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Case Studies

A&R in the Asian Market with Leo Antinori

Photograph of the blog post author, Music Gateway Team

Music Gateway Team


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As anyone working in today’s A&R scene will know, the Asian market is the place to be for song cuts. For Leonardo Antinori (Leo to his friends), producer, songwriter and founder of New Vine, the Asian market gave him his latest A&R  placement as part of his membership with Мusic Gateway.

Having spent most of his young life dedicated to the craft of making music, Leo tells us he was always fascinated by the quality of production in the tracks he heard on the radio. With his mother hailing from Latin America and his father’s Italian routes, Leo has an expansive musical palette and has lived in places like Austria and Cameroon. However, it was moving to the States at 18 that proved to be the launchpad for Leo’s career in music.

From earning a second place accolade in an international songwriting competition while studying in Houston, which led to him being scouted by BMG, Leo’s career enjoyed an exponential climb from there.  In 2011 he co-wrote, mastered and produced Cory Desilva’s album, ‘Beginnings’ with the tracks being played on European television. In 2016, together with his wife, Leo formed the duo band, GIORGI+LEO, whose song ‘Smile’ has won three international songwriting competitions. As if that wasn’t enough, in 2017 New Vine opened its doors in sunny Santa Monica and the studio’s clientele now features: Ogilvy & Mather, MGM and the LA Dodgers Baseball team.

While the studio has placed a lot of tracks for television in shows such as, ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ amongst others on MTV, E!, Bravo, Nbc-Universal. But before working with Мusic Gateway, New Vine hadn’t really found a way into the A&R market.

“This collaboration with Sony/ Мusic Gateway is the first major Artist pitch/song cut in the Asian market.” Leo told us.

The track: ‘Baila’ has been placed with Chinese pop star, Jike Junyi, thanks in part to Outdustry, a music services company that focuses on emerging markets. It’s only at a company like Мusic Gateway that such a unique proposition could be matched with a unique track. As Leo tells it:

“This is the first collaboration and direct work with in the Asian market. There are some differences between markets that I noticed. Certain laws and intellectual property rights and royalty collection differ but they are progressing. However, everything with this deal went pretty smoothly. We obviously had to communicate in three different International time zones (L.A. / London/ Beijing) which delayed the process slightly but we got it done.”

By facilitating representation and mediating these agreements, Мusic Gateway is able to provide unique offerings for both sides of A&R deals and thanks to our creative licensing team, all parties are catered for. Indeed the creative team here at Мusic Gateway, hold service and clarity for clients very highly. Leo’s appraisal of this placement process makes the point:

“It was a pleasure working with Jack, Jon and the team at music gateway. They were very professional, friendly and always answered any questions I had. I am looking forward to working more with them.”

With Spanish being Leo’s first language, this song placement really was an international meeting of minds and the track itself was bilingual recorded in both English and Spanish. We asked Leo whether being bilingual is an advantage for a songwriter?

“It would definitely benefit the writer to write/speak different languages as it obviously opens up other markets and International and or more focused reach. But really, what matters is that the song gets out there and anything you can do to aid that cause will ultimately help your career.”

Adding to this, Leo reminds us of the importance of having your files in order when dealing with an opportunity like this. He says:

“It is very important to have the stems on hand and named organized properly as to have the mixing engineer best understand the mix and execute it. Also it is always good to have a wet and dry option as well as group stems and single stems.”

Leo’s story is indicative of the global community here at Мusic Gateway, it shows that there is a space for all kinds of music, labels and artists to come together for the benefit everyone. Look for updates on this placement coming soon.

Are you looking to get your music placed in an A&R cut like Leo? Then sign-up to Мusic Gateway today with a free 14-day trial.

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