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Riggs Morales Named Executive VP, A&R at Def Jam



Riggs Morales, the A&R executive known for his tenures at Atlantic Records and Eminem’s Shady Records, has been tapped as Def Jam‘s new executive VP of A&R. The move was announced Tuesday by CEO Tunji Balogun, to whom Morales will directly report.

Based in New York, Morales will bring his experience in hip-hop — this spans collaborations with 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa, Cypress Hill and more — to Def Jam. Other notable projects include Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Grammy-winning, diamond-certified Broadway cast album of “Hamilton: An American Musical.”

“Armed with an instinct for creative development that keeps his artists first, Riggs has carved out a unique place for himself in our business, along with an absolutely blockbuster resume,” said Balogun. “Our relationship spans over a decade, and I have always been impressed by his instincts, energy, and creativity. From his work with Shady Records, to his alliances with Lin Manuel Miranda and Janelle Monae, to his time as an influential journalist, Riggs’ contributions to the culture are the stuff of legend. We’re excited to welcome Riggs to the Def Jam family.”

Added Morales, “Growing up in New York City, Def Jam has served as a touchstone in my life for longer than I can remember. In my time as both a journalist and an executive, Def Jam has always been the pinnacle, the iconic hip-hop label, and the blueprint for others to follow. The roster and the culture that Tunji has built over the past two years is exactly where the future of this great label needs to lead – global, diverse, dynamic and artist-forward. As Def Jam heads into its fortieth year, I look forward to bringing my energy and passion to the team at this pivotal and exciting moment in the story of one of the greatest labels of all time.” 

Morales was most recently senior VP of A&R and artist development for Atlantic, where he was appointed VP of A&R and artist development in 2014. Prior to Atlantic, Morales worked with Goliath Artists, Inc. After one year, Morales was appointed director of A&R for the newly launched imprint, Shady Records.

+ CTM Outlander has signed singer-songwriter Sam Hunt, acquiring his publishing catalog as part of a go-forward publishing deal for his future works.

CTM Outlander is a partnership between the Texas-based Outlander Capital, led by Les Ware and Mike McKool, and Netherlands-based independent music entertainment company CTM, led by industry veteran André de Raaff.

“Discussing the sale of some of my catalog took a while and I am glad that it did, as I got to know André and his CTM Outlander team better and better,” said Hunt in a statement. “They continued to meet with me and my team over the last several months to discuss what working together might look like. I appreciate their diligence and belief in what I am doing as an artist, and more importantly, as a songwriter. I believe we will have a productive partnership both internationally and here at home.”

+ Primary Wave Music has struck a new deal with Derek Dick, aka Fish of the rock band Marillion.

The deal includes Fish’s master royalties and writer’s share for Marillion. The terms of the agreement also provide Fish with access to Primary Waves resources, including their marketing team and publishing infrastructure, including digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities, and film and TV production.


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