Roc Nation, the multi-rights entertainment company founded by Jay Z, has launched a Nashville presence through a publishing partnership with Warner/Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group (WMG).
Under the agreement, WCM will oversee Roc Nation Nashville’s music publishing repertoire. Roc Nation and WCM first joined forces in 2013, when the companies signed global publishing agreements for Jay Z and Roc Nation’s music publishing roster.
The launch of a Nashville division is the second major expansion for Roc Nation this month; on June 8, the firm announced Roc Nation Latino, a full service Latin division with superstar Romeo Santos as its CEO.
As part of the announcement expected today, Roc Nation Nashville and WCM have launched Rhythm House, a venture with songwriter/producer/publisher/DJ Jesse Frasure. Rhythm House will direct Frasure’s own writing and production activities, as well as the signing and development of other composers and producers.
Frasure was most recently vice president of A&R for Major Bob Music, (founded by Garth Brooks manager Bob Doyle), and has produced, co-written, or remixed releases by Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Meghan Trainor, Rascal Flatts, Who Is Fancy, Luke Bryan, Gary Allan, Billy Currington, Hot Chelle Rae, Chris Lane, The Cadillac Three, and others. He recently scored three No. 1 songs as a songwriter on Florida Georgia Line’s “Sun Daze,” Thomas Rhett’s “Crash & Burn,” and Rascal Flatts’ “I Like The Sound of That.” He also co-produced Rhett’s sophomore album, Tangled Up, with producer Dann Huff. As a DJ, Frasure has spun for celebrity clients under the pseudonym Telemitry.
Coinciding with the launch of Roc Nation Nashville, WCM has promoted BJ Hill to vice president of A&R. Hill, most recently senior director of A&R, will split his time between Rhythm House and WCM. Prior to WCM, he was with Universal Music Group and Jody Williams Music.
Calling the launch in Nashville a “natural extension of the relationship we started so many years ago,” Roc Nation president Jay Brown, says in a statement announcing the deal, “There is nothing like working with the right individuals, at the right time, forming the right partnership.” The ventures with Frasure and Rhythm House “take the possibilities to a next level,” Brown states. “Jesse’s talent, understanding of the craft and creativity are unmatched.” Hill, Brown continues, “has a passion and respect for artists and their artistry, and we look forward to working alongside him as we grow the Roc Nation Nashville roster.”
Ben Vaughn, executive vp of Warner/Chappell Music Nashville, is similar in his enthusiasm, stating, “We’re also fortunate to work with Roc Nation’s [evp, business affairs and former Billboard editor] Tamara Conniff, and are incredibly happy that Jesse Frasure is on board with the new partnership. Jesse’s one of the most creative, dynamic, and multi-talented figures on the music scene today, and his new venture is a fantastic way to help Roc Nation make the Nashville music market more diverse and exciting. To top it off, we’re excited to watch long time publishing colleague BJ Hill flourish in his expanded role.”
Roc Nation debuted in 2008 in partnership with Live Nation as a full-service entertainment company, inclusive of artist, songwriter, producer and engineer management; music publishing; touring & merchandising; film & television; new business ventures; and a music label. Roc Nation clients include Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, Santigold, HAIM, Meek Mill, Big Sean and more. Roc Nation also has partnerships with global management companies Three Six Zero and Philymack.
With offices in more than 40 countries, Warner/Chappell Music is home to a wide array of songwriters and a rich catalog of contemporary hits and standards, and currently publishes and administers music from Barry Gibb, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Eric Clapton, fun., Gamble & Huff, Brantley Gilbert, Green Day, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Led Zeppelin, Lionsgate Films, Little Big Town, Madonna, Miramax Films, Muse, Katy Perry, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stephen Sondheim, Chris Stapleton, and Tove Lo, among many others.