Signed: Nelly Pacts With WME, Nightwish Re-Ups With Nuclear Blast

Nelly signed with WME for global representation. The rapper and singer’s most recent album, Heartland, was released in 2021 and peaked at No. 7 on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart, while the single “Lil Bit” featuring Florida Georgia Line remained at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Digital Song Sales chart for three weeks. Signed to RECORDS (Sony Music), Nelly also recently launched MoShine, a moonshine brand.

Symphonic metal band Nightwish renewed its contract with Nuclear Blast, reaching a new global multi-album deal with the label that it first signed with 20 years ago. The label also announced that it signed American death metal band Gatecreeper, which will release its third album, Dark Superstition, on the Nuclear Blast on May 17. Gatecreeper is represented by managers James Vitalo and James Grottola at Gold Theory Artists and booking agent Merrick Jarmulowicz at Ground Control Touring.

Play It Again Sam, an imprint of the [PIAS] label group, will release Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds‘ forthcoming album under a global license, in partnership with Cave’s label, Bad Seed. Titled Wild God, the album is slated for release on Aug. 30.

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Activist Artists Management signed folk-pop singer-songwriter Weyes Blood for management. She will be represented by Activist founding partners Bernie Cahill and Matt Maher, along with Activist senior director of A&R/creative Anna Kolander and head of global marketing Chris Ruff. Weyes Blood’s most recent album, And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s Heatseekers Albums chart. She has performed at festivals including Coachella and Pitchfork and toured throughout the United States, Europe and Australia.

Indie-electronic pop group Metronomy signed with Ninja Tune, which released the band’s latest single, “Nice Town.” It marks the first release from the band’s upcoming Posse EP Volume 1 follow-up.

UTA signed country band Ole 60 for global representation in all areas. The group will continue being represented by Davis Danziger, Wales Toney and Ty Little at Whale Tale Management and lawyer Matt Cottingham. Coming up, Ole 60 is slated to support Dylan Gossett and Charles Wesley Godwin on their upcoming tours and will play the Grind City Music Festival in Memphis.

New York band Wild Pink signed with Fire Talk Records, which released the group’s label debut, the single “Air Drumming Fix You,” on Mar. 7. The group is booked by Ryan Farlow at Arrival Artists (North America) and Joren Heuvels at Hometown Talent (United Kingdom, EU and Asia) and managed by Joseph Marro at Lesser Matters. The band has a publishing deal with Downtown.

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Abbey Cone signed with Downtown Artist & Label Services for distribution. Her first release under the Downtown banner is a live cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Cone’s team also includes Amanda Quinton of Quinton Digital for management, Wasserman Group for booking and Warner Chappell Music/T.R.U.T.H. for publishing.

Veteran British singer-songwriter Dave Mason signed an exclusive management deal with Red Light in Atlanta. His team at the firm consists of Charlie Brusoc and Nick Manarino, which will work with Mason on his forthcoming music releases as well as the release of his memoir, which is slated for release this summer. He’s booked by Alec Vidmar and Darius Sabet at UTA.

Philadelphia artist Julia Pratt signed to RECORDS (Sony Music), which released her latest single, “Carolina,” last week in advance of a new EP. Pratt is managed by Doug Neumann and Josh Roth at Standards Music and booked by Seth Rappaport at Paladin Artists.

Singer-songwriter Alli Walker signed with RECORDS Nashville. To celebrate the partnership, Walker has released the track “I Like Big Trucks,” adding a country flavor to the 1990s Sir Mix-a-Lot hit “Baby Got Back.” Josh Easler, executive vp of promotion & commercial strategy for RECORDS Nashville, says, “The RECORDS Nashville team is always looking for artistry that stands out, and Alli Walker does just that. We are excited to get started amplifying what she is already having success with.” – Jessica Nicholson

Nashville punk band Winona Fighter, fronted by Chloe Kinnon, signed with Rise Records and shared a new single and music video, “I’m in the Market to Please No One.” More new music is slated for release this year. The band is booked by Justin Edwards at WME and managed by Michael Iurato at In De Goot Entertainment.

Country artist Dusty Black signed with Brown Sellers Brown and Stone Country Records for management and label representation, respectively. Black was formerly the CEO of Black Tie Moving before making the transition to artist.

ADA Japan signed a deal to distribute, promote and market Japanese-language songs by the Korean boy group One Pact via its South Korean label and entertainment agency, Armada Entertainment. Jump-starting the partnership was ADA’s release of One Pact’s debut local single, “Must Be Nice.” The band came to prominence after appearing on the Korean TV music audition series Boys Planet and the rap battle show High School Rapper 4.

MaKenzie signed with Warner Records, which released her new single, “Maybe” featuring TA Thomas, on Friday (Mar. 15). The R&B artist is managed by Tarek “Terk” Stevens at Terk Entertainment Group and attorney Donald Woodard at Carter + Woodard. Also at Warner Records, alt-rocker Willy Cobb signed with the label’s War Buddha Records imprint, which released his debut single, “Cigarette Smell,” on Friday (Mar. 15). Cobb is managed by Neil Mason at Red Light.

How to Dress Well (a.k.a. Tom Krell) signed with Sargent House for the release of his forthcoming album, I Am Toward You, which is set to drop May 10. He is managed by Shaun MacDonald at Codex Management.

BBR Music Group/BMG Nashville signed Alison Nichols, who earned a viral TikTok hit with her debut release, “is it just me?”, followed by her latest release, “HOOPS.” Nichols, who is of Asian-American heritage, grew up in Georgia and gleans influence from the Texas country music scene. – Jessica Nicholson

British-Chinese sibling duo Esme Emerson (Esme and Emerson Lee-Scott) signed with Communion Records and released its new single, “Please,” on the label, with an EP due later this year. The duo is booked by

Musician and social media influencer Peet Montzingo signed a management deal with Do Less. The signing coincided with the release of his HARV-produced debut single, “Party With a Weirdo,” on Friday (Mar. 15) through Vydia.

Punk band Gloom Girl MFG signed with R+D Artist Group for management ahead of the release of its Cage the Elephant-produced EP, POLYCRISIS. Additionally, the group recently signed with Reliant Talent Agency for booking. Gloom Girl MFG is signed to Los Angeles-based label Signs From the Universe.


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