Music company Reservoir has signed a deal with Norwegian band a-ha for the global representation of the compositions of six of their albums, including the 2015 release Cast in Steel. The deal was brokered through London-based Annette Barrett, managing director of Reservoir/Reverb Music, who signed the group to Warner/Chappell Music in the ‘90s and again in the early naughts.
Reservoir founder and president Golnar Khosrowshahi told Music Week: “It is an iconic band that has been around for 30 years. For us, it is an important addition to our catalogue. It confirms our strategy to build a collection of high quality songs, whether they are European or from anywhere, as long as the quality is there.”
“It’s exciting to be working with a-ha again,” Barrett added. “Their longevity is the stuff of legend. They’ve built a following that has endured not just in the obvious territories, but in those that often get overlooked, like South America. It will be interesting to see what new publishing opportunities arise at this stage in their legacy.”
The band, known for their innovative videos and the melodic tracks was brought to fame by their debut single Take On Me, which hit No.1 one in the US and around the world in 1985, a-ha went on to become on of the most popular bands of the 1980s selling over 80 million records worldwide. The band never stopped recording and touring since. Last year’s release of Cast In Steel, their first album since 2009, hit the sales charts around the world, especially in their native country where it peaked at No.2.
In 2012, band members Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen, and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy were appointed Kings of the First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav for their contributions to Norwegian music.
The a-ha deal comes in the wake of a series of new signings for New York-based Reservoir, including deals with writer-performer Esthero, pop writer/producer Mike Campbell, and urban pop and hip-hop producer Julian Nixon, one half of the production duo Best Kept Secret. In a statement, Reservoir said it will “represent each writer globally as they pursue new opportunities in their respective spaces in partnership with the company’s international creative team.”
Reservoir’s agreement with Esthero includes her 2012 release, Everything is Expensive, as well as future works. Reservoir will represent Campbell’s Grammy-winning single Say Something, performed by indie-pop duo A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, in addition to his future compositions, including the track Sit Still Look Pretty by rising indie artist Daya. Reservoir represents Nixon’s existing catalogue – which includes Best Kept Secret’s Dr. Dre-performed song Darkside from the movie soundtrack Compton – and future titles.
Reservoir SVP of creative and A&R Spek, who was instrumental in bringing these artists into the company, commented: “I’m looking forward to seeing Esthero spread her wings as a songwriter of compelling gems for her peers. Mike Campbell has really earned his stripes as someone with the ability to craft enduring pop songs that people respond to around the world, and Julian’s versatility as a jack-of-all-trades has put him in the room with some of the most impressive names in urban music. Our team couldn’t be more excited to build on each writer’s strengths and help them discover new ones.”
Reservoir COO Rell Lafargue added: “We have once again elevated Reservoir’s creative brand with three fantastic additions to our active contemporary writer roster, now over thirty songwriters strong. We welcome Esthero, Mike, and Julian to the Reservoir family, and we look forward to pursuing each and every opportunity to create excellent music and enjoy new levels of success together.”