Me Gusta Music Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Expands Staff
Me Gusta Music is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The company was formed by Trina Smith-Dort in 2011 and now supports over 300 clients of songwriters, publishers, and labels.
Smith-Dort and her team assist their clients in collecting all royalty income from syncs, mechanical licensing, performance and digital streaming. The publishing administration roster includes Black Pumas, Cody Johnson, Cody Jinks, Rarespark Media Group, Kent Blazy, Back Blocks Publishing and more. On the record administration front, Me Gusta works on behalf of independent labels Big Loud Records, Combustion Music, Creative Nation Records, Warner Chappell Nashville, and Lightning Rod Records, among others.
Me Gusta’s clients have also had notable sync placements this year, including Johnson’s “Welcome To the Show” with Ford Trucks, Black Pumas’ “Colors” with Target, and Rarespark’s smash hit “Fancy Like” featured in Applebee’s advertisements this fall.
To handle the accounts, Me Gusta Music has expanded its staff to include Tricia Proctor as Director of Publishing Administration, Allison Richard as Licensing Manager, Bri Holko in the role of Royalty Manager, Dixie Hydrick in the role of Copyright Coordinator, Liz Martens as Royalty Coordinator, and Alannah Schwartz as Licensing Coordinator.
“I am incredibly proud of all we have been able to accomplish in the last 10 years,” shares Smith-Dort. “What started off as me and a few clients, has grown to seven employees and hundreds of clients. We have certainly worked hard but really this is a true testament to the talent we’re honored to represent. I look forward to this next chapter of the business–which includes a new office space in East Nashville.”
Brandon Kinney Extends Publishing Deal With Peermusic Nashville
Brandon Kinney has extended his exclusive worldwide publishing deal with Peermusic Nashville.
Kinney has co-written country hits by Jason Aldean (“Drowns The Whiskey” ft. Miranda Lambert), Cole Swindell (“Love You Too Late”), Jon Pardi (“Ain’t Always The Cowboy”), and Randy Houser (“Boots On”). He has garnered additional cuts with Willie Nelson, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Justin Moore, Chase Rice, Chris Janson, Craig Campbell, Tim Montana, Colt Ford, Laine Hardy and more, and won a BMI Award this week for “Ain’t Always The Cowboy.”
Most recently, Kinney, along with close friend Chris Janson, wrote the very personal “Bye Mom,” a tribute to Kinney’s mom, who passed late last year. “Bye Mom” is the first single from Janson’s upcoming album and entered as the No. 1 most-added song at country radio upon impact.
“Brandon has been an integral part of our Peermusic songwriting team for many years now,” says Michael Knox, Sr. VP, Peermusic Nashville. “He’s become an unstoppable songwriter, a great friend to all of us, and we’re proud to have him as part of our peermusic family.”
“I always feel like part of the family with Peermusic,” adds Kinney. “They’ve shown me incredible support over all of these years. We’ve enjoyed some big successes, good times, and life-changing moments together. I’ve been able to get in writing rooms with some of the best in the business and be a part of once-in-a-lifetime creative opportunities. At the end of the day, I really appreciate Peermusic’s approach to writing great songs alongside good friends.”
Jim Catino Announces Publishing Venture, Partners With Verse 2 Music To Sign Alex Maxwell
Country music singer-songwriter and producer Alex Maxwell has signed a co-venture publishing deal with both Verse 2 Music, a Sony Music publishing venture helmed by multi-Platinum entertainer Kane Brown and publishing veteran Kent Earls, as well as Jim Catino’s newly announced Droptine Music Publishing.
Catino exited his Executive VP of A&R role at Sony Music Nashville earlier this year after 20 years with the company. Droptine Music marks the executive’s return to publishing, which has been a big part of his career. Catino says, “It’s an exciting time for me as I enter into my new venture with Droptine Music. Alex is an amazingly talented writer/producer and I look forward to being a part of his team.”
Maxwell, a Pennsylvania native, moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. He has quickly ascended into the industry with over thirty cuts as a songwriter, including Trey Lewis’ viral hit single, “Dicked Down in Dallas.” In 2020, Maxwell made his debut as a country artist by releasing his single, “Good One Gone” featuring Ray Fulcher, as well as fan-favorites “Could’ve Been Me” and “That’ll Be The Day.”
“Alex is an extremely gifted singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. When I first heard Alex’s music, I immediately knew there was an unmistakable sound to it and we are ready to be a part of what is next for him,” says Earls, President of Verse 2 Music. “We’re excited to add him to our roster with Sony Music Publishing and work with Alex alongside Jim Catino at Droptine.”
“I’ve spent a lot of years in Nashville just trying to find people who believe in me,” comments Maxwell. “It’s a dream come true to have Sony, Verse 2 and Droptine all let me be a part of their family. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and excited to get to work.”
Evan Cline Signs With UMPG Nashville
Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville has signed Evan Cline to an exclusive, global publishing agreement.
Cline has collaborated with some of the top artists and songwriters across pop, country and sync in Nashville and beyond. The songwriter, producer and artist co-wrote and produced Teddy Swims’ latest single, “Please Turn Green,” and co-wrote and produced the “Liar” by Karl Michael ft. Teddy Swims.
Roxy King, A&R Director, UMPG Nashville, says: “As a talent and as a person, Evan is one-of-a-kind. His ability to bring out the best in everyone he works with is truly remarkable. UMPG is thrilled to be working with him and I can’t wait for the rest of Nashville, and the music industry at-large, to experience it for themselves.”
“Signing with UMPG is everything I could ask for,” Cline adds. “It was very important to have a company that could expose me to a wide variety of opportunities and genres-both within Nashville and across the globe. Roxy King made this decision extremely easy with her previous success, motivation, and vision for me going forward. I can’t wait to get started!”
Nate Miles Signs With SMACKSongs
Producer and songwriter Nate Miles has signed a worldwide publishing deal with SMACKSongs.
Raised in Chicago, Miles moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University. After working with artists like Nightly, Alexander Stewart, and Francisco Martin while still in college, he graduated and has quickly been signed by the publishing house.
“Nate’s work ethic, talent and versatility as a producer and writer immediately caught our interest,” says Jeremy Groves, creative director of SMACKSongs.“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Nate to the SMACK family, and can’t wait to watch his career take off.”
“I am beyond grateful for everyone who has been in my corner these last couple years and helped opportunities like this one come about,” adds Miles. “SMACK is an amazing family of writers and creatives and I’m thankful they believe in what I’m doing. Big thank you to Jeremy Groves for taking the leap on me. Can’t wait to make some fun stuff happen in Nashville.”