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Music News (5/26/21)

[ 0 ] May 26, 2021 | |

AIMP Partners With EnterGain On New Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative

The Association of Independent Music Publishers has begun a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative working with EnterGain, a strategic HR firm that specializes in the music ecosystem.

This effort will launch with a survey of AIMP membership to get a baseline of the current organization. Key findings will be presented at the AIMP’s Global Music Publishing Summit taking place on June 7. The survey has been emailed to members and will be open for response until May 31. Members who did not receive the survey and wish to participate can email

“The AIMP carefully considered the best way to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues for our organization that would be of real value to our members and make a material difference,” says John Ozier, national chair of the AIMP and Nashville chapter president. “I’ve been fortunate to experience what EnterGain has to offer, and they have been working with music organizations on these issues for a quite some time. Their facilitators are top-notch, and they have given us valuable guidance on how to approach these sensitive and important issues with our members.”

The three 90 minute training sessions are scheduled for June 21, June 28, and July 6. They will be co-led by two executive-level facilitators from EnterGain with virtual session tools and staff to support interactive discussion. Registration will be free to AIMP members and will open shortly at

Black River Publishing, Warner Chappell Music Sign Josh Kerr

Josh Kerr has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Black River Publishing and Warner Chappell Music Nashville.

Kerr co-wrote for King & Country’s multi-week No. 1 “God Only Knows,” which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song and landed Song of the Year at the Dove Awards. Some of Kerr’s other No. 1 hits include the RIAA Platinum-certified “My Girl” by Dylan Scott, and Kelsea Ballerini‘s RIAA Platinum-certified “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Dibs.”

The New York native also co-produced Keith Urban’s 2018 Graffiti U, which landed a CMA nod for Album of the Year and featured the Top 20 hit “Never Comin Down,” which Kerr co-wrote. He has worked with a variety of artists including Ben Rector, Camila Cabello, Danielle Bradbery, Devin Dawson, Dolly Parton, Hannah Kerr, Ingrid Michaelson, Jake Scott, Jordan Davis, Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, and more.

A solo artist in his own right, Kerr also released 12/12, his follow-up album to How Do You Remember Me (2019) earlier this month.

Big Machine Music Signs Sara Davis To Exclusive Songwriting Agreement

Pictured (L-R, back row): Catalog Manager, Taylor Courtney; Sr. Director of Royalties and Finance, Grayson Stephens; General Manager, Mike Molinar; (L-R, middle row): Vice President, Alex Heddle; Creative Coordinator, Lizzy Gallatin; Creative Director, Michelle Attardi; (L-R, front row): Sara Davis; (not pictured: Vice President, Tim Hunze). Photo: Lori Kraft

Big Machine Music has announced the addition of Sara Davis to its writer roster.

Davis moved to Nashville from Arizona five years ago at the age of 14 to develop her craft in the bourgeoning pop community as a topline songwriter. Her frequent collaborators include Atlantic Records artist GAYLE, Track 45’s KK and Ben Johnson, and Marisa Maino. Most recently she collaborated with Altadena’s Riley Roth on “Stranger.”

Davis joins BMM’s acclaimed roster, which includes Brett Young, Brandy Clark, Laura Veltz, Jessie Jo Dillon, Eric Paslay, Ryan Hurd and more.

“The only thing more infectious than Sara’s enthusiasm and energy is her talent,” says BMM General Manager Mike Molinar. “Her timing in joining Big Machine Music is perfect as our activity naturally extends our creative footprint into other markets.”

Davis shares, “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Big Machine Music family! Since meeting Mike, Alex Heddle and the whole team, they’ve been my biggest champions and empowered me at every step. I’m so grateful and can’t wait to continue working with them!”

Faren Rachels Signs With Combustion Music

Pictured (L-R, front row): Blake Duncan (Combustion Music Creative Director), Faren Rachels, Chris Farren (Combustion Music President); (L-R, back row): Kelly Lyons (Combustion Music), Chris Van Belkom (Combustion Music Vice President), Dustin Kovacic (Keller, Turner, Andrews & Ghanem, PLLC)

Faren Rachels has signed an exclusive publishing deal with Combustion Music.

Originally from Sparta, Georgia, Rachels grew up inspired by the sounds of Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, and Lee Ann Womack. She sang in church for years while growing up and performed cover gigs with a band she put together while attending The University of Georgia in Athens. Rachels eventually made the move to Nashville in 2012 to pursue her dreams, and has had cuts with Lainey Wilson, Chrissy Metz, Ashland Craft, and more.

“Faren is the first writer that Blake brought in since his short time here, and I was immediately blown away. The honesty in Faren’s writing and the passion she has for country music, not to mention her name, made it impossible not to jump in. Can’t wait to see what we do next together,” says Combustion President Chris Farren.

“Never thought I’d be working with another Farren but here we are, ha! Since my first meeting with Blake & Falcon at Combustion, it just felt like home,” says Rachels. “I’m so grateful for their belief in me as a songwriter and excited to be joining such a well-respected and forward-thinking company.”

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