Music Industry Moves: SoundExchange Elevates Tim Dadson to General Counsel

Also: Jeff Rabhan joins the Los Angeles Academy of Artists and Music Production (LAAMP) as executive director.

Tim Dadson SoundExchange
Courtesy SoundExchange

SoundExchange has promoted Tim Dadson to general counsel, which will find him overseeing the comprehensive legal functions of the organization, including regulatory issues, enforcement programs, rate proceedings, corporate governance, compliance, and more. According to the announcement, he will also serve as the chief legal advisor to SoundExchange and will form part of the executive team reporting to president/CEO Michael Huppe.

The company also announced that Brieanne Jackson has been promoted to deputy general counsel, and that Colin Rushing will step down as chief legal officer after almost 14 years at the company.

“It is an exciting time at SoundExchange as we innovate technology solutions, grow our suite of fintech services, and expand our data capabilities to empower creators everywhere,” said Huppe. “Tim is an exceptional leader with more than two decades of experience that will help support our transformation by leading the legal team at this critical juncture.”

“I am thrilled to continue my journey at SoundExchange during this exciting period of transformation at the organization,” said Dadson. “The importance of music in our lives is clearer today than ever before, and I am looking forward to building a tech-first future of music that empowers creators and values the incredible contributions they make to the world.”

Dadson has been serving as Deputy General Counsel at SoundExchange since 2017 and first joined the organization as Assistant General Counsel in 2012. He has more than 20 years of legal experience, including posts at the Washington Football Team, Sidley Austin LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Jackson has nearly 15 years of legal experience, including 10 years at SoundExchange leading licensing and enforcement efforts.  She began her career as a litigation associate at Ropes & Gray LLP and also served as Assistant Attorney General (Trial Division) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Regarding Rushing, Huppe said, “Colin has been an invaluable member of the SoundExchange team over the past 14 years.  We thank him for his countless contributions to our organization and the important role he has played in striving for fairness for creators everywhere. We are excited for Colin and wish him the best in his next chapter.”

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve music creators in my time at SoundExchange,” said Rushing. “I am proud of what our team has accomplished, and I am especially proud to be leaving the department and the entire company in excellent hands. I’m looking forward to my next chapter, and plan to keep pursuing my passion: helping music creators thrive in a constantly changing landscape.”

Wednesday, September 8

Motown Records and rapper/songwriter YoungBoy Never Broke Again have announced a global joint venture with his Never Broken Again, LLC record label. YoungBoy and Kyle “Montana” Clairborne will continue to lead the label.

In making this announcement, Ethiopia Habtemariam, chairman and CEO of Motown Records said, “I’m excited to work with Never Broke Again, a homegrown brand that has created an incredibly authentic and credible movement that represents the next generation in Louisiana’s legacy of ground-breaking hip-hop labels. I look forward to working with YoungBoy and Montana to continue to grow their vision and reach their fans around the world.”

YoungBoy said, “I felt like I had a responsibility to my artists to make sure to find the right partner for my label. I’m looking forward working with Ethiopia, Kenoe [Jordan, Motown VP of A&R] and Motown Records.”

The first project from the new venture is set to release in October, with the first single dropping in September. The “Never Broke Again Volumn 1” compilation of 16 unreleased tracks will feature YoungBoy Never Broke Again, P Yungin, Meechy Baby, Quando Rondo, No Cap, Rjae and Rojay. Solo projects from 16-year old P Yungin and Meechy Baby will follow in early 2022.

+ Capitol Music Group has appointed Ryan Ruden to the newly created position of executive VP of experiential marketing and business development, president & COO Michelle Jubelirer announced on Wednesday. According to the announcement, Ruden will draw upon his extensive background to pair strategic marketing initiatives with business partnerships while focusing on increasing revenues and fostering innovation in artist development, and will also be integral to CMG’s social and charitable endeavors. Ruden is based in New York and will report to Jubelirer.

Ruden was most recently senior VP of experiential marketing and business development for Columbia Records, a role he took on in 2018. While there, he led and co-produced the first virtual concert on the Roblox platform (with artist Lil Nas X), helped lead the first live concert in Fortnite (with artist Dom Fike), and spearheaded multi-million-dollar partnerships with an array of companies that included Logitech (Lil Nas X ) and Discord (Grimes). He joined Columbia in 2012 as VP of touring & events after four years at Interscope Records. Prior to joining Interscope, he began his career in 2003 as an artist representative at Shady Records and Goliath Artists.

Said CMG chairman and CEO Jeff Vaughn and Jubelirer: ”Ryan is that rare executive who merges his passion for music with innovative ideas and the development of new pathways for artists to connect with fans. He will be a tremendous asset to our company and our artists, and everyone at CMG joins us in welcoming Ryan to the team.”

Added Ruden: “It is so exciting to be part of the amazing team of innovative leaders that Jeff Vaughn and Michelle Jubelirer have assembled. Not only is Capitol one of the most storied labels in music, but the entire team is uniquely situated to build the music company of the future. I am grateful for the opportunity to help bring CMG’s incredible artists directly to their fans in new and exciting ways.”

RCA Records has promoted Val Pensa to senior VP, head of marketing, the company announced on Wednesday. According to the announcement, in her new role, Pensa will oversee the entire marketing department while she continues to be the marketing lead for several RCA artists.

In recent years Pensa has overseen and led a series of successful campaigns Doja Cat, Pink, Becky G, Kygo, Pentatonix and Cam, among others. She is also a three-time Clio Award winner for her marketing campaign for Sia’s “Chandelier.”

+ The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, owned by Brooklyn Bowl founder Peter Shapiro, has announced the promotion of Emily Schmalholz to head of special events. Schmalholz, who started her tenure there in January of 2015, was previously director of special events for the theater and its inner-sanctum bar and music club, Garcia’s. Lauren Northey, who was previously with the company in a part-time capacity, has also officially joined the team full-time as special events sales manager.

“We’re excited to have Emily as our head of special events,” said Capitol Theatre general manager Bruce Wheeler. “The Cap is mostly known as a concert hall, but with Emily’s help we also excel at putting on all sorts of private parties and corporate events. Her years of experience and network of contacts has us plugged in to not only great clients but top planners and vendors throughout the region. And, she has just added Lauren Northey to her team. Lauren has been working in various roles in The Cap and we’re so pleased that she has become a part of our full-time events team.”

+ Mandolin will provide the exclusive live stream to Delaware’s Firefly Festival. The four-day concert kicks off Sep. 23 in The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway with Billie Eilish, Diplo, Marc Rebillet and Roddy Ricch set to headline. Promoted by AEG Presents, Firefly showcases some 100 acts. Access to the live stream will be free, with registration for new users.

Tuesday, Sept. 7

Jeff Rabhan (pictured below), the music industry veteran who spent the last decade as chairman of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, has joined the Los Angeles Academy of Artists and Music Production (LAAMP) as executive director. The one-year intensive music program was launched by songwriting and production duo Stargate’s Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen and counts Ne-Yo, Charli XCX, JetsonMade, Emily Warren and John Cunningham as mentors. The inaugural class of 45 writers, artists and producers launches Oct. 1 in brand new studio facilities.

Prior to moving to New York, Rabhan served as a successful music manager helping guide the careers of Kelly Clarkson, DMX, Michelle Branch, Lil’ Kim, Kelly Rowland and Jermaine Dupri, among others. He has also held A&R positions at Atlantic Records and Elektra Records and music supervision credits on such films as “Scream.” During his tenure at NYU, Rabhan launched notable music business curriculum tracks, like the artists-in-residence program, and enlisted a bevy of industry heavies to speak at the school, including Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys and Kevin Griffin. Graduates of the Clive Davis Institute include Andrew Watt, Nija Charles, Take a Daytrip and Maggie Rogers.

The Norwegian Stargate have credits on a multitude of hit songs working with the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Coldplay and Sam Smith, among others.

“Jeff’s unique experience in both the music industry and in building music programs is second to none — he’s the right fit for our Academy as we change the way artists, producers and songwriters elevate their skills,” said Hermansen and Eriksen. “His view of mentorship and the changing landscape aligns with ours.”

Added Rabhan: “Most artists, writers and producers never experience the level of mentorship LAAMP offers. By focusing completely on crafting and producing great songs under the guidance of the biggest names in music is how we plan to change the game.”

Lazy loaded image
Courtesy of Jeff Rabhan

+ Pandora has promoted Jason Roth to communications director. A PR veteran who has held senior communications roles at Apple, HP and Capitol Records, Roth oversees Pandora’s corporate communications, product PR and partnership announcements. Roth reports to SiriusXM senior vp of communications Patrick Reilly.

+ Twitch and American Songwriter have teamed for a premium music channel that will promote a trio of live-streamed series. Among them: “The Art Of,” a monthly show hosted by producer Linda Perry; “The Grind,” about the craft of songwriting; and “Off The Record,” American Songwriter’s existing series featuring conversations with major artists. The partnership is the latest expansion of the brand beyond “an indie darling known for covering folk and Americana music to an all-encompassing brand for songwriters and music enthusiasts of all kinds,” reads an announcement.