Article by Daniel Gumble published in Music Week 4th April 2017
Spirit in the sky: ‘Highly selective approach delivers storming Q1 for Spirit B-Unique
‘WE OCCUPY UNIQUE PLACE IN MARKET’ SAYS MD SANGHVI
Rak Sanghvi, managing director at independent UK publisher Spirit B-Unique, has nailed the company’s buoyant start to 2017, highlighting its sizeable writing shares on some of the year’s biggest albums.
The company, which was founded just under two years ago when UK indie publisher and label B-Unique partnered with US rights management firm Spirit Music Group, recently extended its exclusive publishing agreement with Johnny McDaid, who co-wrote eight songs on the deluxe version of Ed Sheeran’s (division), including hits Shape Of You and Galway Girl. He also has credits on recent releases by Zara Larsson, Aquilo, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and James Blunt.
Furthermore, songwriter Jonny Coffer has notched up co-writer credits on five tracks from Rag ‘N’ Bone Man’s debut album Human, including current single Skin.
Speaking to Music Week, Sanghvi claimed that the company’s quality over quantity approach to business is paying dividends.
‘It’s about having an eye on who we can work with and add value to,’ he explained. ‘It’s a very selective process here. What’s happening with our partnership means we’ve got a bigger playing field and a lot more support to achieve bigger things. The ethos is essentially the same – proactivity and creativity. And having the time and the breathing space to do that is a factor as well.’
According to Sanghvi, the partnership between the companies has helped Spirit B-Unique secure a strong position in the market.
‘We occupy a fairly unique space, as there is no longer a Chrysalis or a Bug or a global mid-sized independent, ‘Sanghvi continued. ‘Our main competitors appear to be very large or very small. It’s nice to have enough weight to be global and yet maintain the ability to keep focused, without being overcrowded with millions of songs and hundreds and hundreds of writers to service. It really is a deliberate ethos.’
He continued: ‘The last thing we want to do is overcrowd the roster and limit our ability to be creative and add value. We specialise in nurturing people’s careers and the success we are having at the moment is a result of that.’
Lewis added: ‘This is a really exciting time for us as reflected in the charts. Our five-person UK team is performing beyond even our highest expectations. I would like to congratulate Jonny Coffer and Johnny McDaid not just for the headline success they are achieving but also for the incredible music they are both delivering.’
Spirit B-Unique has recently secured a joint venture agreement with McDaid and songwriter Foy Vance called Spirit B-Unique/Dagda Songs, which has signed traditional Irish band Beoga, who own a 12.5% writing share of Sheeran’s single Galway Girl. It has also signed songwriters Corey Sanders and Jon Maguire, while existing clients Kodaline, James Bay and John Newman all have new albums this year.