Downtown announces first ever signing in Australia [EXCLUSIVE]

Written by Poppy Reid on 22nd May, 2018
Downtown announces first ever signing in Australia [EXCLUSIVE]

Less than three months after announcing its expansion to Sydney, global rights-management firm Downtown Music Publishing has signed its first artist to the local roster.

Western Australia singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly signed an international deal with Downtown during her tour through the UK and Europe, where she’s showcasing her 2017 debut EP, Thrush Metal.

Donnelly has had an almost unbeatable 12 months. After taking out Bigsound’s inaugural Levi’s Music Prize as the ‘most outstanding talent’, she was named triple j ‘Unearthed Artist of the Year’, dominated the Western Australian Music Industry Awards, taking out Best EP, Best Folk Act, Best Single, Best Female Vocalist and Most Popular New Act, was nominated for two AIR Awards, and took home the grand prize at this year’s West Australian Music’s (WAM) Song Of The Year Awards for ‘Boys Will Be Boys’.

Watch the video for ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ below:



The global industry has certainly taken notice of Donnelly’s local accolades. In late February she inked an international deal with US indie Secretly Canadian, home to The War On Drugs, Antony and the Johnsons, and Yoko Ono – to name but a few.

Now, Stella Donnelly adds to Downtown’s vast and impressive catalogue, which includes works from The Beatles, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Ryan Tedder, Hans Zimmer, The Kinks, One Direction, Mötley Crüe, and Santigold.

Commenting on the signing Donnelly said:


“I’m so pleased to be signing a world deal with Downtown Publishing and also to be the first of many artists that represent the Australian base that the amazing Rachel Kelly has opened with her great world team around her. It’s been a pleasure meeting everyone already, exciting times ahead!”

Rachel Kelly joined the Downtown team earlier this year as creative director and head of sync in Australia and New Zealand. She’s responsible for establishing and promoting Downtown’s brand and catalogue across ANZ, signing and developing local songwriters, artists, and producers, and more efficiently collecting songwriting royalties.

Previously, Kelly acted as the creative director at BMG Australia, having joined the company in 2016.

Rachel Kelly said Stella Donelly is “part of the next wave of storytellers”


“I’m incredibly honoured to be supporting Stella in this phase of her career, as we work closely with Philip Stevens and the good people at Secretly Canadian,” she said. Being our first signing in Australia, this moment is particularly special.

“I look forward to working with our team on this debut album and watching her star rise on the global stage,” Kelly added.

Daniel Lloyd Jones, Downtown’s Senior Vice President of Global Creative Services and Head of UK A&R, said:

“She’s a one in a million artist, a troubadour. Her lyrical prowess is second to none. Her narratives are hard hitting, honest, vulnerable and heartfelt. We are so proud that she’s chosen us to represent and nurture her art, but also that Stella is the artist by which we lay the foundation of our intent in ANZ.”

downtown staff with stella donnelly signing
Daniel Lloyd Jones, Stella Donnelly, Rachel Kelly

As part of the global deal, Downtown will provide creative and advisory services as well as their global royalty collection platform to Donnelly’s catalogue, covering her debut EP, Thrush Metal, as well as her forthcoming album to be released in early 2019 on Secretly Canadian worldwide.

Watch the video for ‘Mechanical Bull’ below:



The article was originally published on The Industry Observer

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