Billboard.com: Warner/Chappell Inks Jacob Forever and J Balvin Hitmakers Sky and Bull Nene: Exclusive
Warner/Chappell Music has signed an impressive group of Latin urban artists/songwriters to its roster.
They include Cuban urban star Jacob Forever, known for his hit “Hasta que se seque el malecón” (‘Til the Boardwalk Dries Up) and Alejandro Ramirez Suarez (better known as Sky) and Rene David Cano Ríos (aka Bull Nene), the songwriting/production team behind many of J Balvin’s greatest hits.
“In all these cases, our modus operandi is trying to get into these deals as early as possible,” said Gustavo Menéndez, EVP/GM U.S. Latin and Latin America, noting that this will be Sky and Bull Nene’s first major publishing agreement.
The two, who often work together, have crafted hits with J Balvin for several years now. Both co-wrote “Ay Vamos,” “Bobo” and “Ginza” with Balvin, among other songs, and Sky also produced the tracks. All three tracks are major international hits; the official video for “Ay vamos” has close to 1 billion views on Youtube, for example, and “Ginza” has over 600 million views.
In addition, Sky and Bull Nene are working on new music with Juanes, and Bull Nene also co-wrote Maluma’s hit “Borro Casette.”
“When I heard their new music, I realized they’re not only urban songwriters,” said Menendez.
Previous to their Warner/Chappell deal, which includes both their catalog and upcoming new tracks, Sky and Bull Nene had negotiated individual deals with independent publishers. Now, Sky signed a co-publishing deal and Bull Nene is signed to an admin deal.
On his end, Jacob Forever, who was formerly part of Gente De Zona, is part of the new urban Cuban movement that is finally seeing life outside the island.
“We knew he was pumping out album after album since leaving Gente de Zona, and that he was working on a new one,” said Lazaro Hernandez, Warner/Chappell’s Sr. manager of A&R for U.S. Latin and Latin America.
“It took us one listen of ‘Hasta Que Se Seque El Malecon’ last December to know we had to sign him,” adds Hernandez, noting Warner/Chappell was the first publisher to officially reach out.
In recent weeks, Warner/Chappell has also reached deals with Mauricio Rengifo, one half of pop/urban duo Cali y El Danee and who’s written and produced for Thalia and Luis Fonsi, among others, and with Silverio Lozada and Patrick Ingunza, co-writers of “Duele el corazón.” The Enrique Iglesias hit featuting Wisin is currently at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart.