Young Thug has landed a major role in the musical dramedy “Throw It Back” — appearing in the movie and overseeing its soundtrack as executive producer. Directed by Shadae Lamar Smith from a script written with Rochée Jeffrey, the film stars Shahadi Wright Joseph and will feature Tiffany Haddish in a supporting role. It is being produced by Feigco Entertainment’s Paul Feig and Laura Fischer, Jeffrey, and She Ready Productions’ Haddish and Melanie Clark. CAA Media Finance is representing the film’s domestic distribution rights; Mad River is handling international sales.
The dance-heavy production is soundtracked by southern hip hop and HBCU collegiate band rhythms. Young Thug is represented by UTA, manager Geoffrey Ogunlesi, publicist Anna Meacham at Huxley and attorneys Andre Des Rochers of Granderson Des Rocher.
+ In a curious move, Kobalt has announced that it reached profitability in the year ending Wednesday (June 30) on the back of announcing its financials for the previous year. Presumably the company will be releasing the details of that first year of profitability — which included the sale of its AWAL label and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights assets to Sony Music for $430 million — in a year’s time.
The company reported Wednesday that its gross collections grew by 13% to $703 million in the fiscal year-ending June 30, 2020, meeting its previous guidance. Its publishing division grew revenue by 7.6% over the previousl year to $436 million, driven by co-writes on hits from Roddy Ricch, Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, the Weeknd, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa and more.
“Reaching profitability was a key Kobalt objective to further strengthen the business for our clients and long-term success,” said CEO Laurent Hubert. “I’m proud we were able to achieve that important milestone well ahead of plan and do it in such an unprecedented year. Kobalt is well-positioned to take our service and offering to the next level.”
+ Producer and songwriter WondaGurl (real name: Ebony Oshunrinde), who recently won a Juno Award for producer of the year (the first Black woman to claim the Canadian honor), is launching a label imprint with Red Bull Records called Wonderchild. She will work alongside Red Bull Records managing director Greg Hammer and senior vice president and head of A&R Kenny “Tick” Salcido to sign and develop new talent. Toronto rapper Jugger is the first artist to sign with Wonderchild.
Said WondaGurl, who is managed by Tyler Henry: “Kenny, G, Greg, and the rest of the team have given me the time and space to create. As an artist and producer, that means everything. I look forward to the release of our first project together and everything to come with this relationship.”
+ Nashville’s Triple 8 Management has expanded its roster signing producer-songwriters Cason Cooley (NEEDTOBREATHE, American Authors), Luke Dick (Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley), Martin Johnson (Chase Rice, Lady A), Brandon Paddock (Elle King), Jon Randall (Parker McCollum, Dwight Yoakam), Danen Reed Rector (Charlotte Sands, Kyd The Band) as well as engineer F. Reid Shippen (Kenny Chesney, Ingrid Michaelson) and mixer/engineer/producer Shani Gandhi (Sierra Hull, The Mountain Goats, Sarah Jarosz).
+ Hipgnosis Songs Group has promoted Christian Johnson to senior director of A&R. Based in Los Angeles, Johnson joined Big Deal Music Group (which was acquired by Hipgnosis last year) in 2018 as assistant to co-president Casey Robison. In his new role he will work across the company’s roster of songwriters and producers, including John Ryan (Maroon 5, One Direction), Julian Bunetta (Thomas Rhett, Clean Bandit), Dan Wilson (Adele, the Chicks, Leon Bridges), and more. He is also the day-to-day manager for songwriters-producers Jordan Johnson and Stefan Johnson of The Monsters & Strangerz. “I’m tremendously proud of Christian,” Robison said. “His passion for songs and songwriters, work ethic and drive are second to none.”