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The Deals: HRVY Gets ‘Personal’ With BMG, DistroKid Pairs With Audiomack

A roundup of notable music industry deals from the past two weeks, including HRVY's signing to BMG and Ozomatli's signing to Blue Elan Records.

British singer and burgeoning pop star HRVY has signed a global recording deal with BMG.

“Spelling might not be HRVY’s strong point, but he knows how to make great music, and we’re excited to have him join us at BMG,” said BMG vp of A&R Jamie Nelson, who serves as co-head of BMG’s recording division in the UK. “Thank you to Blair, his manager, our brilliant A&R Tashan Radtke for overseeing this signing, and of course to HRVY for entrusting us with the next stage of his career.”

HRVY, who boasts a combined one billion streams to date, is slated to release new music later this year and is currently at work on his debut album. He will soon embark on a world tour, including dates in the UK, Europe, the U.S., Asia and Australia. In addition to enjoying streaming hits like “Personal” (which went viral on TikTok), “Younger” and “Don’t Need Your Love,” HRVY has collaborated with Matoma, Danna Paola, Seebe and members of the Korean supergroup NCT Dream.

Digital distributor DistroKid has partnered with Audiomack in a deal making it easier for artists to deliver their tracks directly to users of the discovery-focused music streaming service.

DistroKid says it ingests and processes more than 35,000 new tracks every day, and is known for its artist-friendly royalty payout system. The integration will give DistroKid users a no-fuss way to add their own music to their artist page on Audiomack.

That will mean more indie-artist content on Audiomack at a time when the nine-year-old service is hosting more major label music. Earlier this year, the company announced licensing deals with both Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, on top of a previous pact with Warner Music Group. In December, Audiomack reached 1.5 billion plays and 17 million users per month.


Audiomack has helped break artists including Roddy Ricch and Rod Wave and debuted exclusive releases from Nicki MinajEminem and Chance the Rapper. It has also established a foothold in Africa, where it has topped Apple’s App Store music chart in several territories.

“At Audiomack we have built a reputation as an ally to emerging music creators and superstars alike,” says Audiomack CMO and co-founder David Ponte. “DistroKid releases an enormous amount of new music from emerging artists, so we’re thrilled to be able to work with them to make it easier than ever for artists to be on Audiomack and utilize powerful free tools like our creator dashboard.”

Adds DistroKid founder Philip Kaplan, “We’re excited to make it super easy for the millions of artists who rely on DistroKid to seamlessly connect with Audiomack in a powerful & convenient way.”

Atlantic Records has signed pop artist Reiley, who releases debut single “Let It Ring” on March 26. Born in the remote Faroe Islands 200 miles north of the U.K., Reiley turned to social media to share his love of singing, uploading his first video to TikTok in 2019. He has since built a following of nearly 11 million followers on the platform, where his posts are recognizable by colorful backgrounds and a hanging silver microphone.

“Let It Ring,” which Atlantic is promoting as the first song to incorporate a fully-licensed sample of the official iPhone ringtone, was written and produced by Lostboy (Zedd, Bebe Rexha), Lauren Aquilina (Rina Sawayama, Olivia O’Brien) and JHart (Jennifer Lopez, Camila Cabello).

“I want to be an artist who pushes boundaries and defines what it is to be a male pop artist in 2021,” Reiley says in a press release. “It’s not only about the music either; I’m creating a 360-degree experience. My art is communicated through all mediums: the fashion, the dancing, the visuals, the set design and the storyline.”

Blue Élan Records has signed two-time Grammy Award-winning band Ozomatli. The group, which recently released their rendition of the Ramon Ayala song “La Rama Del Mezquite,” will put out their forthcoming, David Garza-produced album on the label.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1995, the current Ozomatli lineup includes Asdru Sierra (lead vocals, trumpet, keyboards), Raul Pacheco (lead vocals, guitar), Willy (Wil-Dog) Abers (bass, vocals), Justin Poree (rap, vocals, percussion), Ulises Bella (saxophone, melodica, clarinet, guitar, requinto, keyboards, vocals) and Jiro Yamaguchi (drums, percussion).

Over a 25-year career, Ozomatli have released eight studio albums and built a loyal following on the touring circuit.

Jamaican dancehall star Konshens has signed with Oakland-based reggae imprint Ineffable Records, the label arm of Ineffable Music Group launched in 2019.

Under the deal, Ineffable will release Konshens’ forthcoming album, Red Reign, in the third quarter of 2021. The first single, “Can’t Stay Sober,” releases March 19.

Konshens has collaborated with artists including Nipsey Hussle, The Chainsmokers, Cardi B, Major Lazer, Rick Ross, Nicky Jam, Doja Cat and Enrique Iglesias. The video for his single “Bruk Off Yuh Back,” has over 180 million views on YouTube, making it one of the most watched dancehall videos on the platform.

In 2020, Ineffable Records was second only to Universal Music Group on Billboard‘s reggae labels chart in terms of total album sales.

“We’ve become the top independent label in the reggae space by providing artists with the financial backing they deserve without giving up master ownership; where projects recoup in a reasonable amount of time; and where they get paid every month instead of twice a year,” said Adam Gross, vice president of Ineffable Records. “By providing this level of service and focusing on how to move the needle on growing streaming numbers on every platform through proper pitching and optimization, our growth has happened completely organically, proving it’s actually the right business decision for everyone to
win together.”

SiriusXM and T-Mobile have announced that T-Mobile wireless customers will son get exclusive access to a free, first-of-its-kind Pandora streaming experience including ad-free radio weekends; special “Top Tracks” music stations powered by popular SiriusXM channels including The Highway, Hits 1, The Heat and 90s on 9; and early access to new episodes of SiriusXM original podcasts including Exit 209 with Storme Warren, Unboxing the 90s, The Hoda Show, Sway’s Interviews, Fierce Women in Music, Binge Guide and The Jess Cagle Podcast with Julia Cunningham.

Starting Tuesday, March 23, any T-Mobile customer with the T-Mobile Tuesdays app will get free access to this enhanced version of Pandora through March 2022.

“Pandora and T-Mobile have built on our longstanding relationship to create an exciting new way for T-Mobile customers to discover, share, and enjoy the music and podcasts they love most,” said Denise Karkos, CMO of SiriusXM, the parent company of Pandora. “We’ve combined Pandora’s personalized listening experience with exclusive access to a special selection of must-hear SiriusXM audio entertainment, along with ad-free radio weekends, to deliver even more for T-Mobile customers.”

“We’re rolling out the magenta carpet once again for T-Mobile customers giving more free benefits and even more value through partnerships with today’s best brands,” added T-Mobile CMO Matt Staneff. “Now more than ever, we recognize the power that music has to connect communities. Today marks another exciting step in our relationship with Pandora, offering T-Mobile customers a new, supercharged version of a brand they already love. At T-Mobile, it’s about getting more value on us — just for being with us.”

Photo Finish Records has signed singer, songwriter and producer Ross Copperman for the release of his upcoming solo artist project.

Copperman has written and produced for country stars including Dierks Bentley (“Black”), Darius Rucker (“If I Told You”), Keith Urban (“John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”), Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani (“Nobody But You”), Luke Bryan (“What She Wants Tonight”) and Kelsea Ballerini’s Halsey duet “The Other Girl.” He has scored synch placements in TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries and NCIS.

As an artist, Copperman has released a total of five studio albums since 2003. His accolades include four BMI Songwriter of the Year awards, a Grammy nomination and several nominations (including one win) at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Dominican rapper and “dembow” star Tokischa and her record label Paulu Music have signed a distribution deal with Equity Distribution, Roc Nation’s indie distribution company.

Tokischa was connected with Roc Nation by Dominican radio host and producer Alofoke, who “has been championing her as the next big thing out of the Dominican Republic,” according to a release.

Under the deal, Equity will provide its full range of services, including digital strategy support, marketing services, synch and playlist promotion and publishing administration. The company does not require artists to sign away their masters.

Concurrent with the signing, Tokischa dropped the single and music video “Tukuntaso,” which features “dembow” personalities Haraca Kiko and El Cherry Scom. Her previous tracks include the sex-positive anthems “Desacato Escolar” and “El Rey de la Popola.”

B2B music licensing marketplace Songtradr has acquired Song Zu, a music and sound design company based in the Australia and Asia Pacific region which boasts studios in Sydney and Singapore. This is Songtradr’s second major acquisition since completing its $30 million Series C funding round in July 2020.

Under the deal, Song Zu will form one part of Songtradr’s recently launched Vinyl by Songtradr platform alongside two prior acquisitions, Big Sync Music and Cuesongs. Vinyl by Songtradr gives users access to creative talent and commercial music licensing as well as pre-cleared music, sonic branding, custom composition and more.

Song Zu works in all areas of sonic branding, including soundtracks for advertisements on TV and radio, online content, VR and installation spaces. It works with Australian broadcasters as well as brands and media business around the world including Netflix, HBO, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Google, Amazon and Guinness. The company’s work has garnered Gold Clios, Cannes Gold Lions and London International Awards (LIA) for Best Music and Sound Design Company of the Year.

“We are well established in the APAC region and are looking forward to joining the Songtradr family, expanding our product offering and increasing our global footprint.” said Ian Lew, managing director and partner at Song Zu. “Enhancing our initiatives with Songtradr’s technology is a truly exciting opportunity for us as our clients’ needs rapidly evolve.”

“Bespoke music will always be at the heart of what we do,” added Ramesh Sathiah, creative director at Song Zu. “But having the resources of the Songtradr platform as well as the music licencing power of Big Sync, allows us to offer creative solutions with no boundaries.”

Songwriter and artist Brian Callihan has signed a recording deal with Reviver Records.

As a songwriter in Nashville, Callihan has penned songs for country artists including Dylan Scott, Trent Tomlinson, Halfway To Hazard and more. He released his self-titled debut studio album in November 2020, which he co-wrote with Cole Swindell, Adam Sanders, Jesse Rice and Wynn Varble.