Rak Sanghvi ‘hits the ground running’ as Spirit B-Unique signs 3 new deals


Former Sony/ATV exec Rak Sanghvi was a big executive hire for independent publisher Spirit B-Unique towards the end of last year – and he hasn’t wasted any time.

Sanghvi (pictured inset) is the MD for the UK and other territories outside the US at Spirit B-Unique, the London-based firm formed by B-Unique and US-based rights company Spirit Music Group.

He was hired by Spirit B-Unique bosses Martin Toher and Mark Lewis – the duo who founded B-Unique back in 2001.

Since establishing a presence in the U.K. late last year with the opening of a new London-based office, Spirit B-Unique U.K. has inked a number of new signings and renewals, including deals with John Newman, Tim Deal, and Stephanie Rainey.

“It’s very exciting to see our UK team move quickly with new deals,” said David Renzer, Chairman and CEO, Spirit Music Group. “Extending John Newman’s deal and bringing in talent such as writer/ producer Tim Deal and artist Stephanie Rainey are all excellent moves for Spirit- B Unique UK.

“We look forward to many more global hits – and big syncs! –  from writer / producer / artist John Newman (pictured) and look forward to the same from Tim and Stephanie.”

“It’s exhilarating to have hit the ground running in the UK following the formation of Spirit B-Unique,” added Sanghvi. “The renewal of John Newman’s deal and the conclusion of exclusive publishing agreements with Tim Deal and Stephanie Rainey – two very exciting up-and-coming, new talents – in a relatively short space of time is extremely gratifying.

“B-Unique’s partnership with David Renzer and Spirit Music Group provides a powerful, global infrastructure with a truly iconic and lovingly-built back catalogue to boot. All with none of the downsides of having an over-crowded roster.

“Quite simply, we have the perfect landscape and opportunity to build on Mark and Martin’s undeniable track record and creative and commercial vision, and all of the attributes needed to become the publisher of choice in the current market.”

Martin Toher and Mark Lewis said: “These signings are a fantastic starting point for the new company, I think they show how serious we are about working with the best writers and attracting great artists to our roster. There is a lot more to come in the near future.”

John Newman’s career highlights include his No. 1 U.K. single “Love Me Again” and two Pop Awards at the 2015 BMI London Awards for his songs “Love Me Again” and “Blame.”

Newman was first signed by B-Unique prior to its partnership with Spirit Music Group, and, his resigning was one of the company’s top creative priorities post-merger with Spirit.

“John Newman is an incredibly gifted songwriter who has already written some amazing songs at such a young age. To have a successful songwriter signed to you for a few years is a lovely thing, but be a part of his long term future is something that I am very proud of,” said Mark Lewis.

“I’m delighted to be continuing the successful relationship I’ve had with B-Unique going forward, and looking forward to what Spirit will also bring to the game. My songs are precious to me and I’m happy the people looking after them feel the same,” said Newman.

“John’s relationship with Mark, Martin and now Rak is a close one and we’re extremely happy to be going forward with them all. They are active publishers in the best sense of the word, and bring passion and creativity to John’s hit writing. Their new relationship with Spirit is something we also look forward the being hugely beneficial,” said Paul McDonald of Closer Artists, Newman’s manager.

In addition to Newman’s extension, Spirit B-Unique also struck new deals with writer/producer Tim Deal and artist/writer Stephanie Rainey.

Originally part of the Xenomania production/songwriting team, Tim Deal has written hit singles for The Saturdays, Girls Aloud and Amelia Lily as well as tracks for Kylie Minogue and various other UK artists. He also has a cut on the triple platinum albumArmageddon by Guy Sebastian, a single from Abraham Mateo’s gold selling album and tracks with multi-worldwide platinum DJ/ producer Felix Jaehn.

Lately, he’s been collaborating with songwriters and artists including Camille Purcell, Paul Barry, Nicola Roberts, Petite Meller, Bonkaz, Fono, Imani, Karen Harding, Brayton Bowman and Chiara Hunter.

“Tim Deal is an extremely talented young man. His songwriting and production techniques put him at the forefront of the best British talent out there. We are very happy to be working with him and Covert,” said Mark Lewis.

“I am thrilled to be working with such an esteemed team with an incredible track record of success. As a songwriter it’s great to be looked after by heavyweights who are not only business minded but also love songs,” said Tim Deal.

“Mark and Martin have a truly impressive track record with an old school A&R ethos of signing artists/ writers from gut instinct and a long term perspective. Now with Rak and the Spirit family on board they are a formidable team that we and Tim are proud to be a part of,” said Simon King of Covert Talent, Tim Deal’s manager.

Young songwriter and artist priority for East West/Warner Bros Stephanie Rainey also signed a new publishing deal with Spirit B-Unique after a heated label bidding war. Her song “Please Don’t Go” become a viral hit online.

“We met Stephanie at an airport hotel – she was on her way to meet US labels. It was a short meeting but it was all we needed to know that we really wanted to work with her. Whe has so much warmth and soul in her songs and I am so glad we are publishing them,” said Mark Lewis.

Said Rainey: “Honestly, from the minute I met Mark, Martin and Rak I knew that B-Unique were the team I wanted behind my songs. They’ve achieved so much and it’s nice to know that the people you meet on the first day are the people you’ll be dealing with throughout your career. A huge part of what I want to achieve is getting my songs placed in film and TV, it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do.

“They share the same vision for my music and I’m so excited to finally get working with them. I think you’ll always recognise a genuine love for music in somebody and I got that from both the B-Unique team and the Spirit team in the US. I feel very lucky to be part of their roster and I think we’re going to do some very cool things together.”Music Business Worldwide

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