Warner aims for more international hits

Warner aims for more international hits

As part of the move Warner/Chappell UK A&R manager for writers and producers Jane Bell and the Swedish operation's A&R manager Julius Petersson have both been promoted to the newly-created roles of senior international creative manager and will work with the creators behind songs for the likes of Rihanna, The Wanted, One Direction and Susan Boyle.

The pair will also work closely with Warner/Chappell staff in New York and Los Angeles to ensure that the cross-border potential of its British, Swedish and American writer/producer ouput is realised and will have an eye firmly trained on creating hit songs in the UK and US.

Although Warner/Chappell UK managing director Richard Manners suggested the move was not a radical change of direction for the company, he said this was the first time that the publisher had clearly articulated its strategy with regards to its British and Swedish songwriting talent.

"We want to up our ration of hit records and this is a way of driving that. It's really very simple," he said, noting the strategy would be a way for Warner/Chappell to understand how best it could work with its writer and producer teams as they travelled the world.

"We don't want just one person travelling with them, trying to co-ordinate everyone - we want people from each territory to take joint responsibility in a way which means they would be in the same room as often as possible," he explained. He added this would result in Warner/

Chappell staff in every territory knowing the focal point of songwriter and production activity was around Bell and Petersson.

In their new roles, the two executives will spend their time with a small group of songwriters, including UK-signed Wayne Hector and Madeon, US writers Priscilla Renea and Claude Kelly, and Swedish songwriter/producers Alexander Kronlund, Play and BeatGeek (see box out) and will focus primarily on trying to create rhythmic pop and R&B hits.

"This is where the market lies," said Manners. "We have someone like Priscilla Renea who is an artist in her own right but also wrote California King Bed for Rihanna - and we want to prioritise the writer/producers who, like her, will be able to follow that market. If we can lead [the market], too, then great."

And, while the company would train its focus on creating hits for the UK and American markets, he said there was the potential for other cross-border opportunities for its talent. However, at this stage he noted there were no plans to roll out the scheme to other countries as the company was keen to keep the focus on hit making to just a few select territories.

"It's a bit like record labels and their international priorities: you can't expand that list exponentially, you need it to be focused for it to work," he said.

Warner/ Chappell Sweden managing director Lars Karlsson added that, while Bell and Petersson would primarily be working on the company's most established writers to start with, he was keen for up-and-coming talent to become part of the team as well. "We also have other names who are on the list and we will discuss with Jane and Julius over the coming weeks to see if they [the talent] are ready to work with them - or if they need developing more," he said. "Sweden is a very small territory as far as music is concerned, so for a writer or a producer to make their living and be successful they have to export their music," he added.

Some of the songwriters and producers working with Bell and Petersson

Alexander Kronlund: Swedish songwriter who has co-written Lucky, If You Seek Amy and Don't Go Knockin' on My Door for Britney Spears as well as tracks for N*Sync, Robyn, The Saturdays and the Backstreet Boys.

Claude Kelly: US premier songwriter, Claude Kelly has penned a number of hits for Britney Spears' last album including Circus, as well as My Life Would Suck Without You for Kelly Clarkson and Party in the USA recorded by Miley Cyrus. Claude also co-wrote Jessie J's UK Number one Price Tag and Bruno Mars' Grenade.

Play: Swedish production and song writing trio Play who co-penned Who I Was Born To Be for Susan Boyle with Audra Mae.

Cutfather: Cutfather is the producer on the Pussycat Dolls' I Hate This Part, Jamelia's Superstar, Jordin Sparks' One Step At A Time and Pixie Lott's Gravity. Cuts with; JLS, Kylie, The Wanted, Mel C

Priscilla Renea: American songwriter and artist who has co-written Promise This and The Flood for Cheryl Cole, plus Rihanna's California King Bed. BeatGeek: Swedish producer-songwriter who has collaborated with RedOne on JLS hit She Makes Me Wanna and Nicole Scherzinger's Poison.

Wayne Hector: UK songwriter who has penned hits for artists including Britney Spears, Pussycat Dolls, Susan Boyle, James Morrison, Westlife, Cheryl Cole, The Wanted, JLS and Enrique Iglesias.

Madeon: The 17 year-old French songwriter-producer is signed to Warner/Chappell UK and has racked up more than 4.2 million hits on YouTube with his pop culture mash up. Madeon is currently putting the finishing touches on his debut EP.


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