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Publishing Briefs: Kobalt Dials Up Issa Rae’s Raedio, Neil Finn a Natural Fit at BMG

A list of the latest moves in publishing, including Kobalt's creative and administration deal with Issa Rae's Raedio and Fleetwood Mac member Neil Finn signing with BMG.

Kobalt has signed a worldwide creative and administration deal with Raedio Publishing, the record label founded by actress, writer and producer Issa Rae last year. Announced Feb. 19, the deal will provide guidance and funding to new Raedio signings and pitch Raedio’s writers, artists and library for synch opportunities.

“As a creator herself, Issa Rae epitomizes our creator’s first philosophy,” said Kobalt chief experience officer Jeannette Perez in a statement. “She values all facets of the creative process, including the intersection of music and film. Through her experience as a writer, producer and actress, she has embraced music, and the artists and songwriters behind the music, as part of her medium.”


Raedio struck a joint venture with Atlantic Records last October that kicked off with the single “Kinda Love” by Haitian-American singer-rapper TeaMarrr. Headed by Rae’s longtime business development executive Benoni Tagoe, it is billed as an “audio everywhere company” that is designed to align its roster of talent with film and TV projects, commercials, podcasts and more.



New Zealand singer-songwriter and current Fleetwood Mac touring member Neil Finn has signed an exclusive global publishing agreement with BMG, it was announced Monday (Feb. 24).

The agreement covers Finn’s entire songwriting catalog – including his work with Crowded House and Split Enz – and all future releases. It includes hits such as “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” “Weather With You,” “Better Be Home Soon,” “Fall At Your Feet,” “Something So Strong” and “It’s Only Natural.”

Finn is currently slated to reunite the Crowded House live band for a headlining performance at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2020, before the band kicks off their first European tour in more than a decade. With Finn as the group’s frontman and main songwriter, the band sold over 10 million albums worldwide. As a solo artist, he has put out four studio albums: Try Whistling This, One Nil, Dizzy Heights and Out of Silence.



Independent music publisher peermusic has signed songwriter Michael Dulaney to an exclusive worldwide agreement, peermusic president and COO Kathy Spanberger and peermusic Nashville senior vp Michael Knox announced Wednesday (Feb. 26). The deal includes administration on select catalog titles and co-publishing on future works.

In a statement, Knox highlighted Dulaney’s string of hits, which include Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party,” Rascal Flatts’ “Me And My Gang” and Kenny Chesney’s “When The Sun Goes Down.” (None of those tracks are included in the peermusic deal.)

“His incredible work ethic combined with his experience writing for Country music’s elite and across genres makes him a go-to in Nashville writing rooms,” said Knox. “It’s an absolute honor to welcome Michael to the peermusic family.”

Dulaney has also written for artists including Blake Shelton, Tanya Tucker and Reba McEntire.



Hip-hop, pop and R&B producer, writer and artist JULiA LEWiS (a.k.a. Benjamin Falik) has signed a global co-publishing deal with Atlas Music Publishing and Quincy Jones Productions, it was announced Tuesday (Feb. 25). This is the first signing for the two companies after they entered a joint venture last September.

“JULiA LEWiS, with roots in jazz sax and a prowess for contemporary writing is exactly the type of talent the JV with Quincy is going for,” said Atlas Music CEO and founder Richard Stumpf in a statement. “We are thrilled to have him as part of the family.”

The deal includes Falik’s full catalog and all future works.

Falik’s producing credits include “West Coast” for G-Eazy ft. Blueface and YG and tracks for Wiz Khalifa, Ne-Yo, Phonte, Cautious Clay and E-40. He launched his mainstream career after being invited to a writing camp in Los Angeles with Babyface in 2018; prior to that, he produced for rap and R&B artists in the Bay area, DJ’ed and released his own singles.



Curb Publishing has signed an exclusive worldwide co-publishing agreement with multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter Darren King, the company announced Feb. 13. The deal covers King’s full catalog and future releases.

Based in Nashville, King has also co-written and co-produced songs with Kanye West and Travis Scott. A founding member of the Grammy-nominated band MuteMath, he was a key player in reimagining five Twenty One Pilots songs for their collaborative EP, TOPxMM. He is currently working on his debut record, DK the Drummer presents Lockers: Volume 1.



Universal Music Publishing Nashville has signed country songwriter John Pierce to an exclusive worldwide publishing deal, the company announced Thursday (Feb. 20). The agreement includes all of Pierce’s future works.

Pierce’s songwriting credits include tracks for Chris Young, Jon Pardi, Lainey Wilson, Reba McEntire and Trace Adkins. He also co-wrote the hit Zac Brown single “Sweet Annie.”



Lava Publishing, the music publishing division of Jason Flom’s Lava Music, has struck an exclusive administration deal with rock band Moon Taxi in the U.S., the company announced Thursday (Feb. 27). The deal covers the group’s 2018 album Let the Record Play and all future works, including their forthcoming album.

In a statement, Moon Taxi’s manager Don Van Cleave of Red Light Management noted that the deal expands Lava Publishing’s relationship with the group, who have been working with the company since 2012.

“I couldn’t be happier to be working with one of my favorite bands again,” said Lava Music head of publishing and creative licensing Jill Pedone in a statement. “We started together in 2012 and made lots of synch magic happen, plus I had some of the best times A&R’ing their records in my previous roles at BMG and Dualtone, as they write some pretty stellar tunes. We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Moon Taxi and Don under the Lava Publishing umbrella and can’t wait to share new tunes with the world soon.”

Formed in 2006, Moon Taxi has released a total of six studio albums and scored a hit with their 2017 track “Two High,” which garnered over 116 million Spotify streams and peaked at No. 26 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart. The band is comprised of Trevor Terndrup, Spencer Thomson, Wes Bailey, Tommy Putnam and Tyler Ritter.


Universal Music Publishing Nashville has signed a global co-publishing agreement with songwriter and artist Caitlyn Smith, it was announced Tuesday (Feb. 25). The deal includes all future releases.

Smith previously wrote the 2015 Meghan Trainor single “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” ft. John Legend, which peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. She also co-wrote the song “Glasgow” for the movie Wild Rose last year and has additionally penned tracks for Garth Brooks, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts. She released her debut album Starfire in 2018 and is slated to release her follow-up, Supernova, on March 13.