Music Industry Moves: Lauren Spencer Smith Signs Global Deal With WCM; Exactuals Promotes Lindsay Conlin to VP of Revenue

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Lauren Spencer Smith has officially been signed to a new global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music.

After working with several professional producers and songwriters, the singer-songwriter grew an international fanbase via TikTok with her breakout hit “Fingers Crossed” and trending single “Flowers.” The 18-year-old has since amassed a following of 3.6 million on the app and, after an intense bidding war, signed with Island-Republic earlier this year.

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“Lauren is well on her way to becoming the voice of her generation,” said Warner Chappell Music senior VP of A&R, Katy Wolaver. “Music is filled with relatable and unfiltered lyrics as well as stunning vocals, and she has this natural star power that all of us at Warner Chappell believe in.”

Spencer Smith shared: “I’m so grateful to begin this new chapter of my songwriting journey with Warner Chappell and to join their amazing roster of clients. Since I first met with Guy Moot, Rich Christina and Katy Wolaver, they understood my artistic vision, appreciated my artistry and most importantly felt like family.”

Pictured at top (from left): Guy Moot, Co-Chair & CEO, WCM; Rich Christina, SVP, A&R & Venture Partners, WCM; Lauren Spencer Smith; Ziggy Chareton, Manager, Island Records; Doug Mark, Attorney, Mark Music and Media Law; Katy Wolaver, SVP, A&R, WCM

+ The Los Angeles-based royalty payment provider, Exactuals, has promoted Lindsay Conlin to senior VP of revenue. In the new role, Conlin will oversee all sales and marketing operations for the company, and its suite of products, including the flagship platform, PaymentHub, and royalty calculation and statement generation service SR1.

Conlin will work out of Tennesse and report to Exactuals CEO Bryan Walley, who commented: “I am excited to be leading Exactuals forward in this next chapter shoulder to shoulder with an executive as incredible and deserving as Lindsay. The current momentum Exactuals is in no small part due to the work Lindsay has been doing in attracting and completing deals with new clients and I’m excited to see her continue to grow in her new role as senior VP of revenue.”

Before her promotion, Conlin served as director of business development at Exactuals, where she focused on negotiating deals and developing marketing strategies. She played a key role in finalizing deals with more than 100 labels, publishers, libraries, and distributors in the music and literary publishing spaces.

Prior to joining Exactuals in 2018, Conlin worked at Big Machine Label Group in the partnership marketing and promotion strategy department. She then departed Big Machine to create the software development company DotDot, which merged with Exactuals in 2018.

Tuesday, September 6

+ Universal Music Group has been awarded the Ukraine Peace Prize, a recognition bestowed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for the music company’s wartime support and humanitarian relief efforts in the region.

At a ceremony at UMG’s Belgium headquarters in Brussels, Olha Stefanishyna (pictured at left), Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, presented the award to Frank Briegmann, UMG’s chairman and CEO of Central Europe (pictured at right).

“[UMG] was one of the first to support Ukraine and join the sanctions against Russia,” said Stefanishyna. “UMG is the first music company in the world to receive such an award. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Universal Music has proven that they are true friends of Ukraine and entertainment/culture sphere shouldn’t stand aside the war.”

According to the label, their support spanned numerous NGOs, ranging from the World Central Kitchen to the International Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps and CARE.

They also helped to create charity concerts that helped fundraise for relief efforts. UMG labels Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon partnered with New York’s Metropolitan Opera to release “A Concert for Ukraine”, an album recorded live at the Met with proceeds going to charities supporting relief efforts in Ukraine. And UMG artists also raked in millions of dollars at the Berlin charity concert “Sound of Peace,” including Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey and David Garrett.

Other recipients of the Prize include Microsoft, Google and Amazon, however, UMG is the first music company to be awarded the Prize.

+ Ellie Goulding will receive the BMI President’s Award at the 2022 BMI London Awards for her “exemplary contributions to the art of music and songwriting,” according to a press announcement.

In addition, singer-songwriter and producer Tems will receive the BMI Impact Award, a recognition given to a songwriter, producer or composer for their “ground-breaking artistry, creative vision and impact on the future of music.” Tems joins previous honorees Raye and Arlo Parks.

The private event will return to London’s Savoy Hotel on Oct. 3, and will be hosted by BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill, and Shirin Foroutan, BMI VP of creative, Europe. The Million-Air awards, song of the year, and awards for pop, dance, film, television and cable television music will also be presented throughout the evening.

+ Elle Cameron-Kaufman, daughter of the late Howard Kaufman (who managed the Eagles, Aerosmith and Stevie Nicks), has announced the launch of her new Los Angeles-based label Elle Records. The independent label is partnering with TikTok’s new platform SoundOn for distribution.

According to a press release, Elle Records will serve as a launching pad for new artists looking to establish a career beyond going viral.

“The goal is to sign and develop an artist’s first breakout hits, but not lock them down to long-term contracts. With a focus on breaking singles successfully and artist development, the label’s goal is to give artists a foundation to see their ultimate visions through, without trapping them in contracts for years,” continues the release.

“A lot of my peers are focused on how to go viral or how to capitalize on something that’s going viral,” said Cameron-Kaufman. “We want to help launch the next generation of superstars and give them the best chances of success early on. There’s so much noise in the industry right now. So many artists, but there’s only a handful of stars. We are looking to break artists who will make a real impact and have a lasting legacy.”

In addition to Elle Records, Cameron previously held the position of pop curator and strategist at UMG where she worked alongside all of the company’s labels. One of the more notable projects she spearheaded was the launch of Taylor Swift’s album chapters for “Folklore,” “Evermore,” and “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).”

+ Brooklyn’s HDBeenDope has signed a label deal with Roc Nation. In announcing the signing, the hip-hop artist released a free verse titled “Paper Planes” which was produced by Dizzy Banko, and a video directed by Erikson Corniel. In the visual, HD is shown working in his home studio then making his way to Roc Nation’s New York headquarters.

“I’m a writer and artist from Brooklyn signed to Hov,” said HDBeenDope of the company run by Jay-Z. “Those of you who love hip hop like I do understand how special that is. I’d love to tell you it just happened out of nowhere but the truth is the intent has been consistent through and through. I think they call that serendipity,” HDBeenDope said. “I’m here for legacy, living in the now and creating for the future. That’s what I’m about, that’s what Roc is about. That’s what we are about.”

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