Hang Your Hat, the new Nashville-based venture between Grammy and CMA Award-winning songwriter Hillary Lindsey and Concord Music Publishing, has begun staffing up with both executives and writers.
The first songwriter signed to Hang Your Hat is Chris La Corte, who most recently worked with Sam Hunt on Hunt’s album, Southside. The company is expected to announce more signings by year’s end.
Serving as Hang Your Hat’s GM and exec VP will be Jake Gear, who previously worked at BMG, where he was senior creative director.
The deal is part of a multi-faceted pact that saw Concord acquire an interest in Lindsey’s back catalog, as well as start the publishing co-venture. Lindsey, who is also an Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated writer, has co-penned such hits as Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” and Keith Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” as well as songs for Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Taylor Swift, among others.
Lindsey says she chose the name because “it brought a feeling of inclusivity, of family, of no matter what kind of hat you wear as an artist or songwriter you can hang it here,” she tells Billboard. “You can be who you are and be loved for who you are.”
While Lindsey is best known for her country songs, Hang Your Hat will sign songwriters representing all genres. “Whether it’s commercial country, singer songwriter, indie, pop, it’s just what moves us, what inspires us,” she says. “To us it’s about the song, it’s about the writer, regardless of the genre it’s about. What do we believe in and how can we help them find their lane, their path? How can we support them the best way we know possible.”
The company isn’t committing to the number of songwriters it will sign. “We’re being careful not to put pressure on ourselves to sign X number of writers just to build a catalog or to chase deals just because they have pipeline activity,” Gear says. “We want to be passionate about each addition to the roster.”
Gear feels being independent puts Hang Your Hat at an advantage. “Prior to my time at BMG, I spent five years as the creative director of indie publisher, Sea Gayle Music. I learned that the competitive edge an independent publisher has is the ability to super-serve their writers. I’ve always viewed my role as a creative as working for the writers and putting them first. At BMG, I saw the challenges that inherently exist at major publishers due simply to the scale of the roster and a market-share mentality, but I also saw the benefits of having a larger team and reach. At Hang Your Hat, our goal is to provide the hands-on service and feel of a boutique indie with the support and reach of a a global company through our partners at Concord Music Publishing. “
Among the services Concord will provide are synch, label and publishing infrastructure outside the country market.
“[They have] so many resources to offer here in Nashville and globally. They are so excited to be a part of the career of every new writer/artist signing,” Lindsey says. “[Concord Music Publishing svp A&R] Brad Kennard and his team here in Nashville are already on top of new songs being turned in and are out there helping make things happen.”
“Getting to partner with Hillary and Jake as the first signing to their new publishing venture with Concord is better than I could have ever planned or imagined,” said La Corte in a statement. “I’ve gotten to know Brad and the Concord team in Nashville over the last couple months, and I’m excited to plug in with the creative teams around the world. I know they have my back with their global influence and reach.”