Grace Potter (pictured) has signed with Ten Atoms for management. The Austin-based firm’s roster includes Japanese Breakfast, Black Pumas, Deer Tick and Alejandro Escovedo, among others. She will be represented by Ten Atoms founder and president Ryan Matteson and Brendan O’Connell.
The singer-songwriter has built a loyal fanbase over 20 years and four full-length albums under the banner Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. As a solo artist, she’s been Grammy-nominated (for her 2019 release “Daylight”) in the rock category.
+ Music strategy and supervision agency Premier Music Group has closed a second round of financing. Premier is led by CEO Josh Deutsch and creative director Randall Poster, himself a veteran music supervisor. MEP Capital led the financing round and will join Premier’s Board of Directors, alongside music publisher Primary Wave, an investment partner since 2019. Arnaud Levy at Qualia Legacy Advisors served as advisor.
Premier recently acquired Listen (We Are Listen LLC), a sonic identity and sound design firm. In 2019, music supervision firms Wool & Tusk came under its purview, along with Search Party in 2020, founded by Poster who’s worked with such directors as Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes, Martin Scorsese, Noah Baumbach and Richard Linklater.
Said Deutsch: “We are excited to partner with the MEP team to put Premier’s acquisition strategy into action. Premier’s mission is to deliver full-service solutions that harness the power of music. Our partnership with MEP will power future acquisitions in new business segments and technologies to accelerate this goal.”
“Josh and I joined forces to build a 21st century music agency,” added Poster. “This new partnership is an important step in Premier’s evolution, as we continue to bring on the best people in music supervision to work on the most interesting and ambitious projects.”
Said MEP’s Matt Cohen: “Josh, Randall, and the Premier team have done an outstanding job growing Premier into a market leader in music supervision and licensing and have quickly become the go-to resource for rights holders as well as film, TV, and brand clients.”
Wednesday, Jan. 18
+ BMI has appointed Tracy McKnight, whose music supervising credits include work on “Adventureland,” “Free Solo,” and “Somewhere in Queens,” as its new vice president of creative, film, TV and visual media.
She will begin her new post based out of the company’s Los Angeles office starting Jan. 23 and will report directly to BMI executive VP president of creative and licensing, Mike Steinberg.
In addition to cultivating relationships with the company’s roster of film, TV and visual media composers, McKnight will be tasked with identifying and signing new affiliates to BMI. She will also be responsible for helping develop programs and events that support the career development of BMI’s composers.
Prior to this role, McKnight oversaw the film score acquisition department at Wise Publishing and secured the music assets for projects such as Sean Penn’s “Flag Day,” and “The World to Come.” She also has several upcoming projects including Ray Romano’s directorial debut, “Somewhere in Queens” (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions), the Donna Summer documentary, “Donna Summer, Love to Love You Baby” (Polygram Entertainment) and the romantic comedy, “She Came to Me” (Protagonist Pictures).
She was also president of the indie soundtrack label Node Records and spent four years as the head of film music at Lionsgate, where she worked on numerous projects including “The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtracks.
+ Big Machine Music has signed singer-songwriter Troy Cartwright to an exclusive co-publishing agreement.
The Texas native independently released his EP “Just Kids” last year, and as a songwriter, he has scored placements with Ryan Hurd, Nickelback, Josh Abbott Band and more. Cartwright joins BMM’s expansive roster of artists including Brett Young, Ryan Hurd, Laura Veltz, Matt Dragstrem, Jessie Jo Dillon and Eric Paslay, among others.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the Big Machine Music team,” said Cartwright. “I’ve always been a fan of the way they advocate for their songwriters and navigate the complexities of being both a writer and artist. Mike Molinar, Tim Hunze, Michelle Attardi and the rest of the team have already exceeded my expectations. I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be!”
“Troy is a dual-threat talent whose time is upon us,” said Mike Molinar, BMM’s general manager. “His commercial phrasing and fresh ideas are ready-made for radio. We are excited to champion him and his songs!”
+ The Syndicate has named Graham Rothenberg a partner and promoted him to the role of president and general manager. Rothenberg, who has been with the company for 18 years, previously served as the Syndicate’s general manager since 2018. He will join partners Jon Landman, Tracey Zucatti, and Chris Elles.
“I’ve known Graham for over 20 years and have watched him grow from College Radio Music Director (WICB) to College Radio Promoter at The Syndicate to becoming our General Manager and now being elevated as our President and a Partner of the company,” commented Jon Landman, managing partner/CEO. “Graham’s leadership and creativity have been instrumental in advancing our organization to new levels while staying true to the grassroots connection to music and artists on which we founded the company. As we enter our 25th year of The Syndicate, we can’t wait for what’s on the horizon.”
Rothenberg has been a key member of campaigns including Interpol’s “Big Shot City” exhibit and Panic! At The Disco crop circle tour announcement.
+ Ari Elkins, the 22-year-old tastemaker whose music recommendations reach more than 2.2 million followers across TikTok, Spotify and Apple Music, is launching a record label in partnership with Avex USA. Blue Suede Records “will seek to find, develop and champion undiscovered talent, combining Ari’s ear and following, with Avex’s proven track record of breaking new pop hits via its label, SELENE,” reads am announcement of the joint venture.
+ Fuga has partnered with Marathon Music Group to cover their global digital and physical distribution across their roster of talent as well as for all labels under the group’s umbrella; Moves Recordings, New Soil, Mahogany and DMY.
Marathon’s roster includes singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett, Lava La Rue, Naira Marley and Afro B, among others. The group will have access to Fuga’s wider services including marketing, enhanced trends and analytics, sync and brand partnerships, YouTube services and audience strategy offerings.
“Marathon Music Group is entering a new stage of its journey and we could not be more excited to do this in partnership with Fuga,” said CEO Paul Rene Albertini. “Marathon shares with Fuga – and its parent company Downtown Music Holdings – intrinsic traits including an appetite for enabling technologies and artistic independence. We look forward to this collaborative partnership.”
Tuesday, Jan. 17
Robert Kyncl has made his first major hire as CEO of Warner Music Group, bringing in a former colleague from YouTube for a newly-created role. Tim Matusch joins the company as executive VP of strategy and operations, and like Kyncl, will be based out of WMG’s headquarters in New York.
Matusch was previously managing director of strategy and business operations at YouTube, where Kyncl formerly held the title of chief business officer. Before YouTube, Matusch was managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group (he also led his own consulting LLC in New York) and held senior operating positions at AOL.
In an internal announcement, Kyncl noted that he and Matusch will be working closely together “to help define, facilitate and execute our five-to-10 year vision.” Of the role, Kyncl added, “Strategy and Operations is a function I’ve seen add huge value to many dynamic, rapidly evolving companies like ours… I’m a firm believer in tapping into, growing, and unleashing the expertise within the company itself. That way, we’re more directly investing in ourselves, and compounding our knowledge and skills over time. It results in well organized, better informed, more realistic plans.”
+ After a nearly 12-year tenure, Jake Basden is departing from his role as senior VP of communications at Big Machine Label Group to pursue new ventures. Details on his next steps were not disclosed.
“The trouble with working with Scott Borchetta [Big Machine chairman] and a company as dynamic as the Big Machine Label Group is, honestly, there is no reason to leave,” Basden said of his decision in the official announcement. “There comes a moment when you realize you must seek new horizons. You can get very comfortable working with incredible acts, these teams, and Scott’s many endeavors. Something I learned during my years in New York is don’t ever stop growing and reaching for new challenges. The culture at Big Machine always encouraged me to aggressively go in new directions.”
Basden joined Big Machine from Edelman, where he served as the public relations firm’s director in their sports and entertainment division. His experience spans projects such as Midland’s re-opening of the Palomino, the Academy Award-nominated “Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me” documentary, Jennifer Nettles’ “I Can Do Hard Things” video and Carly Pearce’s Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Female Artist of the Year campaigns.
+ Santa Anna has announced a new partnership and independent distribution agreement with Listen to the Kids. Under the new agreement, Listen to the Kids’ roster of artists — which includes Yeat, Alexander 23 and Sally Sossa, among others — will have access to Santa Anna’s marketing, distribution, legal and promotional support, among other services.
Listen to the Kids was launched in 2020 by founder and CEO Conor Ambrose, who additionally manages songwriter and producer Omer Fedi. Ambrose will continue as CEO of the label, which will remain headquartered in LA.
“Our team – including Ari Kononov, Alana Aksoy, Jake Nañez, Alex Scher and Nanika Sandhu – has helped unique artists reach important milestones early in their careers. Now, as a new partner of Santa Anna, we are excited to build on what we’ve started and leverage their expertise to keep supporting exceptional talent,” commented Ambrose.
+ David Klein has joined Red Light Management as general manager. He’ll be based out of the company’s LA offices and will report directly to Red Light founder Coran Capshaw and COO Bruce Eskowitz.
In his new role, Klein will oversee key relationships and work with Red Light’s current roster of artists which includes Phish, Luke Bryan, Ween, the Smashing Pumpkins, Dave Matthews Band, Lady A, Brandi Carlile, Lionel Richie and the Strokes, among others. Prior to this appointment, Klein worked for Live Nation Entertainment, CAA and UTA.
“A lot of my charter is working on behalf of the company more so than working with the individual artist. Ultimately, my goal is to help Red Light develop new business across managers and artists and then help the firm synergize its existing resources,” commented Klein.