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Music Industry Moves: BPI CEO Geoff Taylor Stepping Down; Universal Names Frédéric Voillemot CFO/ EVP of Biz Dev for AMEA

Geoff Taylor BPI
Mary McCartney

Geoff Taylor, longtime CEO of the British record-label trade body BPI, who also oversees the BRIT Awards and the Mercury Prize, will “move on in 2023 to a more directly commercial role,” according to the announcement. He has worked for label associations for 25 years and spent more than 15 years leading the BPI — a period that saw the recorded-music industry recover from more than a decade of losses with the advent of streaming, not to mention Brexit and the pandemic. Taylor also played a huge role in reducing online music piracy in the U.K. and in expanding the reach, size and influence of the BRIT Awards. He will remain in the post until early next year to assist BPI chair YolanDa Brown in finding a successor.

Taylor said, “It has been a great privilege to lead the BPI during such a transformational period for British music. With a new Chair appointed and our 50th anniversary next year, it feels like BPI is opening a new chapter. After much reflection, I have decided that running the BPI for 15 years is enough for any moderately sane individual and that now is the time to use my experience more directly in a commercial environment. I want to thank the brilliant team at the BPI, former Chair Ged Doherty, and our independent and major members for their wisdom, good humour and steadfast support. I wish YolanDa and all the members continuing success.”

+ Universal Music Group has promoted Frédéric Voillemot, who has overseen the company’s corporate development and strategy team for the past five years, to CFO and EVP of business development for Africa, Middle East & Asia.

In this new role, Voillemot will work closely with digital and legal to ensure a cohesive commercial approach across the region. Based in London, he will report to EVP of market development Adam Granite and liaise with CFO/ president of operations Boyd Muir and EVP/ controller Philippe Flageul.

“Fred is a highly respected and experienced member of UMG’s global finance team, where he has overseen significant acquisitions that have helped shape the company’s business strategy,” Granite said. “In my dealings with Fred over the years, I have witnessed his intelligence, leadership, strategic acumen and his tenaciousness.”

Prior to joining UMG, Voillemot held a senior role at Vivendi and also worked in mergers and acquisitions at UBS Investment Bank and Lazard Frères.

+ Concord has acquired of independent Australian music publisher Native Tongue and announced the launch of its first offices in the Australasian region, Concord Music Publishing Australia & New Zealand. Founded in 2003, Native Tongue’s roster includes writers such as Courtney Barnett, Stuart Crichton (Backstreet Boys, Kesha, Kygo), Sophie Curtis (Cosmos Midnight, Jessica Mauboy, aespa), Dave Dobbyn, Jon Hume (Dean Lewis, Sofi Tukker), M-Phazes (Ruel, Remi Wolf), and others.

Concord Music Publishing ANZ will be based in Melbourne, with staff in Sydney and Auckland, and will be led by siblings Jaime and Chelsea Gough, who previously ran Native Tongue, along with an executive team including VPs David Nash and Matt Tanner.

“Jaime and Chelsea along with our wonderful team of people have grown the company significantly in recent years,” said Native Tongue founder Chris Gough, “This is the next step, providing our home-grown writers with a truly international organization capable of maximizing their potential worldwide.”

+ BMG has signed a purchase agreement to acquire Telamo, Germany’s largest independent label and a major source of the German pop genre Schlager. According to the announcement, the merger, which sources say is an eight-figure deal, creates a market share of 8.5% in the country, one of the largest German label divisions across all genres. The acquisition includes Telamo and its labels as well as the digital division Schlager für Alle, which has over 1.7 million users via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. All 29 Telamo employees as well as managing director Ken Otremba, will remain with the company.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority. Subject to their approval, the transaction is expected to close by the end of August.

+ AEG Presents has named Reeves Price VP of festivals. In the role, he will oversee budgeting, operations, marketing, and safety operations, and will report to Goldenvoice COO and AEG Presents COO of festivals Melissa Ormond.

Ormond said, “I’m thrilled that Reeves is expanding his role with the AEG Presents Festivals team.  His operational expertise will be of tremendous benefit to the shows in our portfolio.”

Prior to joining AEG Presents, Price was a founding partner at Winter Circle Productions, an independent promotion and production house in New Orleans, where he will continue to reside; he will also act as producer for Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shore, Alabama. AEG Presents acquired Winter Circle Productions in 2015.

+ Management company YMU’s U.S. music division has appointed Elena Awbrey to the position of executive manager. Based in Los Angeles, Awbrey will report to U.S. managing director Anthony Rodol and global president Matt Colon. She joins after founding Moonshot Artist Management, where she worked with Chika, Lauren Jauregui, Kilo Kish; two artists that she currently represents, Empress Of and Pamé, will join her at YMU Music.

Awbrey previously held posts at Live Nation and Atom Factory, CAA and Roc Nation, and has worked in management roles with Motley Crue, Miguel, Chika, Nico Vega and Mannequin Pussy.

+ Haley McCollister, a 12-year veteran of Messina Touring Group, has been promoted to president of the company’s Nashville office, where she will continue to oversee operations and expansion. At the company she spearheads North American touring for Ed Sheeran and the Lumineers and has worked extensively with Taylor Swift.

“I knew Haley was going to be a superstar from the day I hired her. I asked her what she wanted to be, and she said she wanted my job. Twelve years later, she is knocking on that very door,” said CEO Louis Messina.

+ Hakeem Rowe has joined Victor Victor Worldwide’s A&R team, founder Steven Victor has announced. Rowe, who is also host of Our Generation Music on YouTube, was previously an A&R consultant for the company, and signed and worked with Seattle rapper Highway. Prior to joining VVW, he was a podcast co-host on “No Jumper” and served as a content creator for Virgil Abloh and Don C.’s RSVP Gallery.

+ Pulse Music Group has promoted Annie Aberle to VP of A&R. Aberle works closely with  Tyler Johnson (Harry Styles’ frequent collaborator and co-writer of the smash “As It Was”) and James Blake, Aldae (Justin Bieber, the Kid Laroi, Ariana Grande), Andrew Jackson (Dua Lipa, Halsey, Eminem), Jonah Christian (Normani), Jorgen Odegard (Justin Bieber) and others.

+ Mike Caulo, former director of publicity at Merge Records, has launched Sipsman, a company specializing in publicity and label-focused projects. Based in Durham, North Carolina, Sipsman’s current projects include Nashville artist Lambchop, Algerian desert rock band Imarhan and the 2023 installment of Vermont’s Waking Windows Art & Music Festival, as well as the reissue of Krill’s first album “Alam No Hris.”

Over his eight years at Merge, Caulo worked extensively with the Mountain Goats, Waxahatchee, Wye Oak, Dawn Richard, Superchunk, William Tyler, and others.

+ Wasserman Music has launched a marketing services and digital strategy department comprising tour marketing, digital strategy, ticketing and livestreaming. The new department is led by SVP of marketing Sam Alpert and combines the company’s tour marketing team with new employees Mary Pryor (senior director of strategy, focused on Web3) and Sam Benfey (director of digital strategy). Wasserman will continue to expand this team in the coming months.

Tuesday, August 2

Columbia Records has signed Eurovision star Rosa Linn (pictured), who represented Armenia in the 2022 global song competition. Linn joins a roster that includes global acts like BTS, Harry Styles, Lil Nas X and Adele, among many others.

A sped-up version of her breakout single “Snap” recently enjoyed a viral moment on TikTok and led to the original track (co-produced by Hallwood’s Ethan Schneiderman) being added to Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits playlist. She is currently represented by Tamar Kaprelian and Alex Salibian’s NVAK.

The singer took to Instagram to show her gratitude for the deal writing: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be able to say this but I am officially a signed artist on Columbia Records. A label that is home to so many of my idols. My life has changed quicker than I could have ever imagined. Thank you to all of you who have supported a girl from a small town in the heart of Armenia, and thank you for loving and listening to ‘Snap’. I’m so happy this song has connected us all and now I am ready for the next chapter of our journey.”

+ Artist Publishing Group has promoted Gabi Serafine to VP of operations; Daniella Cabargas to senior director of A&R; and Josh Toll to director of A&R. The company headed by Mike Caren is also home to Artist Partner Group, A Studio and additional business endeavors.

Serafine has worked with the Los Angeles-based company since 2019.

Cabargas is a member of the publishing division and signed producer Loshendrix. She also A&R’d Kehlani’s “Blue Water Road” album and has been developing new artists for the APG label, including Zeina and Nelccia.

Toll signed producer Johnny Goldstein (in partnership with Sony Music Publishing), whose work can be heard on Black Eyed Peas’ “Don’t You Worry”, Saucey Santana’s “Booty” and Latto’s “P***y.”

+ Venezuelan-American singer-songwriter Elena Rose has signed a deal with Warner Music Latina. Rose has penned hits for artists such as Becky G, Karol G, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, Kali Uchis, Christian Nodal, Selena Gomez, Rauw Alejandro, among many others.

In 2020, she launched her career as a vocalist with her first single titled “Sandunga,” which was followed by collaborations as a guest artist on tracks by Sebastian Yatra, Becky G, Bad Bunny and Mora. She is currently working on her debut album which is expected before the end of the year through Warner Music Latina.

“Elena is a unique artist. Her lyrics, her voice, her presence and the ability she has to convey emotions is unparalleled. We are proud to be able to work together to fulfill her vision, deliver her music to the public, and make it timeless,” said Alejandro Duque, president of Warner Music Latin America.

+ Entertainment business advisors, Reggie Gooden and Josh Martin, have launched 360 Business Management — “a one-stop shop for Hollywood’s new elite of musicians, actors, agents, digital influencers, and other creatives.”

360 Business Management’s current client roster includes producer HARV (Justin Bieber’s “Peaches”), songwriter Cory Henry (Ye, Rosalia), actresses Bella Thorne and Frankie Shaw along with actors Gregg Sulkin and Jake Picking.

Beyond the business and accounting services offered by the firm, Martin says the firm also “prioritizes finding opportunities for clients to generate revenue and market visibility. More than just accountants, we specialize in blazing trails and in connecting the dots for our clients. We regularly introduce clients to new opportunities to accelerate their revenue generation and career development.”

+ Puerto Rican DJ and producer Robbie Rivera has announced the relaunch of the Juicy Music label, in alliance with ex-Spotify executive Austin Kramer and Novation Holdings. The label was originally established in 1996 and helped launched the careers of artists like David Guetta, Sebastian Ingrosso, Tom and Collins and Steve Angello.

Under their newly formed alliance, Rivera will focus on label operations along with helping maintain their current roster of producers while Kramer focuses on expanding the label with the addition of unknown artists, DJs, producers and vocalists.

Rivera’s musical resume includes performances on some of dance music’s biggest stages including sets at EDC Las Vegas, Ultra and Tomorrowland. He also boasts remixes with Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, Tiësto and U2. Prior to joining Juicy Music, Kramer was the program director at Sirius XM and was the global head of dance at Spotify. He is currently an on-air radio host for Tomorrowland’s OneWorld Radio.

“We are ecstatic about the relaunch of Juicy Music. We want to be a label that doesn’t care about how many social media followers our artists have, we want to be a label that puts artists and their music first,” said Rivera in a statement.

+ The Beatport Group has named Matt Gralen chief financial officer. He arrives from UnitedMasters, where he served as EVP of corporate development. Gralen will be based in London. Beatport is a leading platform for DJs, producers and enthusiasts. It was founded in 2004 and has offices in Berlin, Brighton, Denver and Los Angeles.

+ The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced a series of recent hirings. Erin Burr has joined the trade organization as VP of media relations. She previously spent more than a decade working in communications at Big Machine Label Group in Nashville. Jonathan Mancera has been named digital strategist, tasked with planning and executing digital media campaigns and managing RIAA digital properties and social feeds. And Ashley Donald serves as studio and stage manager, overseeing sound production and recording at the RIAA’s studio and performance space  in its Washington, DC headquarters.