Brett Yormark has been elevated to COO of Roc Nation, compant CEO Desiree Perez announced this week. Yormark previously held the position of co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified and President of Business Operations & Strategy.
According to the announcement, Yormark will provide leadership and strategic vision across Roc Nation verticals while continuing to develop and execute long-term organizational objectives to support the company’s continued growth.
Perez said, “There are few individuals that understand the essence of Roc Nation. Brett Yormark has proven to be a fearless leader and will be dynamic in the role of COO. His proven track record ensures that Roc Nation will be in a prime position to expand our business and influence in the years to come.”
Yormark added, “I am thrilled that Jay-Z, Desiree and the Roc Nation board have given me this opportunity and look forward to growing the company under their vision. After the past two years working at Roc Nation, I have seen first hand that with determination and an entrepreneurial spirit, anything is possible.”
Prior to joining Roc Nation in 2019, Yormark was CEO of BSE Global, where he played a key role in the rebranding of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the opening and content development of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and the reopening of the Manhattan venue Webster Hall.
+ Audible has partnered with Issa Rae’s Raedio for an exclusive multi-project development deal. The collaboration will yield original audio projects including scripted comedy, entertainment-based nonfiction and extensions of existing content.
+ Scott McDowell and Charles Hamilton have joined King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano as partners, the firm announced this week. McDowell joins from Warner Chappell Music, where he was executive vp/head of legal and business affairs; he was previously director of legal and business affairs for Warner Bros. Records. Hamilton comes to the firm from Saban Music Group, where he was head of business and legal affairs; he also was previously with Warner Bros. as a senior VP of business and legal affairs.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have brought Scott and Charles aboard,” King Holmes managing partner Howard E. King said in a statement. “Their depth in music publishing and recorded music enhances our ability to serve our clients innovatively and with the highest quality. Having them both join us now is an incredible coup.”
+ Range Media Partners has announced three key new hires to join its fast-growing entertainment company. Kyle Wilensky will serve as an artist manager and vice president of music touring, Bo Balogun as a brand narrative and creative executive, and Haley Hey has joined as manager for gaming talent, partnerships and strategy.
Wilensky, who will spearhead Range Media Partner’s new music touring division, joins after 17 years as a touring agent at CAA, with a roster that included Avril Lavigne, Grouplove, Kesha, Lukas Nelson, Modest Mouse, and others. Balogun joins from Nike, Inc., where he oversaw marketing for the company’s partnerships with the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Dodgers, Neymar Jr. and USC football. Hey began her career at the e-sports organization Echo Fox and subsequently consulted on projects for clients including FaZe Clan, ESL, Fortyseven Communications and others.
+ Sony Music Publishing has named Ari Gelaw vice president of creative. Based in the company’s New York office, she will report to senior VP of creative Ian Holder. She was previously a director of A&R at Universal Music Publishing, where she signed and worked extensively with Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Coi Leray, producer Earl on the Beat and Speaker Bangerz and others. She previously worked for two years at Atlantic Records’ urban A&R department.
“Ari’s commitment to songwriters and the creative community is nothing less than admirable. She represents the culture we are dedicated to building here at SMP and I look forward to seeing her thrive in her new role,” said Holder.
+ DistroKid has named Matthew Ogle to the newly created position of vice president of product at the company. Ogle joins from CNN, where he spearheaded the network’s direct-to-consumer initiative, and held roles at Canopy, Instagram, Spotify, the Echo Nest and Last.fm.
“Matt has more than 20 years’ experience building products that strengthen connections between people,” said DistroKid COO Phil Bauer. “We’re thrilled to have him at DistroKid where he will focus on adding tools that help artists with promotion, content creation and audience engagement.”
Wednesday, Jan. 19
+ As part of this year’s virtual Sundance Film Festival, BMI will offer a pair of panels with composers for films selected for the festival in conversation with their directors, actors or producers, including one with Common and Patrick Warren and another with Amy Poehler and David Schwartz.
The hip-hop star and actor Common, who has a role in the thriller “Alice,” will convene with the film’s composer, Warren, to discuss how they both came to work on the film in a “Score to Screen” conversation slated for Jan. 23. The Sundance entry tells the story of a woman who escapes from slavery on a Georgia plantation, but with twists ahead.
Poehler, best known as a comedic actor, is making her bow as a documentary director with “Lucy and Desi,” and she’ll be joined by composer Schwartz on Jan. 22 for a panel about bringing Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz to the screen in a doc that follows the fictionalized portrayal recently seen in “Being the Ricardos.”
More than 20 Sundance entries will have scores from composers affiliated with BMI, the performing rights organization said. Information on viewing the panels can be found at festival.sundance.org.
+ Hip-hop producer Nik Dean has signed a global deal with Ultra Music Publishing, in partnership with RVG Publishing, that covers a full range of creative, synch, and administration services for his catalog and future works. Dean’s work can currently be heard on Gunna’s “25k Jacket” featuring Wheezy and Lil Baby; his previous credits include tracks by Anuel AA, G-Eazy, Miguel, The Game, Kodak Black, NAV and Quavo, among others.
Dean is repped by Matt Geffen, Jamil Davis, Matt Bauerschmidt at The Revels Group and Matt Buser at Buser Legal.
Tuesday, Jan. 18
+ Along with her “Caprisongs” mixtape on Friday came the news that FKA Twigs has “partnered with Atlantic Records for this next exciting phase of her art,” according to the announcement. In the U.K., she will continue to release music via the Young label (formerly Young Turks) through Beggars Group.
“FKA twigs is the kind of artist you dream of signing — one with truly original vision, voice, and presence,” said Atlantic chairman-COO Julie Greenwald. “She’s among the most compelling talents, always pushing her creative envelope to deliver emotionally honest music that’s both intensely personal and universal. We’re thrilled that she’s chosen Atlantic to be her home as she continues on her fantastic musical adventure.”
“The progression of FKA twigs’ music over the past decade has been extraordinary,” said chairman-CEO Craig Kallman. “She’s never content to stay in one place – constantly crossing musical boundaries, embracing fresh sounds, telling new stories, and exploring what’s next. An amazing vocalist, songwriter, lyricist, and producer, she’s barely scratched the surface of her potential, and we’re incredibly excited to see what she’ll be bringing her fans in the years to come.”
+ Artist-services company AWAL has promoted Jennifer Kirell to senior vice president of catalog & retail marketing. Based in New York, she will report directly to Ron Cerrito, president of AWAL North America, and oversee and support artist and label partners. Prior to joining AWAL, Kirell spent 11 years with Sony Music Entertainment at Legacy Recordings, where she led global marketing campaigns and audience development strategies for artists including Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and others. Cerrito said, “Jennifer is a goal minded, follow-through obsessed, results oriented, serial over achiever with a deep understanding of modern music marketing. She is also a thoughtful leader and people manager. We are proud Jen is a member of our executive team and look forward to continuing to redefine catalog and retail marketing into the future.”
The 2021 deal that saw Kobalt selling AWAL to Sony for $430 million remains under review by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
+ RCA Records has named Alex John director of publicity. She joins after two years at Red Bull Records, where she worked with Blxst, the Aces and producer WondaGurl. Over the course of her seven years in the business has also worked for Listen Up (where she worked with Martin Solveig, Kevin Saunderson, Jamie Jones and others), FYI Brand Group (Jhené Aiko, Tyga, DJ Khaled) and M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment (Sprite, Coca-Cola, WAV Media).