The Deals: A$AP Ferg Joins Roc Nation; UTA Music Signs Dillon Francis

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A$AP Ferg signed a management deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and will go by just Ferg for his business endeavors outside the hip-hop collective A$AP Mob. In addition to the new management deal, he announced a new single called “Green Juice” featuring Pharrell and produced by The Neptunes due out Oct. 28. Previously, Ferg has collaborated with brands like Adidas, Hennessy, Tiffany & Co. and Snapple. Variety first reported Ferg’s signing to Jay-Z’s company.

“It has always been a dream to work with JAY. For decades I have looked up to the moves he’s made with his diverse range of business ventures but especially with companies like Roc-A-Fella and Roc Nation,” Ferg said of the new deal with Roc Nation. “His ability to build brands and create teams alongside leaders like Jay Brown is unmatched, and it feels good to be officially a part of the family.”

Dillon Francis has signed with UTA Music to oversee the DJ’s film, television and alternative media pursuits in addition to his international touring business in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Francis will continue to be represented by Canopy Media Partners and TMWRK.

Having just put out his fifth record Happy Machine, Francis is working on endeavors outside of music, penning scripts for his animated series titled Gerald’s World, which is currently in development. He is also putting together a treatment for a show about his alter-ego DJ Hanzel.

Big Loud Records has signed rising country singer Jake Worthington to its growing lineup of artists. Worthington, who emerged as a finalist on NBC’s The Voice in 2014, joins a Big Loud roster that includes country staples like Morgan Wallen, Jake Owen, Chris Lane, Mason Ramsey and more.

Worthington is also signed to Big Loud for publishing and management and is expected to make a quick impact on the label, as he will appear alongside Ronnie Dunn and Owen on “Jonesin” as part of the label’s HIXTAPE: Vol. 2 on Friday (Oct. 29).

“We’re excited to welcome Jake Worthington to the Big Loud Records family,” partner/chief executive officer Seth England said. “He’s been putting in the work to build his own authentic brand of country music, and we’re looking forward to teaming up to get his sound on the map.”

“Country music is all I’ve known for a long while,” Worthington said following the deal’s announcement. “It’s been my friend, helped me grow and granted me experience and opportunity. I’m honored to work alongside Big Loud Records and am grateful to have a team who wants me to just do what I do — country music. It’s a different feeling knowing that everyone around me believes the music I make has its place in country music. A guy couldn’t ask for more.”

Indie-pop trio COIN out of Nashville has joined Homemade Projects, a digital-first music company backed by investors 10K Projects and Create Music Group. COIN joins bands and artists like Surfaces, Peach Tree Rascals and Salem Illese on the label’s roster.

Their 2016 record How Will You Know If You Never Tried landed at No. 2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Independently, the band released Dreamland in 2020 and have performed at festivals like Bumbershoot and Firefly, opening for artists like Young The Giant and Fitz & The Tantrums.

“We’ve been fans of COIN for a long time now,” said Homemade Projects co-founders Zach Friedman and Tony Talamo. “Chase, Ryan and Joe are creating some of the best music of their career and we’re thrilled to have them on the roster.”

NEZZA signed with Virgin Music on Oct. 18 to release and distribute her debut EP Club Solita. On the EP, she blends her Latina roots with elements of pop and R&B music. NEZZA’S EP includes “Tenerte De Nuevo,” a collaboration with Trinidadian-American singer LATENIGHTJIGGY.

“I wanted Club Solita to be a place where anyone going through heartbreak whether present or past tense could come feel empowered and like the baddest versions of themselves. And I hope when people listen they realize it’s okay to be Solita or Solito”, Nezza said.

NEZZA has built a following on YouTube with weekly uploads allowing her to keep up with fans, along with a rising social media presence. Before dipping her toes in the music world as a solo artist, she has worked as a professional dancer and choreographer for artists like Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez.

Producer and songwriter Warryn Campbell’s MyBlock Records has partnered with The SRG/ILS Group for upcoming releases. MyBlock Records is home to R&B and Gospel stars like Mary Mary, Erica Campbell, The Walls Group and others.

Campbell’s production credits include working with Kanye West, Drake, Stevie Wonder, and others, and he has been involved in many Grammy-nominated works in recent years.

“Warryn Campbell is among a handful of musicians and producers working at the highest level of their craft,” said Claude Villani, founder and chief executive officer of The SRG/ILS Group. “We are extremely excited to enter into this partnership with MyBlock Records. I see great music and a few new surprises for the future.”

BMG, alongside its live partner company Undercover and Volker Hirsch, founder of the German Taubertal-Festival, have formed a strategic alliance to broaden live offerings across Europe. BMG has signed an agreement that will allow them to acquire a majority stake in KARO Konzert-Agentur Rothenburg GmbH, the organizer of the festival and one of the most renowned mid-size boutique rock and pop festivals in Europe.

The alliance is the next step in BMG’s expansion into the live music and entertainment business, so in addition to touring, booking and concerts, BMG’s live music market offering includes festivals. Working closely alongside KARO and Undercover, BMG will work on music marketing and sponsorship solutions for the festival, with one of the long-term goals being a desire to strengthen the international brand behind Taubertal-Festival.

“One year after Undercover joined BMG, we can now close the festival gap with our live portfolio and thus further expand our joint vision of live entertainment and artist partnership,” said Michael Schacke, chief executive officer of Undercover and head of BMG’s live activities in GSA. “My team and I are really looking forward to working together.”

Indie alt-pop artist Kid Bloom signed a worldwide record deal with Position Music on Oct. 20. With more than a hundred million total streams across platforms, Bloom gained prominence after self-releasing his debut EP A Different State of Mind, with the title track garnering 30 million streams alone. In celebration of the new deal, the LA-based Bloom will be releasing his new single “Like I Never Left” on Nov. 4th.

Outside of his solo work, Bloom writes for other artists as well, and recently co-wrote “Convince Me Otherwise” with Maroon 5 for their recent LP.

“Lennon is a dynamic talent who is building significant organic momentum,” said Tyler Bacon, founder and chief executive officer of Position Music. “We are excited to work with Kid Bloom’s catalog and future releases as we continue elevating his promising profile and achieving our ambitious goals together.”

“Kid Bloom is a statement signing for our label. Before coming to Position, I worked on marketing with (Bloom) and his manager Summer Wiebe and being able to help bring them into the Position family is both humbling and inspiring,” said J Scavo, gm of recorded music at Position. “Lennon has created an impressive body of work while building an engaged fanbase across the world. We’ll work tirelessly with his team to build on top of this incredible foundation.”

Mimi Hearing Technologies, a global leader in hearing wellbeing, announced a new partnership with Skullcandy Inc. to help support healthy listening habits for hearing. Skullcandy’s new Grind Fuel Earbuds will offer Mimi Sound Personalization and bring users an enhanced listening experience that dials into their unique sound profile and custom tunes the audio signal for their specific hearing ability. These specialized efforts in earbud design are meant to promote long-term hearing health for listeners who use these Skullcandy products.


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