Fast-rising rapper Lady London, currently enjoying a hit with “Pop Ya Shit Freestyle,” has signed with High Standardz/ Def Jam Recordings, she and the company announced on Thursday.

Def Jam chairman/CEO Tunji Balogun (pictured above, left) said, “There are artists who challenge you to disregard everything you know and just follow them into the future. Lady London is one of those artists. She’s a force on the microphone, a savvy visionary, and just the kind of star we need right now. I’m honored and excited to welcome Lady London to the Def Jam family.”

Lady London added “The journey has been a beautiful one. Even the obstacles. I stayed true to myself. Did it my way. I’m happy to have a place to call home now.”

High Standardz founder/CEO Jeremy “J Dot” Jones (above right) added, “Since the beginning, High Standardz has been cultivating an environment where a certain caliber of artists can find a creative home for expression and growth. Lady London personifies everything that we’re about here.”

Born to Caribbean parents and raised in the Bronx and East Orange, NJ, Lady London earned her BS from Howard University and a Master’s degree from USC, but opted for a musical career instead of medical school. She released her indie mixtape, “Lady Like: The Boss Tape” last year.

+ Another fast-rising rapper, Sugarhill Ddot, has signed with Capitol Music Group’s Priority Records. The 15-year-old prodigy – whose name is a nod to the historic Harlem neighborhood of Sugar Hill, where he grew up – is the first artist to sign to Priority since creative executive Orlando Wharton came on board at CMG to relaunch the legendary hip-hop label as president.

Wharton said of the signing, “We’re bringing New York back. Sugarhill Ddot is a star in the making to ignite the resurgence of Priority Records.”

Sugarhill Ddot, who has released several singles and gotten co-signs from Drake and Lil Durk, added, “Being signed to Priority Records is a blessing. I thought being a signed artist would never be possible. I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

+ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson — the Grammy and Oscar-winning polymath who co-founded the Roots, directed and produced the “Summer of Soul” documentary and is also a best-selling author — has announced the launch of AUWA Books, an imprint through MCD and Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Its first book, an autobiography of legendary R&B musician Sly Stone written with Ben Greenman called “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” arrives on Oct. 17.  

Other forthcoming titles include Questlove’s own “Hip-Hop Is History” about the genre’s first 50 years (due in 2024); the first book from TikTok and podcasting superstar Drew Afualo (2024); Josh Luber’s “Building the Hype Economy” (2025), focused on the intersection of culture and commerce and the business of collecting from the co-founder of StockX and Fanatics Collectibles; and “Handbook for the Revolution: The Essential Guide for Workplace Organizing” (2025) by the co-founder of the Amazon Labor Union, Derrick Palmer.

“I have been writing books for over a decade,” says Questlove, “so it seemed like a natural step to publish them too. I’m very excited about AUWA Books, from the books we have lined up to the books we haven’t discovered yet. Let’s take it to the page.”

Wednesday, March 22

Label-management-publishing-distribution company Bad Habit has announced the extension of their partnership with Atlantic Records

Co-founded in 2015 by New Zealand-born industry veteran Kirk Harding and Nigerian-American A&R executive Matthew “Baus” Adesuyan, the label features such artists as Nigerian superstar Burna Boy, punk/hip-hop trio Fade ‘Em All, and Florida rapper Rellyski, and first joined forces with Atlantic Records in 2018. Its management wing includes the Neighbourhood, G-Eazy, Dora Jar, and many more artists, producers and engineers.

Harding nodded to Atlantic chiefs Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman when commenting, “Julie, Craig, and the entire Atlantic team have been incredible partners in helping us bring artists to global stages. We greatly admire their shared passion for nurturing amazing talent and developing new voices.  We look forward to continuing to grow our label roster with Atlantic.”

+ Following a recent $100 million investment uplift from its group of investors and lenders (Metropolitan Partners Group, Bardin Hill, Pinnacle Bank and Regions Bank) that doubled its funding to $200 million, Multimedia Music has closed a deal to acquire the catalog and income streams of multiple Emmy-winning composer Sean Callery.

One of the most-nominated composers of all time, Sean Callery’s body of work includes TV series “Homeland,” “24,” “Bones,” “Bull,” “Jessica Jones,” “Elementary” and “Designated Survivor,” among many others.

Multimedia’s Phil Hope, said. “We are very excited to be stepping into the world of top class series TV music with one of the very best composers in the field. Sean has worked on many of the most successful shows of recent years and we are proud that he chose to work with MMM.”

Multimedia Music was represented in the transactions by Selverne Kelley Bradford and DLA Piper, Sean Callery was represented by Mark Music & Media Law, Metropolitan Partners Group by Holland & Knight and Pinnacle Bank by Loeb & Loeb. 

+ Kobalt has re-signed Australian singer-songwriter Tash Sultana to a worldwide publishing administration agreement, including global synch and creative services for future songs. The songwriter/singer had signed initially to Kobalt in 2017.

Sultana said, “I love working with the Kobalt team and am happy to continue a partnership globally. I’m excited for my new songs I’ve been working on for so long see the light of day.”

The company also announced the addition of two new creatives to its global publishing team, Lindsey Lanier as VP of creative in Los Angeles, and Desi O’Meara as director of creative in New York. Both will be tasked with signing artists and writers as well as working with the global Kobalt creative roster.

Lanier spent 11 years at Universal Music Publishing and worked with artists such as Jhene Aiko, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, Blackbear, YG and others; most recently she was a VP of A&R at Motown Records. O’Meara began his career at Island-Def Jam before moving on to become director of A&R at Columbia Records; he also spent a year working with Sony Sweden’s A&R team in Stockholm.

+ City Parks Foundation will honor iHeartMedia Chief Programming Officer Tom Poleman with the SummerStage Icon Award and Young Women’s Leadership School of the Bronx will Co-Founder and Principal Devon Eisenberg with the People & Parks Award. The two will be honored at CPF’s 2023 benefit fundraiser, taking place Thursday, September 28 in Central Park.  The dinner and concert under the stars will be held at the flagship SummerStage venue. Special performances by top artists will be announced soon. 

“We are excited to announce Tom Poleman and Devon Eisenberg as this year’s honorees for the annual City Parks Foundation benefit fundraiser,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation.  “Our honorees share an exceptional dedication to building and enriching our city, be it through educating the next generation of leaders or nurturing the careers of talented performing artists.” 

+ Position Music and Big Noise Music Group have struck a new, strategic music publishing joint venture, Position president-CEO Tyler Bacon and Big Noise CEO Nick Gross announced. With the partnership, Position Music joins Big Noise in a worldwide publishing deal with Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter John “Feldy” Feldmann. Additionally, Position Music will be representing the Big Noise Music Group catalog including Mod Sun, The Used, The Wrecks, The Veronicas, girlfriends, Goldfinger, Escape the Fate, Arrested Youth among others for synchronization.

In addition to being the frontman of Goldfinger, multiple Grammy nominee Feldy has 10 Certified Platinum hits to his name, including co-writes on hits for Avicii, The Veronicas, The Used, Good Charlotte, Blink 182, Sueco, 5 Seconds of Summer, All Time Low, Panic at the Disco! and others.

+ BBR Music Group and BMG Nashville celebrated the release of “Stoned Cold Country – A 60th Anniversary Tribute Album to the Rolling Stones” on Monday, March 20 with an event and panel conversation about the making of the album.

From left: Jay McDowell (The Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum), Robert Deaton, Lainey Wilson, T.J. Osborne and Elvie Shane
Courtesy BMG Nashville

Monday, March 20

+ Pulse Music Group has signed punk band Turnstile to a worldwide publishing deal via a creative joint venture with Rick Rubin’s American Songs. The agreement covers Turnstile’s entire song catalog, including their 2021 record “Glow On,” which boasts Grammy-nominated singles “Blackout” and “Holiday.”

“We have been waiting a very long time for the next great rock band to emerge and feel very fortunate that we will get to work with Brendan and the band,” commented Scott Cutler, co-CEO of Pulse Music Group. “Welcoming Turnstile to our Pulse Music Group roster is a great example of what we set out to do creatively when we formed our joint venture with Rick Rubin. We’re proud to welcome Turnstile to our roster and to partner with American Songs to publish culturally impactful talent.”

Formed in 2015, the American Songs joint venture with Pulse Music Group is also home to Kaytranda, American rapper El-P (Run the Jewels), Chad Hugo (the Neptunes) and Romil Hemnani (Brockhampton), along with such artists as Kevin Abstract, Jean Dawson, Charley Crockett, Colter Wall, Marcus King and Freddie Gibbs.

“We are beyond excited to welcome Turnstile to our American Songs family,” said Isaac Heymann and Michael Goldberg of American Songs. “We look forward to helping their limitless expansion.”

The Baltimore-based band — comprised of Brendan Yates, Franz Lyons, Daniel Fang, and Pat McCrory –is currently on tour and will also set out to support Blink-182 on the North American leg of their arena trek throughout the summer.

+ Warner Chappell Music and Limited Edition Music, LLC have entered a new partnership to sign and develop emerging songwriters in the alternative, rock, pop, and alternative country spaces.

Greg Sowders, WCM’s senior VP of A&R and catalog, will continue in his current role and also lead Limited Edition Music with Marc Wilson, a former WCM A&R executive. Emmyn Calleiro, from the band Games We Play, and rising country artist Bailey Callahan are the first signings.

“Greg has been a key fixture at Warner Chappell for more than three decades and has dedicated his career to building out a star-studded alternative and rock roster,” said Guy Moot, WCM co-chair and CEO. “This is the perfect opportunity for him to continue to lead those efforts while also working with more emerging writers alongside Marc.”

During his time at WCM, Sowders has signed and worked with such artists and writers as Twenty One Pilots, Greta Van Fleet, Travis Barker, Paramore, Tyler Childers and Billy Corgan, among many others. Wilson, “a former long-time veteran of WCM,” helped sign and build a roster that included Lizzo, Steve Aoki, Ian Kirkpatrick, Sean Douglas, Sam DeRosa, Alec Benjamin, and more. In 2020, he launched United Songs Entertainment, which exclusively manages songwriters and producers.

L-R: Marc Wilson, Ryan Press, Carianne Marshall, Guy Moot, Greg Sowders
Photo Credit: Courtesy of WCM

+ Alex Coslov has been upped to the dual role of executive VP of marketing strategy for Republic Records and the head of marketing for Mercury Records.

Coslov initially joined Republic Records in 2017 as VP of marketing strategy and has served as senior VP of marketing strategy since 2021. He will continue to spearhead marketing campaigns for big-name acts like Morgan Wallen, Glass Animals, Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Greta Van Fleet, Florence + The Machine, Noah Kahan, James Blake, Yung Gravy and more.

Before he worked at Republic Records, Coslov spent four years at Ultra Music where he led the marketing department and also worked as an intern at SESAC, Epic Records and Red Light Management. He was featured on Variety‘s Hitmakers and Hitbreakers list in 2021 and 2022 for his part in Glass Animals’ evergreen hit, “Heat Waves.”

+ Michelle Teh has been named senior VP of Universal Music Group’s Global Classics & Jazz division, it was announced by president/CEO Dickon Stainer. An 11-year UMG veteran, she returns to GCJ from the company’s Global Priorities team, where she has spent the last three years working on international campaigns for artists including Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, the Weeknd, ABBA, the “Encanto” soundtrack and others.

Stainer said: “I’m delighted to welcome Michelle to our division and am thrilled to have such an experienced, forward-thinking and revered executive on board, who can further drive the prosperity of our world-renowned and upcoming artists. Michelle has a brilliant track record of attracting diverse audience sectors to different types of music, and her experience will help us build on our successes so far.”

+ The Jammcard social media platform has launched a new division, Jammcard Films, with a feature-length documentary called “Immediate Family.”

The film tells the story of legendary musicians Leland Sklar, Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Watchel, Russ Kunkel and Steve Postell who played on countless albums for Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Carole King, Phil Collins, Jackson Browne, Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, and many more. The film was directed by Denny Tedesco (“Wrecking Crew”) and is produced in partnership with Pfonetic and Submarine Entertainment.

+ The Human Rights Campaign has revealed singer-songwriter Ava Max will perform at the 2023 HRC Los Angeles Dinner, a fundraising event for LGBTQ equality, on March 25 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

“We are thrilled to have Ava Max perform at our Los Angeles Dinner. Ava is not only an extremely talented artist, but also an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Having performed at PRIDE Festivals and queer venues around the world, her music has inspired millions of fans with her empowering message of embracing our own uniqueness and individuality,” said Kelley Robinson, HRC president.

The Albanian-American artist joins a lineup that includes previously announced honoree Michaela Jaé Rodriguez. Max’s full-length major debut album, “Heaven & Hell” (Atlantic Records), boasted the hit “Sweet but Psycho,” which spent three weeks in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart. She most recently released her sophomore album, “Diamonds & Dancefloors.”

Tickets and further information are available at

+ Social Innovation Summit, a two-day flagship reunion and conference, has confirmed Steve Aoki as a headlining speaker at this year’s event on June 6 and 7 in LA, coinciding with LA Tech Week.

Aoki will be on this year’s main stage in conversation with Rembrandt Flores, the founder of 8Commas and co-founder of Flowing Ventures. The conversation will surround Aoki’s A0K1VERSE, a metaverse and NFT membership platform.

Additional speakers include Ayele Shakur, president of Redstone Family Foundation; Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up; Maura Pally, executive director of Blackstone Charitable Foundation; Rembrandt Flores, co-founder of Flowing Ventures and founder of 8Commas; Elyse Cohen, president of Rare Impact fund and VP of social impact and inclusion for Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty; and Darnell Strom, partner and head of culture and leadership division for United Talent Agency.

Post source: variety

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