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Publishing Briefs: UMPG Signs Yahritza and Sony Picks 1da Banton

This week in publishing news: Iconoclast acquired the catalog of Switch, UMPG signed Chris James and LF System and more.

Universal Music Publishing Group has signed Yahritza to a global publishing deal. As part of Yahritza Y Su Esencia, a sibling trio which has helped ushed Regional Mexican into the mainstream, she is one of Mexico’s most sought after stars.

Blackx, a new Asia-focused music fund, has acquired a catalog 230 songs from Frances Wang, a notable Taiwanese songwriter. Songs included in the deal span 30 years of work, including hits performed by Faye Wong, A-Mei, Jeff Zhang Xin Zhe, Oaeen, Eason Chan, Wan Fang and Tiger Huang Xiao Hu. This is one of Blackx’s first purchases in Asia. The fund launched in September 2022 with an initial $100 million in financing.


Iconoclast acquired the music publishing catalog of Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Switch, who is the co-founder, alongside Diplo, of Major Lazer. Born Dave Taylor, Switch has collaborated with artists including M.I.A. (“Paper Planes”), Beyonce (“Run the World (Girls))” Santigold (“Shove It”), Chaka Khan (“Like Sugar”), Christina Aguilera (“Bionic”) and Brandy (“Slower”). He has also done remixes for artists including The Chemical Brothers, Robbie Williams, Bjork, TV on the Radio and Kylie Minogue. Seth Lichtenstein of Hertz Lichtenstein Young represented Iconoclast in the transaction while Greg Brooks and Joe Serling of Serling Rooks Hunter, along with Benji Vermeil of Jab Music, represented Switch.

UMPG Germany has signed Berlin-based artist and songwriter Chris James to a worldwide publishing deal. As co-writer on “Komet” (Apache 207 and Udo Lindenberg), his work holds the honor of being the longest running #1 German-language song in 16 years, according to a press release. Most recently, he was listed as a co-writer on Jimin’s recent K-pop smash “Like Crazy” which debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100.

Universal Music Publishing UK has signed LF System, a chart-topping producer duo, to a global publishing deal. Comprised of Conor Larkman and Sean Finnigan, the duo is a top name in international dance music. Their song “Afraid to Feel” recently topped the UK Singles Chart for eight consecutive weeks.

Sony Music Publishing has signed 1da Banton, a Nigerian songwriter, artist and guitarist, to a global publishing agreement. He recently gained international acclaim with his song “Miss You” with Tungevaag, and his next EP is set to release next month, featuring 255, Rugged and Pimp.

Warner Chappell Music has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Spanish singer-songwriter Ana Mena. With nearly six million monthly listeners on Spotify, Mena’s “Música Ligera” won song of the year at Los40 Music Awards 2022. Most recently, she released her second studio LP Bellodrama, which follows her 2018 debut album Index.

Warner Chappell Music has signed Nia Archives to a worldwide publishing agreement. A DJ, producer and singer-songwriter, she won Best Electric/Dance Act at the MOBOs, Best Producer at the NME Awards, named Introducing Artist of the Year by BBC, and was shortlisted for the Rising Star Award at the BRITs 2023.

Universal Music Publishing Classics and Screen has signed Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts and rising Puerto Rican composer Angélica Negrón to exclusive worldwide publishing deals. As part of the agreements, Universal’s Classics & Screen division also acquired Puts’ compositional catalog.

Working on Dying and Advance Alternative Media are joining forces to launch a new venture focused on talent/content management and music publishing. Working on Dying is a production house and management company for music producers including BNYX, F1lthy and Brandon Finessin; Advance Alternative Media is a management firm for songwriters, producers and mixers. The initial roster for the new venture will include Working on Dying’s existing clients, though the company is looking to expand in terms of both new signees and resources for its roster. It will also establish a new hub in Philadelphia while leveraging Advance Alternative Media’s existing presence in New York and Los Angeles and international relationships in London.

Angry Mob Music Group has signed UK-based Richard Walters to a worldwide co-publishing agreement. Currently signed to Nettwek Music Group on the label side, Walters next single is out May 26th. As a songwriter, he has worked alongside Joe Henry, Alison Moyet, Solomun, 3LAU, Sony Fodera, Sultan + Shepard, and more.

Warner Chappell Music has joined with Matchless Publishing and Artist Development to sign a global publishing deal with Nashville-based singer, songwriter and producer Dan Pellarin. Pellarin has co-written with acts like Filmore, Atlus, and Savage Hands.

Warner Chappell Music and Cornman Music have teamed up to jointly sign Graham Barham to a global publishing deal. A Nashville-based newcomer, he first gained attention with his popular track “Preachers Need People.”

Creative Nation, an independent music company, has signed Nashville-based songwriter and producer Oscar Charles to a publishing deal. He has written songs with Chase Rice, Elvie Shane, Boy Named Banjo, Madeline Edwards, Hannah Dasher and more. He has released songs with Carly Pearce, Charlie Worsham and Jacob Powell, among others.