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"We’re helping artists make records now; we’re talking to people about putting them out independently so we can help develop a career and maybe move them on to a major."
——Kenny MacPherson
BIG MAC ATTACK
Veteran Publishing Exec MacPherson Speaks
Kenny MacPherson, a seasoned publishing exec who spent 13 years in the creative department of Warner/Chappell, took the helm of Chrysalis Music U. S. publishing division a few months ago. In the following excerpts from a recent interview, MacPherson describes the challenges facing the independent pubbery as it competes for talent with its well-funded corporate rivals, the approach he intends to take in order to make Chrysalis Music U.S. a force in the publishing business and the measures he'll take in order to avoid being stuck in the same room again with losers from HITS.

After working at Warner/Chappell for so long, it’s great to be back with an independent, working with old friends like [Music Division CEO] Jeremy Lascelles and [U.K. Managing Director] Alison Donald. Clearly, being an independent and trying to build a catalog in America, we have to be involved in the artist’s development, and if we structure our deals accordingly, we’ll have the time to do that. We’re helping artists make records now; we’re talking to people about putting them out independently so we can help develop a career and maybe move them on to a major.

Some of the deals in America are still about the check, and we have to be very frugal and savvy with the budgets we have, [considering that] we are in a building process. We’re excited that we have a fantastic act like OutKast. They’re making their fifth album now and just hitting their stride. And as a small company, we have to work with artists that attract other artists. With that in mind, we’ve signed Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Daniel Lanois and Joe Henry, and we’re pursuing various other young artists that we’re helping develop. Alison Donald signed Yeah Yeah Yeahs to a worldwide deal. They were in a position to do an immediate, more financially attractive deal, but because of the spirit they felt from Chrysalis, they went with the company, and we look forward to working with them in the U.S.

It’s not only about finding great artistic talent; we have to nurture good executive talent as well. You have to mentor people and help them understand the basis and the value of the business that we want to be in. We’ve upgraded our film and television department. We’re being very aggressive in that area because, as mechanical income drops, publishers have to look at other ways to exploit their artists’ works: film and television, video games, whatever you have to do. I feel very encouraged about the future, but I know it’s going to take time. People want to find good music. We have to be there to help connect them.

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