Murda Beatz Manager Cory Litwin Joins Range Media Partners

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Cory Litwin, the founder and CEO of 2wenty2wenty Music Group, will be joining Range Media Partners as a managing partner in the company’s music division. Since 2014, Litwin has been managing Murda Beatz (Drake, Travis Scott, and Migos), fostering the hip-hop producer into one of the most in-demand music makers in the genre.

Murda Beatz will join Lutwin at Range Media as part of the 25 producers and engineers that Lutwin brings to the company, also including Jason “Cheese” Goldberg and Autumn Rowe. Litwin’s team, which includes managers Brennan Bryant and Ky Zaretsky, as well as coordinator Edson Higareda, will also join Range Media.

“Cory Litwin adds a much-needed dimension to our already dynamic business,” says Matt Graham, Range Music co-founder and managing partner. “He and his team understand the producer and writer representation landscape at the highest level and provide access to tremendous hitmakers that enrich Range Music, feed our burgeoning label and publishing business. Additionally, I have found him to be a leader who acts; motivating those around him to move his client agendas forward at every turn. At Range, we pride ourselves on that sort of proactive representation.”

Before joining Range, Litwin worked alongside Neil Jacobson as the executive VP of Hallwood Media. He was named one of Variety’s Top 5 producer/songwriter managers in 2021 and was also recognized by Variety as a 2021 and 2022 Hitmaker.

“I chose Range because I loved the company culture and the partners that had already been assembled,” said Litwin. “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘It’s not about the destination, but about the journey.’ Being able to join somewhere at this point in my journey with so many great partners having varying expertise and experience is exciting and inspiring to me. I’m looking to grow as much as I can and work alongside great people who can help with my growth and the growth of my clients. Here at Range there is an opportunity to expand into the arenas of some of my other passions, including film, television and sports. Really looking forward to the future here at Range.”

Pictured above (L-R): Edson Higareda, Ky Zaretsky, Cory Litwin, Brennan Bryant

+ Seeker Music has acquired the publishing catalog of UK production duo Future Cut, otherwise known as Tunde Babalola and Darren Lewis.

Future Cut began their music careers as promoters within the Manchester dance and rave scene in the mid-nineties before putting out their first releases on the UK dance label Metalheadz. They signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2002, and not much later, were introduced to a then-unknown Lily Allen, who recruited them for her launch into her pop stardom on her 2006 debut “Alright, Still.”

“The general public don’t know who we are … But they’ve definitely heard us,” the duo said about their footprint in mainstream pop that spans collaborations with Rihanna, Shakira, MIA, Little Mix, and more.

Commenting on the deal, Future Cut adds, “As a songwriter himself, Evan understands what it means to be constantly evolving, musically and creatively. We don’t want our songs sitting on a shelf – we want them to be worked in fresh, creative ways that are still in line with our artist-driven focus and ‘brand.’ Not a lot of publishers get that, but Evan, and Seeker, do. We also want to thank the Seeker team for making this deal happen and our attorney Marvin Katz for introducing us to Seeker and representing us in the transaction as well as Korda Marshall.”

+ Interscope Records will be partnering with Afterlife, the label founded by electronic music duo Tale Of Us (Carmine Conte and Matteo Milleri), to release the debut album by Anyma, including his and Grimes’ new single, and distribute all future Afterlife releases and catalog.

“Over their tremendous careers as artists and label owners, Carmine and Matteo have helped shape dance music culture for an entire generation,” said John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M. “We are excited to collaborate with them to bring their music to an even larger global audience.”

“Carmine and Matteo have made their distinctive mark in music both as artists and as label owners,” said Ryan Roy, the seasoned A&R exec behind the deal. “Working with them on all of their future recordings as well as with the amazing artists on Afterlife is a massive honor for us.”

Wednesday, June 7

Mathew Knowles and Emmy-nominated executive producer Tamra Simmons (“Surviving R. Kelly” and “Casey Anthony: Where The Truth Lies”) have joined forces to launch a new media company called Music World TV, Film & Media. Knowles will serve as CEO and Simmons as president, while executives Jasmine Murray and Krystal Rascoe join as head of development and business liaison (respectively).

“I can’t wait to see what this next generation of women can accomplish,” said Knowles, whose long and storied career as a music manager has included developing acts like Destiny’s Child and daughters Solange and Beyoncé. “I’m excited for this new journey. I’ve always believed in giving back and what greater gift can you give than the gift of knowledge.”

“I am thrilled to partner with Mr. Knowles. We have both achieved success in the industry individually, and I am excited to collaborate and achieve even greater success together,” said Simmons. “This partnership presents a unique opportunity for us to dominate the TV and film business and gain new heights of achievement. As the saying goes, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ My team and I look forward to going farther with Music World TV & Film.”

The team has already secured 15 scripted and unscripted projects currently in development and plans to produce stories “that expand the creative community and captivate diverse audiences,” according to a press release. Knowles will also bring executive producing experience from his work on several hit soundtracks including “Dreamgirls,” “Cadillac Records,” and “Fighting Temptations.”

Simmons is represented by Bobby Kenner and Ashley Harrison, CAA, and Knowles is represented by Lin Almanza-Vasquez, Music World Entertainment.

Veronica Hill (Knowles) and Demetrious “Rious” Williams (Simmons)

+ Timbaland has joined the lineup for this year’s ASCAP Experience, the organization’s first in-person event since 2019. The informational conference for aspiring songwriters and composers will host Timbaland as a keynote speaker on June 21 at the Avalon in Los Angeles.

“King Stays King: Keynote Interview with Timbaland” will see the producer as the focus of an in-depth conversation about the sounds that inspired Timbaland on his way to the top, and what inspires him to stay ahead of the curve today.

The producer joins an already-stacked lineup of scheduled sessions ranging from “Social Listening: Building a Music Career in the Social Media Age” to “Get Heard,” a live feedback event where early-career songwriters can have their songs evaluated by the established pros. For more information see Variety‘s announcement of the event here.

+ Mom+Pop Music has signed Magdalena Bay, aka the synthpop duo comprised of Mica Tenenbaum and Matthew Lewin.

“At M+P we’re always striving to work with uniquely gifted talented artists…Magdalena Bay touches all of that,” said Michael Goldstone, founder and co-owner of Mom+Pop. “Their art, music and live performance grabbed us from minute one. Now 18 months later we’re thrilled and fortunate to have become their recorded music partner. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Magdalena Bay has opened for such artists as Charli XCX, Flume, and Porter Robinson, and is fresh off their first headlining U.S. tour, performing at Coachella and preparing for another first: playing Lollapalooza later this summer.

+ Red Bull Records has seen an increase of 20% in the label’s staff — most recently with the addition of six new staffers across its A&R, creative and marketing departments — rounding out its largest team to date.

“Coming off our most successful year to date, we were motivated to keep the momentum going into 2023 and beyond. Already in Q1, we’ve released chart-topping hits from Blxst and Beartooth, and announced albums from Albert Hammond Jr, The Aces, and Flawes, with more to come,” shared Greg Hammer, the indie label’s managing director. “As our roster continues to evolve, it’s important we mirror that growth internally by bringing fresh and diverse perspectives to the table. I’m thrilled to welcome our six new team members who each bring an essential skill set to the label, and above all, a shared vision in nurturing artist development.”

Joining the company this year includes Chris Goins, project director of marketing; Rachael Hardway, director of digital marketing; Steph Jones, manager of global digital accounts; Chukwudi Obi, director of publishing creative; Cody Plumlee, senior project manager of creative; and Kelsi Ring as director of publicity and communications.

Tuesday, June 6

On the heels of achieving the biggest debut for an all-Spanish-language album by a female Latin artist, Karol G has signed a new deal with Interscope. The move sees her exit from Universal Music Latino but reinforces a seven-year-long partnership with parent company Universal Music Group.

“Our partnership with Karol and her team dates back to the beginning of her career, and it has been a thrilling journey filled with incredible music,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive officer of UMG. “She is simply one of the most exciting artists in popular music today and we’re honored she has chosen to deepen her partnership with UMG for many more years to come.”

Karol is set to tour stadiums across the United States later this year in support of “Mañana Será Bonito,” the chart-topping LP that debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. The set made a historic entrance on the list as the first all-Spanish-language record by a female artist to hit No. 1. All four of Karol’s studio albums have entered the charts, though “Mañana” was the Colombian singer-songwriter’s first to enter the top 10 of the list.

“ ‘Mañana Será Bonito,’ marked a new era for me that came with many unforgettable milestones,” Karol shared. “I’m continuously amazed at the support my fans give me, which motivates me to deliver the best of me, and I’m certain that this partnership with Interscope and their incredible team will help us continue building and making history. I’m thrilled to see what’s to come.”

“Karol G is without a doubt one of the most powerful, creative and dynamic artists in the world,” said John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. “We are thrilled to welcome her into the IGA family and look forward to working with her and her team on the next phase of her incredible career.”

Added Karol’s manager, Noah Assad, “John, Nir and the entire team at Interscope have built the only platform of its kind which will enable Karol to serve her current fanbase while continuing to grow her audience around the world. We’re excited to get started with everyone at Interscope.”

Karol joins a list of global and highly acclaimed U.S. acts signed to the label including Blackpink, Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga, Kali Uchis, Selena Gomez and many more.

Interscope’s Executive Vice President Nir Seroussi, who oversees the company’s Miami operation, also comments: “Karol is one of the most talented, driven and astute artists with whom I’ve ever worked. She brings with her a world-class team in Noah Assad, Jessica Giraldo and Raymond Acosta, and we look forward to working with them to build upon Karol’s global legacy as an artist.”

Courtesy of Interscope
Lester Cohen

Pictured above (L-R): Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Group; Karol G; John Janick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Interscope Geffen A&M Records; Nir Seroussi, Executive Vice President, Interscope Records

+ Universal Music Group Nashville has tapped Ami Brown as its new VP of international marketing, leading the international strategy, creative connection and outreach for artists on the label group consisting of Capitol Records Nashville, EMI Records Nashville, MCA Nashville and Mercury Nashville.

Brown joins the Nashville team from her post as senior director of partner and label relations for UMG’s global marketing team. She began her journey with UMG as a college rep and has held several positions across 15-plus years with the company including artist development (Interscope Geffen A&M DreamWorks) and international label relations (Disney Music Group and Roc Nation), among others.

“Ami has been an integral part of our International team for several years and we are thrilled to now have her expertise across our entire roster,” says Lori Christian, UMGN executive VP of marketing. “Never before have we had more artists impacting and touring internationally. With Ami’s leadership and her passion for the music and the storytelling, there are no boundaries for our artists.”

+ Universal Music Group’s leading merchandise and brand management company, Bravado, today announces the appointments of Alyssa Tobias as VP of head of creative services; Bill Ashton as head of A&R; Keith Taperell as VP of global brand partnerships and energy marketing; and Kim Youngberg as head of legal.

Tobias most recently served as the senior VP of creative at Live Nation Merchandise. Now, based in Los Angeles, she will report to Bravado’s general manager, Jesper Poulsen. Ashton’s newly created role will aim to identify and develop emerging artists through merchandise and brand management. He was previously managing director for Songkick.

Taperell also occupies the new title of VP of global brand partnerships and energy marketing to execute campaigns across multiple categories and touchpoints with an emphasis on global fashion, streetwear, and luxury brands. He joined Bravado in 2020 as UK VP of sales and retail, where he has been spearheading Bravado’s artist and fan engagement.

Youngberg will be focused on external business development while providing legal leadership for the company’s global business and was previously a partner at the Davis Firm. She was honored in Variety’s Power of Women list in 2021.

+ Warner Chappell Music‘s Steve Butler has been named head of legal and business affairs for North America, overseeing the music publisher’s U.S. (this includes Nashville and U.S. Latin) and Canadian markets. Butler will continue to report to Peter Rosenthal, WCM’s executive VP, global head of legal and business affairs.

Butler has worked within the WCM legal and business affairs team for more than a decade, starting as VP before being promoted to senior VP. During his time at WCM, he’s negotiated, closed, and managed deals with a range of high-profile songwriters and artists across multiple genres, as well as overseen acquisitions – including the publisher’s purchase of David Bowie’s music catalog in early 2022.

Said Butler, “I love working across genres and getting to collaborate with our A&R teams here in the U.S. and around the world. During my time at WCM, I’ve had the opportunity to work on deals with a range of talent, from Dan + Shay and Thomas Rhett to MAG and Marco Antonio Solís to Anderson .Paak and Kaleo to David Bowie. I look forward to continuing to partner with Guy, Carianne, Peter, and the entire team to add even more exceptional songwriters to our roster.”

+ Les Twins, the duo of professional dancers and choreographers that are currently on tour with Beyoncé, have teamed up with Kids Write Network (KWN) to raise awareness about youth mental health through the KWN RISE for Mental Health Tour (RMH) with Les Twins.

The tour, which combines positive psychology and dance, will make its debut in the U.S. in October at the Pace Academy in Atlanta and will continue to travel to schools in key markets throughout the 2023-2024 school year. The KWN’s mental health program has been adapted into school curricula as it can be implemented into any of the four art disciplines: writing, illustration, music, and now, with Les Twins, dance.

The KWN has also hired Deloitte to scale its developing AI prototype in order to meet the demand of those looking to participate in the program. Deloitte’s Malik Deme, a global investment and innovation incentives strategist, adds, “The embedded AI algorithm, TwinBot, will improve cognitive performance and general well-being by mirroring the user’s best self, while providing structured and accurate data that educators, physicians and specialists can easily interpret to provide additional support if needed. This app will also allow speech-to-text recognition, movement analysis and interpretation. This unique innovation will therefore amplify the impact that KWN has had in the past, which can be demonstrated by the numerous testimonies from schools.”

+ For the first time in the festival’s history, Rolling Loud has added two Latin artists Anuel AA and El Alfa to the Miami 2023 lineup. Traditionally an all-hip-hop event, Rolling Loud Miami welcomes the first reggaeton and dembow artists to the lineup.

The event, which will be held on July 21-23rd at Hard Rock Stadium, also features headliners A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott and Playboi Carti, plus 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Durk, Ice Spice, Lil Yachty, City Girls, Latto and many more. The move comes just as the festival has begun to expand its multi-genre bookings with artists like PinkPantheress, Bryson Tiller, Turnstile, Foushée and YOVNGCHIMI, also joining the lineup.

+ ADA Worldwide, the independent label and artist services arm of Warner Music Group, has partnered with independent record label Rostrum Records for a new deal that will see ADA cover global distribution services for Rostrum’s entire label catalog and new releases.

“Rostrum Records was founded on a commitment to bring innovative, artist-first approaches to the music industry,” said Erika Montes, president of Rostrum Records. “20 years later, we are excited to partner with the ADA team on a shared vision to deepen the support and amplification of independent artists.”

“Erika and the entire Rostrum team are trailblazers with an impressive track record of identifying and developing some of the best talent across genres. Our extensive global network and collaborative approach will help expand their reach, bringing Rostrum’s incredible artists and special catalog to new and longtime fans around the world,” added Cat Kreidich, president of ADA Worldwide. “We’re looking forward to working alongside a like-minded team of innovators to uplift some of the best independent talent.”