Atlas CEO Richard Stumpf, who founded the music publishing company in 2013 with financing from Aronson Media Ventures, Goldman Sachs and advisors Sword, Rowe & Company, first administered Quincy Jones’ catalog while at Cherry Lane Music in the mid-2000s with current Atlas COO/Partner Phil Cialdella. According to Stumpf, who stayed in touch with Jones in subsequent years, discussions began with Quincy Jones Productions’ Adam Fell shortly after the Braun partnership was announced in February. Atlas Music Publishing is currently home to three-time Grammy winner Brandi Carlile as well as Dan the Automator (Gorillaz, Underworld), Warren Haynes and the Van Halen catalog.
“We’re looking to Quincy and his team to identify writers and bring them into the Atlas fold,” said Stumpf (pictured left in top photo below, with Jones). “Our relationship with Scooter offers even further opportunities – setting up writing sessions and collaborations with some of pop music’s top artists. Quincy is such a magnet for pure talent at all levels, we thought this arrangement represented a great opportunity to marry all our assets together.”
Braun (pictured right with Jones, lower photo below) added, “Quincy Jones is an undeniable legend with a proven ear and eye for true talent. I’ve admired him my entire life. It’s an honor to have him as a partner in our publishing business, making the possibilities of what we can provide to our writers and artists endless.”
Commenting on the deal, Jones told Variety, “It’s an absolute honor to join forces with Atlas, and my brothers Rich and Scooter, to create a home for not only incredible musicians, but incredible songs. A great song can make the worst singer in the world a star, but the three greatest singers in the world can’t save a bad song! We’re looking forward to creating a publishing community filled with only the best of the best songs and human beings.”
Stumpf noted, “Quincy is still very much hands-on: Once a musician, always a musician; once a songwriter, always a songwriter. His eye and ear for talent is better than ever. Uniting with a creative force is always a good thing. He has a production company and a management firm and both offer tremendous opportunities for our writers and composers.”
Since the announcement of Atlas’ partnership with Braun, the company has entered “the fast lane,” Stumpf says. “He’s involved in so many different things, from management, production and a label to his work in philanthropy. Working with people like Scooter and Quincy help shine the light on our team at Atlas, and they are deserving. Music publishing is traditionally behind the scenes, so it’s nice to get recognition from people like that.”
Of course, Braun made waves over the summer when Ithaca Holdings purchased Big Machine Label Group and with it, the rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums.
With the completion of the deal with Quincy, Atlas will roll out about a half-dozen signings to the joint venture within the next few months. “We formed Atlas at a time when many indie publishing companies were being rolled up,” explains Stumpf. “I thought there was a void in the tier where companies like Chrysalis and Cherry Lane used to live. After all, everything starts with the writer and the song.”