Wiz Khalifa’s Sells Catalog Assets to HarbourView


Wiz Khalifa‘s chart-topping titles “See You Again,” “Black & Yellow,” “The Thrill,” and countless others have been acquired in a new deal with HarbourView Equity Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed though HarbourView was said to have purchased “select” recorded music and publishing assets.

Khalifa’s independent record, management company and lifestyle brand Taylor Gang has partnered HarbourView for the deal. Said Khalifa, “Sherrese [Clarke Soares, founder and CEO of HarbourView] and HarbourView truly understand the value of music and artistry. We are excited to partner with them as they continue to build a dynamic media company that is in line with the values and goals we all have here at Taylor Gang.”

HarbourView has been extremely active since launching in 2021, acquiring a portfolio featuring thousands of titles across numerous genres. Their latest acquisition was the recorded-music assets of Grammy-winning rapper-singer Nelly, Variety independently confirmed. The deal included half of Nelly’s recorded music such as “Ride Wit Me,” “Dilemma” featuring Kelly Rowland, and “Hot in Herre,” both of which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for multiple weeks.

Further terms of the deal were not disclosed, although TMZ reported that the deal was for $50 million and covered half of Nelly’s recorded-music assets.

+ Keychange, a global network aiming to bring gender equality to the music industry, is looking for female and gender-expansive artists and industry professionals from Los Angeles, New York City and Nashville.

The U.S.-based Talent Development program will select 25 applicants via applications, with the deadline to apply set for July 14. The free program offers mentorship, team meet-ups and educational training, along with opportunities to participate in a showcase and speaking opportunities at partner festivals and conferences. It will run from September 2023 to March 2024.

See here for applications.

+ Live Nation has launched a new app called Mindful Nation which makes use of music in the practice of meditation. The tool can be downloaded via the Apple App Store and offers over a thousand classes “searchable by trainer, vibe, or preferred class duration,” according to a press release. The meditations are curated by producers and independent artists, including Janax Pacha, Mose Musica, Chris IDH and more.

The app was launched by Niamh McCarthy, a former artist manager who worked for Madonna and U2’s management team at Maverick. It has seen support from Noel Gallagher and David Blaine.

“The Mindful Nation app brings together meditation and music in a unique way,” said Michael Rapino, CEO and president of Live Nation. “We first launched Mindful Nation as a program for our employees, and it’s great to see Niamh now bringing the benefits of mindfulness to touring artists and crew across our industry, as well as music fans.”

+ Afrojack, the EDM artist behind hits like “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo and “Take Over Control,” has signed with the Shalizi Group for management. The Shalizi Group, founded by Moe Shalizi, also manages Alesso, G Herbo, Jauz, Marshmello, Southside and Pouya.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Shalizi Group and getting to work with Moe and his roster of amazing talent. We’re looking forward to what the future will bring!” said Afrojack in a statement.

+ Downtown-owned DIY distributor, CD Baby, has hired Faryal Khan-Thompson as senior vice president of marketing and community engagement.

New York-based Khan-Thompson most recently served as VP of international at TuneCore, overseeing the distributor’s scaling operations and product localization in more than 30 markets. She will report to Christine Barnum, CD Baby’s chief revenue officer, responsible for developing and overseeing the company’s marketing strategy, branding initiatives, and international growth alongside its artist education and engagement efforts.

“I am humbled and excited to be joining the CD Baby and Downtown Music Holdings team, especially during this milestone year,” said Khan-Thompson. “I am committed to building on the great work that has been done and positioning CD Baby as the leading provider of music distribution services for independent artists. I’d like to personally thank Christine Barnum, Scott Williams, Molly Neuman, and Andrew Bergman for their support and trust in me, and for giving me this opportunity.”

Wednesday, July 5

Spirit Music Group has signed Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Autumn Rowe to a worldwide publishing administration deal that encompasses a select catalog as well as a go-forward publishing deal.

Rowe’s songwriting real estate includes co-writing credits on Jon Batiste’s “We Are,” which was nominated as record of the year and won in the album of the year category at the 2022 Grammys. She’s also worked alongside such celebrated acts as Dua Lipa, Pitbull, Diana Ross, Zendaya, Ava Max, FKA Twigs and Leona Lewis.

Rowe is also a prominent figure in the fight for songwriters’ rights, serving as a member of the Songwriters of North America (SONA) board. She also co-founded and became co-director of the Songwriter Fund, a nonprofit enterprise that has raised and distributed more than $500,000 in an effort to support songwriters affected by COVID.

“Autumn is an undeniably talented writer and producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the world. On top of that, she’s a remarkable advocate for the interests of songwriters and producers and exactly the type of partner we look to work with,” said Jon Singer, chairman of Spirit Music Group. “We’re thrilled to welcome Autumn to the Spirit Music Group family and to have the opportunity to represent her as her publisher.”

Pictured L-R at the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards ceremony in New York: Nancy Matalon, Vice President, A&R, Spirit Music Group; Autumn Rowe; and Jon Singer, Chairman, Spirit Music Group.
Jen Rosenstein

+ Jaxsta‘s former CEO Beth Appleton has stepped down from her post and will be replaced by Josh Simons, effective immediately.

“I will relish my time at Jaxsta and the initiatives that I drove,” said Appleton. “I wish Josh, and the incredible team, all the very best for the future. I’m proud to have been a part of the Jaxsta evolution, and look forward to watching the business continue on its mission.”

Simons joined Jaxsta following the completion of the acquisition of Vampr earlier this June and was appointed chief strategy officer, however, he will now assume these responsibilities in addition to his appointment as CEO.

Added Simons, “Jaxsta has a clear vision and product roadmap going into FY24, and that’s a credit to the Board, Beth and the team who have done a remarkable job. Revenue, cost efficiency and profitability remain the top priorities for Jaxsta and I look forward to building on the current momentum. We have the foundation for a transformational global music product as we continue to integrate Vampr into the business and scale the VINYL.com platform.”

+ GEMA CEO Dr. Harald Heker will be retiring on Sept. 30 and Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, chief legal counsel of the collective management organization since 2013, will succeed him starting Oct. 1.

GEMA represents the copyright of more than 90,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers) in Germany, and more than two million copyright owners globally. Dr. Holzmüller has headed GEMA’s legal department since 2013 and was appointed CEO of ZPÜ (Zentralstelle für private Überspielungsrechte, Central Organisation for Private Copying Rights) in 2016.

“We look forward to continuing GEMA’s successful trajectory with [Holzmüller]and tackling the immense challenges that lie ahead for us and the entire music industry,” commented Dr. Ralf Weigand, chairman of the supervisory board, in a statement. “In particular, the topic of artificial intelligence in creative processes will keep us creators fundamentally busy in the coming years. This will be comparable to the challenges of digitalization over the last decade. The entire Supervisory Board and I myself are very much looking forward to working with Tobias and are convinced that we have found the best person for this tough job.”

+ SoundCloud has hired former Meta employee Devi Mahadevia as its new senior VP of strategy. The platform simultaneously announces the promotions of Tracy Chan to chief content officer, and Ama Walton to senior VP of music licensing and deputy general counsel.

At Meta, Mahadevia drove consumer partnerships and product integrations for the company’s metaverse, AR, and VR efforts. Chan previously aided SoundCloud in its efforts to increase creator subscriptions while Walton oversaw all legal efforts for SoundCloud for Artists, establishing new ways for artists to generate income on SoundCloud, and led the processes required to update the company’s monetization and distribution offers to creators on the platform.

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