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Publishing Briefs: WCM Renews With Top Korean Publisher; Afrojack Extends BMG Deal

This week in publishing news: Spirit buys catalog of a Civil Wars singer, Reservoir buys share in Naughty By Nature catalog, and Milk & Honey launch a scholarship.

Warner Chappell Music Korea has renewed its global publishing deal with 153/Joombas Publishing, one of the top independent music publishers in the country. The two companies have been working together since 2018 and the partnership has entailed 153/Joombas’ entire catalog, including songs for aespa, BTS, EXO, (G)I-DLE, GOT7, ITZY, IU, Lim Young-woong, Monsta X, NCT DREAM, Red Velvet, SEVENTEEN, Stray Kids, and Taeyeon. Founded by Hyuk Shin — a South Korean producer known for writing “One Less Lonely Girl” for Justin Bieber, “Growl” for EXO, and discovering Blackbear and DEAN — 153/Joombas Publishing has a roster of almost 100 writers whose work both defines K-pop and popular music worldwide. CJ Kim, general manager of Warner Chappell Music Korea, said: “Joining forces with 153/Joombas Publishing again will further strengthen and solidify our position as a leader in K-pop music. We are pleased to elevate our alliance to a new level, and can’t wait to take their incredible songwriters with us on our journey as we continue to maximise the opportunities and value for K-pop music in unprecedented ways.”

Afrojack, the Grammy-winning producer and DJ, has extended his worldwide publishing deal with BMG, including all the works written and produced by the Dutch talent since he signed with BMG in 2008, including hits like “Titanium,” “Take Over Control” and “Hey Mama.”

Spirit Music Nashville has signed a co-publishing agreement with Joy Williams, half of the long-defunct duo The Civil Wars. The deal also includes the acquisition of compositions from her various song catalogs, including but not limited to The Civil Wars, as well as some of her masters. Spirit will handle her publishing on a go-forward basis with the exception of Front Porch, her most recent release, which will also be included for administration.

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Reservoir has acquired rights to the entire catalog and future works of Naughty By Nature member KayGee as well as distribution rights moving forward. Beyond his Grammy-earning work with the hip-hop trio, KayGee, aka Keir Lamont Gist, made a name for himself writing and producing for 50 Cent, Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Fat Joe, Luther Vandross, and Queen Latifah. he also founded his own label in the 1990s, Divine Mill, which represented artists like Zhané, Next, and Jaheim — all of whom he produced and wrote for as well.

Baby Queen has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing. A critical darling in U.K. pop music, Baby Queen, aka Bella Lathan, says of the deal she is “excited to be working with Sony and with a team that truly undersands who [she is] as a person and as an artist.”=

Page 1 Management, a writer-producer management firm founded by Ashley Page and led in the U.S. by A&R Danielle Middleton, has signed Travis Mendes. Known for his work as a writer, producer and engineer, Mendes has played a hand in making songs like “All Time Low” and “Guillotine” by Jon Bellion, “Fools Paradise” by Isaac Dunbar, “Love Me for Now” by Cheatcodes and more. He says of the deal “I’m so happy to join this beautiful, amazing family of creatives at Page 1, and I’m excited to continue to learn and craft more amazing music for the world to hear!”

Milk & Honey Music has launched the new Milk & Honey U.S. Scholarship, an initiative to develop and mentor Australia and New Zealand-based women in songwriting and production, and its inaugural recipient is Chelsea Warner, a Sydney native making R&B, pop and hip-hop. As part of the scholarship, Warner will be given a two month residency in Los Angeles, where she will receive mentorship from top songwriters Oak Felder and Jenna Andrews. Organized by Milk & Honey leaders Lucas Keller, Milly Petriella, and Peter Coquillard, Petriella says of the program, “Less than 20% of our industry is female and the number of women in production is considerably less, it’s time to create real experiences, connections, and provide financial support if we are to truly going to change the future landscape of the music industry.”

Warner Chappell Music France has signed Some 1ne and Machynist, the duo behind some of the country’s biggest hits. They are perhaps best known for composing “Djadja” and “Pookie” for Aya Nakamura and No Crari, the sophomore album from French rapper OBOY.

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop) has won the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award. The annual award is presented to an ASCAP-affiliated musical theater composer that shows great promise at an early age. Previous recipients include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pasek & Paul, and David Hein & Irene Sankoff.

IMPF partnered with Music Publishers Canada to host Create Nordic Bridges, a songwriting camp that promotes publisher and songwriter collaboration between Nordic and Canadian talents. The camp took place in Toronto from Oct. 27-29 and brought together 12 songwriters, producers and artists from Canada, Estonia, Finland and Sweden.