Anatomy of a Track Placement
Walk through the creative process, business, and legal aspects of obtaining a song placement on major recording artist albums. The music producer will discuss building relationships with fellow songwriters and recording artists and the process of creating a new song that will end up as a single on a major artist album release. The next step will be the facilitation by the producer's management and legal team to negotiate the use of the song via a producer agreement with the recording artist. The last step is the facilitation of the producer agreement and legal documents by the producer and recording artist's legal teams with A&R administration and the major record label's requirements to finalize the track to appear on an album release.
Adella Thomas Management/Forbes Atlanta
A Music Manager is responsible for the leadership, coordination, and overall direction of an individual, team of individuals and/or enterprise. As CEO of Adella Thomas Management, Rico Brooks does all of that and more. He oversees the music careers of some of the most notable names in the industry including gold-selling producer Sonny Digital, as well as hit-makers B. Wheezy Beatz, Metro Boomin, Ronnie D, D. Rich, and songwriter Tasha Catour. In addition to being a top-notch beat broker, Brooks also co-manages Atlantic Records recording artist Que.
Brooks’ solid industry relationships, stringent work ethic and insatiable appetite for learning have helped catapult him and his company to a new pinnacle of success. Under Brooks’ leadership, his clients have landed on projects for 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Beyonce, Young Jeezy, Wiz Khalifa, Future and Rick Ross.
Born and raised in Albany, Georgia, Brooks moved to Atlanta to earn an Associates Degree in History from Atlanta Metropolitan College and attended the coveted Morehouse College, housed in the historic Atlanta University Center, to graduate with a Bachelor of Art Degree in History. Upon graduating, life took a turn and Brooks found himself working as a Sales Associate for Peppermint Music. His undeniable love for music turned his need for a job post-graduation into a full-fledged career of 10 years in music retail. Brooks climbed the ladder from Sales Associate to Manager to District Manager and back to Manager after the decline in record sales.
Brooks’ entrepreneurial drive and leadership skills became even more evident when he formed International Music Distribution (IMD) with fellow industry pioneers, Vince Phillips, Dan Brown and Brad McDonald. IMD opened doors for new artists Lil Scrappy, Trillville and Bonecrusher to get their records heard by a wide audience of music industry tastemakers and record breakers. Brooks determination did not go unnoticed. Russell “Block” Spencer, CEO of Block Entertainment, hired Brooks to break records for signed acts, Big Gee (Mechanicsville USA), Boyz N Da Hood, and rising star Yung Joc. Soon after, Brooks became Manager to Boyz N Da Hood (previously featuring Young Jeezy) to Manager of Yung Joc at the height of his career and went from Co-Manager to Manager of Gorilla Zoe. In 2005, Spencer named Brooks President of Block Entertainment, a position he held until 2010.
As an Artist Manager and record label President, Brooks was responsible for making daily executive decisions, including: calendar management, promotions, marketing, radio spins, new media, publicity and coordination of travel agents, booking agents and publicists to smoothly transition acts from new artist to superstar. Brooks is a staunch advocate for his clients when dealing with major labels. He fights for what’s needed, in addition to strategically branding the artists he represents in the marketplace.
Brooks notes his biggest accomplishment as bringing “new blood into an ever changing industry” by discovering and breaking phenomenal new talent. His persistence is evident when noting the fact that he has broken a new artist or producer every year since 2005 (Boyz N Da Hood, Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Mykko Montana, Que, Sonny Digital, B. Wheezy Beatz). Yung Joc had over 200 paid dates in 2007 alone, which is a testament to the Management team building his career. In 2010, that legacy of greatness continued with the success of music producers Sonny Digital and Metro Boomin, who have both topped the Billboard charts. Sonny Digital with the hit single “Racks” by YC featuring Epic MC Future and 2012 anthems “Same Damn Time” by Future and “Birthday Song” by 2 Chainz featuring Kanye West. Metro Boomin with the hit singles “Karate Chop” and “Honest” also by Future. Under Brooks direction, the producers he has managed scored placements with a myriad of top Hip-Hop artists.
The possibilities are endless for Brooks. Not one to be comfortable in his current position, the ambitious go-getter speaks on various industry panels across the country, as well as being a guest lecturer in music business courses at Alabama State University. With plans on developing a career in Movie Production, Branding and Strategic Marketing, the future holds limitless opportunities for Brooks. As an avid reader, the respected entrepreneur leaves this advice to those in pursuit of their career path: “Learn about the industry, learn other jobs besides yours in the industry, don’t be dispensable and see gems in everyone from the intern to the President.”
The Law Offices of Sandra Brown PC
Sandra Brown is Entertainment Counsel to award-winning talent including recording artists, songwriters, music producers, industry executives, production and motion picture companies, both in the United States and internationally. She provides expert, intelligent counsel for a wide variety of legal and business issues, including reviewing, drafting, and negotiating licensing agreements, music distribution agreements, multi-million dollar recording and publishing agreements, and music soundtrack agreements. Sandra is also well-known for her success in developing and negotiating celebrity sponsorship and endorsement contracts, and advising clients in the use of music content/sampling for business, marketing and advertising applications. Sandra began her legal career at the firm of Moore & Hawthorne, P.C., which represented many of Atlanta’s hottest recording artists including Usher, Outkast and Goodie Mob, and Xscape (Laface/Arista Records). She currently represents Akon.
Sonny Corey Uwaezuoke
Sonny Digital Music Group/Forbes Atlanta
A little over 20 years old and a couple of years deep in the game, producer Sonny Digital already has some Billboard-topping hits under his Gucci belt. Scoring a homerun with the smash single “Racks” by Atlanta rapper YC, the club banger peaked at #4 on the Rap Songs chart and #6 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. That street anthem was followed by even more chart toppers. Sonny was also the producer behind “Same Damn Time” by Future, and “Birthday Song” by 2 Chainz featuring Kanye West . With his the track’s sonically aggressive drum patterns, melodic synths and catchy hooks, they turned Sonny's hobby into a full-fledged career.
The Michigan-born, Georgia-bred virtuoso has been using his buzz to masterfully create a movement. He has been featured on MTV and landed in between the pages of Hip Hop Weekly and the cover of Amalgamation Magazine. When he’s not in front of a camera or granting interviews, Sonny Digital is behind the boards. He has clocked long hours in the studio working with top names such as Rick Ross and DJ Khaled, with dozens of projects in the pipeline.
Taking pride in his beats giving a voice to the hood, Sonny Digital has produced songs for Soulja Boy, Wale, and Rocko to name a few. “I know my lane, even though I feel like I can do whatever kind of track I put my energy into, Hip-Hop is what I know best and it’s what I study.”
Great South Bay Music Group Inc
Great South Bay Music Group Inc. is a New York based corporation specializing in A&R, music production, worldwide music publishing, master royalty collection, sound recording royalty collection, home taping and rental royalty collection, song pitching, and music industry consultation. Great South Bay Music Group Inc.'s founder Travis McFetridge is an executive with over a decade of professional music industry experience.
Travis graduated from Fordham University Lincoln Center in Manhattan with a BA in Communication and Media Studies and began his career in the music industry as coordinator of Publicity with Elektra Records. At Elektra he worked on national print and television publicity campaigns for a variety of artists including Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Third Eye Blind, Metallica and Pantera. After learning the intricacies of Publicity Travis made the move into A&R and worked as coordinator of Urban A&R at Virgin Records. At Virgin he developed new projects for Grammy Award winning dancehall/reggae artist Beenie Man, N.E.R.D., Kelis, Dwele, and Gang Starr. While working in the A&R department at Virgin, Travis quickly realized his love for creating great music with artists translated to building great relationships directly with artists, producers and songwriters.
Travis’ next step in his career path led him to artist management. He began working with New York based Empire Artist Management handling daily operations for Beenie Man, Gang Starr, and a sleuth of upcoming music producers. It was during his management experience Travis acquired the vital knowledge of all aspects of music publishing as he began to forge a publishing division of New York based Ultra Records. As Sr. Director of A&R at Ultra International Music Publishing, Travis in a seven-year span garnered the company multitudes of ASCAP, BMI Urban Awards, and Grammy Awards. He signed countless artists and producers to worldwide co-publishing deals. Some of his top signings at Ultra were Dorrough ("Ice Cream Paint Job"), Butta Beats (Ne-Yo & Jamie Fox "She Got Her Own"), Zaytoven (Usher "Papers"), Ginuwine, Gorilla Zoe, B.G., Kidd Kidd (Lil Wayne "Mrs. Officer"), Nate Walka (Jamie Foxx "Blame It" featuring T-Pain, Trey Songz "Say Aah"), Nigel Staff (Sean Paul “Give It Up To Me” featuring Keyshia Cole), Delano Thomas (Sean Paul “We Be Burning”), J-Vibe (Keyshia Cole “Heaven Sent”).
Following his tremendous success at Ultra International Music Publishing, Travis created Great South Bay Music Group Inc. as a haven for upcoming artists, producers and songwriters. Some of Great South Bay Music Group Inc.'s current clients are YoungStarr Beatz (2 Chains “I Luv Dem Strippers” featuring Nicki Minaj), Rico Brooks (Y.C. "Racks"), BWheezy (2 Chainz "Birthday Song" featuring Kanye West), Michael Snoddy (Lupe Fiasco "Out Of My Head" featuring Trey Songz), Kinky B (Young Jeezy "Ballin" featuring Lil Wayne), Beautiful Lou (A$AP Rocky "Trilla"), Tami Chynn (Jennifer Lopez "Hypnotico"), Trouble (Waka Flocka Flame "Everything I Love" featuring Future & Trouble), D.Rich (Young Jeezy "SupaFreak" featuring 2 Chainz), Big Gates (Plies "Bust It Baby Part 1"). Offering top-notch services in worldwide music publishing, royalty collection and music placements, Great South Bay Music Group Inc. and Travis McFetridge are building the careers of future generations of music creators. Travis’ dedication to his clients, passion for music and knowledge of all aspects of the music business make him an asset to anyone he works with. “Finding and developing the next great artist or producer from ground up” is the motto of Travis McFetridge and Great South Bay Music Group Inc.