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Inside the Industry: Leftfield Signs with Warner, New Sony Music Director, New AIM Head of Membership, The Raven Age Global Deal, Black River Ent. Signs Pryor Baird, & More

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🎶Inside the Industry🎶

NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – The Country Hall of Fame and Museum has announced the hiring of Katie Bramell as Director of Family and Community Programs and has promoted Maggie Banker to the Director of Marketing.

Bramell previously served as the Director of Museum Experiences at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Ohio and has a Master of Arts in Public History from Northern Kentucky University and a bachelor’s in History from the University of Central Missouri. She will oversee all programs and services for youth and local audiences, including curating activities for children and family groups and access and connection with the museum for local neighborhoods across Middle TN.

Banker has been with the museum’s marketing team since 2018 and most recently served as Senior Marketing Manager; she has over eight years of experience in tourism, hospitality, music, and the entertainment industries. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa. She will lead the charge over the museum’s marketing strategy, paid media, promotions, and partnerships for museum exhibitions and initiatives.


LONDON (CelebrityAccess) – Music For Nations (under Sony Music) has signed metal stars The Raven Age (Jai Patel – drums, Matt James – singer, George Harris – guitar, Matt Cox – bass, and Tommy Gentry- guitar) to a global deal. The group is set to release its third album via its new label in the Summer of 2023.

The Raven Age have amassed over 35 million online streams and scored a Top 30 US radio single with “Fleur de Lis.” Since their inception, they’ve shared the stage with Killswitch Engage, Iron Maiden, Godsmack, and Volbeat, among others. They’ve also appeared at the Download and Mystic Festivals. The band has announced an international trek for 2023 following the release of their album.

James said, “We feel extremely excited to be starting this new chapter with such a prestigious metal label. Our long-awaited new album finally has the platform it needs, and we can’t wait for 2023!”


LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – Warner Chappell Music (WCM) has partnered with Defient, a Web3 entertainment incubator. The agreement will enable WCM’s songwriters and producers to unlock more value by engaging in the Web3 space and using blockchain technology.

The two companies are launching ‘Archives,’ a digital museum backed by Defient that focuses on spotlighting the art and stories of songs. It aims to bring fans closer to songwriters and their songs through a curated selection of digital collectibles, memorabilia, events, and more.

Ashley Winton, WCM senior vice president of creative services, said: “By embracing the power of blockchain technology, we can create impactful new revenue streams and creative opportunities for our songwriters while giving music fans access to unique experiences. Not only are Sidney [Swift] and his whole team at Defient experts in this space, but they also have deep roots in music and know how to champion the voices of creators.”

Archives will officially launch in early 2023 with an Archives Mint Pass – a collection of 2,000 NFTs, each granting the holder access to participate in auctions and virtual experiences from WCM’s roster of songwriters.

WCM co-chair and CEO Guy Moot and co-chair and COO Carianne Marshall added: “This is a unique opportunity to shape the future of music publishing. With Defient’s support, we’ll be able to unlock new avenues in Web3 on behalf of our songwriters and find different ways for them to grow their legacies and engage with fans.”


LONDON (CelebrityAccess) – WCM/WCM UK have signed Leftfield (Neil Barnes and Adam Wren) to a worldwide deal. Leftfield’s original members were Neil Barnes and Paul Daley. They split in 2002 to pursue solo projects, and Barnes reignited the Leftfield name in 2010. The publishing deal covers Barnes’ share of Leftfield’s catalog and future songwriting projects.

The band’s fourth album, This is What We Do from Virgin Records, was released on December 2 and features guest appearances from Fontaines DC singer Grian Chatten and author Lemn Sissay.

Leftfield’s commercial breakthrough came in 1993 with Open Up, and their acclaimed debut album Leftism reached No.3 in 1995 and was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize. Their second album, Rhythm and Stealth was released in 1999 and went to No.1 in the UK; they also made the Mercury Music Prize list.

Shani Gonzales, managing director of Warner Chappell Music UK, said: “Leftfield wrote the book about electronic music. And Neil is still innovating and collaborating more than 30 years after he co-founded Leftfield. I’ve heard the new album, and it’s amazing; Leftfield fans are in for an early Christmas present.”


Sony Music names Christel Kayibi as director of repertoire strategy for Africa
Christel Kayibi

LONDON (CelebrityAccess) – Sony Music has named Christel Kayibi to its Africa and Continental Europe team as Director of Repertoire Strategy for Africa. Kayibi will be based in London and work alongside teams in South, East, and West Africa, as well as parts of Africa that are French-speaking. She will report to Daniel Lieberberg, President Continental Europe and Africa, in close coordination with Sean Watson, Managing Director, Sony Music Africa.

Kayibi will be responsible for developing Sony Music’s network, identifying catalogs, labels, and other opportunities in order to support Sony Music’s advance into new markets across Africa.

Before Sony, Kayibi served as the Senior Legal and Business Affairs Manager and A&R at Columbia Records in the UK – joining them in 2019.


L-R: Gordon Kerr, Lauren Kilgore, Rebekah Gordon, Rick Froio, Pryor Baird, Narvel Blackstock, Berkley Kriz, and Doug Johnson. Image: Black River Ent.

NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – Singer/Songwriter Pryor Baird has signed to Black River Entertainment’s artist roster as a solo artist. Baird will continue his current songwriting tenure at Black River Publishing.

Baird was a member of “Team Blake” during Season 14 of NBC’s The Voice, and since then, he’s been releasing new music with The Voice singer Kaleb Lee as the duo Pryor & Lee.

He is managed by Narvel Blackstock and Berkley Kriz from Starstruck Entertainment. He signed with Black River in 2020 as a songwriter, but this is his first deal as a solo artist. He is expected to release new music sometime in 2023.





CAMDEN (CelebrityAccess) – The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has named Nina Radojewski as the new Head of Membership. Having previously served as AIM’s professional development lead, she will now oversee the creation and execution of AIM’s membership, working to build and organize its member community of independent music businesses and entrepreneurs. She will report directly to the CEO and replace the outgoing membership manager, Jude McArdle, who has moved on after five years in the role.

The role combines AIM’s membership, events, marketing, and communications functions. She will be responsible for managing all those areas and continuing to lead professional development initiatives for AIM’s members. Radojewski has been a member of UK Music’s Education and Skills Committee since 2018 and was appointed chair in January 2021.

Over her past six years with AIM, she has helped build partnerships with various education establishments, including working with Middlesex University to co-launch a Music Business MA this year and has represented AIM at industry events, most recently speaking at Iceland Airwaves.

Radojewski said: “The new head of membership position draws together all the strands of services that AIM delivers to members more holistically. I’m really excited to step into the role and to continue to work and build strong relationships with our incredible community of independent music businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs.

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