Singer-songwriter Lee DeWyze, who won the ninth season of “American Idol,” has joined the roster at SONGS, the publishing company that’s home to The Weeknd, Diplo, Lorde, and DJ Mustard. DeWyze, who is now a free agent after stints with Vanguard and Shanachie Records, has seen success in synchs ever since his composition, “Blackbird Song,” was selected for a key scene in “The Walking Dead.” Since then, he’s seen more than 30 placements in television shows and commercials.

“It’s been an exciting time over the past year,” the 31-year old Illinois native tells Variety. “The deal with SONGS is a great next step for me in my career. I was always a songwriter, and it really came to the forefront when I went over to Vanguard and was able to make, what I consider, the first record that was through-and-through all me.”

That album, “Frames,” included the song “Don’t Be Afraid,” which landed in a Blue Cross/Blue Shield commercial campaign. Placements on the NHL, ABC’s “The Fosters” and CBS’ “Elementary” followed.

Carianne Marshall, partner and head of Creative Licensing at Songs, was impressed with the breadth of DeWyze’s unreleased material, which he along with manager Brett Radin presented. Says Amanda Tufeld, SONGS’ director of creative services: “While signings such as The Weeknd and Lorde put us on the map, SONGS’ number one priority remains our dedication to our writers — big and small and  in all stages of their career. … Lee is an extraordinarily talented songwriter and will prove to be a great addition to the SONGS family.”

“Songwriting is really at the core of what they do, as it is at the core of who I am,” adds DeWyze. “I felt like SONGS was the place I belonged.”