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Signed: Jordin Sparks Links Up With Epidemic Sound; ‘The Voice’ Winner Pacts With UMG/Republic

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Music-licensing company Epidemic Sound has signed Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks, the company tells Billboard. Under the deal, Sparks will collaborate with Epidemic’s in-house team — including musicians, producers and A&Rs — to create a collection of “classic Christmas songs” to be released later this year, with Epidemic distributing. The tracks will be made available to Epidemic’s global community of content creators along with being released to all streaming platforms.

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Jordin Sparks. Jordin is an extraordinary superstar who has significantly impacted the music industry,” said John Cleary, Epidemic’s director of music recruitment & music U.S., in a statement. “Creators, filmmakers, marketers, and storytellers know the power of music in telling a compelling story, and they seek amazing music to elevate their content. By collaborating with Jordin, Epidemic Sound can continue catering to content creators’ needs while simultaneously amplifying her artistry globally and unveiling her tracks to our global ecosystem of creators and international fanbase.”

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Sparks rose to fame after winning season 6 of American Idol and has since released three Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles including “No Air” with Chris Brown, “Tattoo” and “Battlefield.” According to a press release, she’ has’s sold more than 10 million tracks in the United States alone. In 2014, Sparks won a BMI Pop Award in 2014 for co-writing Ariana Grande and Mac Miller‘s hit single, “The Way.”

“I’m excited for this new partnership with Epidemic Sound,” said Sparks in her own statement. “They have empowered artists to thrive commercially, creatively and to reach new audiences. The freedom they give artists to choose their own path and work on different projects at the same time is unique and inspiring. I’m excited to join a roster of incredible artists and I’m looking forward to working with Epidemic Sound’s team!”

Epidemic Sounds’ remuneration model offers upfront payments, a 50-50 royalty split from streaming revenue and a quarterly soundtrack bonus. The company allows artists to work under non-exclusive agreements.

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Bryce Leatherwood, winner of season 22 of NBC’s The Voice, signed with Universal Music Group Nashville in alliance with Republic Records. His label debut, “The Finger,” releases Oct. 27. Leatherwood is also signed with Morris Higham Management, CAA, Sony Music Publishing and O’Neil Hagaman. – Jessica Nicholson

Canadian singer-songwriter ThxSoMch signed with UTA for global representation in all areas. His track “Spit in My Face!” has been certified platinum by the RIAA, broke into the Billboard Hot 100 and hit No. 9 on Billboard‘s Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. His most recent singles include “Caroline,” “Hate” and “Crumbled,” while his debut EP, Sleez, was released May 19. ThxSoMch is signed to Elektra Records.

Berlin-based composer-producer Ben Böhmer signed to Ninja Tune, which just released his new single, “One Last Call” featuring Felix Raphael.

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Swedish singer-songwriter Winona Oak signed to Nettwerk, which released her new single, “With Or Without You,” on Oct. 20. Oak is signed to The Very Good and PostOak LA for management, with booking by CAA in the United States and Wasserman in Europe.

Nettwerk also signed Toronto-based bedroom pop artist Peach Luffe (born Jong Lee). The classically-trained violinist released his latest single on the label, “Say It Back,” on Oct. 20. He’s managed by Michael MadConald at Lonely Beach and was previously signed to Lonely Beach Club; he’s slated to play next year’s South by Southwest.

Lastly at Nettwerk, the label signed Chicago-based singer-songwriter Wic Whitney. His first release under the label, “Ooolong,” marks the first single from his forthcoming EP, Afternoon Tea, which is slated to drop on Jan. 12. Whitney is managed by Colby Carlson.

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Night Tales signed with Empire Dance and will drop a crossover single, “Work It Out” featuring Champion DI, on Friday (Oct. 27). The group is managed by the team at Prime Artists, including leaders Harrison Bamel, Adam Lynn and Zach Ruben, with booking by Hunter Williams and Jenna Adler at CAA. Night Tales was previously signed to Sony Music’s Ultra Records.

Easier Said, a recently-formed dance and rhythmic label founded by A&R exec Dominique Keegan, signed Party Pupils and will release the group’s new song, “Girlfriend” featuring MAX, bbno$ and MILLI. The label is an imprint of Firebird Music and has also released music by artists including Ian Asher, NALA, Roland Clark, Riva Starr and Maya Jane Coles.

Chicago-based indie band Brigitte Calls Me Baby signed to ATO Records, which will release its debut EP, This House Is Made of Corners, on Nov. 3. The group is managed by Phil Costello at Red Light; booking is handled by Jackie Nalpant and Kiely Mosiman at Wasserman in the United States and David Exley at Wasserman in the United Kingdom and European Union.

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Global distribution and artist and label services company The Orchard recently expanded its operations in Africa and, as part of that move, signed a global distribution deal with Ghanian duo R2Bees.

Massachusetts-based rapper Millyz partnered with Create Music Group, which put out his new singles, “Passion” and “Soul Bleed” featuring DeeBaby. Millyz is managed by Ceize Gemini, Bryce Raines and Jeremy Karelis, with booking handled by Ashley Ventura at MAC Agency. His previous distributor was Perfect Time Music Group.

Singer-songwriter Fancy Hagood (“Blue Dream Baby” featuring Kacey Musgraves) signed with UTA for global representation in all areas.

New York-based singer-songwriter Odetta Hartman signed to Transgressive Records, which will release her second studio album, Swansongs, on March 22. The first single from the set, “Dr. No,” was released Oct. 17.

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Australia-based singer-songwriter Kirin J Callinan signed with [PIAS] via his record label, Worse Records, for the release of his fourth album, If I Could Sing.

Indie rock band Brother Elsey signed to Nashville-based independent label River House Artists. The group’s inaugural releases on the label are the tracks “Passing Through” and “Babylon.” The group, which is currently on a U.S. tour through November, is managed by Jay Emmons and Jerrod Wilkins, with Grace Stern and Jay Williams at WME handling booking.

Singer-songwriter Dan Smalley signed with ONErpm Nashville, which will release a series of singles leading up to his next full-length album, The State of Country Music, next year.

South Korean pianist Yunchan Lim signed with Decca Classics. Last year, the 18-year-old became the youngest-ever winner of the Vin Cliburn International Piano Competition in Texas. He will soon make his debut at Carnegie Hall and is also slated to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris alongside and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He’ll release his debut album with Decca in spring 2024. Lim is represented by Nicholas Mathias and Federico M. Benigni at IMG Artists and in Korea by Sam Lee at MOC Production.

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Wishy, a new band formed by Indiana songwriters Kevin Krauter and Nina Pitchkites, signed to Winspear, which will release the duo’s debut EP, Paradise, on Dec. 15. The single “Donut” is out now.

Belarusian violinist Yevgeny Kutick signed with Epstein Fox Performances for North American and general management.

Black River Records signed Scotty Hasting to its roster. Hasting’s label debut single, “How Do You Choose,” will release Nov. 3. – Jessica Nicholson

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