Music publishing giant Sony/ATV can now claim to be a bona fide frontline record label: it’s just announced that it’s releasing an album from one of its writer/artists.
Lenka, who has been a Sony/ATV publishing client since 2007, will release fourth studio album The Bright Side on June 16 via her own record label Skipalong Records and Sony/ATV’s label Hickory Records.
It will be distributed by Sony Music’s RED Distribution network.
Sony/ATV has technically operated a master rights business since 2002, when it acquired the Hickory Records catalogue as part of its purchase of publisher Acuff-Rose.
It previously used the label for the 2007 self-titled album from American Idol finalist Elliott Yamin, which reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US and was certified gold status for 500,000 U.S. sales by the RIAA.
Hickory Records was founded in 1954 and had success with acts including Donovan, Don Gibson and The Newbeats prior to its closure in 1979.
Sony/ATV said the decision to help handle Lenka’s master rights was “the logical next step” in a union which it says has led to her music being synched by brands such as Amazon Kindle, Coca-Cola and Microsoft.
Several songs on the new album were conceived and recorded under Sony/ATV’s watch specifically for synchronization purposes. These include the song Unique, which has already been used in a Dr. Pepper commercial, We Are Powerful, used by JC Penney and It Gets Better, which featured in a Wendy’s campaign.
Sony/ATV Co-President, U.S. Danny Strick said: “Sony/ATV is excited to be taking this innovative approach with Lenka whose music has long been hugely popular with brands, TV shows and filmmakers.
“The new partnership perfectly illustrates how the company’s A&R and synch teams can effectively combine to create new opportunities for our songwriters.”
“It is immensely gratifying to work with a publisher in such a multi-dimensional way.”
Ron Shapiro, Lenka manager
Sony/ATV Vice President, Commercial Music John Campanelli, who provided strong creative input into the project, said: “This is a really special partnership Sony/ATV has struck with Lenka. Our synch department has had such incredible success with her in the past and is receiving widespread interest for this new album.”
Lenka said: “One of my favorite things as an artist is when my music is given a new life in a screen project. So it’s been really exciting to work with Sony/ATV over the years giving my songs life again and again.
“I also love to write to a brief and get inside the head of a character or the theme of a show, so a lot of my new material has been born out of that process. Now to have my wonderful publishers step in and help release the new album, it just feels like a really good partnership and a natural fit.”
Lenka’s manager Ron Shapiro said: “Lenka has had a stunningly successful global relationship with Sony/ATV for years as her publisher and recently enjoyed an expansion of that partnership with a unique master deal for synch licensing.
“Once she got control of her global recording career, we could think of no better support than to have Sony/ATV once again widen the scope of their involvement in her business, and they enthusiastically re-activated Hickory Records to release The Bright Side. In today’s music world, it is immensely gratifying to work with a publisher in such a multi-dimensional way.”
Born in New South Wales, Australia, Lenka initially achieved popularity on Australian TV on a variety of programmes, including the ABC-TV drama series GP and as host of Cheez TV.
She served as the lead singer of Australian rock band Decoder Ring for two albums before relocating to the U.S. to launch a solo career that began in 2008 with the international hit The Show, which she co-wrote, and debut album Lenka.
She went on to score a series of other self-penned hits around the world, including Trouble Is A Friend and Everything At Once, while issuing a further two albums, Two (2011) and Shadows (2013).Music Business Worldwide