Music Industry Moves: Shavone Charles to Lead Diversity and Inclusion Communications at TikTok

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Shavone Charles (pictured) has joined TikTok in the newly created role of head of diversity and inclusion communications. Based in Los Angeles, Charles will lead all diversity and inclusion communications initiatives globally and will oversee multicultural campaigns for TikTok.

Prior to joining the tech platform, Charles held key positions at Twitter and Instagram in the music and culture communications divisions. She was the first Black woman to join both teams at Instagram and Twitter and dedicated her time at the companies to helping people of color, including launching Twitter’s first-ever employee resource group for Black staffers employees.

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Charles has advocated for a number of related causes, launching her own groups, Future of Creatives and Magic In Her Melanin dedicated to amplifying women of color and underrepresented creatives, and serving as a board member and advisor for Forbes. She is herself a creator, a fashionista and a thought leader.

+ Oak View Group has completed its acquisition of Spectra, a leading venue management and hospitality provider. The transaction was announced in August pending regulatory approval from the Department of Justice, which was received on Nov. 15. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Said Tim Leiweke, CEO of OVG: “Now that OVG’s acquisition of Spectra is complete, we can get down to the business of delivering an expanded highly competitive set of services that anticipate and meet the evolving needs of our global client base. We’ll begin the important process of fully integrating the talented team at Spectra and bringing together our two organizations to create something truly extraordinary in the live events and entertainment industry.”

Thursday, Nov. 18

+ “Succession” composer Nicholas Britell has signed an exclusive, global agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group, the company announced on Thursday.

Britell, an accomplished pianist and producer as well as composer, won an Emmy for the “Succession” score and has been nominated for two Oscars (for his work on the films “Moonlight” and “If Beale Street Could Talk”) as well as a Golden Globe nod, as well as an Emmy nomination for the Amazon series “The Underground Railroad.” He is represented by Robert Messinger of Fortress Talent Management and attorney Christopher Macdougall.

Britell said: “I am truly thrilled to begin working with UMPG and excited to explore the countless musical and publishing opportunities in today’s landscape. There are so many variables for composers and songwriters to focus on these days — with UMPG, I have found an incredible partner with a phenomenal global team.”

Natasha Baldwin, executive VP of UMPG Classics and Screen, said: “Nicholas is truly a unique writer in today’s global landscape of composing. His ability to blend musical styles, create with every type of artistic collaborator and connect with hugely diverse audiences makes him a very important voice in the contemporary composing and songwriting worlds.”

+ 10:22PM, Universal Music’s “next-gen Web3” label that discovers and develops artists, intellectual property and digital creators, has announced a collaboration with NFT art project World of Women and its creator Yam Karkai to launch a series of NFTs with recording artist Kendra Jae.

Together, 10:22PM and World of Women will drop a limited number of NFTs of Kendra Jae, who is signed to 10:22PM in partnership with Def Jam Recordings, celebrating her new music and upcoming EP. The collaboration marks Karkai’s first NFT project with a label and a recording artist, and seeks to empower women through art and promote diversity.

World of Women minted 10,000 collectible images consisting of unique, powerful and diverse women and reinvested a portion of the collection to crypto art projects and supporting non-profits empowering women through education and advocating to abolish child marriage.

Kendra Jae commented, “I am so excited and honored to be a part of the World of Women NFT family. Women empowerment is something that will always be at the forefront of my brand and with this NFT collection I am able to empower my supporters and promote diversity. This collaboration marks a very special moment in my career as I am bringing new and old supporters on this journey with me into the tech world.”

+ Warner Chappell Music publishing has promoted Ryan Press to president, North America. In his new role, he will have direct oversight of WCM’s North American business and help drive overall strategy, with a focus on the U.S. and Canada. Vivian Barclay, Managing Director, Canada, will report directly to Press. In addition, he will remain the publisher’s A&R lead for the U.S., excluding Nashville and Miami, and continue to report to WCM co-chairs, CEO Guy Moot and COO Carianne Marshall.

Moot and Marshall said: “A master connector and dealmaker, Ryan has continued to grow as an exceptional leader and executive, and it’s been incredible to see his progression at Warner Chappell. He’s built a powerhouse U.S. A&R department and an award-winning roster, while becoming a highly regarded mentor to both our songwriters and our people. Ryan’s also been an invaluable partner to us and instrumental in Warner Chappell’s transformation, and we’re very proud to have him broaden his scope to help guide our business in the U.S. and Canada.”

Since 2019, Press has led Warner Chappell’s U.S. A&R efforts, pverseeing a team that has signed and extended deals songwriters and producers including Cardi B, Jhené Aiko, Saweetie, Anderson .Paak, Tones & I, Daniel Caesar, Travis Barker, the late Pop Smoke, Lizzo and more.

+ Primary Wave Music has finalized a deal to acquire the music publishing catalog of the late Jeff Porcaro, drummer and a songwriter for the American band Toto. The “multi-million-dollar” deal also encompasses the Grammy winner’s master royalties on all albums he performed on with the band. Included in the acquisition are Porcaro’s share of master royalties for hits such as “Hold The Line,” “I’ll Be Over You,” “Rosanna” and “Africa.”

“As the home of legends, we feel Primary Wave is the perfect partner to continue to protect Jeff’s musical legacy,” said Susan Porcaro.

+ Universal Music has named Maciej Kutak CEO of Universal Music Poland and senior VP of Central Eastern Europe, effective January 1, 2022. In this newly created position, he will be responsible for Universal Music operations in Greece, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary, which expands on his current role as managing director of Universal Music Poland. He will continue to be based in Warsaw and report to Frank Briegmann, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon.

In his new role, Kutak will work alongside existing MDs and leadership in each territoryto further strengthen UMG’s strategic operations within the region. Elsewhere in the region, Maxim Vlasov, MD, Universal Music Russia will continue to report directly to Briegmann. Kutak has served as MD, Universal Music Poland since 2019, during which time he has driven the digitization of UMG’s Polish operations and the launch of Def Jam Poland, which in just two years has already become one of Poland’s largest urban labels.

Briegmann said: “In the last few years in Poland, Maciej has very successfully demonstrated his expertise and innovative spirit. As part of our strategy for Central Europe, which is based above all on cooperation and transfer of content and knowledge between markets, he will now take on an additional role in our international structure.”

Tuesday, Nov. 16

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presented legendary music executive and Brooklyn native Clive Davis with the city’s highest public honor, the Key to the City, on Tuesday. According to the announcement, the key is “a beloved symbol of civic recognition and gratitude reserved for individuals whose service to the public and the common good rises to the highest level of achievement.” Watch the presentation below.

The mayor bestowed the honor with heartfelt remarks as a gesture of appreciation and gratitude for all Davis has done for the city, including supporting the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through his role as co-producer of this past summer’s incredible “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert,” which was unfortunately cut short by a literal act of God — a lightning storm.

Davis, who grew up in Brooklyn and was a product of the city’s public school system, said he was thrilled to receive the honor and shared his sentiments about his lifelong love for New York City, all the city has given him, and how he continues to give back through his work, scholarships for students, support for education, and numerous charitable foundations.

+ Downtown Music Services, which offers distribution, publishing administration, creative marketing and finance solutions, has announced a global music publishing agreement with long-running French duo Air.

In a statement, the group said: “We started in the suburbs, it feels good to be Downtown now!”

Mike Smith, global president of Downtown Music Services, said, “I’ll never forget hearing Air for the first time, in a world of guitar anthems and breakbeat heroes, when their ‘Premiers Symptômes’ EP in 1997 arrived fully formed from another planet and totally floored me. ‘Moon Safari’ is a masterpiece and yet Nicolas and Jean-Benoit always pushed forward, reinventing themselves through soundtracks and albums both commercial and experimental. Their catalogue represents some of the most timeless music ever made. It is a great honor to be given the opportunity to work with this remarkable music and bring its genius to a new generation.”

The group’s management team said, “Air’s music is one of a kind and became a benchmark for the sound of the new century. Their mixture of analogue sounds, ethereal vocals and true songwriting originality deserves to meet a new audience, which we aim to achieve with this association. We are delighted to start this collaboration with such a great team and organization.”

Monday, Nov. 15

Universal Music Group has named Matt Young president of Bravado, its merchandise company. Matt Vlasic stepped down as the CEO of the company in October of last year. Based at Bravado’s New York offices, Young will report to Richelle Parham, UMG’s president of global e-commerce and business development.

Young joins Bravado from Warner Music Group, where he spent 13 years developing consumer engagement and marketing execution for the company’s top recording artists. Before Warner Music, he held senior posts at Bandmerch and Blue Grape Merchandise.

“Matt has the leadership and vision to complement Bravado’s stellar track-record of innovation and success,” Parham said. “In his role, Matt will be a critical element of the ecosystem we have built to deliver unparalleled consumer-driven e-commerce, as well as ensure our artists are reaching their fans and new audiences around the world with exciting products and experiences.”

Young said, “I’m stoked to lead Bravado at this pivotal time and to build on the company’s reputation as the leader in our industry. Bravado is known for creating innovative new opportunities for artists to meaningfully connect with their fans, both directly, on tour and through some of the most prominent retailers in the world.”

+ Stem, the L.A.-based distribution and payments platform for independent musicians and labels, has announced several promotions.

Kristin Graziani is now president of Stem Distribution, overseeing the expansion of Stem’s distribution arm and acquisition of new business. Todd L. Perry II, who joins from Create Music Group, has been named head of artist & label relations, hip-hop and R&B; and Bobby Davin has been upped to director of artist relations.

Stem CEO and co-founder Milana Lewis said, “The rapid growth of our new business team is extremely exciting. As we build out different product channels I’m eager to have Kristin, Todd and Bobby at the forefront of educating artists & their teams on what we’re developing.”

+ Madison Square Garden Entertainment has named Jamal Haughton executive VP and general counsel, effective December 6. He will serve as the company’s chief legal officer, and will oversee all legal functions across a broad range of disciplines including corporate, commercial, transactional, litigation, and regulatory matters, according to the announcement. He will report to Jim Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of MSG Entertainment.

Dolan said: “We are pleased to welcome Jamal, who was also an important member of our legal team at Cablevision. Jamal brings significant experience in high-profile corporate and business legal matters, and we are fortunate to have such a seasoned executive in this important role as we continue to pursue our plans for growth, driven by our MSG Sphere initiative.”

Most recently, Haughton served as senior VP and general counsel at Samsung Electronics America. Previously, he spent 10 years at Cablevision Systems Corporation, where he rose to senior VP, associate general counsel and assistant secretary. He began his legal career in the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

+ The Orchard has promoted Priya Dewan to VP of international marketing, Asia Pacific and MD, Southeast Asia and Korea. Previously, Dewan was VP of Southeast Asia and South Korea, and was responsible for leading the Orchard’s teams in the region, providing expertise, release strategy, and regional support, as well as creating a pipeline for artists locally to new international audiences, according to the announcement.

Dewan is responsible for signing the Orchard’s priority labels in the region, including BTS’ label Bighit Music and JYP Entertainment – whose roster includes ITZY, Stray Kids and more. She has nearly 20 years of industry experience, and previously was North American label manager for the UK-based label Warp Records. She has also represented artists touring in Asia, including Chvrches, Ynoa, Flying Lotus and Bicep. She will report to Orchard COO Colleen Theis.

“The Orchard’s Pan-Asian expansion further amplifies the amazing success we’ve had connecting artists and labels from the region with fans around the world,” said Theis. “Priya’s leadership and proven expertise at identifying and developing talent will continue to create new opportunities for our clients.”

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