James Blake, one of the most noted modern British songwriters on UMPG’s roster, has left the major publisher to sign a worldwide co-publishing deal with Sony/ATV.
The long-term agreement covers all future works by the musician who since the release of his self-titled first album in 2011 has won or been nominated for a series of top honors, including at the Grammy Awards, BRIT Awards and Ivor Novello Awards.
His debut album was released a few weeks after he took runners-up spot in the BBC Sound of 2011 poll highlighting the year’s hottest new acts, while he was also nominated for the Critics’ Choice Award at the same year’s BRIT Awards. The album itself became an U.K. Top 10 hit as well as charting in mainland Europe and other territories before being shortlisted as album of the year at the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize.
Blake was acknowledged at the 2012 BRITs with a nomination for British Male Solo Artist as the first album’s single “The Wilhelm Scream” went on to pick up a shortlist for Best Contemporary Song at the Ivor Novello Awards. The song was also used in the end credits of an episode of HBO’s multi-award-winning TV series “Entourage”.
His second album “Overgrown”, which was released in April 2013, featured Brian Eno and RZA and was led off by the single “Retrograde”. Critically praised across the board, it charted at No. 8 in the UK and became his U.S. Top 40 breakthrough on the Billboard 200.
Overgrown also secured him a second Mercury Prize album of the year nomination out of his first two releases, although on this occasion he won, beating the likes of David Bowie and the Arctic Monkeys. The judges praised the record as “inventive, poetic and poignant”, while noting “James Blake makes music like no-one else”.
The album also delivered him a first win at the Ivor Novello Awards with “Retrograde” named Best Contemporary Song at this year’s event held in London in May.
Sony/ATV Creative Director Tyler Childs said: “James Blake is one of the premiere artists of this generation. We’re thrilled to work in partnership with him and Dan and for the world to hear all of James’ incredible new songs.”
His manager Dan Foat noted: “I had a great Sony Walkman when I was younger and we’re really looking forward to working with Sony/ATV.”
Ahead of a third studio album, which is expected to be released in 2015, Blake premiered an untitled track on BBC Radio 1 in July, while he revealed in an interview he had been collaborating with Kanye West and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.
[Pictured L-R: Dan Foat (James Blake’s manager), Tyler Childs (Sony/ATV Creative Director), James Blake and Nicky Stein (James Blake’s lawyer)]Music Business Worldwide