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Music Industry Moves: Def Jam Ups Jhene Aiko A&R Noah Preston to EVP; Epic Promotes Scott Dimig to SVP

Noah Preston Def Jam
Albert Rincon

Def Jam’s Noah Preston, who worked extensively on Jhene Aiko’s multi-Grammy-nominated “Chilombo” album, has been promoted to executive vice president of A&R of the Universal Music label, interim CEO Jeff Harleston announced. In 2020, Preston helmed two different No. 1 albums, “Chilombo” and Logic’s “No Pressure.” Preston is based in Santa Monica and will report directly to Harleston.

“Noah has played a pivotal role in successfully bringing home some of Def Jam’s most important core artists over the course of the past ten years,” said Harleston.  “As the roster continues to expand its scope and direction, Noah’s contributions make him one of the prime architects of Def Jam’s future.  This is a well-deserved promotion, as we welcome him to the executive management team.”

Preston has spent his entire career in music at Def Jam, beginning as an A&R intern in 2009. most recently serving as Senior Vice President, A&R, since 2018.

+ Epic Records has promoted Scott Dimig to senior vice president of promotion, specializing in Top 40 and Dance radio, as announced by Rick Sackheim, EVP and GM of the Sony Music label. He is based in New York.

Mr. Dimig will continue to handle Top 40 and Dance radio campaigns and airplay strategy for artists across the label’s roster, including such artists as Travis Scott, Camila Cabello, DJ Khaled, Black Eyed Peas and more. Sackheim said, “Scott’s passion and drive is infectious to everyone who comes in contact with him! He has played a significant role in breaking a number hit songs that drive pop culture for Epic Records.”

Wednesday, March 17

Luke Mitzman of 100 Management is partnering with Pulse Management, the companies have announced. Matt McNeal, who has been working as a publishing A&R consultant for parent company Pulse Music Group will also be joining the management team in a dual role for both the publishing and management divisions. (Pictured L-R (front): Ashley Calhoun, SVP, Pulse Music Group; Mitzman; Josh Abraham, co-CEO, PMG; (Back): Matt McNeal, A&R Consultant, PMG and Scott Cutler, co-CEO, PMG). Luke Mitzman founded 100 Management in 2015 after negotiating the move of former client Zane Lowe from the UK’s BBC Radio 1 to Apple Music. Since then, Mitzman has managed Usher; the DJ Netsky and, with Mike Caren, Grammy-winning producer Cirkut; and Disney’s Olivia Holt.

+ Rapper Mykki Blanco has signed with Transgressive Records and celebrated the partnership with a new single, “Free Ride,” a single co-produced by FaltyDL and Hudson Mohawke. Of the partnership, the label’s co-founder Toby L notes, We have been huge fans of Mykki Blanco since we first saw them slay our sister Visions Festival several years ago in London. Fiercely defiant and effortlessly genre-less, it is an absolute honour to welcome them to the Transgressive roster..” 

+ Paul Williams, former VP of comms for Sony/ATV Music Publishing and editor of Music Week, is back in his native U.K. and has joined the music-licensing company PPL in the newly-created role of senior corporate communications manager, reporting to Sarah Mitchell, Director of Membership and Communications.

Tuesday, March 16

Crypto.com has named Joe Conyers III EVP, NFT Platform. In his new role, Conyers, who was most recently chief strategy officer of Downtown Music Holdings, will oversee the development of Crypto.com’s invite-only NFT platform, which will feature artists, athletes and sports leagues. While at Downtown, Conyers also co-founded the songwriter royalty collection service Songtrust.

+ Sally Dunstone has joined Primary Talent International as a Concerts agent effective immediately, it was announced by Matt Bates, director of Primary and ICM Partners Head of International/Europe. Dunstone will work alongside Bates and the Primary team in London. She joins after six years at X-ray Touring, where she worked with Jack Harlow, Rina Sawayama, Kelly Lee Owens and others. Primary Talent International joined forces with ICM Partners in March of 2020.

+ Photo Finish Records has signed singer/songwriter/producer Ross Copperman who will release his first solo artist project for the label in May 2021. Copperman has written and produced music for Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban and wrote or cowrote Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani’s “Nobody But You,” Luke Bryan’s “What She Wants Tonight,” and Kelsea Ballerini’s Halsey duet, “The Other Girl.” Photo Finish, whose roster includes includes Shaed, 3OH!3 and Lakeview was founded in 2006 by Paradigm senior agent Matt Galle, who now runs the label with partner Mike Marquis and GM Michael Collin.

+ Universal Music Group and leading African streaming service Boomplay have expanded their license from seven to 47 countries across the continent, now including South Africa, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal. In 2018, UMG became the first major global music company to license music to the service, which currently stands at more than 50 million tracks and boasts the largest repertoire of local African content globally.

+ Sony/Nashville EVP/A&R Jim Catino will depart at the end of June to start up a publishing and artist development company, Country Aircheck has reported. “This is something I have wanted to do for some time, but it’s always been hard to make that move because I love this place so much,” Catino said in a staff memo, according to the tipsiest. Catino has been with Sony since 2001 and was promoted to his current position in 2018.