Music Industry Moves: Sony Publishing Opens Nigeria Office, Names Godwin Tom Managing Director

Godwin Tom Sony Publishing
Courtesy Sony Music Publishing

Sony Music Publishing has opened a new office in Lagos, Nigeria, and named Godwin Tom managing director. He will report to Guy Henderson, SMP’s president of international. Most recently, Tom was CEO of talent management company iManage Africa, where he worked closely with artists including Wizkid, Davido, Waje, MI, Wande Coal, Ice Prince, Bez, Show Dem Camp, Beverly Naya and many others.

Henderson said, “It is a real pleasure to be able to announce the appointment of Godwin Tom as the managing director of our start-up company in Nigeria. As Sony Music Publishing enters West Africa, Godwin’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the market, as well as his background in music industry education make him the perfect leader for our business. Together with our talented team in South Africa, Sony Music Publishing looks forward to an ongoing acceleration in its global African footprint.”

+ Sum 41 singer-songwriter Deryck Whibley has sold his publishing and recorded music catalog to HarbourView Equity Partners, the asset-management company founded by Sherrese Clarke Soares. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

According to the announcement, the group has sold more than 15 million records worldwide and scored two (Canadian) Juno Awards and a Grammy nominations. Whibley is also an active producer and mixer.

HarbourView  — which in recent months has acquired catalogs by Brad Paisley, Lady A, Hollywood Undead, Dre & Vidal, and Luis Fonsi — was represented by Fox Rothschild in the transaction. Whibley is represented by Jordan Keller and Sarah Smith of Keller Turner Andrews & Ghanem.

+ Musician, digital creator and podcast host Alex Warren has signed with Atlantic Records. He will release his label debut single, “HeadLights,” on September 2.

“We were struck by Alex’s rare combination of innate talent and intense drive,” said Atlantic president of A&R Pete Ganbarg and A&R director Michael Parker. “He has a natural ability to bring his life story into his songwriting. What Alex has already accomplished speaks for itself; we’re thrilled to help him bring his vision to life.”

+ Glassnote Records has named Alison Dannenberg head of sync and licensing, based in Los Angeles. Previously, she worked at Peermusic for eight years, finishing her tenure there as creative director of film?TV.

Glassnote president/founder said, “We have recently made a significant investment in new artists and repertoire, some of the most exciting in our history. We’re really proud that someone of Alison’s reputation and caliber, will be representing the next generation of Glassnote’s career Artists in addition to our storied roster.”

Wednesday, August 17

Frankie Bash, Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar’s “Family Ties” co-producer and co-writer, has signed a global administration agreement with Sony Music Publishing.

In the past six months, Bash, who won a Grammy for his work on “Family Ties,” has contributed to various projects including Jack Harlow’s “Come Home the Kids Miss You” and Yeat’s “2 Alivë.” He also has production credits on Nav and Wheezy’s “Emergency Tsunami,” Future & Juice WRLD’s “Realer N Realer,” Gunna’s “Argentina,” Future’s “Krazy But True,” Offset’s “Big Rocks” and more.

Pictured at top (from left): Dashawn “Happie” White (senior director of creative A&R, Sony Music Publishing), Frankie Bash, Matt Geffen (president, The Revels Group), Walter Jones (executive VP and head of A&R, Sony Music Publishing). 

+ Monti Olson has joined Litmus Music as president and will lead music rights acquisitions for the company. Prior to joining Litmus, Olson served as executive vice president/head of BMG music rights music publishing North America, where he led the division in the domestic music market and was responsible for frontline/catalog acquisition strategy and execution.

Olson previously served as senior VP of A&R at Warner Bros. Records, EVP/co-department head of A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group and Senior VP/department head of A&R at BMG music publishing. He’s also the co-founder of vinyl reissue company Original Recordings Group.

Said co-founders Hank Forsyth and Dan McCarroll: “Monti has been a trusted friend and colleague for decades. His passion for music, deep industry knowledge and relationships, business experience and integrity are valued by the entire team. We’re so grateful he has chosen to join us on this exciting journey as the next chapter of his career.”

+ MusiCares has named Theresa Wolters vice president of health & human services, effective immediately. She will report to executive director Laura Segura, and is in charge of developing, implementing and overseeing MusiCares’ programs and services nationally, which include emergency financial assistance, mental health and addiction recovery programs, social and preventive health care services, and disaster relief efforts.

Most recently, Wolters spent over 12 years at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, where she was part of the organization’s senior leadership team. Prior to joining EGPAF, Wolters spent more than a decade working on multi-sectoral development and relief programs across Africa, including Millennium Promise, a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving millennium development goals and sustainable development goals, and also held the role of regional coordinator of the International Medical Corps where she directed the organization’s health and refugee programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, and Uganda.

“We are thrilled to have Theresa join the MusiCares team as her incredible career and experience will undoubtedly help the organization serve the music community in a greater capacity,” said Segura. “We look forward to working together to harness Theresa’s knowledge of both the health and philanthropic landscapes to explore new ways to support music professionals.”

+ Columbia Records has promoted Victoria White-Mason to vice president of marketing, reporting to Jay Schumer and Erika Alfredson, executive VPs of marketing. Most recently, White-Mason served as senior director of marketing, where she led campaigns for artists such as Baby Keem, Lil Tjay, John Legend, Chlöe Bailey, Joey Bada$$, Syd and Lous and the Yakuza.

“It has been impressive to see what Victoria has accomplished in her time at Columbia,” said Alfredson and Schumer. “She is strategic, creative and well-respected amongst her Columbia colleagues, as well as among the artists and managers with whom she collaborates. Vic’s continued leadership is a great asset, and we are excited to see her continue to flourish at Columbia.”

White-Mason will continue to oversee campaigns for Columbia Records’ artists. She previously held positions at United Masters, the Recording Industry Association, Sony Music’s Global Digital Business and the Media Arts Law Firm in Sydney, Australia.

“This is truly a full circle moment for me,” added White-Mason. “I have such a vivid memory of scouring through The ‘Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’s’ album booklet as a young music fanatic. When I read that she was a Columbia artist, I manifested then and there that one day I’d contribute to the magic Columbia helps bring to the world.”

+ Writer-producer Nick Lee has signed a new publishing deal with Reservoir Media. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lee is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer, composer, and trombonist.

Lee quickly found success co-producing Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s “Industry Baby,” creating the song’s signature horn melody. He has also collaborated with artists such as Megan Thee Stallion, Mustard, Vince Staples, Seventeen, Dillon Francis and Stray Kids, among others. Alongside songwriting and producing, he also scores for TV and film, composing for Network TV shows such as NBC’s “Grand Crew” and Fox’s “Welcome to Flatch.” It was recently announced, that Lee will also be the co-composer of Netflix’s drama series, “The Brothers Sun.”

James Cheney, Reservoir VP of creative added, “Nick’s classical and jazz background gives him a really deep understanding of music and a creative instinct that he brings to every song he works on. We know his keen talent is going to take him far, and we’re honored to support him along the way.”

+ Position Music has hired Samantha Sklar to join the company’s A&R team, as announced by President and CEO Tyler Bacon.

Sklar played an integral role in Position Music’s recent signing of Dru “Falconry” DeCaro on the heels of his co-write on “Numb Little Bug” by Em Beihold. Before joining Position, Sklar was an A&R at Warner Chappell Music Publishing, where she was responsible for a roster of artists that included Swedish record producer/songwriter/DJ Ali Payami (The Weeknd, Taylor Swift), songwriter Jenna Andrews (BTS, Jessie Murph, Benee), songwriter Joe Kirkland (Maroon 5, Blackbear), producer/songwriter and composer Ristorp (Beyoncé, Little Mix), DJ and producer Kygo and songwriter/artist Lukas Graham among others.

“Sam is a passionate A&R Executive who understands what it means to serve writers on the highest of levels.” says Mark Chipello, VP, head of A&R. “She is a rising star in the publishing community and is a fierce advocate for creators. Sam was an essential part of us signing Dru “Falconry” DeCaro. She basically started her first week with a number one song. I can’t wait to watch and see all that she’s about to accomplish with us.”

Sklar joins Mark Chipello (VP, head of A&R), Delmar Powell (VP of A&R), Jake Versluis (VP of A&R), David Surnow (A&R), and Mike Torres (A&R), and others as the ninth member of the full-time A&R staff at Position Music.

+ Indie-pop singer-songwriter and pianist, Andrew McMahon, has signed with Nettwerk and C3 Management.

McMahon — who also goes by the moniker Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness — joins Nettwerk and C3 Management with the help of Sameer Sadhu, VP of A&R, and Tom Gates, SVP A&R and strategy, along with the management team at C3 (Morgan Young, Adam Smith and Ryan Carignan). McMahon is also repped by Ron Opaleski and Michael Coughlin at WME.

“Andrew’s music is timeless,” said Sadhu. “We are proud to be his partner as he embarks on another evolution of his career.”

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness — featuring McMahon (lead vocals, piano), Bobby Anderson (guitar), Jay McMillan (drums), Mikey Wagner (bass) and Zac Clark (keys) – is currently in the midst of a co-headlining summer tour with Dashboard Confessional.

+ Composer David Schwartz has signed with SESAC Performing Rights. Known for such hit shows as “The Good Place,” “Deadwood” and “Arrested Development,” he most recently scored Amy Poehler’s directorial documentary debut, “Lucy and Desi,” for which he was nominated for an Emmy.

“We are thrilled to welcome David to the SESAC family,” said Erin Collins, VP film, television and developing media at the PRO. “His iconic scores and career accomplishments are a wonderful addition to our roster, and we’re excited for our future endeavors.”