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Publishing Briefs: Warner Chappell Expands to Vietnam; Jenna Andrews Signs With Milk & Honey

Publishing Briefs: Warner Chappell Expands to Vietnam; Jenna Andrews Signs With Milk & Honey

Warner Chappell Music, the publishing arm of Warner Music Group, announced today (July 29) that it will open its first office in Vietnam and will appoint marketing executive Vince Kobler as its general manager. This extends the major music company’s presence in the fast-growing nation which started when Warner Music, the recording arm of WMG, established an office in the country last year.

Both offices for Warner Music and Warner Chappell Music will be based in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam and hope to capitalize on the country’s growing economy and its untapped local talent. “This is a historic moment for the local music industry which is just getting started here,” Kobler explains. “Our expertise and reach will help propel Vietnamese artists, composers and songwriters to new heights.”

Kobler will report directly to Jennifer Chong, head of ASEAN, Warner Chappell Music who adds, “a revolution is taking place in Vietnam’s music scene. Local songs are starting to capture the attention of audiences globally… we hope this office will be a big step forward in helping Vietnam make its mark on the global music industry.”

The establishment of the Vietnam office follows the example of other recent expansions for Warner Chappell Music in Asia, including the creation of its Shanghai office last year.

Milk & Honey will now represent hitmaking songwriter, vocal producer and executive producer Jenna Andrews as her management. Her direct team includes founder and CEO Lucas Keller, as well as general manager Nic Warner and manager Chad Wes.

The new deal arrives as the songwriter and producer reaches new heights as a global hitmaker. With credits on current Billboard number one hit “Butter” by K-Pop group BTS as well as their latest song “Permission to Dance,” Andrews currently sits in the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 Songwriters chart this week. Along with her work with the Korean pop powerhouse, she also has credits on “Supalonely” by Benee, “Heartbreak Anthem” by Little Mix, David Guetta, and Gus Dapperton. She has also collaborated with Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Lennon Stella, Blu DeTiger, Tori Kelly, Jessie J, Noah “40” Shebib, Diplo, Max Martin and more.

According to Keller, Andrews’s past year has been a “tour de force.” “We look forward to matching her ambition… we have big plans going into 2022,” he says. Andrew adds that she admires the Milk & Honey team for their “energy, hustle and dedication to their clients.” “It really felt like having them manage me was the perfect fit going into this next chapter of my career,” she says.

Reservoir announced on July 22nd that it has invested as a minority partner in the Chinese music rights and marketing company Outdustry. Along with this investment, Reservoir has also formed a joint venture with Outdustry to sign local artists and songwriters and to acquire music catalogs from Chinese talent.

The new partnership with Outdustry is part of Reservoir’s initiative to expand their footprint abroad, particularly in China, India and other emerging markets of which Outdustry is already a major player. With direct deals under their belt with all major Chinese music services, Outdustry has become a leader in monetizing developing music markets and administering rights.

Prior to this new deal between the two parties, Outdustry Songs acted as the exclusive sub-publisher for Reservoir’s roster and catalog, starting in June 2020. Since then Reservoir has seen triple-digit percentage increases in collections from that territory.

This announcement proceeds news that Reservoir has entered an agreement with a SPAC, the first step toward becoming a publicly traded company.

On July 21, Sony Music Publishing announced the renewal of its long-time publishing deal with Grammy-winning country songwriter Chris DeStefano. The songwriter has been in the Sony Music Publishing family since 2008, when he signed his first deal to EMI Music Publishing (which has since been acquired by SMP).

Celebrated as one of country’s biggest modern hitmakers, Chris DeStefano has worked with Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Dan + Shay, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, and more, penning many country radio number one tracks. According to Sony Music Publishing Nashville evp, creative Josh Van Valenburg, “Simply put, Chris DeStefano is special.” The songwriter also shared positive sentiments about his publishing partner, saying “I’m grateful for their fervent support and love for songs.”

Yesterday (July 28), Primary Wave announced the purchase of the back publishing catalog of songwriter and producer, Steve Kipner. Best known for his work on Olivia Newton John’s cheeky workout anthem “Physical” and “Twist of Fate,” Kipner has had a rare career as a musical hitmaker that spanned decades. His catalog also includes co-writing credits on “Breakeven” by The Script, “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera, “The Hardest Thing” by 98 Degrees, and “Crying in the Club” by Camila Cabello.

Kipner’s catalog joins the likes of Prince, Bob Marley, Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith and many more whose work belongs to the independent publishing company, Primary Wave. According to Kipner, this was a big selling point for him when selling his publishing catalog. “Their catalog of writers and songs speaks for itself,” he says.

The deal arrives shortly after the Kipner-penned 80s hit “Physical” was given a new life in the melody of this year’s chart topper “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat, featuring SZA, something which caught the interest of president and co-founder Justin Shukat. Dubbing “Physical” an “evergreen copyright,” Shukat adds, “Steve’s great catalog has proven that hit songs will continue to be heard for generations to come.”

Steve Kipner was advised in the Primary Wave catalog sale by Leaf Entertainment Capital.

Rap producer Lil Rich has signed a new publishing deal with Ultra International Music Publishing. The worldwide deal includes the acquisition of Lil Rich’s back catalog as well as his new creations moving forward.

Though he is considered a newcomer, Lil Rich is already dominating the rap scene, working with a laundry list of talents. With the signature tag “I’m really rich,” Lil Rich is the mastermind behind YG’s “Out On Bail,” “Perfect” by Cousin Stizz, featuring City Girls, and “Moonwalkers” by rapper-turned-rocker Machine Gun Kelly. But recently, Lil Rich has become best known for his work as executive producer for rap phenom Bia, including her breakout hit “Whole Lotta Money,” whose new remix with Nicki Minaj cemented BIA as rap’s latest hitmaker.

Toronto-based independent rights administrative company, CCS Rights Management, has announced the launch of its new front-facing publishing company Daytripper Music Publishing. Along with Daytripper, the company has signed its first new act, Hill Kourkoutis, to a global co-publishing deal. Best known for her work as a songwriter and producer for children’s programming, Kourkoutis co-wrote and produced the theme and end title for Universal Kids’ animated series Remy and Boo and the theme song for Disney’s Dino Ranch. With a penchant for writing for sync placements, Kourkoutis’ music has also been used in ad campaigns for Virgin Mobile and Cadillac.

Kourkoutis joins other CCS Rights Management clients who will also be signed to the newly minted Daytripper Music Publishing, including Tribe Friday, Featurette, POESY, Nuela Charles and more.

CCS will assist its Daytripper Music Publishing team with administration around the world, synchronization, and other licensing services, although CCS sees Daytripper as a distinct, stand-alone brand. Apart from its connection to CCS, Daytripper was designed to be a “progressive, next-gen company anchored in old-school publishing fundamentals, that is the antithesis of the acquisition focused companies in the current environment,” according to a statement released by CCS Rights Management.

“We wanted to create a separate ‘home’ that emphasizes all [CCS’s] world class talent,” explains Jordan Howard, creative/a&r director for CCS. “And now, proudly, Daytripper is that home.”

Nashville-based independent company, Wide Open Music Publishing, has announced the signing of two new songwriters: Joe Haydel and Martin McDaniel.

Haydel, a songwriter and artist, is a Nashville newcomer. A rock-tinged country artist, he released his debut self-titled EP in 2019 and landed his first outside cut with Chase Bryant’s “Even Now” in April 2021. McDaniel, however, has been in the Nashville circuit since 2008 when he made the move from Alabama to the Music City to pursue music full time. Since then, McDaniel has appeared as the opening act for Alan Jackson and released his own records.

The two signees join Wide Open Music Publishing’s growing, but small roster that also includes Chris Bandi, George Birge, Maddie Larkin, John Marlin, and Tim Owens.

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