Omar Apollo Signs Global Publishing Deal with Concord Music Publishing

Omar Apollo is taking his music global…

The 25-year-old Mexican American bilingual singer has signed a global publishing deal with Concord Music Publishing.

Omar ApolloThe new partnership comes after Apollo’s major label debut album, Ivory (2022) via Warner Records, and a juggernaut soulful single “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All),” which recently landed at No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The contract with Concord will cover his complete music catalog, which includes Ivory and future works.

“Omar has already proven himself to be one of the most exciting artists, pushing music forward,” Jeremy Yohai, senior vice president of A&R at Concord, said in a statement. “It’s been amazing working Omar together with Dylan [Shanks, management] and his current music success is only the beginning.”

“Working with Jeremy and the Concord Music Publishing team has been great,” adds Apollo.

The independent music publishing company also houses the works of acclaimed songwriters like The 1975, BIA, Daft Punk, and Duff McKagan, and represents the catalogs of legends such as Benny Blanco, Phil Collins, and Joan Sebastian among others.

Prior to Ivory, Apollo was already a force to be reckoned with. He carved out a space as a prolific, millions-streaming SoundCloud creator; entered the top 20 of Heatseekers Albums for both 2019’s EP Friends and 2020’s mixtape Apolonio releases; and earned two Latin Grammy nominations in 2021.

Plus, he’s been building a fervid, cult fan base that’s now ready for a mainstream breakthrough.

With a heady mix of pop-punk (“Talk”), delectable funk (“No Good Reason”), Spanglish trap (“Tamagochi”), and plenty of bluesy cuts in the new album, Apollo further testifies his genre-spanning prowess and song-crafting eminence and that’s equipped for global consumption. Proof? For starters, Ivory debuted at No. 1 of the Heatseekers Albums chart, and singles like “Evergreen” racked up about 66 million plays across streaming channels.

This year, the bilingual star made memorable appearances in major festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and ALC Fest. He also guested on Good Morning AmericaThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and is preparing for another headlining tour Stateside that includes stops at Brooklyn’s King Theatre and Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre.

Anitta Appears in This Year’s Edition of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 

It appears Anitta is doing swimmingly

The 28-year-old Brazilian singer/songwriter appears on the pages of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which launched online on Monday, July 19.

Anitta, SI Swimsuit

Anitta is one of three musicians appearing in the issue. The other two? Megan Thee Stallion, who becomes only the second musician ever to star on the cover of the issue, and R&B singer Tinashe. This is the 58th edition of SI Swimsuit.

For Latin artists like Anitta, being featured in SI Swimsuit can not only make their reach more global, but it can also make their brand more relatable, says Isabel Paz, publicity and promotions associate director at Warner Music Latina. Paz works with artists including Anitta, Justin Quiles and Sofia Reyes.

Anitta, SI Swimsuit

Warner Records worked with the global Warner Music Latin team to sign the “Girl From Rio” singer last June ahead of her U.S. debut album due this year.

“I think Sports Illustrated is such a big brand that it definitely has a global reach. We don’t have Sports Illustrated in our market, like a Spanish version,” Paz tells Billboard, adding that print coverage exposes fans to a multidimensional view of their favorite singers. “It also shows another side of the artist that perhaps we wouldn’t see if they wouldn’t have been featured there. If you see them in a sports-related magazine, then you’re able to discover that this artist also has that interest. I think it just makes them more well-rounded and perhaps shows a side that is not just them on stage, but it also lets you know that the artist is capable of doing something else. It humanizes them a bit, because you can relate to them further.”

While SI Swimsuit works to “redefine the cultural conversation around beauty by celebrating a diverse group of women,” according to the publication’s statement during the annual Miami runway show earlier in July, Paz believes it has the power to celebrate “the whole variety” of Latina artists. The question remains if SI Swimsuit will continue to break grounds with whom the magazine wants to feature on the cover and in its pages in the coming years, and how many of those models will come from the music industry.

Megan Thee Stallion, Tinashe and Anitta will take the stage and perform at the official launch event for the 2021 issue on July 23 and 24 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. SI Swimsuit partnered with Hard Rock International for the two-day series of festivities, including interactive daytime events and a red carpet before the blowout concert at Hard Rock Live.

SI Swimsuit also worked with Roc Nation, where all three artists have direct and indirect management ties, to book the talent featured in its pages. Anitta signed a worldwide management deal with Brandon Silverstein’s S10 Entertainment, which is a partner of Roc Nation, in August 2019.

Anitta’s “Girl From Rio” single has been getting steady rotation at top 40 and rhythmic radio, further helping to ensure the Brazilian superstar’s long overdue breakout in the United States, with special thanks to DaBaby for his guest verse on the remix.

The 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue will be on newsstands on Thursday, July 22.

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Myke Towers Signs Joint Global Distribution Deal with Warner Latina & Warner Records

Myke Towers is going global…

After a two-year courtship, and rising above offers from multiple competing labels, Warner Latina and Warner Records have jointly signed an exclusive global distribution deal with the 27-year-old Puerto Rican rising star and his independent label, Whiteworld Music.

Myke Towers

The deal was spearheaded by Warner Music Latina president Iñigo Zabala, who brought Towers to the attention of Warner Records global heads at a time when music in Spanish is a global force, a fact highlighted by Towers’ remarkable success as an independent artist.

In the past 12 months alone, Towers, whose full name is Michael Anthony Torres Monge, has placed seven songs on the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, two songs on Billboard’s Global Ex U.S. chart, six songs on the Spotify 200 chart (more than any other Latin act) and is currently No. 8 on YouTube’s Global artist chart while his video of “Bandido” with Juhn is No. 2 on the service’s Global chart this week.

No wonder that while Towers sings in Spanish, Warner sees him as a completely global act. “He is one of our most important signings of the past year,” Warner Records Co-Chairman & COO Tom Corson says bluntly.

That import has already been tested, most impactfully in “Me gusta,” the Anitta track released last September where Warner paired Towers with the Brazilian star and Cardi B.

As it turns out, Towers has been on Warner Latin’s sights since 2017, when he first started releasing music. But the label’s approach began in earnest in 2019, after he collaborated with Warner Music Latina group Piso 21.

“We formally contacted him in April 2019, when he released his single ‘Si Se Da,’” says Zabala, president of Warner Music Latin America & Iberia. “At that point, it was clear he was a very, very special artist. We always presented to them [Towers’ management] that we were the better partner to help them globalize Myke’s music. It’s been a long conversation, but it’s been very successful.”

Towers has risen quickly to fame at a time when Latin music is exploding in popularity at a global scale and consumption is at an all-time high. But it took him a beat to become coveted.

In 2018, after an initial stint with another indie, Towers approached Orlando “Jova” Cepeda and José “Tito” Reyes, partners in Whiteworld, a label, production and management company in Puerto Rico. “We gave him a hand and he decided to stay with us,” says Cepeda. “He was vastly underestimated; quiet, humble, the opposite of the genre. But we saw the originality in him.”

Towers was a rapper who shunned the more facile lyrics of reggaetón, opting for more heartfelt storytelling in his beginnings in 2016. But he also had a more melodic, commercial side to him, and quickly became highly sought-after for collaborations by big stars like Thalía and Becky G a couple of years later.

Whiteworld released Towers’ music through GLAD Empire, an indie distributor that’s known for achieving huge hits, like Anuel AA’s debut album. As Towers began to chart higher – by 2019, his “Si se da” peaked at No. 11 on the Hot Latin Songs chart — outside notice in him rose.

“But Warner were the only ones who initially had that interest,” says Reyes. In 2019, he says, Héctor Rivera, Warner Latina’s VP of A&R, showed up at Whiteworld’s studios in Puerto Rico.

“I told him, ‘Brother, truly, we’re not looking for anyone. But I’m paying attention because you’re here,’” recalls Reyes.  “Honestly, if they hadn’t come to see us that day at the studio, maybe we wouldn’t have made the deal.”

By then, many other people wanted a deal with Towers, but Warner won out. “Warner gave us respect,” says Cepeda. “They understood the project. I told Iñigo that if they wanted to sign Myke, it had to be global.”

Corson and Warner Records Co-Chairman & CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck both reached out to Towers and his team, signaling their commitment.

“Iñigo took the lead, but once the ball is rolling we’re working closely,” says Corson. “In this climate, with global playlisting, and genres meaning less and less, and records crossing over, language being less of a barrier, you have to be in each other’s business. It used to be much more one way: what could the U.S./Anglo labels export? Now, you’d be foolish to take that attitude and you would lose a lot of business if you weren’t in constant communication with your teams.”

As big as Towers has already become, “there’s still a major part of the globe who doesn’t know who he is,” says Bay-Schuck. “That’s where we’re going to come in and find the right ways to seed his music, collaborate with the right English speaking artists so Myke Towers becomes the same household name here that he is in the rest of the world. We’re  intentionally curating our roster […] and that means you can’t have a roster with 10 of the same things in it. I think Myke saw a massive opportunity to really be one of one and have the belief we were going to treat him like the priority he is.”

Max Lousada, Global CEO of Recorded Music, Warner Music Group added: “Myke is a distinctive songwriter, powerful performer, and incredible artist […] He’s at the forefront of a new generation of global talent that’s transcending languages, crossing boundaries, and disrupting genres. His possibilities are limitless.”

Anitta Launching Her Own Podcast, “Anitta and Friends” via LiveXLive Media’s PodcastOne

Anitta is (pod)casting a wider net…

The 27-year-old Brazilian singer-songwriter, who has proven to be as amusing in conversation as she is when performing, will now have her own podcast.

Anitta

Titled Anitta and Friends, the podcast will launch this quarter and will feature a wide array of guests in discussions that’ll be rooted in music.

The show is part of an exclusive podcast deal Anitta inked with podcast platform PodcastOne, which will also produce the show.

The platform, a subsidiary of LiveXLive Media, is also home to Pitbull’s From Negative to Positive podcast and The Adam Carolla Show, among many others.

Anitta’s debut season will include 12 episodes featuring “intimate, insightful” conversations with celebrities from around the world.

The podcast will also be streamed as a vodcast (video podcast) on the LiveXLive platform.

“The addition of world-class talent and beloved music star Anitta to the PodcastOne family of programming is a thrill for us,” said Kit Gray, president of PodcastOne. “With the rise of powerful female voices being heard … we know that we are the perfect home for Anitta’s podcast.”

Anitta is currently working on an album in English, Portuguese and Spanish, set for release on Warner Records under a new deal inked last summer. The Brazilian star has more than 91 million social media followers across platforms, which should help fuel her podcast, a medium that is still largely untested among Latin artists.

Aside from Pitbull, J Balvin hosted Made in Medellín a year ago, an eight-part podcast about life in his hometown that was produced by Spotify. Most recently, Nicky Jam began to record a podcast where he interviews friends and artists, including reggaetón superstars, but the show hasn’t debuted yet.

Brandon Arreaga & His PRETTYMUCH Group Mates Sign with Sire Records

Brandon Arreaga is ready to in-sire

The 20-year-old Latino singer and his fellow PRETTYMUCH pop group mates, which Simon Cowell launched under his label Syco Entertainment in 2017, have signed to Warner Records imprint Sire Records, marking the start of a “new era,” according to the group’s members.

PRETTYMUCH

The five members — Arreaga, Edwin Honoret, Zion Kuwonu, Nick Mara and Austin Porter — were originally pursuing solo careers until Syco founder Cowell approached them about creating a group in 2016.

PRETTYMUCH debuted in 2017 with the single “Would You Mind,” and have since released three EPs with Syco, sold out two headlining tours (also opening for Khalid) and worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran and French Montana.

The new signing follows an announcement in July that Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment would be ending the 11-year joint venture, which created Syco, with Sony Music to retain the JV’s back catalog and roster of artists.

The group has quickly been scooped up by Sire. Label president Rani Hancock tells Billboard that she has always been drawn to PRETTYMUCH because the members are “quadruple threats”: Singers, songwriters, producers and performers. A meeting with the band and their management team at KYN Entertainment, former Syco president Sonny Takhar and Mitch Eisner, sealed the deal.

“I have always admired PRETTYMUCH, so when Sonny reached out I was excited to meet them, and meeting them impressed me even more,” Hancock says. “I knew they were great singers and performers but quickly found out they are also impressive songwriters, producers, photographers, choreographers, and more. They are truly the architects of their own sound and vision and an unstoppable force.”

Arreaga says that the feeling was mutual, since he had “always wanted to be respected as a producer/songwriter.” “At Sire, they’ve shown so much interest in my work and even helped shape small ideas into full songs that I hadn’t seen the potential in,” he adds. “For us, it’s important that we remember to always keep evolving and always keep pushing the boundaries of what we’re capable of.”

With a fresh record deal under their belt, PRETTYMUCH is set to release their first new music since 2019’s INTL:EP in the coming year.

Anitta Signs Recording Deal with Warner Records

Anitta is ready to breakthrough in the United States…

The 27-year-old Brazilian singer, a massive star in Latin America, has signed a recording contract with Warner Records. And she’s eyeing the release of a multilingual debut, to be produced by Ryan Tedder, in the U.S. later this year. 

Anitta

Anitta fuses elements of reggaetón, bossa nova, R&B, hip-hop, EDM and funk carioca to create her own unique musical blend. 

She’s previously collaborated with the likes of Miley CyrusBecky GJ BalvinKaty PerryDavid Guetta and P. Diddy.

Already a star in her native Brazil — where Anitta is the most streamed artist — and beyond, Anitta’s digital profile includes 47 million Instagram followers, nearly 5 billion YouTube views, in addition to more than 14 million YouTube subscribers, and 6.5 billion cumulative Spotif ystreams. 

She has been nominated for five Latin Grammys and has won 6 MTV EMAs. She was set to perform at Coachellaand Rock In Riothis year before the COVID-19pandemic caused the cancellation of both.

“I’m so excited to join the U.S. Warner Records team,” said Anitta, who is based in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s the most important moment in my career. Now, I can show more about my art and culture to the world internationally. I can’t wait for everyone to hear all the new music I’ve been working on, which will be a fresh blend of both Spanish and English.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with the global Warner Music Latin team to bring Anitta’s incredible music to the U.S. and beyond. Anitta is truly unlike any artist we’ve ever experienced,” said Aaron Bay-Schuck and Tom Corson, co-chairmen of Warner Records. “ She’s not only an extraordinary musical talent, but is a blazing creative force, an electrifying performer and a true cultural phenomenon.”

Camila Cabello’s “Señorita” with Shawn Mendes Appears on “Grammy Nominees 2020” Album

Camila Cabello is the Señorita of the Grammys

The 22-year-old Mexican and Cuban American singer appears on the compilation album Grammy Nominees 2020, which is set for release on January 17 through Warner Records.

Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes

Cabello’s collaboration with Shawn Mendes, “Señorita,” appears on the album. The track is nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category.

Slightly more than half of the tracks on the album (11 out of 21) made the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Seven of them reached No. 1 on that chart, including Cabello’s “Señorita.”

All eight nominees for record and album of the year are represented on the collection. So are all five nominees for best pop duo/group performance, best pop vocal album, and best country duo/group performance.

Song of the year nominees that are missing from the collection are Lady Gaga‘s “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is BornTanya Tucker‘s “Bring My Flowers Now” and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved.”

Best new artist nominees not represented are Black PumasMaggie RogersRosalía,Tank and the Bangasand Yola.

The Grammy Nominees franchise is in its 26th year. A portion of album process will benefit the Grammy Museumand MusiCares.

Here’s the complete track listing for Grammy Nominees 2020.

Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”
Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)”
Lizzo, “Truth Hurts”
Khalid, “Talk”
H.E.R., “Hard Place”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, “Señorita”
Ariana Grande & Social House, “boyfriend”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, “I Don’t Care”
Post Malone & Swae Lee, “Sunflower”
Taylor Swift, “Lover”
Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
Vampire Weekend, “Harmony Hall”
Bon Iver, “Hey, Ma”
Beyoncé, “Spirit” (from Disney’s The Lion King)
Lana Del Rey, “Norman F***ing Rockwell”
Little Big Town, “The Daughters”
Dan + Shay, “Speechless”
Maren Morris feat. Brandi Carlile, “Common”
Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)”
Brooks & Dunn with Luke Combs, “Brand New Man”