First local signings are Estonia’s NOËP and Lithuania’s The Roop. HMC Publishing To Also Expand Operations.
Warner Music Group is to strengthen its operations in the Baltics with the opening of an office in Tallinn, Estonia. It’s the first time that Warner Music Baltics, which operates as part of Warner Music Finland, has had a physical base in the region. The label is also building a local roster of artists for the first time.
The operation continues to be headed by Mikko Manninen, Warner Music Baltics’ Director of Operations, who currently reports Mark Fry, Managing Director of Warner Music Finland, who has also just been appointed President of Warner Music Nordics. From January 2021, Manninen will report to Niko Nordström, the incoming Managing Director of Warner Music Finland.
Warner Music Baltics first local signing is NOËP, one of Estonia’s most well-known international artists, whose next single ‘On My Way (feat. Chinchilla)’ will be released on October 23rd.
The label has also signed a deal with the Lithuanian band The Roop, who are one of the country’s most streamed artists this year and who are also enjoying international success. The band was selected to represent Lithuania at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and went on to win ‘Eurovision 2020 – Das Deutsche Finale’, the German alternative TV final aired after the overall competition was cancelled.
HMC Publishing, the publishing company which also operates as part of Warner Music Finland, has also expanded its operations to the Baltics by signing a partnership with Estonian publishing company and indie label Star Management/Downtown Studios. The deal will enable both parties to better support local artists and songwriters in both domestic and international markets.
Mikko Manninen says: “For the past few years, we’ve been following the music industry’s growth and development in the Baltics closely, as well as recognizing the international potential of artists from the region. There are many extraordinary talented artists, producers and songwriters in the Baltics. Finding new talent and developing artists will be our main focus. I’m sure our artist friendly approach will produce music that can also travel outside the region.”
Mark Fry adds: “As an international music group, we want to play our part in supporting the development and globalization of the Baltics as a growing music market. Our artist-driven music business strategy has made Warner Music the undisputed market leader in local repertoire in Finland. Moving forward, we expect our approach to provide the same excellent platform for artists and songwriters from the Baltic republics. Mikko and his team have done an amazing job in developing Warner Music’s presence in the Baltics.”
Warner Music Baltics is also strengthening its organisation. Karoliina Kanerva has been named as Marketing Manager, International in Finland and Baltics, starting from October 1st. Anu Varusk (Estonia) will continue as Regional Marketing Manager in Baltics, with Inese Saulaja (Latvia) and Lukas Sniolis (Lithuania) acting as Promotion Managers. Fredi Lunden will be leading the A&R for regional repertoire and Patric Sarin will be directing the publishing operations within the Baltic states.