Chris Blackwell signs with Kobalt: ‘The future of music publishing’

Bob Marley Legend

Music industry legend Chris Blackwell has signed a global publishing administration deal with Kobalt for the complete songwriting works of Bob Marley – and plenty more besides.

Following a ringing endorsement from the Island Records founder, Kobalt will now administer and provide global publishing and sync licensing services worldwide to the full repertoire of Blackwell’s Blue Mountain Music.

Blue Mountain’s catalogue includes countless classic songs from Marley as well as the likes of John Martyn, Free, Baaba Maal and U2.

Unsurprisingly, its books are also rich with songs from Marley’s fellow reggae greats such as Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, The Congos and The Heptones.

Blue Mountain, which previously self-administered its repertoire, was established in 1962 by Island Records founder Blackwell (pictured) and remains independent.

Blackwell was effusive in his praise about Kobalt as he signed the deal, commenting: “I am thrilled to have Blue Mountain Music partner with Kobalt, whom I believe are the future of the music publishing business.

“Their entrepreneurial leadership, together with their investment in and dedication to technology, is allowing for seamless and transparent collection and is making a huge difference to songwriters around the world.”

“I am thrilled to have blue mountain partner with kobalt, whom I believe are the future of the music publishing business.”

Chris Blackwell

Through an arrangement with New York-based 401K Music, Blue Mountain is also currently home to the catalogue of The B-52’s, Black Grape, The Drums, Ambulance Ltd, Drug Cabin, and Spires.

Perhaps the best-known newer writer/artist on Blue Mountain’s books is John Grant, the acclaimed US singer/songwriter whose third studio album – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure – is due for release in October.

Others contemporary writer/artists on Blue Mountain include Chronixx, Dexter Tortoriello (Houses / Dawn Golden) and Johan Karlberg (The Very Best) among others.

Willard Ahdritz, Founder and CEO of Kobalt said, “This is a monumental deal for Kobalt and for me personally.

“We are humbled and excited to partner with Chris Blackwell and Blue Mountain to work with their diverse catalog of hits and timeless songs, including Bob Marley and U2, both whose influence on music and the world is immeasurable.

“I’ve always admired Chris’ entrepreneurial spirit, his unique gift for identifying exceptional talent, and of course his great love for jazz!”


Kobalt has adopted a rather Jamaica-friendly version of its logo on social media today to celebrate the deal.

Blue Mountain Music maintains offices in London and New York from which it will continue to sign and foster new talent and oversee its business interests.

Kobalt  now serves over 8,000+ songwriters and over 500 publishing companies worldwide.

[Pictured: Chris Blackwell in the movie documentary Marley, which fully deserved the countless 5* reviews it clocked up.]Music Business Worldwide

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