Sony Music Australia has announced three new staff appointments for the Sydney based team: Alexander Franco joining A&R, Annette Gevert joining promotions and communications and Jessica Barlow joining sync/licensing.
Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand Denis Handlin said: “I am thrilled that Franco, Annette and Jess have decided to join the company in their new crucial creative roles. Each of them brings a significant amount of experience in their own field and respect in the market with important relationships. I look forward to the valuable contribution that they will make to our artists, their teams and the company.”
‘Franco’ as he is known throughout the industry, has been appointed senior director, A&R and creative development. Franco will report to Pat Handlin (VP, A&R, ANZ) and commences with the company on July 27.
In a newly created position, Franco will sign and develop his own roster of artists, as well as take over A&R responsibilities for some of the existing artists amongst Sony Music’s diverse roster. Franco will also be a key strategist between the A&R and domestic artists marketing teams allowing the creative vision of artists to be fostered, encouraged and then executed in ground-breaking campaigns.
Franco joins Sony Music from Future Classic where he held the role of senior director of marketing and artist manager from 2016. He has been integral in the development of Flume, G Flip, Hayden James and Flight Facilities. Prior to this, he spent four years as marketing manager at EMI Music Australia working with artists including Alison Wonderland, Sam Smith and Keith Urban. He has also held marketing and communications roles at SBS and Good Vibrations Festival.
In addition to his role at Sony Music, Franco will continue to manage multi-award-winning Hip Hop artist B Wise (who is signed to The Orchard, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment) and emerging new R&B artist, Jeida Woods.
Franco said: “I’m excited to join a global powerhouse like Sony Music for the next chapter of my career. I look forward to working closely with their impressive roster, while signing and developing the next crop of stars that will resonate far beyond Australian shores.”
Gevert has joined the company as national promotions & communications manager, reporting jointly to Dan Nitschke (VP, business development & media partnerships) and Grant Donges (VP, international artists marketing & communications).
Gevert will be responsible for managing promotions relationships with youth and alternative radio, importantly including Triple J and Double J, as well as other media partners including community radio and alternative media. She will also have communications responsibilities for a range of artists on the domestic and international roster.
Gevert joins the company from boutique PR and communications agency, Positive Feedback, where she held the role of publicist, driving PR campaigns for a variety of artists and clients. An experienced promotions and communications specialist throughout her 12-year industry career, Gevert has held roles in both Sydney and Melbourne at Dew Process, Secret Service Public Relations, the Mushroom Group, Shock Records and Warner Music Australia.
On joining the company, Gevert said: “I am so very pleased to be joining the brilliant team at Sony Music Australia. I have been blown away by the warm welcome that I have so far received from my fellow colleagues, artist managers and media partners. It is an absolute honour to be given the responsibility to represent the extensive and diverse roster of Sony Music’s world class artists.”
Barlow has commenced with the company as licensing manager, reporting to Hannah Marsh (director, licensing & business development).
In this role, Barlow will be responsible for developing the company’s licensing and synchronisation business by pitching Sony Music repertoire to clients and responding to incoming music briefs. The role involves working across a far-reaching client base, which includes key clients such as music supervisors and TV networks.
Barlow joins Sony Music from Warner Music Canada, where from 2018 she held the role of synchronisation & licensing consultant, responsible for creative strategy and video game licensing. Prior to this, she held the role of synchronisation & licensing manager at Warner Music Australia from 2016. She has 10 years of experience in licensing that also includes working at Alberts, Universal Music Publishing Group in London, EMI Music in London and EMI Music Australia.
Barlow said: “I am ecstatic to be joining the Sony Music team! Their passion and support for their artists, as well as their reputation in market, is second to none. I am really looking forward to jumping in and start working with the team to create new opportunities for their renowned domestic and global roster.”