Music Industry Moves: YoungBoy Never Broke Again and Motown Records Unveil Joint-Venture Label Partnership

Motown Records and rapper/songwriter YoungBoy Never Broke Again have announced a global joint venture with his Never Broken Again, LLC record label. YoungBoy and Kyle “Montana” Clairborne will continue to lead the label.

In making this announcement, Ethiopia Habtemariam, Chairman and CEO of Motown Records said, “I’m excited to work with Never Broke Again, a homegrown brand that has created an incredibly authentic and credible movement that represents the next generation in Louisiana’s legacy of ground-breaking hip-hop labels. I look forward to working with YoungBoy and Montana to continue to grow their vision and reach their fans around the world.”

YoungBoy said, “I felt like I had a responsibility to my artists to make sure to find the right partner for my label. I’m looking forward working with Ethiopia, Kenoe [Jordan, Motown VP of A&R] and Motown Records.”

The first project from the new venture is set to release in October, with the first single dropping in September. The “Never Broke Again Volumn 1” compilation of 16 unreleased tracks will feature YoungBoy Never Broke Again, P Yungin, Meechy Baby, Quando Rondo, No Cap, Rjae and Rojay. Solo projects from 16-year old P Yungin and Meechy Baby will follow in early 2022.

+ Capitol Music Group has appointed Ryan Ruden to the newly created position of executive VP of experiential marketing and business development, president & COO Michelle Jubelirer announced on Wednesday. According to the announcement, Ruden will draw upon his extensive background to pair strategic marketing initiatives with business partnerships while focusing on increasing revenues and fostering innovation in artist development, and will also be integral to CMG’s social and charitable endeavors. Ruden is based in New York and will report to Jubelierer.

Ruden was most recently senior VP of experiential marketing and business development for Columbia Records, a role he took on in 2018. While there, he led and co-produced the first virtual concert on the Roblox platform (with artist Lil Nas X), helped lead the first live concert in Fortnite (with artist Dom Fike), and spearheaded multi-million-dollar partnerships with an array of companies that included Logitech (Lil Nas X ) and Discord (Grimes). He joined Columbia in 2012 as VP of touring & events after four years at Interscope Records. Prior to joining Interscope, he began his career in 2003 as an artist representative at Shady Records and Goliath Artists.

According to CMG Chairman & CEO Jeff Vaughn and Jubelirer, ”Ryan is that rare executive who merges his passion for music with innovative ideas and the development of new pathways for artists to connect with fans. He will be a tremendous asset to our company and our artists, and everyone at CMG joins us in welcoming Ryan to the team.”

Ruden said, “”It is so exciting to be part of the amazing team of innovative leaders that Jeff Vaughn and Michelle Jubelierer have assembled. Not only is Capitol one of the most storied labels in music, but the entire team is uniquely situated to build the music company of the future. I am grateful for the opportunity to help bring CMG’s incredible artists directly to their fans in new and exciting ways”

RCA Records has promoted Val Pensa to senior VP, head of marketing, the company announced on Wednesday. According to the announcement, in her new role, Pensa will oversee the entire marketing department while she continues to be the marketing lead for several RCA artists.

In recent years Pensa has overseen and led a series of successful campaigns Doja Cat, Pink, Becky G, Kygo, Pentatonix and Cam, among others. She is also a three-time Clio Award winner for her marketing campaign for Sia’s “Chandelier.”

Tuesday, Sept. 7

Jeff Rabhan (pictured), the music industry veteran who spent the last decade as chairman of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, has joined the Los Angeles Academy of Artists and Music Production (LAAMP) as executive director. The one-year intensive music program was launched by songwriting and production duo Stargate’s Tor Hermansen and Mikkel Eriksen and counts Ne-Yo, Charli XCX, JetsonMade, Emily Warren and John Cunningham as mentors. The inaugural class of 45 writers, artists and producers launches Oct. 1 in brand new studio facilities.

Prior to moving to New York, Rabhan served as a successful music manager helping guide the careers of Kelly Clarkson, DMX, Michelle Branch, Lil’ Kim, Kelly Rowland and Jermaine Dupri, among others. He has also held A&R positions at Atlantic Records and Elektra Records and music supervision credits on such films as “Scream.” During his tenure at NYU, Rabhan launched notable music business curriculum tracks, like the artists-in-residence program, and enlisted a bevy of industry heavies to speak at the school, including Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys and Kevin Griffin. Graduates of the Clive Davis Institute include Andrew Watt, Nija Charles, Take a Daytrip and Maggie Rogers.

The Norwegian Stargate have credits on a multitude of hit songs working with the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Coldplay and Sam Smith, among others.

“Jeff’s unique experience in both the music industry and in building music programs is second to none — he’s the right fit for our Academy as we change the way artists, producers and songwriters elevate their skills,” said Hermansen and Ericsen. “His view of mentorship and the changing landscape aligns with ours.”

Added Rabhan: “Most artists, writers and producers never experience the level of mentorship LAAMP offers. By focusing completely on crafting and producing great songs under the guidance of the biggest names in music is how we plan to change the game.”

+ Pandora has promoted Jason Roth to communications director. A PR veteran who has held senior communications roles at Apple, HP and Capitol Records, Roth oversees Pandora’s corporate communications, product PR and partnership announcements. Roth reports to SiriusXM senior vp of communications Patrick Reilly.

+ Twitch and American Songwriter have teamed for a premium music channel that will promote a trio of live-streamed series. Among them: “The Art Of,” a monthly show hosted by producer Linda Perry; “The Grind,” about the craft of songwriting; and “Off The Record,” American Songwriter’s existing series featuring conversations with major artists. The partnership is the latest expansion of the brand beyond “an indie darling known for covering folk and Americana music to an all-encompassing brand for songwriters and music enthusiasts of all kinds,” reads an announcement.

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