Def Jam Recordings has struck a joint venture label deal with Grammy-winning producer-songwriter Poo Bear, best known for his work with Justin Bieber, as well as Usher, J Balvin, DJ Khaled and Dan + Shay. The label will be called Bearthday Music (because Poo Bear frequently greets people by saying “Happy birthday”).
“Poo Bear is one of the singular songwriting talents in music today,” said Def Jam interim chief Jeff Harleston. “His innate ability to understand artists, to help them find their voices, and to articulate the universality of a song is simply phenomenal. We’re excited to develop artists with Poo Bear according to his unique vision.”
“I’m extremely grateful for Bearthday Music to have partnered with Def Jam and Universal,” said Poo Bear. “This is truly a dream manifesting to have the support of Def Jam, and their belief not only in me but in the artists I believe in. I’m looking forward to what’s to come from this new promising venture. Thank you to Lucian Grange, Jeff Harleston and Naim McNair for this opportunity. HBD!!!!”
+ Imanbek, the Kazakhstan-born DJ whose remix of Saint Jhn’s “Roses” has over 244 million streams on YouTube, has signed with ICM Partners and Primary Talent International for worldwide representation. He has also collaborated with Usher, Marshmello, David Guetta, and earlier this year released “Bang,” a four-track EP with Rita Ora. He will be represented at ICM Partners by Clarkson and Paul Gongaware in the Americas and by Paul McQueen at Primary Talent outside of the Americas. Imanbek continues to be managed by Kirill Lupinos at Effective Records.
+ The Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Latin Recording Academy, has appointed Tanya Ramos-Puig as President of the organization, effective immediately.
“Six years ago, the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation was launched with the dream of fostering future generations of Latin music creators and professionals. Today, after changing the lives of many young artists, the Foundation is welcoming a new leader with vast experience in the non-profit and fundraising sector to elevate our team and its mission,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “I want to thank the Board of Directors of the Foundation, especially Chairman, Luis Cobos, and Treasurer, Raúl Vázquez, for their vision and leadership through the years, and during this transition, allowing Tanya to be fully empowered to accomplish our mutual goals.”
“I am honored to take on the leadership of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation, an organization with tremendous credibility and an unparalleled commitment to shaping the future of the next generation of talented young musicians, from around the globe, who share a special passion for Latin music,” said Ramos-Puig. She has previously held leadership roles at Pencils of Promise, Education Pioneers and The Children’s Aid Society.
Wednesday, April 14
+ Questlove has announced the publication of his next book, “Music Is History,” to be released in October by Abrams Image. In it, he’ll explore popular music through the lens of American history over the past 50 years. One essential track from each year will connect issues of race, gender, politics and identity from the musician and director’s personal point of view.
Tuesday, April 13
Sony Music Publishing has signed Supah Mario (real name: Jonathan DeMario Priester, pictured) to a worldwide deal. The songwriter, producer and beatmaker has credits on Drake’s “What’s Next,” “Ice Melts” and “Blue Tint” as well as “Wyclef Jean” by Young Thug; “That Way,” “Myron” and “Silly Watch” by Lil Uzi Vert; “Diamonds Talkin’ Back” by 2 Chainz; and Big K.R.I.T.’s “Mixed Messages.” The South Carolina native is currently working with Lil Uzi Vert, Swae Lee and Post Malone. He is managed by Amal Noor, Skip Ojulade and Chibu Amajoyi, and represented by Joshua Kamen, Esq.
+ Marc Byers, the former GM of Motown Records, has joined technology company AMP Global as Strategic Advisor. Byers will be responsible for identifying and creating innovative partnerships in Hollywood and emerging markets including Africa.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Marc Byers to the AMP Global team and have him share his deep insight, creativity and conviction with us,” said founder and CEO Derrick Ashong. “Marc Byers brings a unique prowess in understanding youth audiences, trends and culture. His joining the team will help AMP Global grow our connections to world-class creatives, and culturally relevant content, fulfilling our mission of turning culture into currency, by amplifying and rewarding youth audiences.”
Added Byers: “I am honored to join the AMP Global team where I can lend my relationships and innovation toward new opportunities in the US and beyond. This is a movement, and Africa is rich with talent and growth for the future of entertainment and technology.”
+ LiveXLive Media has announced three new hires: Nikki Hart Caldeira to the position of senior VP of strategic development, Ari Molovinsky to senior VP of corporate development and strategy, and Jonathan Flax as VP of social media and marketing. Caldeira was most recently at AXS Group (AEG’s ticketing company), Molovinsky was previously with SiriusXM Radio and WestwoodOne, and Flax was previously a VP with Howard Stern Video at at SiriusXM.
“The hiring of Nikki, Ari and Jonathan comes at a time of significant growth in our flywheel of businesses and divisions,” said LiveXLive CEO/Chairman Robert Ellin. “LiveXLive’s expansion has come from offering exceptional content, providing a talent platform that allows us to maximize social visibility, sponsorship opportunities and new business development while growing our employees by over 220% in less than three years and expanding audiences across our platforms organically and globally.”
+ CCS Rights Management has launched a neighboring rights division and signed deals with singer Tate McRae, children’s entertainment company Spin Master, the Higher Reign Music Group and more. CCS is now the administration company of both the publishing and performing rights for sound recordings of Spin Master’s entertainment properties and animated series, including “PAW Patrol,” “Rusty Rivets,” “Abby Hatcher,” and others.
“Launching the new neighboring rights division is a natural step in fulfilling the company’s mandate of providing a full suite of services to artists, writers and rightsholders. We are thrilled to broaden the scope of our relationship with Spin Master, and welcome many recent signings, including Tate McRae and Higher Reign Music Group,” said CCS founder and president Jodie Ferneyhough.