Artist News Business News Deals Labels & Publishers

The Weeknd extends and expands Universal deal

By | Published on Friday 29 April 2022

The Weeknd

The Weeknd and his XO record label have signed a wide-ranging deal with Universal Music covering his recordings, publishing, brand management and merchandising. Apparently he thinks that’s a good idea.

The deal will see him continue to work with Universal label Republic, to which he has been signed since 2012. Universal Music Publishing will also administer his full songwriting catalogue once his current deal with Kobalt expires.

Meanwhile, the major’s brand management and merch company Bravado will continue to work with The Weeknd and his XO company on global merchandising, branding, e-commerce and retail licensing.

So, I guess the big new thing is the publishing deal. The rest is just business as usual. But for longer. And, I suppose, it’s official confirmation that Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye thinks that Universal is just a tip top place to be.

Universal, of course, also reckons that Tesfaye is a tip top guy to have around too. Big boss Lucian Grainge says this: “Over the past decade, we have been honoured to work so closely with Abel who has quickly become one of music’s most creative and important artists a once-in-a-generation talent”.

“With [Weeknd manager] Sal [Slaiby] and the XO team as our incredible partners”, he goes on, “we’ve developed a deep trust and respect that has enabled us to successfully execute Abel’s brilliant vision. I am delighted that we are now able to expand this special relationship, welcome this world-class songwriter to UMPG, and evolve this creative partnership to new and exciting levels”.

Republic Records CEO Monte Lipman adds: “Abel is the consummate 21st century artist and global superstar who continues to break down creative barriers with his genre-bending repertoire. His success and career-defining accomplishments have made a historic impact around the world. It’s an honour to extend our alliance with Abel and the XO Family in the evolution of The Weeknd”.

And Universal Music Publishing CEO Jody Gerson says: “The Weeknd is a world-class, boundary breaking artist and I couldn’t be more THRILLED to welcome him and Sal to UMPG. Through this expanded and multi-faceted agreement, UMPG, Republic and Bravado global teams will be empowered to work closely together under one roof, maximising opportunities and value for The Weeknd’s artistry in unprecedented ways”.

No one from Bravado said anything. I guess they were too busy dealing with all the global merchandising, branding, e-commerce and retail licensing deals. Tesfaye himself didn’t say anything either, but he’s probably very tired from all the contract signing.

Don’t think that means there are no more quotes though. What? You thought three was already a bit much? What about this Sal who everyone keeps banging on about? Huh? Why are you so keen to stop him having his say? Maybe he’s got something interesting to add.

Here’s Sal: “Over a decade together says it all. Our relationship is built on trust, success, and family values. I am proud and excited to be beside the Universal family building our next decade together”.

Oh, turns out he didn’t have anything interesting to say. I think it was still worth finding out though.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | |