Level Brands Inc., an innovative marketing and licensing company that provides bold, unconventional, and socially responsible branding for leading businesses, and BMG, a multinational record label and the world’s fourth-largest music-publishing company, announced the signing of a three-project music deal with Level Brands’ Encore Endeavor One (EE1), which develops music, film, radio, and television content and affordable, interactive experiences for families. EEI’s current entertainment content is broadcasted in over 50 countries. The new label-distributor association was announced jointly by Stephen Roseberry, President of EE1, and Hartwig Masuch, Chief Executive Officer of BMG.
The new association will begin with a project involving classic songs selected from the John Lennon-Paul McCartney catalogue and will include music videos. The first project is “Blackbird,” a song Sir Paul McCartney acknowledges was inspired by the civil-rights revolution in America in the 1960s. The project artists will be selected from among Grammy Award winners as well as new emerging artists. The collaboration comes in the wake of a very successful EE1-BMG venture—the 2016 No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 album by Janet Jackson, Unbreakable, which was managed by EVP and Global Creative Director of EEI, Jon Carrasco, as well as Stephen Roseberry.
Kathy Ireland®, Chairman Emeritus and Chief Brand Strategist for Level Brands, said: “Our new project with BMG is a strategic and important step in our goal to help Level Brands become a global conglomerate and a dominant force in the branding and marketing space across multiple categories. We are grateful for Janet Jackson, her team and BMG’s brilliant visionary, Hartwig Masuch, for bringing Level Brands into the music industry with our own record label. We will focus on projects that are universal in appeal, family-friendly, and culturally relevant and that offer both an entertainment and educational experience.”
Roseberry said the three-project deal will identify artists “who can bring a contemporary interpretation to classic pop tunes, as well as reconnect legendary artists with their audiences. The music of John Lennon and Paul McCartney is a great place to initiate a very exciting era, in which we will begin a completely new series of musical products with BMG. We are targeting a large market opportunity, as according to the IFPI Global Music Report, in 2016, pop music accounted for 15.7% of music consumption and rock music 24.5%.”
Roseberry said, “Pop and rock stars increasingly are re-examining the great traditions of the past and paying their respects to the musical legends on whose shoulders they stand. There are, in fact, many recording industries, each serving different audiences, and we plan to develop talent in fields most vitally growing and in need of new stars. We are deeply committed to BMG because of the passion and resourcefulness with which they helped us guide Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable album to No. 1, following a substantial time in which she had not recorded.”
“EE1 is in the process of identifying the artists who will be signed for the Lennon-McCartney tribute,” said Roseberry, a longtime associate of Kathy Ireland® who in addition to being President of EE1 is also President of kathy ireland® Worldwide, the 26th-largest licensing company in the world (as ranked by License Global magazine).
Nic Mendoza, Vice President of kathy ireland® Worldwide, said, “What is exciting is that the new audiences are always in search of the old as well as the new, as witnessed by the popularity of the music reality ‘discovery’ shows. We have plans through which we will allow the audience to help us locate and launch the careers of talent they see as being stars of the future.”
The two firms’ international identification of top worldwide acts will help EE1 become “the most supportive home for great new acts, focusing on development of the most suitable strategies for the artists rather than the specific corporate needs of the label,” Roseberry said.
“The firm currently is in negotiations for its first recording artists,” Roseberry added.