The Recording Academy Appoints Ryan Butler Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Def Jam teams up with Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free to sign Tanna Leone
the recording academy announced the appointment of Ryan Butler as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, effective immediately. He fills a role previously held by Valeisha Butterfield Jones, who was promoted to co-chair last year, and to whom Butler will report.
Butler leads diversity, equity and inclusion internally and externally for The Recording Academy and its affiliates. He is responsible for company-wide diversity and inclusion efforts and ensures that the Academy’s core values of diversity, equity and inclusion remain embedded in all aspects of the Academy. organization, including internal staff culture, membership, rewards, advocacy and related programs. It also sets national and chapter goals to accelerate results for underrepresented communities and creators.
“We are very proud to have Ryan as vice president of DEI,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of The Recording Academy. “His passion and leadership have been instrumental in the tremendous progress in diversity, equity and inclusion we have made over the past two years and we are excited to see how he will continue to strengthen our commitment. to the music community.”
Butler joined the Academy in 2019 as a key member of the Advocacy and Public Policy team and later served as Director and then Senior Advisor to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department. According to the announcement, while at DEI, he led various efforts, including launching the Academy’s first-ever Black Music Collective and the podcast of the same name, the Women in the Mix study alongside Berklee College of Music. and Arizona State University, and setting up an inclusion endorsement for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. Butler was also instrumental in launching a series of partnerships, including Color of Change and GLAAD. During his tenure as Senior Advisor, Butler concurrently served as Founding Executive Director of Howard University’s Warner Music/Blavatnik Center for Music Business.
He has previously held positions at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism & Communication at Hampton University, 3EE Consulting, Atlantic Records, the RIAA, Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP, and the Superior Courts of the District of Columbia at Washington, DC.
+ Def Jam has signed Tanna Leonean artist based in Los Angeles on Kendrick Lamar and Dave Freeit’s pgLang imprint, and created the signature with two tracks, “With the Villains” and “Lucky”. Leone follows Baby Keem as the second artist to partner with pgLang, and joins Keem for the second leg of his “Melodic Blue” tour, starting tonight (March 10) in Pittsburgh.
“We are delighted to welcome Tanna Leone and pgLang to the Def Jam family as valued partners,” said Def Jam Chairman and CEO Tunji Balogun. “I’m fortunate to have been able to connect with Kendrick and Dave early in my career as friends and collaborators, and I’m thrilled to be able to expand that relationship here at Def Jam. Tanna is a dynamic new voice and multi-talented and we are honored to be part of its development and success.
“Tanna is a rare opportunity to disrupt. We’re so excited to partner up with my young nigga,” Free said.
+ Downtown Music Fund created a fund to invest over $200 million to support independent artists and entrepreneurs. The fund, backed by a new credit facility with Bank of Americawill be used in all of Downtown’s distribution, publishing administration, and artist and record label services.
The fund allows Downtown to pay advances to its clients (artists, labels, distribution clients, publishing administration clients, etc.) without taking any rights. Over the past two years, Downtown has refocused its business on services rather than publishing or rights holding. It currently manages over 23 million music assets on behalf of over one million artists and corporate clients from 145 countries from a catalog spanning 100 years of popular music.
“Downtown Music Holdings has built a business well-positioned to serve the growing independent sector of the music industry,” said Randy Hua, Group Head of Entertainment Industries at Bank of America. “The new Downtown Fund is a powerful resource that empowers music creators around the world. Bank of America is pleased to help fund this innovative sector of the arts economy.
Downtown also named two new members to its Board of Directors: Alison MooreCEO of Comic Relief USA, and Kelli Turner, chief financial officer of Sun Capital Partners, to its board of directors. Moore previously held executive positions at Conde Nast, SoundCloud, NBC Universal and HBO. Turner was formerly President and COO of SESAC and held executive positions at RSL Management Corporation, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Time Warner and New Line Cinema.
“Alison and Kelli have been true leaders and pioneers in their respective fields,” said Downtown Founder and Executive Chairman Justin Kalifowitz. “Alison’s wealth of experience driving innovation to support creativity and Kelli’s impressive financial and operational experience both make them powerful new additions to our board.”
+ Warner Chappell Music renewed its global publishing deal with the songwriter Nicole Galyonin partnership with Influencing the media and Songs and Girls Editions. Galyon has been with WCM for 15 years and his hits and credits include “I Quit Drinking” by Kelsea Ballerini and Lany, “Minimum Wage” by Blake Shelton, “Gone” by Dierks Bentley, “Half of My Hometown” by Kelsea Ballerini ft Kenny Chesney, “Consequences” by Camila Cabello, “Automatic” by Maranda Lambert, “We Were Us” by Keith Urban and “Tequila” by Dan + Shay.
Warner Chappell also named Luca Gentile to the new role of Vice President, Operations and Industry Relations at Warner Chappell Music Italy. In this new role, Gentili will continue to be based in Milan and will report directly to Santiago Menéndez-Pidal, WCM President for Southern Europe. Gentili joined Warner Chappell Music in 2008, as first administrative director and then financial director, covering the company’s operations in Italy and Greece.
+ Tank has signed a new contract with the hit songwriter, Ali Tamposiwho has been represented by the company since 2017. Her many hits include “Havana” by Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug, “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “Youngblood” by 5 Seconds of Summer, “It Ain’t Me” by Kygo with Selena Gomez, “Wolves” by Selena Gomez and Marshmello, “Let Me Love You” by DJ Snake and Justin Bieber and “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa.
+ Sarah Jones was promoted to general manager of the concert discovery service Kick. Based at the company’s London headquarters, Jones will report to Benjamin Blank, president of media operations at parent company Warner Music. She replaces Bill Ashton, who will leave the company at the end of the month after ten years with WMG. Before joining Songkick in 2018, she worked at the BBC for 14 years, where she led its global partnership strategy across its video and podcast portfolio.
+ The Beggars Label Group announced several promotions: Brandon Becker is now Global Head of Streaming, managing the department worldwide, leading strategy in conjunction with labels, and maintaining primary relationships with our global streaming partners. He is based in New York.
Matthew Gawryche joins as head of US streaming, after serving as global head of marketing strategy for FUGA. He is based in Los Angeles and will report to Becker.
Marissa Esposito was promoted to junior streaming account manager in the US, and UK, Shaun Delaney assumes sole oversight of all UK streaming activities as Chief Streaming Officer, while Molly McIntyre moved from the UK radio department to the role of junior streaming account manager in the UK.
+ Marketing President “Elvis Duran Show” of iHeartRadio Steven Levin will bring his experience as a media strategist to Bevel, a Los Angeles-based strategic communications firm specializing in fintech, venture capital, consumer brands and technology. Bevel was founded in 2017 by CEO Jessica Schaefer and works with a clientele that includes Public.com, Acorns, Torch Capital and Titan – which have investors like the Chainsmokers, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and Jared Leto.
Levine’s hiring is part of Bevel’s launch of its first brand profiling division, led by partner Morgan Borer. Levine, who was involved in the syndication/market expansion of Elvis Duran and The Morning Show (from 40 to 80 markets), will find new clients to support the launch of Bevel’s division.
+ Artist Growtha collaboration platform for labels, artist managers and creative teams, has hired Rob Weitzner as Executive Vice President of Revenue and Growth. He previously held positions at eMusic, TVT Records, A2IM and IODA, and spent the past 13 years as Head of Business Development, Strategy and Partnerships for state51 Music Group’s digital supply chain company. , Consolidated Independent.
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