Executive Turntable: ‘Barbie’ Music Supervisor Joins Premier as Creative Director; AWAL Names Urban Music Head

Music strategy and supervision company Premier Music Group has acquired the music supervision services of George Drakoulias, a longtime music supervisor who has worked on films and TV series including Joker, The Batman, Marriage Story and, most recently, the smash hit Barbie.

At Premier, Drakoulis joins the leadership team as a partner and creative director and will open the company’s new West Coast offices this summer. He’ll be tasked with expanding Premier’s music supervision team and the company’s West Coast footprint while striking new creative opportunities and partnerships.

Over the course of his career, Drakoulis has held executive A&R roles at Def Jam — where he worked with LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys — and (Def) American Recordings, where he signed and produced albums for The Black Crowes, The Jayhawks and The Freewheelers. He has also produced albums for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Maria McKee, Primal Scream and Susan Tedeschi, as well as tracks for Wu-Tang Clan.

“George is a legend in our business, and I’ve admired his impeccable creative and commercial instincts for years,” said Premier Music Group CEO Josh Deutsch in a statement. “His body of production and supervision work, exceptional artistry and deep relationships in music and entertainment make him the ideal partner at this key point in Premier’s growth.”

Premier Music Group creative director Randall Poster added, “George and I have been working together for years. He loves movies and music as much as anyone I know, and brings that passion into every operation and project he takes on. George has produced some of my favorite records, the first two Black Crowes albums, the Jayhawks, many more. He’s been anchoring our West Coast operation for years and I couldn’t be more excited to have him join us in a more substantial way.”

“I couldn’t be happier to be joining the Premier Music team,” said Drakoulis. “Randy and I have been running around together, working on movies and record projects for forever. He has been the most exquisite guide into the world of music supervision. I’ve come to rely on the support of the Premier team, Meghan Currier, Winslow Bright, Milena Erke, and Ian Herbert for years, since they were interns actually, and love and respect them all.”

AWAL named Norva Denton as senior vice president/head of urban music. In his new role, he’ll bolster and develop the label’s urban music roster via strategic signings and an artist development-focused mindset. Based in Los Angeles, Denton will join the company’s A&R team, reporting to president Pete Giberga. Before AWAL, Denton served as senior vp of A&R at Warner Records, where he signed, developed and spearheaded the careers of artists such as YFN Lucci, Wale, Taykeith, Chika and 2KBABY. – Griselda Flores

Negla Abdela was promoted to MD at Sony Music UK’s Ministry of Sound. She was previously GM and has been responsible for managing the marketing and digital teams. Abdela joined the label in 2015 as a social media manager and was promoted to head of digital in 2018.

Diana Sanders was appointed senior vp of business affairs at Prescription Songs and label counterpart Amigo Records. Prior to joining the companies, she served as a partner at Russ August & Kabat and co-chaired the firm’s music practice group. Sanders has been named to Billboard‘s Women in Music and Top Music Lawyers lists multiple times.

Christopher Mauberqué was named head of international A&R at independent digital distributor IDOL, where he’ll be tasked with continuing to drive the company’s business development in territories outside Europe. He previously served as senior label manager at !K7 Music and as A&R and label manager for French independent distributor La Baleine (now known as Bigwax). Mauberqué can be reached at [email protected].

Gerardo Martinez and Sven Bogner announced their partnership in a new heavy metal record label, Reigning Phoenix Music. Martinez, who was a longtime GM at Nuclear Blast America, has been instrumental in the careers of such artists as Dimmu Borgir, Carcass and Hypocrisy. Bogner, an avionics and tech entrepreneur, is a “self-professed metalhead and musician,” according to a press release. The label is headquartered in Los Angeles and Hamburg, Germany. “Our collective blueprint for RPM is to help hard, extreme, and heavy metal music thrive globally,” said Martinez in a statement. Artist signing announcements are forthcoming.

Luis Mesa was appointed director of marketing at Bichota Records, Karol G’s newly-announced imprint. The Colombian executive will focus on creating and executing strategies and day-to-day promotion for Karol G’s musical releases through the label. Before joining the Bichota Records team, Mesa had been SoundOn’s (TikTok’s distribution platform) marketing manager U.S. Latin and, previously, label manager and artist strategy at Universal Music Latino. He will be based out of the company’s Miami headquarters. – Griselda Flores

Artist manager Max Gredinger was named partner at Foundations Artist Management, joining company founder/partner Steve Bursky as well as partners Brian Winton and Drew Simmons. Gredinger has been with Foundations since 2012; his current clients include Laufey, mxmtoon, Ricky Montgomery and rainbolt. He can be reached at [email protected].

Discogs promoted four employees to executive leadership positions: Anbu Ilangovane to vp of engineering, Jeffrey Smith to vp of marketing, Jen Agosta to brand director and Richard Gleeson to director of people operations.

Mike Rogers was named vp of business development at blockchain-based ticketing platform DeFy Tickets, which is powered by NFT ticketing provider GET Protocol. Rogers has worked in the ticketing business for nearly 20 years, most recently serving as GM of partnerships at Dice FM. In his new role, he will oversee DeFy’s growth strategy while securing new partnerships with venues, promoters, festivals and conferences in North America. Rogers can be reached at [email protected].

Provident Entertainment’s publishing division, Essential Music Publishing, promoted Jamie Rodgers to the role of vp. Rodgers was previously Essential Music’s senior creative director and has been with the company since 2017. Prior to her work with Essential Music Publishing, Rodgers served as manager of national promotions and commercial partnerships for Capitol Christian Music Group. – Jessica Nicholson

John Bowditch was promoted to senior director of marketing at Seeker Music, where he has worked since 2021. In his new role, he will oversee all marketing activity across the company’s catalog and frontline businesses. He can be reached at [email protected].

Deron Johnston was appointed chief program officer at BRIC, the Brooklyn-based arts and media institution. In his new role, Johnston will lead the integration of BRIC’s platforms and programming while also overseeing the creative direction of its media and non-media programming, including BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!, BRIC JazzFest and Contemporary Art. He was previously director of community development, strategy & innovation at the Center for Justice Innovation.

Grayson Clotfelter was named creative manager at Play It Again Music Group, where he will oversee the creative direction of the company’s roster of songwriters. He previously worked as a catalog manager at Universal Music Publishing Nashville and has also toured with acts including Seaforth and Lily Rose. Clotfelter can be reached at [email protected].