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Publishing Briefs: Hipgnosis Songs Inks Deal with Starrah, Sony/ATV Signs Mustard and More

A list of the latest moves in publishing, including new deals for Starrah at Hipgnosis Songs, Mustard at Sony/ATV, Michael McDonald at Kobalt and more.

Hipgnosis Songs announced on April 23 that the company had acquired the catalog of Starrah, the songwriter behind hits like Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” as well as 14 other Top 20 singles. In addition to the acquisition, Starrah will also sit on the company’s advisory board.

“Starrah is at the forefront of today’s songwriting revolution, said Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis in a statement. “She is taking pop artistry to new heights of success, as evidenced by the exquisite ‘Havana,’ which is already an evergreen hit, and ‘Girls Like You,’ the longest-charting No. 1 radio song of the century. I’m delighted to welcome her and her manager Nick Jarjour to the Hipgnosis Family.”

“The songwriter community is often overlooked and undervalued so I am thrilled to do this prestigious deal with Merck that sets a new precedent for songwriters and producers,” added Starrah. “I am excited to be offered a seat on Hipgnosis’ advisory board and look forward to creating opportunities for the next generation of hitmakers.”

Sony/ATV Music Publishing has signed Mustard to a partial catalog deal, the publisher announced on April 24. The new agreement is for the Grammy-winning songwriter and producer’s more recent catalog, including his No. 1 hit written for Ella Mai, “Boo’d Up.”

“Mustard is an amazing songwriter and producer, whose talents have underpinned countless hit records by some of the world’s biggest artists,” said Sony/ATV CEO and chairman Jon Platt in a statement. “Jennifer and I are excited to welcome him to the Sony/ATV family and look forward to what is shaping up to be a significant next phase of his already successful career.”

“Mustard’s creative talent transcends his reputation as a hit-making super producer,” added the company’s senior director of A&R, Jennifer Drake. “With Ella Mai, he has also demonstrated a rare gift for identifying, cultivating and developing a new generation of stars. It’s a vision we completely support and anticipate a long and successful partnership with him.”

“Happy to join Jennifer and Big Jon at Sony/ATV where I already have friends in the building and have seen the good work they can do with my music,” said Mustard of the new deal. “Excited to continue to build my catalogue and look forward to all that’s coming down the pipeline!”

Symphonic Distribution has signed Katie Toupin to a new co-publishing, distribution and sync deal, the company announced April 16. The worldwide agreement includes the Houndmouth alum’s entire solo catalog as well as new material going forward, beginning with her new album, Magnetic Moves, set to be released June 19.

“I am thrilled to begin our expansion into music publishing with Katie’s fantastic music,” said Randall Foster, Symphonic’s vp business development, in a statement. “Her new album truly speaks for itself and we are beyond excited to have the opportunity to bring success not only in traditional distribution but also through co-publishing and representing her for sync. Symphonic is open for business in Nashville and we are here to stay.”

Michael McDonald inked a new publishing deal with Kobalt on April 18. The worldwide agreement includes administrative, creative and global synch services for the legendary singer-songwriter’s entire catalog and all future works.

“Having penned some of the most significant songs of the last fifty years, Michael’s catalogue is a treasure trove of hits,” said Kobalt’s evp business development Merril Wasserman-Serling in a statement. “Michael continues to write and I’m certain that more great songs are on the horizon. It’s an honor to welcome him to the Kobalt family and look forward to working closely with him and his team.”

“I’m very excited about my new affiliation with Kobalt Music Publishing,” added the former Doobie Brother. “I look forward to working with Laurent Hubert, Merril Wasserman and the entire Kobalt team in the years ahead.”

Downtown Music Publishing announced on April 18 that the company has entered into a new joint venture with independent publisher Cowboys & Pirates. The joint venture’s first two signings are Solange producer John Key and songwriter James “SuperChilly” Carver.

“We are running the marathon with our songwriters,” said Ty Baisden of Cowboys & Pirates. “I’ve come across many talented, accomplished writers who still don’t understand the ins and outs of modern music publishing. We want to empower, educate, and develop our talent the right way. Downtown’s creative capacity, resources, and expertise will help us to take them to the next level, and we’re excited to be working together.”

“We’ve known Ty and the team for years and once we saw what they were building, we knew it would be a great cultural fit,” added Downtown COO Andrew Bergman regarding the partnership. “We had high hopes for the venture, but the fact that we were able to begin the relationship by signing deals with John and James exceeded our expectations. We’re also really excited for John and we believe the work he did with Solange is a harbinger of other great things to come.”

On April 22, Kobalt signed a worldwide publishing deal with Candian DJ duo Loud Luxury. The admin deal is for both the pair’s catalog and future works.

“Loud Luxury’s music production, DJ sets and engaging personalities are a truly winning combination,” said Dominique Keegan, Kobalt’s senior creative director in a statement. “I fell in love with their international smash, ‘Body’ the first time I heard it and I am so excited to be working with them on forthcoming releases. Andrew and Joe’s love of underground music blended with their understanding of what works commercially is a key ingredient that will enable them to engage with millions of fans across the globe.”