Motown Records announced that Brian Nolan has been appointed executive vice president of the label and executive VP of marketing, effective immediately. According to the announcement, in this new role, Nolan joins the label’s executive leadership team and will help guide the company as well as oversee Motown’s marketing teams and initiatives. He will report to Motown Chairman & CEO, Ethiopia Habtemariam.
In making this announcement, Habtemariam said, “As we continue to build Motown, I’m excited to bring together leaders who are not only innovative in their approach to their work but thoughtful, deliberate and committed to supporting our artists and bringing their vision to the world. Brian sees the big picture and draws from his experience in promotion, international marketing, brand partnerships and sync, giving him an understanding of how to connect the dots and create synergies for robust, well-rounded global campaigns.”
Nolan said, “I have been preparing for this role for over 20 years and I am so grateful to Ethiopia for the opportunity. We are building an incredible new legacy at Motown and I feel extremely proud to be doing purposeful work helping to drive our artists’ vision to fans around the globe.”
Over the course of his career, Nolan has held positions in radio promotion, sync licensing, brand partnerships, sports marketing, original content and international marketing. Prior to joining Motown, he was EVP of Capitol Music Group and Head of Seventeenfifty, where he executed a series of brand partnerships and campaigns for artists including Lil Baby and PepsiCo; Halsey and Beats by Dre; Migos and Mountain Dew and TNT. He also served as soundtrack producer for the Netflix film, “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” snf serves on Universal Music Group’s Task Force for Meaningful Change and is a board member of the West Coast chapter of the TJ Martell Foundation. Prior to joining CMG in 2017, Nolan spent 12 years at Columbia Records/Sony Music, most recently as Columbia’s VP of international marketing.
+ Epic Records has promoted Margeaux Watson to senior VP of marketing, EVP of Marketing Dave Bell announced. She joined the company in 2019, and in her new role will continue to strategize, architect, and implement meaningful marketing campaigns for label artists, according to the announcement. Her projects include releases for Black Eyed Peas, Camila Cabello, Bobby Shmurda, Jennifer Hudson, Swizz Beatz, Tyla Yaweh, AJ Mitchell, MK xyz, and Charm La’Donna, among others. She is based in Los Angeles.
Bell commented, “Margeaux is a world-class marketing executive whose tenacity and commitment to innovation inspire our entire team. It’s an honor to announce her much-deserved promotion.”
Watson added, “Learning and growing under the leadership of Sylvia Rhone and Dave Bell has been an exciting journey, and I am tremendously grateful for their continued guidance and support.”
Prior to Epic, she held senior posts at Roc Nation, Spotify, and Universal Motown, and previously worked as an entertainment journalist and editor at Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York and other publications.
Wednesday, June 30
Young Thug has landed a major role in the musical dramedy “Throw It Back” — appearing in the movie and overseeing its soundtrack as executive producer. Directed by Shadae Lamar Smith from a script written with Rochée Jeffrey, the film stars Shahadi Wright Joseph and will feature Tiffany Haddish in a supporting role. It is being produced by Feigco Entertainment’s Paul Feig and Laura Fischer, Jeffrey, and She Ready Productions’ Haddish and Melanie Clark. CAA Media Finance is representing the film’s domestic distribution rights; Mad River is handling international sales.
The dance-heavy production is soundtracked by southern hip hop and HBCU collegiate band rhythms. Young Thug is represented by UTA, manager Geoffrey Ogunlesi, publicist Anna Meacham at Huxley and attorneys Andre Des Rochers of Granderson Des Rocher.
+ In a curious move, Kobalt has announced that it reached profitability in the year ending Wednesday (June 30) on the back of announcing its financials for the previous year. Presumably the company will be releasing the details of that first year of profitability — which included the sale of its AWAL label and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights assets to Sony Music for $430 million — in a year’s time.
The company reported Wednesday that its gross collections grew by 13% to $703 million in the fiscal year-ending June 30, 2020, meeting its previous guidance. Its publishing division grew revenue by 7.6% over the previousl year to $436 million, driven by co-writes on hits from Roddy Ricch, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, the Weeknd, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa and more.
“Reaching profitability was a key Kobalt objective to further strengthen the business for our clients and long-term success,” said CEO Laurent Hubert. “I’m proud we were able to achieve that important milestone well ahead of plan and do it in such an unprecedented year. Kobalt is well-positioned to take our service and offering to the next level.”
+ Producer and songwriter WondaGurl (real name: Ebony Oshunrinde), who recently won a Juno Award for producer of the year (the first Black woman to claim the Canadian honor), is launching a label imprint with Red Bull Records called Wonderchild. She will work alongside Red Bull Records managing director Greg Hammer and senior vice president and head of A&R Kenny “Tick” Salcido to sign and develop new talent. Toronto rapper Jugger is the first artist to sign with Wonderchild.
Said WondaGurl, who is managed by Tyler Henry: “Kenny, G, Greg, and the rest of the team have given me the time and space to create. As an artist and producer, that means everything. I look forward to the release of our first project together and everything to come with this relationship.”
+ Nashville’s Triple 8 Management has expanded its roster signing producer-songwriters Cason Cooley (NEEDTOBREATHE, American Authors), Luke Dick (Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley), Martin Johnson (Chase Rice, Lady A), Brandon Paddock (Elle King), Jon Randall (Parker McCollum, Dwight Yoakam), Danen Reed Rector (Charlotte Sands, Kyd The Band) as well as engineer F. Reid Shippen (Kenny Chesney, Ingrid Michaelson) and mixer/engineer/producer Shani Gandhi (Sierra Hull, The Mountain Goats, Sarah Jarosz).
+ Hipgnosis Songs Group has promoted Christian Johnson to senior director of A&R. Based in Los Angeles, Johnson joined Big Deal Music Group (which was acquired by Hipgnosis last year) in 2018 as assistant to co-president Casey Robison. In his new role he will work across the company’s roster of songwriters and producers, including John Ryan (Maroon 5, One Direction), Julian Bunetta (Thomas Rhett, Clean Bandit), Dan Wilson (Adele, the Chicks, Leon Bridges), and more. He is also the day-to-day manager for songwriters-producers Jordan Johnson and Stefan Johnson of The Monsters & Strangerz. “I’m tremendously proud of Christian,” Robison said. “His passion for songs and songwriters, work ethic and drive are second to none.”
+ Country group King Calaway has signed with Red Light Management, where they will be represented by Gaines Sturdivant. The band released its debut album “Rivers” via BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records in Oct. 2019.
+ Buzzing L.A. artist SEB has signed with Mom+Pop Music and plans to release his debut EP on July 30.
+ Country-pop newcomer Morgan Wade has signed with Universal Music Publishing Nashville. Described by Rolling Stone as “Lucinda Williams meets Joan Jett,” her debut album, “Reckless,” was released earlier this year.