Today (March 20) Mojo Music & Media – a new publishing and brand and legacy marketing company formed by Spirit Music Group founder Mark Fried, former Spirit SVP Peter Shane and former Ernst & Young executive Alan Wallis – has formally launched with the acquisition of Nashville-based HoriPro Entertainment Group.
The deal brings with it 15,000 songs, spanning six decades and reflecting more than 250 charted hits. Included within this are the collected works of REO Speedwagon, a 50% interest in the songs of Kiss, the complete catalogue of singer, songwriter and actor Jerry Reed and more than 25 hits and cuts by country legend George Strait.
Across nearly 30 years of deals, HoriPro purchased collections such as Merit Music, Double J Music and Dick James Music’s Nashlon and Dejamus companies, the catalogue boasting iconic songs including Top 10 singles by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Charly McClain, George Jones, Reba McEntire, Alabama, John Anderson, Diamond Rio, Gretchen Wilson, Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and The Band Perry.
The company’s active writer roster features Bart Butler, Joe Clemmons, Neil Medley, Sarah Allison Turner and Mike Walker among others. Recent hits have included Thomas Rhett’s Make Me Wanna, Sam Hunt’s Make You Miss Me, Kenny Chesney’s The Boys Of Fall, Jon Pardi’s Head Over Boots and Heartache On The Dance Floor, plus Rodney Atkins Caught Up In The Country.
With the deal, Mojo – which has offices in New York and London – opens its Nashville base in Berry Hill with former HoriPro executives Butch Baker (SVP creative), Carrie Wilkins (VP administration & business affairs) and song pluggers Keithan Melton and Courtney Crist, along with most of their support staff, continuing in their posts.
According to an official press release, the company has also appointed former HoriPro international executive Nobu Yamamoto “to pursue new writer and catalogue opportunities in Los Angeles and strengthen its presence in Japan and throughout Asia.”
Mojo’s co-founders, Fried (CEO), Shane (CCO) and London-based Wallis (COO), a 30-year veteran of Ernst & Young’s valuation practice, opened doors in late 2017. Over the last year, the team concluded 11 publishing deals including the standards of Johnny Burke and Bernie Wayne, plus the complete works of writer/artist Paul Evans, Stuart Weiner’s Wemar Music, soul and rap writer/producer Bobby Robinson, pop/folk artist Jud Strunk, writer/artist/Woodstock co-producer Artie Kornfeld, and ‘90s soul artist/entrepreneur Joyce Irby.
Recently, Fried and Shane have already landed strategic licenses in Universal‘s First Man, ABC’s The Goldbergs, CBS’ Young Sheldon, NBC’s This Is Us and Brooklyn-Nine-Nine, AMC’s The Walking Dead, FX‘s Snowfall and commercial campaigns for Mars, Walmart and Ford Motor Company.
Mojo Music states it will offer “a full suite of music publishing services, highlighted by transparent, real-time global royalty tracking and custom song and catalogue promotion”.
It is also stated that its aim to "bring its songwriters and their teams together with writers, directors and distributors to produce a broad range of music-driven, brand-extending projects including books, films, theatricals, tribute albums, pop-up stores and installations, concert events and branded consumer products.”
Mojo Music Media stressed their objective of working with clients to “expand their digital footprint and drive greater engagement with fans via custom apps, curated playlists, podcasts, branded digital programming and social network initiatives.”
Speaking about the launch, Mark Fried, Mojo Music founder and CEO, said: “I’m thrilled to be launching a new venture with driven, like-minded partners and surrounded by some of the best songs and songwriters on the planet. We aim to build a modern-day Brill Building, not only pitching songs and syncs like our lives depended on it but bringing our writers’ songs and stories to life across traditional and new media.”
Butch Baker, Mojo Music SVP added: “Mojo and HoriPro are a hand-in-glove fit! Anybody who knows us knows we’ve always been about our family of songs and songwriters. With Mojo, we now have the resources to super-serve them here in Nashville and take them beyond our borders into cross-genre co-writes, custom syncs and creative projects with tv, fim and new media producers all over the world.”