Music Industry Moves: Laufey Reaffirms Global Record Deal With AWAL

Icelandic-Chinese artist, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Laufey has extended her deal with AWAL. The announcement arrives on the heels of her sophomore album “Bewitched,” which was recently nominated for best traditional pop vocal album at the 2024 Grammys.

“AWAL’s steadfast commitment to my creative autonomy has been essential in providing me the space and freedom to create music on my own terms,” said Laufey, who first signed with AWAL in April 2022. “Their drive and progressive vision for the music industry runs through the company, and I’m over the moon to extend our partnership.”

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Added AWAL CEO Lonny Olinick, “Laufey is the artist you dream of having an opportunity to work with. She is a generational talent—that talent is only matched by her incredible dedication to her craft. She has built a fiercely dedicated fanbase and understands what it takes in today’s world to constantly challenge and engage them. The opportunities ahead for Laufey are limitless and I couldn’t be prouder to continue our relationship.”

Pictured above (L-R): Justin Macchio (AWAL, SVP Marketing), Max Gredinger (Foundations Artist Management, Partner), Laufey, Bianca Bhagat (AWAL, GM), Lonny Olinick (AWAL, CEO) backstage at Town Hall, NYC.

+ 10K Projects has partnered with rapper Moneybagg Yo and his Loaf Boyz Ventures record label. The first artist to be released under the new joint venture deal was YTB Fatt who dropped his first mixtape, “Who Is Fatt” in August.

“Moneybagg Yo is one of the most exciting forces in hip hop,” said 10K Projects founder and CEO, Elliot Grainge. “We are so happy to welcome him and his team into the 10K family as we work together to identify and develop the next generation of artists.”

“Moneybagg has developed a singular voice as a lyricist and rapper in contemporary hip hop,” said Zach Friedman, co-president of 10K. “He brings this same innovative artistic ethos to his work as an executive. We’re excited to have his Loaf Boyz Ventures label at 10K and are looking forward to working closely with him and his team on all of the amazing projects in the pipeline.”

Other projects slated for release under the new deal include a Loaf Boyz compilation album and new music from Memphis-based MC Kevo Muney. Moneybagg Yo’s solo work will continue to be released via Yo Gotti’s CMG label.

+ Universal Music Greater China (UMGC), a division of Universal Music Group (UMG), has appointed entertainment industry executive Gary Chan as its new managing director of Universal Music Hong Kong and senior VP of Universal Music Greater China, effective immediately.

He will be based in Hong Kong and will report directly to Timothy Xu, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Greater China. Xu assumed the post in September following the retirement of longstanding chairman, Sunny Chang.

With a career spanning over three decades, Chan joins UMGC from Media Asia Group Holdings Limited, where he served as executive director for 15 years. Prior to joining Media Asia Group, Chan was a managing director at both Warner Music Hong Kong and EMI Music Hong Kong. Chan also served as the chairman of IFPI Hong Kong for 10 years (2016 to September 2023) and has held the position of Secretary for the Hong Kong Performing Industry Association since 2009.

Said Xu, “At Universal Music, we have built upon the distinct legacy of the PolyGram label, shaping Canto-pop culture and profoundly impacting the music scenes in Hong Kong and Asia over the past half-century. With Gary stepping into this pivotal role, we not only reaffirm our commitment to uphold this legacy but also set our sights on the future. His leadership will be instrumental in driving the next wave of growth for Chinese music culture and unlocking greater global success.”

Tuesday, Nov. 14

HYBE, the South Korean label powering K-pop giants BTS and NewJeans, has acquired Exile Music, the music arm of Spanish-language entertainment studio Exile Content.

HYBE Latin America will be based in Mexico, per the company’s announcement on Nov. 13, and will be led by its new CEO Kah Jong-Hyun, a former executive at YG Entertainment. Exile Content founder Isaac Lee will become chairman of the Latin American division’s board. Exile Content is a division of Candle Media, which is led by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, and has developed shows and films with Latin themes and music.

Exile was behind the series “Vgly,” which starred música Mexicana pioneer Natanael Cano, and told the story of an up-and-coming artist living in the U.S.-Mexico border. Exile also recently premiered another series directed by Alejandra Márquez (“A Million Miles Away”) and starring Deigo Boneta, and is working on putting out a film featuring Residente and Leslie Grace.

HYBE Latin America said it additionally “has plans to construct a localized training and development and A&R system, along with recruiting top-level producers, composers, managers and artists.”

+ Black Girls Code, a nonprofit dedicated to CS education for Black girls and gender nonconforming youth, has launched a nationwide contest called “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” in partnership with the singer.

Sponsored by Infosys Foundation USA, the “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” empowers students ages 13-18 to code their own song for the chance to meet Ciara via a video call, as well as to win tech prizes that will help inspire and further their dreams.

“I am proud to be supporting this initiative and empowering young people to take their passion for music and use it to develop technology skills that can give them a leg up in life,” said Ciara. “I’m excited to team up with Black Girls Code because their mission aligns so perfectly with the charitable work Russell and I do at our foundation, Why Not You, which lifts students out of poverty through education and inspires them to lead with a Why Not You attitude. I look forward to seeing the incredible submissions and meeting with the winner in February!”

Running from Nov. 14 through Dec. 31, “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara” invites young coders to join Infosys Foundation USA’s Pathfinders Online Institute to access engaging video tutorials, designed and developed by Black Girls Code, to guide students on their coding journey. Using these newly acquired skills, participants will craft their unique songs and remixes, blending their creativity with sounds from artists like Ciara, Alicia Keys, Common, Pharrell, and more.

The winners, selected by a panel of celebrity judges including MC Lyte, Craig King, TikTok influencers The BoykinZ, Bosko Kante, Rock the Bells President James Cuthbert, and more.

+ Warner Music Latina has promoted Brenda Carrasco to VP of marketing and artist strategy to oversee the marketing and career development for Warner Music Latina’s roster of acclaimed artists.

Carrasco was formerly west coast marketing manager, and head of international marketing, and most recently served as senior director of DSP strategy for WM Latin America.

“I am honored to take on this new challenge in my career and feel grateful to my company for this opportunity,” said Carrasco. “I understand that at the heart of every great record label is a commitment to artists and their unique visions. We know that success in the music industry isn’t just about selling albums, but about amplifying an artist’s voice and telling their story. Therefore, I want to work closely with our artists, listening to their creative aspirations, and helping them achieve their goals. My main ambition is to inspire and lead the marketing team, working together with managers and industry partners to propel our artists to new heights, not just in the charts, but in their careers and artistic journeys.”

+ Victoire Selce has been hired as a publicist at Align Public Relations.

Born and raised in Switzerland, Selce joins Align PR from Shore Fire Media, where she was an account executive and played key roles in running campaigns for a wide variety of clients, including Forest Hills Stadium, Steve Aoki, The Pasta Queen, Japanese goods company Bokksu, Irish musician CMAT, Prince’s Paisley Park estate, Wasserman Music, and more.

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