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Music News (8/23/23)

[ 0 ] August 23, 2023 | |

Sony Music Publishing Nashville Elevates Kenley Flynn To VP, Creative A&R

Kenley Flynn. Photo: Jason Myers

Sony Music Publishing Nashville has promoted Kenley Flynn to Vice President, Creative A&R.

In his new role, Flynn will be responsible for signing and developing talent, and driving creative opportunities on behalf of SMP Nashville’s roster.

“Being at Sony Music Publishing these last few years has been genuinely inspiring. I get to work with Nashville’s top songwriters, artists, and producers as well as with an A&R team that is world class. I’m so proud of the story we are writing here and I’m grateful to Rusty [Gaston] and Josh [Van Valkenburg] for letting me play a role in that story,” shares Flynn.

“Kenley is a songwriter’s best friend. Over the last few years, he’s been instrumental in building the careers of some of today’s biggest breakthrough hitmakers. This promotion is so well deserved, and we are excited for him to take on this new role,” says Van Valkenburg, Executive Vice President, Creative, Sony Music Publishing Nashville.

Throughout his tenure at the company, Flynn has helped propel the creative success of breakout talent including Nate Smith, Trannie Anderson and James McNair as well as rising stars Madeline Merlo and David Morris. He has also continued to elevate the achievements of legendary songwriters such as Tim Nichols, who won the 2023 ACM Song of the Year award with Cole Swindell’s “She Had Me At Heads Carolina” as well as Ben Hayslip, who has recently had cuts with Luke Combs, Hardy and more.

Flynn first began his music business career at Combustion Music, where he worked for ten years. During that time, he worked closely with country hitmakers including Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley, Matt Jenkins and Jameson Rodgers. Flynn then joined Sony Music Publishing in 2020 as Senior Director, Creative A&R.


Tape Room Partners With Red Light Ventures & Firebird Music

Tape Room’s Ashley Gorley and Red Light’s Coran Capshaw

Ashley Gorley‘s Tape Room Music has established a strategic partnership with Red Light Ventures and Firebird Music, with the two purchasing over 350 exploited songs from various Tape Room Publishing catalogs as part of the transaction. Included in the catalog sale are hits such as “Body Like A Back Road” by Sam Hunt, “Do I Make You Wanna” by Billy Currington, “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” by Luke Bryan, “One Of Them Girls” by Lee Brice, “Thinking ‘Bout You” by Dustin Lynch featuring MacKenzie Porter and more.

Since Tape Room’s inception, the award-winning publisher has celebrated nearly 40 No.1 radio hits and earned three Grammy nominations, three CMA Song of the Year nominations and numerous ASCAP and BMI awards. Most recently, “Buy Dirt” won the 2022 CMA Song of the Year and Zach CrowellHunter Phelps and Ben Johnson received CMA Triple Play awards, a coveted honor awarded to songwriters for penning three No. 1 country songs in a twelve month period. Phelps celebrated his first nominations for Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year with Hardy’s “Wait In The Truck” (featuring Lainey Wilson) at this year’s ACM Awards.

Going forward, the companies will work together to build on Tape Room’s success.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with two of the most successful, forward-thinking companies in our industry,” shares Blain Rhodes, President at Tape Room.

“We are excited to partner with Ashley and the world-class team at Tape Room,” adds Coran Capshaw, Founder at Red Light.

Tape Room was represented by Loeb & Loeb LLC, with Loeb attorneys Derek CrownoverJohn RolfeMegan Pekar and Willie Jones handling the transaction. Red Light and Firebird were represented by Elliot Groffman of Carroll Guido Groffman Cohen Bar & Karalian, LLP.


Davis Corley Signs With Sony Music Publishing Nashville & KP Entertainment

Pictured (L-R): Chip Petree (Ritholz Levy Fields, LLP), Aubrey Daniels (KP Entertainment), Davis Corley, Kerri Edwards (KP Entertainment), Rusty Gaston (CEO, Sony Music Publishing Nashville)

Rising songwriter Davis Corley has signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Sony Music Publishing Nashville and KP Entertainment.

An east Tennessee native, Davis moved to Nashville eight years ago to hone his craft as a writer and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to two Texas-chart-topping singles, “Not Too Far To Reach” by Jake Ward and “Tractor Town” by Jake Bush, Corley has had cuts by Will Jones, Dan Smalley, Trey Lewis, Ella Langley, Josh Gallagher, Spencer Crandall and others.

“Davis is a true songwriter. His unique approach creates an element in his writing that genuine and timeless. I’m absolutely honored to get to work side by side with Davis and excited for the magic that is yet come,” says Aubrey Daniels, Creative at KP Publishing.

“This is an exciting time in the ever-changing world of country music, and I’m grateful to be taking it on with a team of Nashville’s most talented and genuinely admirable people. The chance to work with Kerri Edwards and Aubrey Daniels, in addition to Rusty [Gaston] and the amazing team at Sony, feels like joining a dream team, and I couldn’t feel more blessed to have the opportunity,” shares Corley.


Warner Chappell Music Signs Charles Wesley Godwin

Charles Wesley Godwin. Photo: Louie Nice

Warner Chappell Music has signed country-folk singer-songwriter Charles Wesley Godwin to a global publishing deal.

With two critically acclaimed albums, Godwin has built a dedicated fan base of over one million monthly listeners on Spotify, and recently reached the milestone of 100 million worldwide streams across his entire catalog.

After signing a record deal with Big Loud recently, Godwin will release his third album and major label debut, Family Ties, on Sept. 22. He’s currently out on the road playing headlining shows in addition to supporting Zach Bryan on his “The Burn, Burn, Burn Tour.” Godwin will also join Luke Combs on his 2024 “Growin’ Up And Gettin’ Old Tour,” which kicks off April 12 at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Of the deal, Godwin shares, “Happy to announce that I’ve partnered with Warner Chappell Music! It’s been a true pleasure getting to know Ben VaughnSpencer Nohe, and the entire WCM staff. I’m grateful for their support and look forward to working together.”

Vaughn, President and CEO of Warner Chappell Music Nashville, shares, “Do yourself a favor and go see a Charles Wesley Godwin show, it will make you an instant lifelong fan. Born and bred in West Virginia, Godwin brings an undeniable energy to the stage when singing the songs that he’s so expertly crafted, and all of us at Warner Chappell couldn’t be happier to represent him at this exciting time in his career.”

Nohe, Senior Director of A&R at Warner Chappell Music Nashville, adds, “Charles is a rare and unique talent who we are thrilled to partner with. He’s a prolific songwriter with an electric live show and loyal fan base that will only continue to grow. Thank you to the legends at True Grit for everything throughout this process. We’re grateful to be a part of Team CWG!”

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