Music Industry Moves: Omar Rudberg Signs to Elektra (EXCLUSIVE)

Young Royals” actor Omar Rudberg has signed to Elektra ahead of the release of his new single, “Red Light.”

The Stockholm-based, Venezuelan-born entertainer is no stranger to the music world since one of his first endeavors was being a part of the Scandinavian boy band FO&O. The group opened for acts ranging from One Direction to Justin Bieber.

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Rudberg — who speaks Spanish, English and Swedish — released his first solo single, “Que Pasa,” in 2018 and released his first solo album, “OMR,” in 2022. Speaking on his new single, Rudberg said, “‘Red Light’ is a bittersweet song that’s very emotional to me. I feel like this song marks a new era. It’s very different from everything else I’ve released. It’s the introduction to what is coming.”

Rudberg is represented by Sweden-based TEN Management.

+ Sony Music Publishing has promoted Nasra Artan to the new position of head of international A&R. Artan will take on a broader role in spearheading SMP’s international creative strategy and be responsible for liaising across SMP’s A&R teams. She will continue to be based out of London and will report to SMP’s President, International Guy Henderson.

Artan said, “I am excited to be stepping into this new role at SMP, and I am thankful to Jon and Guy for their trust and support. My passion for creative collaboration runs deep, and I look forward to working closely with our A&R teams to elevate the careers of our songwriters internationally.”

Artan first joined the company in 2022 as European A&R manager. Prior to joining the company, Artan spent three years at Warner Music Norway, most recently as A&R project manager.

+ “American Idol” (season 20) star Cameron Whitcomb has signed to Atlantic Records, and makes his debut on the label with new single, “Rocking Chair.”

Wednesday, May 15

The Recording Industry Association of America has upped Erin D. D. Burr to senior vice president of media relations for the company’s Gold and Platinum Program. Additionally, Matthew Bass has been elevated to VP of Research and Gold and Platinum Operations.

Burr will continue to lead RIAA’s press outreach and serve as a communications strategist for RIAA initiatives such as celebrating Gold and Platinum certifications, elevating C-suite profiles and supporting the “Human Artistry CampAIgn,” a global coalition of over 180 organizations working to regulate the use of AI in art. Prior to joining RIAA, Burr spent over a decade at Big Machine Label Group in Nashville.

Meanwhile, Bass has been with RIAA for over a decade, helping the Association develop annual reports for policy discussions and supporting efforts to protect copyright in the United States. Bass also manages the Association’s authoritative data holdings.

RIAA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mitch Glazier announced the promotions this week saying, “Erin and Matt are stars who have already shined so brightly at RIAA and in their new roles will be even more visible and effective. As the music community works together to address unprecedented new opportunities and challenges from the meteoric rise of streaming to the current effort to chart a path towards responsible and pro-artist AI, we are all lucky to have Erin and Matt embracing greater responsibilities.”

+ Anti Social Camp, the largest songwriting camp in the world, is returning for its fourth annual edition in New York from June 10 to 15. Described as “the SXSW for songwriters,” the event features a lineup of songwriters, artists and producers including Jacob Collier, Alec Benjamin, Miranda Lambert, Cults, Daya, Rob Thomas and Lawrence.

The six-day outing also features more than 100 recording sessions and a calendar of events designed to breed creativity and foster collaboration between its participants. A compilation of music created at 2023’s event was released in March.

Completely free of charge, Anti Social Camp positions itself in contrast to other songwriting camps, which “are typically private, exclusive affairs in exotic destinations like a mansion in Bali or château in the South of France,” per a press release.

“We want to put a spotlight on New York as a music capital of the world,” said Anti Social Camp founder Danny Ross. “Artists are going to walk away with new hit records, access to key industry players, and new collaborators who will be influential in their careers far past the six days of Anti Social Camp. We’re making a real impact on creators and the New York music scene. What else can we ask for?”

+ Universal Music Group (UMG) has named Todd Goodwin senior VP of Culture Marketing and Creative Strategy for °1824, UMG’s culture marketing and creative strategy arm.

In his newly expanded role, Goodwin will continue to build in-house solutions and infrastructure for UMG artists, labels, brands and business units. Additionally, Goodwin’s team produces live-streaming events via 3point5, UMG’s central Twitch channel.

“The °1824 division of UMG was built to provide our artists and labels with access to high-quality creative resources,” said Goodwin. “Simultaneously, it aims to develop the careers of the best emerging talent, who possess the skills and agility needed to tackle disruption in real time. I am privileged to serve the best artists and labels in the world and am excited to shape the future of the music industry with them.”

°1824’s personnel includes a full-time management team across Santa Monica, New York and Nashville and 75 part-time employees in cities across the country.

+ Jason Miller has resigned from his operational responsibilities for ELA, the joint venture he launched with global entertainment leader CTS Eventim in 2021. Miller continues to hold an ownership stake in ELA.

Said Miller, “We launched ELA during the height of the pandemic with the simple goal of expanding CTS Eventim’s global footprint. I am proud to say that we have accomplished our mission. Over the past years, I have assembled a diverse, talented team in three countries, and together we have produced an incredible run of successful shows. The people are in place and the foundation has been laid for ELA to continue to gain market share and thrive. Live entertainment is booming, and I am excited to explore new opportunities to build and further develop great businesses within our industry.”

Miller previously worked at talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and was integral in the career development of such high-profile clients as Beyoncé, Jimmy Fallon, Magic Johnson, Stevie Wonder, and many more. Later, Miller was senior VP for Live Nation Entertainment, where he co-produced some of the last decade’s highest-grossing tours, including Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Madonna, Maroon 5, U2, and countless others. Miller holds a BS from Syracuse University and an MBA from UCLA.

+ Anthony Martini and entrepreneur Rich Barner have jointly launched Gravel Road, a new Nashville-based record label and management firm.

The venture already boasts clients including Compton Cowboys, Randy Savvy, Justbrandon, and producer Scattered Brains. Said Martini, “I’ve always been drawn to artists who take the road less traveled, and that is the significance of the Gravel Road. We partner with artists who don’t follow someone else’s path but want to blaze their own.”

Martini previously managed Tyga and Lil Dicky and released “Professional Rapper” under his label Commission Records.

Tuesday, May 14

Warner Music is zeroing in on its A&R and marketing strategies for its rapidly growing música Mexicana division.

Working across Latin American regions, the label has tapped Tomas Rodríguez, president of Warner Music Mexico and Música Mexicana, to lead the new initiative for the department from Mexico City. Meanwhile, Rubén Abraham, general manager of Música Mexicana, will oversee the A&R and marketing team from WMG’s downtown Los Angeles office.

Rodríguez and Abraham will work with a newly formed A&R team with Director of A&R, Brian Plascencia, who previously held roles at Universal Music and Univision Records. He also served as West Coast label manager at Machete Music, where he launched and developed the careers of artists such as El Potro de Sinaloa, Fidel Rueda, Larry Hernandez and Roberto Tapia. Plascencia was also a founding partner at Alianza Records, where he helped develop the artists Caimanes de Sinaloa, Edicion Especial, and Grupo H-100.

Armando López, who joined Warner Music last year after working at Creative Channels Mexico, is associate director of A&R for the project. Cesar Carrillo joins as senior manager of A&R with achievements in music production as an artist and in managing talents such as Los Buitres de Culiacán and Tomas Ballardo. Carrillo has also worked on bookings for the band Legado 7 with independent label and live company Lumbre Music, and collaborated with artist management and live company FM Entertainment, assisting in managing heavy-hitting acts such as Banda Machos, Fidel Rueda and Ramón Ayala. Maria Angela Batiz, director of marketing for música Mexicana, will continue to develop strategies and campaigns.

Pictured above (L-R): Rubén Abraham (General Manager, Música Mexicana) and Tomas Rodríguez (President, Warner Music Mexico & Música Mexicana)

+ Sony Music Latin has signed Mon Laferte.

The Grammy-nominated artist is currently supporting her 2023 release, “Autopoiética,” on a tour across the United States with additional performances in Europe slated for the summer. Variety named the album one of the best Latin efforts of the year. Laferte has also been acclaimed at some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Lincoln Center in New York and the National Auditorium in Mexico City, among others.

This August, the documentary “Mon Laferte, te amo” will be released on Netflix, about the tour carried out by the artist between 2021 and 2022.

“Mon Laferte is a wonderful artist. We are thrilled that she has come to Sony Music, her home,” said Afo Verde, chairman/CEO of Sony Music Latin-Iberia. “Composer, singer, and an exceptional performer, her excellence knows no limits. We are certain that Sony is the perfect place for her to begin the next chapter of her career. Welcome, dear Mon. May this new stage bring you much happiness and many achievements.”

+ Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has signed a global publishing deal with jazz and R&B artist Patrice Rushen.

Rushen is a classically trained pianist who found success in the 1970s and 1980s with her blend of jazz, pop, and R&B. Her 1982 single “Forget Me Nots’” received a Grammy award nomination for best female R&B vocal performance, while the chorus was sampled for the smash hit “Men in Black,” which Will Smith recorded for the movie of the same name.

She is currently composing for film and TV, as well as working closely with organizations dedicated to establishing music education and mentorship programs for inner-city youth. Having just performed to a sold-out crowd at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Rushen is also continuing a successful tour in Europe and the U.S. this summer.

+ Sun Label Group has officially launched under its parent company, Primary Wave Music. Under the venture, labels Sun Records, Gaither Music, Green Hill Music, Rural Rhythm and emeraldwave by Green Hill will condense with Paul Sizelove as Sun Label Group President.

In addition to leading Sun Label Group, Sizelove will continue to spearhead day-to-day operations as President of Gaither Music Group. Blake Davis will also remain in his role as general manager of Green Hill Music.

“With Paul stepping into the role of President of the Sun Label Group, we are ushering in a new era of innovation and collaboration. His extensive network of partnerships and relationships will be invaluable as we continue to expand our reach and influence across the music industry,” said Dominic Pandiscia, chief strategy officer of Primary Wave Music/Sun Label Group. “We couldn’t be more thrilled for Paul and the immense potential this represents for the Group overall!”

+ Zync Music Group has filed a lawsuit against Round Hill Music Royalty Fund, accusing the company of “egregious and numerous breaches” of their joint venture agreement, which ended in 2022 after five years. The complaint filed in New York on Monday, details alleged breaches of the agreement by Round Hill, including failure to properly account to Zync, “gross misstatement” of income and expenses, and “unwarranted” withholding of payments. Among other allegations, it also claims that Round Hill declined to pay more than $5 million owed to Zync, and alleges “bullying and mistreatment perpetrated by [Round Hill] and its senior leadership against Zync.”

Zync was founded in 2002 by publishing vets Sanne Hagelsten and Marisa Baldi. Under the agreement, the two led the two companies’ combined synch team; Baldi also was named Round Hill’s chief creative officer in 2019.

A spokesperson for Round Hill Music told Music Business Worldwide, “Round Hill Music denies the allegations in the complaint filed today by Zync Music Group. The dispute between Round Hill and Zync Music Group is a commercial dispute over the valuation of their joint venture partnership which is going through a dissolution and subject to an appraisal process. The specious and salacious allegations of the complaint are being used by Zync as a substitute for the failing merits of its case.”

+ Downtown Music (Downtown) has launched its Downtown Royalties & Financial Services Division (DR&FS) to expedite royalty services, accounting and payments for artists.

Tom Allen, founder of Curve, will spearhead the division as president of Downtown Royalties & Financial Services. In this capacity, Allen will report to Downtown Music’s chief business officer, David Driessen. Richard Leach, currently general manager at Curve, will operate as the managing director of Curve, overseeing the day-to-day management of the Curve Platform, reporting to Allen.

Monday, May 13

Seeker Music is expanding into Latin American and U.S.-based Latin music markets by partnering with Latin record label, artist management and entertainment company MITH Media.

Seeker will jointly sign songwriters and artists, acquire and manage catalogs and develop new genre-focused IP and projects in tandem with MITH. Grammy-nominated Latin songwriter K. Sotomayor (Selena Gomez, DJ Snake, Sofia Reyes, Maria Becerra, Kim Petras), and the singer-songwriter Dēlian (Mariah Angeliq, Sofia Reyes, Kurt, The Change, Malu Trevejo, Chesca, Lourdiz) are the first two signings to the Seeker-MITH publishing partnership.

As part of their partnership, MITH will help manage Seeker’s catalog through Latin America, an effort that began in 2023 when Seeker and MITH teamed up to promote the tenth anniversary of One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” (rights of which Seeker holds via their acquisition of John Ryan’s catalog) throughout the region. Seeker Music, a music rights, publishing, and record company founded by Evan Bogart in 2020, also has owns the copyright for works of Christopher Cross, Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Gos, Run the Jewels (first three albums) and Jon Bellion, among many others.

MITH was founded by Charlie Guerrero and Paloma Hecht over a decade ago, and is responsible for managing the careers of such Latin stars as Sofia Reyes and Carlos Zaur. The company has worked for and released songs for such acts as David Guetta, Sean Paul, Reyes, Jason Derulo, Maria Becerra, Anitta, De La Ghetto and more in collaboration with Warner Latin, Neon16 and Sony Latin. Outside of creating and distributing music, MITH also creates sponsorship and branding opportunities for brands like T-Mobile, L’oreal, Cuervo, and Heineken. They have also launched partnerships for the West Coast and Las Vegas with Latin music event, Bresh.

+ TaP Music (Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Dermot Kennedy, Leigh Anne Pinnock, Mabel, Caroline Polachek, London Grammar) has added artist manager and music exec Will Bloomfield to their senior team as co-president and head of global artist management.

Alongside TaP co-founders Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, Will joins co-presidents Wendy Ong based in LA and Anna Neville in London to oversee all areas of the TaP business, including TaP Management, not for profit arm TaP Futures and TaP23.

Will joins TaP after two decades at Modest! Management – where he became a partner in the business alongside the two founders, Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee, working across the operations of the company and a range of talent, including One Direction, Niall Horan, 5 Seconds of Summer, MNEK, PARISI and many more.

+ Joe Aboud has launched 444 Sounds, a consultancy and management firm that oversees strategy and promotion for clients including record labels, distributors, management companies, and artists.

444 Sounds’ launch comes with a wide roster of heavyweights including Sony Music, UnitedMasters, Warner Records’ dance label Major Recordings, and artists such as Jung Kook, Enrique Iglesias, Michaela Jaé (also known as “Pose” actress MJ Rodriguez), and many more. Aboud is doing the marketing work for actor Julia Fox, who recently debuted music at Charli XCX’s Boiler Room set.

Aboud was previously working in marketing for HITCO and Atlantic Records. He most recently worked with artists such as Saint Jhn, Jennifer Lopez, Dixie D’Amelio, and the Dalai Lama, and managed the acquisition of HITCO under Concord Music Group. While at Atlantic Records, he facilitated marketing plans for Elderbrook and Anitta, as well as Clean Bandit, Skrillex, David Guetta, Cash Cash and more.

+ AEG Presents has tapped Brent Fedrizzi, who currently serves as co-president and COO of AEG Presents’ Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest regions, has been named president of the North American regional offices.

Fedrizzi, who will continue to be based out of Denver, will guide the company’s 100 U.S. venues in all aspects of talent buying and promotion, as well as overseeing its 12 regional offices. He will report to AEG Presents Chairman and CEO Jay Marciano and will be joining the company’s executive committee.

“I’ve known Brent for close to 30 years and have worked with him almost as long, so it’s especially gratifying to make this announcement,” commented Marciano. “He has a vision, a drive, and an insight into our business that’s been forged over his many years promoting events in every type of venue across the western United States. As Co-President of our Rocky Mountain region, his feel for the business is a key reason AEG Presents is the dominant promoter in the market and the Denver office is one of our top performers. Simply put, he’s the right person for the job.”

In addition to his work at AEG Presents, Fedrizzi is a board member and four-time president of the North American Concert Promoters Association, a four-time Academy of Country Music award nominee, and a nominee for International Entertainment Buyers Association’s Promoter of the Year.

+ Scott Cutler and Josh Abraham, co-CEOs of Pulse Music Group (PMG) and Ashley Calhoun, president of PMG today announced the promotion of Annie Aberle to senior VP and head of creative.

Aberle was previously VP of A&R for PMG. In her new role, Aberle will sign, develop and implement creative strategy for the roster of songwriters and producers for the publishing division of the company. The A&R team for the publishing division of PMG will now report into Aberle.

Calhoun commented, “One of the most essential parts of this job is remaining a fan first—Annie does not lose sight of that. Annie knows how to deliver a strategy for each of our clients that makes them inspired to show up and show out in the studio every day. Scott, Josh and I are excited to give Annie this opportunity as we continue to grow the success of our clients and help them take their business to the next level alongside the incredible publishing A&R team at Pulse.”

Cutler and Abraham commented, “With Ashley Calhoun, we have built out a powerhouse publishing A&R team and, as Ashley grows her senior management role as president of Pulse Music Group, Annie Aberle will continue this incredible legacy of true artist/writer development on the publishing A&R side as senior VP, cead of Creative. Annie not only is a tremendous leader at Pulse, but she has impeccable taste. It has been incredible to watch her growth over the last six years and we are excited about her future here.”

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