Music Industry Moves: Joie Manda’s Encore Recordings Names Tawny Thompson and Mimi Camara to Senior Roles (EXCLUSIVE)

Joie Manda's Encore Staffs Up; Sterling Simms Joins Columbia as VP
Courtesy of Encore

Some six weeks after announcing the launch of Encore Recordings, industry veteran Joie Manda continues to staff up his full service music company with key hires. Joining former Spotify executive Ned Monahan, who serves as GM, and label manager Diana Chung at the Beverly Hills-based Encore are Mimi Camara (senior VP of business and legal affairs, pictured at right) and Tawny Thompson (controller and VP of Finance, pictured at left).

Camara is an alum of Warner Music Group (WMG), where she held roles at Atlantic Records and Warner Records and worked on matters concerning label acts Cardi B, Saweetie, NLE Choppa and Wale. “I am humbled to work alongside Joie and the Encore team in building an organization that will surely disrupt music business conventions,” she said. “Tawny and I, as two Black women, are occupying a space usually reserved for men, typically white men at that. It is truly amazing and forward thinking that Joie is moving both the culture and business into the future this way. We are building a paradisiac destination for artists, and I am ready to get to work.”

Thompson, who comes from a business management background and has worked with such artists as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Shakira, added, “I am elated to be joining industry veteran, Joie Manda, on this new venture.”

Manda opened the doors to Encore in Nov. 2021 after spending more than 20 years working with top hip-hop signings at Universal Music Group’s Interscope Geffen A&M and Def Jam Records, as well as WMG.

+ On the heels of Columbia Records recent hiring of Julian Swirsky as SVP of A&R, it was announced today that Sterling Simms is joining the label as VP of A&R. He arrives from Hitco Music and is also an alum of SONGS Music Publishing, where he worked with current Columbia chairman Ron Perry. Simms was also signed to Def Jam as an artist.

Said Rani Hancock, EVP and head of A&R at Columbia: “Sterling’s multi-faceted experience as an A&R executive, publisher, Grammy nominated songwriter and former artist give him a unique ability to relate to artists and creative partners on every level. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Columbia A&R team.”

“I have to thank Ron and Rani for this opportunity,” added Simms. “Starting off my publishing career at SONGS Music Publishing and now being back with Ron at Columbia is such a full circle moment for me. I can’t wait to join the incredible team and be a part of making history for the artists and the label.”

+ Round Hill Music Royalty Fund has acquired “a significant share” of the master artist royalties and entered into a long-term agreement to administer the neighboring rights income of the catalog of Heart co-founder Nancy Wilson. The catalog includes such songs as “These Dreams,” “Barracuda,” “Magic Man,” “Alone,” “Crazy on You” and many others; further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wilson said, “I’m honored to be working with the good people at Round Hill and am looking forward to an ongoing working relationship.” Company chair Trevor Bowen added, “We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Nancy Wilson’s fantastic catalog of classic Heart tracks from across her career including songs from her double and triple platinum selling albums. This important acquisition provides the company with direct exposure to a timeless American rock band.”

+ Attorney Elliot Resnik has joined Masur Griffitts Avidor LLP as partner and chair of its new entertainment group. Since 2009, he was senior counsel with Herbsman Hafer Weber & Frisch LLP. Clients moving with him to MGA include Run the Jewels, Killer Mike & El-P, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), producers and writers Dave Sardy, Keith Harris, Dre Skull, Warner artist Shordie Shordie and others. 

“We have been working to attract Elliot to our firm for several years, and are thrilled to have him join and further build out our firm’s intersection of entertainment and technology,” said MGA co-founder Steve Masur. Fellowco-founder Robert Griffitts adds, “We have a substantial intellectual property transactions practice at MGA and believe Elliot will help us supercharge and take it to new heights.”

+ The Orchard has announced three executive hires across the African continent: Mpumi Phillips, director of distribution, will lead the company’s Johannesburg, South Africa office; Ikechukwu Onuorah, as director of the company’s Nigerian office; and Beth Achitsa as artist & label relations manager in Nairobi, Kenya. The three will report to Ben Oldfield, the Orchard’s VP, Africa.

“The Orchard’s expansion into this musically rich continent will connect artists to fans all over the globe,” said Oldfield. “Growing our presence with local leadership in these three key markets cements our long-term commitment to artists and labels in Africa, and ensures we have trusted leaders on the ground who truly appreciate, value and understand these varying cultures.”

+ Victoire Selce has joined Shore Fire as the company’s newest junior account executive, working on senior VP Rebecca Shapiro’s team. Selce comes to Shore Fire after working at her own firm, and previously with Effective Immediately PR.

Monday, Jan. 3

+ Richard James Burgess, president/CEO of the American Association of Independent Music and a veteran producer, musician and author, has been awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in her New Year’s Honours List.

The honor, which has been bestowed upon the Beatles, Adele and Ed Sheeran among others, is awarded for significant contributions to the arts and sciences and is bestowed on recipients in a special ceremony hosted by a member of the Royal Family. Burgess is being recognized for his services to music. Prior to A2IM, Burgess was head of business at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, where he was a producer of Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology and The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap.”

+ The National Association of Broadcasters has named Curtis LeGeyt president and CEO, effective January 1. LeGeyt takes the helm after a 12-year run by former Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, who has transitioned to an advisory and advocacy role with NAB.

The organization also announced that Michelle Lehman will assume the additional role of NAB’s chief of staff while retaining her current role as EVP of the public affairs department. Lesley Peña is being promoted to deputy chief of staff; both are newly created positions within the organization.

“The broadcasting community is extremely grateful to Gordon for his many years of service as an influential advocate for our industry,” said NAB Joint Board of Directors Chairman David Santrella, CEO of Salem Media Group. “We are excited to now have Curtis at the helm to guide the organization into its next chapter. He is a proven leader and skilled fighter on behalf of broadcasters, and we are thrilled to have him serve as our voice in Washington and around the world.”

“It is an honor to lead this great organization and advocate for the local television and radio broadcasters that inform, entertain and serve their communities every day,” said LeGeyt. “I am grateful to our Board of Directors for placing its trust in me and look forward to working alongside them, the entire NAB team and our members to ensure a vibrant future for broadcasting.”

+ Songwriter-producer management company Hallwood Media has named Chris Moradi senior VP of promotion & licensing. Moradi joins Hallwood from Interscope Geffen A&M Records, where he spent 22 years at the label group, most recently leading national top 40 radio promotion; Hallwood Media founder/ CEO Neil Jacobson also spent nearly two decades at the company. Hallwood represents Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Bruno Mars), Murda Beatz (Drake, Ariana Grande, Migos), David Stewart (BTS, Jonas Brothers), Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen) and many others.

Said Jacobson: “Chris has been one of my favorite executives for a very long time. His skills, specifically with understanding how to sell music in its most rudimentary form is what sets him apart. As the entire industry shifts, specifically as it pertains to music discovery and licensing, knowing how to articulate the elements of what our producers, songwriters and their music do to a whole new set of music consumers on the wholesale level will be both a benefit to them and to our incredible clientele. As I’ve said before, ‘Licensing is the new Radio’ — and we are bringing in one of the best radio people in the world to drive that shift.” 

+ RichMusic has named Matthew Limones VP of artist relations. In this newly created role, Limones will be responsible for leading the Artist Relations team in strategy and planning for the Miami-based independent label. He was previously director of marketing at Universal Music Group.