our entire Tree Vibez Music family extends our heartfelt congratulations to Emily Peacock!”

Entertainment law firm Rothenberg, Mohr & Binder, LLP has announced today that attorney Matt Cuttler has been promoted to partner at the New York office of the firm. Cuttler has worked for the firm since its inception in 2018. Cuttler’s practice focuses on all aspects and areas of the music entertainment industry, including representing artists, producers, mixers, independent labels and publishers in transactional matters.

Speaking about the new position, Cuttler said, “It’s an honor to work with this group of truly talented attorneys (and our clients!) at Rothenberg, Mohr & Binder since its inception in March 2018. It’s a rare opportunity to be part of a firm from day one, and I am truly excited to continue this journey as a partner in our New York office.”

Firm co-founders Rothenberg, Mohr and Binder said, “Matt is a brilliant, loyal, and dedicated attorney, who finds solutions to complicated and evolving legal issues. He is a leader in our New York office and an integral part of our team. We are excited to see Matt continue to thrive and break barriers as he helps our team reach new heights.”

Distiller Music Group has announced multiple staff changes within its UK team. Ian Carew joins as consultant head of Strategy. Carew will help oversee the development of the company’s roster, working closely with the in-house team. Joseph Hatch joins the team as general manager, working across the company’s new signings, records and publishing, and new business offerings. Joseph joins from AEG Presents where he headed up the marketing team for the company’s European festival portfolio. Sophie Lathom-Sharp has been promoted to the position of campaign manager working across all frontline campaigns. Sophie joined Distiller Music Group in 2018. Jess Thompson has been announced as label coordinator, with a focus on supporting the label and publishing team.

CEO John Thompson said, “We are extremely proud of our passionate, committed and motivated team and these promotions are in recognition of the huge contribution the team have made to our recent successes. We’re very happy to be working with Ian Carew, who will bring insight, experience and expertise to our marketing strategy and implementation.”

AWAL, a global artist services company, has announced two senior promotions within its UK marketing department. Charlotte Birch and Nathan Liddle-Hulme have been promoted to joint heads of Marketing for the UK. Reporting directly to general manager Paul Trueman, they will be responsible for overseeing the UK marketing teams and campaigns.  They will each run a team but work closely and collaboratively as one UK marketing department.

Of the promotions, Trueman said, “Charlotte and Nathan have proved themselves to be entrepreneurial, forward-thinking marketers, epitomizing AWAL’s core values of building global marketing campaigns with artists at the centre.  Their individual marketing skills, approach and experience complement each other perfectly and together they will form a formidable force and continue to drive AWAL’s marketing team forward.”

Birch said, “Since joining AWAL two years ago it has been a privilege to work alongside such a stellar team of marketers. The team’s success across such a breadth of campaigns over the past year alone is a testament to the team’s tenacity & innovative approach. Thrilled to be working and learning alongside Nathan over this next phase & continuing to push the boundaries in this space.”

Liddle-Hulme said, “Having worked at AWAL for over 6 years, I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the label’s development and evolution. The marketing team at AWAL is full of creative, passionate, hardworking people and working with them everyday, sharing ideas and continually developing our approach is really rewarding. Heading up the UK team with Charlotte is a brilliant opportunity for us to continue the evolution and to create market leading and impactful campaigns for our artists.

President Paul Hitchman said, “AWAL has enjoyed its most successful year to date in 2021, delivering Top 10 records for a diverse range of independent artists including Little Simz, Jungle, girl in red, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes as well as developing and nurturing a number of new, up and coming artists such as Alfie Templeman, Tamera, Joesef, CMAT, tora-i, Porij, DYLAN and many more. A key to our success has always been the quality of our team. Charlotte and Nathan are both smart, progressive, strategic executives whose skills and experience create an incredible combination.”

Asylum Records announced that Angel Martinez has been appointed vp of Marketing. Based in New York, he will report to the label’s co-presidents Gabrielle Peluso and Dallas Martin.

Martinez is a marketing expert with twenty years’ experience, joining Asylum in 2018 as director of Marketing, Martinez spent twelve years at G-Unit Records, working with top names in hip-hop like 50 Cent, The Game, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks amongst others. He previously held marketing roles at Sony Music, Def Jam Recordings and Interscope Records.

Peluso and Martin said, “Angel is such an integral part of our Asylum family and his passion for our music and artists shines through in everything he does. With his unparalleled understanding of the marketing space and forward-thinking approach, we’ll continue to execute ground-breaking campaigns for our next generation of talent.”

Of his promotion, Martinez said, “This is my dream role and I’m grateful to Gabby and Dallas for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I’m looking forward to pushing out music that resonates with fans while finding new and innovative ways to promote up-and-coming artists.”

Merlin has promoted Marta de la Hoz to director, business analytics. She moves to the role from her previous position as Merlin’s head of reporting and analysis. She came to Merlin from IronGroup; prior to that, she headed the UK royalties team at [PIAS].