KENDRICK RETURNS WITH "HEART"
What's gonnal happen on April 7th...? (3/24a)
Insiders whisper over an exec's potential new deal. (3/24a)
SONG REVENUE CHART: CASH MONEY FROM THE CELESTIAL JUKEBOX
Can you say "cha-ching?" (3/24a)
Gee “Genia” Davy has joined the Association of Independent Music (AIM) as an in-house Legal & Business Affairs Manager.
Davy comes to the UK-based trade organization from Cooking Vinyl, where she worked as Legal & Business Affair Manager. Her first day on the job is 4/3 and she’ll report directly to AIM CEO Paul Pacifico.
“We are delighted to welcome Genia to the team here at AIM,” Pacifico said. “Genia’s extensive experience in-house at Cooking Vinyl combined with her legal knowledge give her a blend of both practical commercial and technical knowledge that will be of great value both to the team here at AIM and to our members.”
Davy, who began her career as a booking agent and paralegal, is equally stoked to be hitching her wagon to AIM, which champions the UK’s indie music industry in new markets throughout the world. “In seven years working with Cooking Vinyl, Essential Music and affiliated labels such as FatCat Records, I have been immersed in a variety of business affairs aspects across label, publishing, international licensing and distribution. Through this work, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many fellow AIM members and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with, and for, many of them in my new role at AIM," she said.
Mullally, center, hangs with his new Atlantic mates, from left, Atlantic A&R exec Paul Samuels, Black Diamond Music’s Derek Ojofeitimi, Atlantic U.K. President Ben Cook and manager David Olusegun.
Norfolk soul singer Mullally has signed a record deal with Ben Cook’s Atlantic U.K., while UMPG has added 21-year-old London artist Nilüfer Yanya and Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan to its publishing roster.
In other news, ‘90s pop group Steps will release their fifth album on Absolute Label Services in April.
Mullally, inspired by Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Paolo Nutini, is playing The Great Escape and Reading and Leeds Festival this year. Management is David Olusegun at Black Diamond Music.
Yanya takes inspiration from songwriters such as Nina Simone and Jeff Buckley, and modern influences Connan Mockasin and Rosie Lowe. Her music combines soul and jazz with minimalist and atmospheric beats. She’s managed by Peter McGaughrin and Caroline Trout at Red Light Management.
Hannigan first came to light singing harmonies alongside Damien Rice and contributed to his platinum-selling debut O and follow up 9. She has since collaborated with Ray LaMontagne, Richard Hawley, Herbie Hancock and Glen Hansard. Latest album At Swim (Play It Again Sam) is her third; it follows the double-platinum, Choice Music Prize- and Mercury-nominated debut Sea Sew, and 2011’s Passenger (which charted at No.1 in Ireland, and earned another Choice Music Prize nomination). Management is Mondo.
Steps return with a new single “Scared of the Dark” on Friday ahead of Tears on the Dancefloor on 4/21. Fascination Management’s Adam Klein manages the group.
British PRO PRS for Music travelled up to Norfolk in the east of England Wednesday to award restaurant in a yurt, Shuck’s, a £5k prize to revamp its space for live music performances. Pictured here before embarking on their own episode of The Simple Life are, from left, PRS for Music Commercial Director Paul Clements, Shuck's owners Phil and Beth Milner, music producer Steve Levine and chef Simon Boyle. New Atlantic U.K. signing Mullally and local electronic jazz trio Mammal Hands provided the entertainment.
Ed Sheeran has smashed through first week sales projections in the U.K. with ÷ (Atlantic) currently at 590k, and likely to tipple 600k by Friday. Adele aside, the last album to top that over the course of seven days in Blighty was two decades ago when Oasis’ sold 813k for Be Here Now (Big Brother) in ’97.
The U.K.’s music market grew 4.6% last year to £1.108b, recording the highest uptick since the turn of the century. Seventy two percent of cash spent on music was done so online, with streaming subscriptions pulling in £418.5m, up 65% year on year, and counting for 38% of total retail spend on music in Blighty.
The stats come courtesy of the Entertainment Retailers Association’s Yearbook, which holds a wealth of insight into the current state of the British music market.
Sony/ATV U.K. has bolstered its A&R team with the appointment of BMG exec Alastair Kinross as Senior A&R Manager and former Ministry of Sound man Alex Sparks as A&R Manager. The duo join the pubco after a run of recent success.
Kinross is known for signing M.I.A. and ZAYN songwriter Levi Lennox. He spent more than four years at BMG where he was A&R and Creative Manager in the U.K., then Director U.K./U.S. Songwriter Relations in Los Angeles where he coordinated all U.K. writing trips to the West Coast.
Sparks’ arrival follows a three-year period at Ministry of Sound where he was A&R consultant. His signings include Rhodes, Format B and Louis Cherry.
Based in London, they both report to Head of A&R, U.K., David Ventura, who said: “We are delighted to haveAlastair and Alex in the Sony/ATV family. They are very talented A&Rs with a great passion for music.” (Pictured, from left, are Alastair Kinross, David Ventura and Alex Sparks).
The pubco has enjoyed 51 consecutive weeks as publisher or co-publisher of the U.K. #1 single thanks to tracks by Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit and James Arthur, as well as international acts Drake, The Chainsmokers and Mike Posner.
There are some icy winds moving across High Street Kensington as Max Lousada’s Warner U.K. rules the Top 50 at Official Charts, iTunes and Spotify U.K. thanks to a little known singer/songwriter called Ed Sheeran. His latest, ÷ (Atlantic), has 432k combined sales at mid-week and looks set to smash his forecasted figure of 500k.
Island Records U.K. exec Alex Boateng will helm a newly created urban division as he is upped to A&R and Marketing Manager at the Universal imprint. The urban unit will serve U.K. and international artists who Boateng is tasked with signing and developing, and partnering with managers and brands, according to British trade title Music Week.
Boateng signed priority act JP Cooper and played an integral role in the rise of Tinchy Stryder. Other names he has worked with include Drake, Jay Sean, Angel, Cleo Sol, Sean Paul, Dizzee Rascal and Nick Brewer.
“Alex possesses what every top A&R needs—great ears, has an innate understanding of marketing and is also on top of all developments in the new ways in which we consume music,” said Island President Darcus Beese.
“Island has always been seen as a powerhouse in urban music and with Alex now at the helm we intend to be the No.1 destination for artists and managers."
Boateng is the twin brother of Atlantic U.K. A&R Director and BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter, Alec Boateng (yes, there’s just one different letter in their first names).