Mushroom, Australia’s largest independent label group, and Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, a division of Universal Music Group, have announced a multi-layered global partnership to support and distribute Mushroom artists’ releases worldwide, outside of Australia and New Zealand.
Under the terms of the agreement, VLMAS will provide promotion, marketing and audience label services to Mushroom’s existing US and UK infrastructure. In addition, selected Mushroom artists’ releases will be issued through UMG’s major label network, when agreed by both parties.
Mushroom’s Chief Executive, Matt Gudinski said “Mushroom has been a market leader for decades in Australia and today we take another huge step in building Mushroom into a truly global brand. Our A&R staff are world class and we, together with Virgin/UMG, are going to break artists from any part of the globe to every part of the globe.”
UMG chairman-CEO Lucian Grainge, “This global alliance between Mushroom and Virgin Music, marks the beginning of a new collaboration between two historically entrepreneurial companies that have both introduced countless superstar artists and helped shape and influence independent music for decades. We’re thrilled to be working with Matt Gudinski, who is honoring his father’s great legacy by bringing Mushroom to new heights, and with Korda who has been a force in the UK creative community for decades.”
To co-lead the Mushroom Label divisions global operations, Mushroom also announced the appointment of veteran music executive Korda Marshall as international director. Based in London, Marshall moves from BMG.
No stranger to the Mushroom Group, Marshall held the MD position at Mushroom Records prior to its sale to News Corp in 1998, where he was instrumental in the success of Muse, Garbage, Ash and Paul Oakenfold.
Of the partnership Marshall said “I’m so happy to be returning to the Mushroom Group, it feels like coming home after a long and winding road trip around the music business and I look forward to working with all the Labels and their amazing artists. Our new deal with Universal provides a fantastic opportunity to work closely with one of the finest music companies in the World. Lucian, David and the Virgin teams led by Vanessa, Jim, Jacqueline and Matt have all been very impressive and together we can become a real alternative home for great talent and creative ideas”.
To kickstart the new partnership, Mushroom has confirmed that the next releases from DMA’s, Merci, Mercy, Mia Wray and Yen Strange. The first UK signing by Marshall is Joshua Epithet.
The Mushroom label division remains 100% independently owned and its established ANZ operations will remain unchanged as a result of the partnership. Mushroom will continue to digitally distribute itself in ANZ, as proud Merlin members, and continues its long standing physical distribution partnership with Universal Music Australia.
Since its launch in January 2021, Virgin has opened divisions in the U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany and across Central Europe, France, Australia & New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Western Balkans, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Portugal with further markets to launch in the coming months.
(Back Row L-R: Matt Gudinski (Mushroom Group), Chris Maund (Mushroom Labels), Korda Marshall (Mushroom Labels)Front Row L-R: Sarah Richardson (Mushroom Labels), David Joseph (Universal Music UK), Sir Lucian Grainge (Universal Music Group), Jim Chancellor (Virgin Music International) and Vanessa Bosåen (Virgin Music UK).