Chordant Distribution Pens Deal with Universal South Music Label

Pioneering music executives Tony Brown and Tim DuBois, founders of the new
Universal South music label, have reached an agreement with Chordant Distribution, a division of EMI CMG, to market and
distribute appropriate product to the Christian music marketplace.
“I am thrilled to see great music executives like Tim and Tony including Christian music as part of the vision for their new label.
Universal South’s entry into Christian music is good news for our industry and I look forward to exciting music and success
coming from our new partnership,” said Bill Hearn, president and CEO of EMI CMG.
Former MCA Records Nashville President Brown and former Arista Nashville head DuBois announced the new Universal South
label, a joint venture with New York-based Universal Records, in January. Between them, the two have been responsible for the
careers of Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill and Brad Paisley among others.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us. We have said all along that we want to be ‘genre blind’ to a certain extent as a label. We
are excited to be able to sign artists that inspire us representing many different genres, and now that includes Christian music
artists,” comments Tony Brown, Senior Partner, Universal South.
“Partnering with EMI CMG ensures that our Christian music signings will get the market focus and specialized attention that only
an organization like EMI CMG can provide. We are excited about the chance to build careers in conjunction with such an
accomplished group of people,”adds Universal South’s Senior Partner, Tim DuBois.
The partners have also announced their first signing to their new association with Chordant will be singer/songwriter Matthew
West.
West, a 25-year-old native of Chicago, has been signed as a songwriter to Word Music Publishing and had his first top-five song
with “Savior Song,” on Rachael Lampa’s latest CD, Kaleidoscope. West has also had songs recorded by Salvador, Sara Groves
and released an independent CD, Sellout, in 2001. He is expected to release his debut recording in early 2003.
A primary factor leading to this partnership involved the strong relationship between Universal South’s General Manager, Van
Fletcher. Fletcher, who spent 9 years in the Polygram Distribution system, was tapped as GM for Virgin Records’ Nashville
division in 1999. During his tenure there, Fletcher was head of major account sales for EMI CMG, where he was in charge of
General Market Sales & Marketing for EMI CMG distributed labels. It was during this period that Fletcher forged a strong
relationship with Hearn and many of the people within the EMI CMG organization.
Fletcher said, “While working with EMI CMG for over two years I became very impressed with the passion and professionalism
their organization brings to the Christian music business. Breaking new artists is something that they do better than anyone and that
will be a great asset for us as we develop new artists with them.”
“We are delighted to welcome Universal South into the Chordant system. Tony and Tim are among the most visionary executives in
all of music and their entrance into Christian music is very exciting,” said Rich Peluso, co-president of Chordant.
No releases are scheduled yet, but titles will be announced soon for 2003 and include Matthew West’s debut recording.

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