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AFTER 40 YEARS OF GRAMMYS, EHRLICH BOWS OUT
That's a lot of Grammy Moments. (7/17a)
SONY MERGES MUSIC, PUBLISHING UNDER STRINGER
It's one sandbox now. (7/17a)
NEAR TRUTHS: EVOLUTION OF THE BARRISTERS, PART 1
The hottest music firms, then and now. (7/17a)
WOODSTOCK: MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS (UPDATE)
Lang just won't let it go, but time is running out. (7/17a)
THOUGHTS FROM LAGUNA: THE POWER OF YES
First World problems (7/17a)
EARTHQUAKE!
We thought it was just the hangover.
WEED!
What strain pairs best with sloth?
COPYRIGHTS!
They're complicated.
PIZZA!
Why haven't we been talking about it?
Pub Crawling
NASHVILLE'S NEXT-WAVE PUBLISHERS: JOSH VAN VALKENBURG (SONY/ATV NASHVILLE, A&R)
7/11/19

Josh oversees the SATV Nashville A&R team, home to such superstar artist/writers as Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker and Thomas Rhett. He’s guided the careers of hit songwriters Josh Osborne (Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road,” Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem”), Ross Copperman (Kenny Chesney’s “Get Along,” Dierks Bentley’s “Woman Amen”) and Jon Nite (Cole Swindell’s “Break Up in the End,” Luke Bryan’s “Strip It Down”), as well as star artists Kelsea Ballerini, Brett Eldredge and Chase Rice. Writers in his charge have amassed over 60 country #1s.

“As record labels have enjoyed a serious increase in revenue due to streaming,” he says, “we’ve seen an increase in artist signings and thus more product. More releases equals more opportunities for our writers to get songs on records. While we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of fair compensation for songwriters and publishers from streaming, it’s encouraging to see more songs get a chance to be heard and consumed. Hopefully, this will lead to more songwriters getting the chance to make a living doing what they were born to do.”

NASHVILLE'S NEXT-WAVE PUBLISHERS: RYAN BEUSCHEL (WARNER CHAPPELL, VP A&R)
7/11/19

Ryan works with artists and writers such as Randy Montana, Dustin Lynch, Lady Antebellum, Rhett Akins, Lee Brice, Will Weatherly and Riley Green, among others. The Michigan native previously served at ASCAP (where he co-founded the GPS Project to help unsigned acts navigate the pub world) and worked in A&R for UMG on the label side before joining Warner Chappell in 2014; he was upped to VP in 2017.

“The role of a publisher has become incredibly multifaceted, especially with respect to artist development,” he says. “The fundamental approach of strategy, collaboration and song pitching is still the bedrock of a great publisher. But it’s becoming more and more common to act as a manager or record label during the early stages of an artist’s growth cycle. It’s doing the A&R for an EP, implementing digital strategies for DSPs/social media and working with the agencies planning the road strategy. The role continues to evolve—which, for a Type 7 [i.e. a high-spirited, optimistic extrovert] who sees endless possibilities and loves innovation, makes the publishing world an exciting place to be.”

NASHVILLE'S NEXT-WAVE PUBLISHERS: JEFF SKAGGS (CREATIVE NATION, VP OF CREATIVE)
7/11/19

Jeff and the team at Creative Nation oversee the writing calendars and song-plugging responsibilities for hitmakers Luke Laird, Lori McKenna, Barry Dean, Tyler Johnson and Casey Brown, as well as artists Bear Rinehart, Kassi Ashton, Steve Moakler and Alec Bailey. In the company’s seven-year history, Creative Nation songwriters have racked up 300+ released cuts, including 15 #1 singles; Jeff’s writers have won Song of the Year at the Grammys, ACMs and NSAI Awards. Laird and McKenna have both been named ACM Songwriter of the Year, and Jeff has been nominated for Song Champion of the Year at the AIMP Awards three years in a row.

“I’m most excited about the amount of artist development that goes on at the publishing level now,” says Skaggs. “We’ve seen what a difference a big song can make in breaking an artist, and I’m passionate about the artists we’re working with at Creative Nation. Kassi Ashton, Alec Bailey and Steve Moakler all have the potential for huge breakthroughs because of the quality of the songs they write. The artists we work with are songwriters first, and it’s exciting to get them in rooms with the best of the best and see how their artistry evolves. In addition to just songwriting, we’re also hands-on in developing their aesthetic, socials, touring, branding and personae as artists. We have brought in amazing managers to assist us with artist development, and we work as a super-cohesive unit to help our artists set and achieve their goals.”