The Orchard today announced the promotion of Tricia Arnold to Executive Vice President, Global Artist/Label Services and Sales. Arnold is based in New York and will continue reporting to Colleen Theis, President and Chief Operating Officer.
Arnold has served as The Orchard’s SVP, Global Label Management and Sales since 2019. In her elevated role, she will continue to oversee the company’s global distribution strategy and international sales and label services teams. Under Arnold’s direction, The Orchard has achieved unprecedented global success for high visibility releases across the company’s 45 territories worldwide.
Arnold said, “The Orchard is a true home for creators from across the world. That spirit affects clients and team members alike, fostering an environment for growth. I am proud of what we have achieved over the past 10 years, and look forward to discovering new ways and opportunities for our artist and label clients to thrive on a global scale.”
Theis added, “Tricia has exceptional leadership skills and extensive international experience, the last decade of which she fostered at The Orchard. In this elevated role, I’m confident she will guide our business to even greater heights while continuing to provide the best in class service to our clients and mentorship to our team.”
In 2022, Arnold and her team helped push Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti (Rimas Entertainment) to career-high chart positions in 15 territories. She led The Orchard to commercial successes with Nas’ Kings Disease II charting in 12 global territories; Jack White’s Fear of the Dawn and Entering Heaven Alive each charting in over 10 territories; Noel Gallagher’s Back the Way We Came Vol 1 reaching #1 on the UK album charts; and recently RAYE earning her first #1 UK single with “Escapism.” Arnold’s successes with releases from Kelsea Ballerini, Phoenix, Nina Nesbitt, Magdalena Bay, DPR IAN, and $uicideboy$ continue to grow The Orchard’s profile as a global industry leader.
Arnold has been with The Orchard for over 10 years, starting her tenure in 2012 at the Company’s UK office as the European Sales & Distributor Director. Later, she was promoted to Senior Director, Retail Marketing and moved to The Orchard’s New York office. In 2017, Arnold was elevated to Senior Director, Global Sales & Marketing, and was promoted to Vice President the following year, her scope of responsibility expanding to include oversight of international label management. Before joining The Orchard, Arnold began her career at Rykodisc International and helped launch ADA Global across Europe. Today, Arnold’s teams lead global release strategy, client relations, best practices, and communication for many of The Orchard’s artists. Arnold was recently recognized by Billboard in their esteemed Women In Music issue for 2023.
The Orchard today announced the strategic acquisition of Above Board, a dance and electronic music distribution and artist/label services company. As part of the agreement, Above Board’s roster will have access to The Orchard’s full suite of global distribution and artist and label services. Additionally, The Orchard’s existing clients in the genre will benefit from the expertise Above Board brings to the Company. London-based Above Board Founder and Managing Director Dan Hill will report to The Orchard’s Managing Director Ian Dutt. The team is now based in The Orchard’s UK headquarters.
The partnership marks a new chapter for Above Board. Since its inception in 2007, Above Board has played an integral role in developing some of the UK and Europe’s most prolific electronic music artists including Peggy Gou, Charlotte de Witte, Patrick Topping, Jamie Jones, and Maceo Plex. The Orchard’s infrastructure will enhance Above Board’s already robust service offerings to include cutting-edge technology and supply chain, digital and physical distribution, analytics and business development opportunities, advertising, publishing administration, neighboring rights, and the global reach of teams operating in 45 territories worldwide. In his role, Hill will continue to sign and develop global dance/electronic talent for Above Board, adding to The Orchard’s roster as the Company grows its global footprint in the genre.
Of the partnership, Hill said, “The Above Board team is excited about this new chapter of our company and we are now fully immersed into The Orchard’s ecosystem. The new relationship gives Above Board the global infrastructure and resources to match our artists’ and labels’ ambition, plus gives them the platform to ensure they retain the rights to their music.”
Dutt added: “We are delighted to welcome Dan and his team to The Orchard. Their standing and experience in this genre of music are second to none. It was crucial to The Orchard that we partnered with a company entirely immersed in the culture of electronic music. Collectively we want to make a positive impact in this space by providing exciting, future-facing options for producer and DJ owned independent labels globally.”
The Orchard’s already impressive roster of dance labels includes Liquid State/Dimitri Vegas, Amtrac, TMRW Music Group, Rose Avenue, and more. Recent label signings include Perfect Havoc (UK) and Solomun’s DIYnamic (Germany), among others. These partnerships contribute to the Company’s stature as the leading distributor of EDM in the US*. The addition of Above Board to The Orchard’s family of brands along with key hires in the US and Europe firmly cements the company’s expansion into the dance/electronic music genre.
Hill founded Above Board in 2007, having worked in electronic music since his early teens. His 20-plus years of music industry experience includes record labels, record shops, events management plus club promotion and an unwavering love for the genre.
Artist distribution and services company Human Re Sources announced today the hiring of Junko Takeda as its new Vice President. Based in Los Angeles, Takeda will report to J. Erving, CEO & Founder, Human Re Sources/Executive Vice President, The Orchard. She will oversee day-to-day label relations of both Human Re Sources’ Los Angeles and Atlanta operations, and continue to build the company’s roster of artist clients with support from The Orchard.
Takeda comes to Human Re Sources from Warner Chappell Music, where she served as the Head of A&R Operations. She brings her expertise in talent relations and day-to-day operations, boasting a successful track record that spans various sectors of the music business including: radio promotions/sales, corporate communications, global digital business, artist relations, and brand integration. Previously, Takeda worked as Chief-of-Staff at RCA Records, and has held roles at Overbrook Entertainment, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, MTV Networks, and Emmis Communications (KPWR 105.9FM). Takeda has worked alongside creatives like Lady Gaga and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. She began her career in talent management.
“Human Re Sources has built a true home for independent artists,” said Takeda. “I am excited to work alongside J and the HRS team to connect our dynamic roster of talented artists with fans around the globe.”
“Junko has an amazing track record of elevating artists to the next level,” said Erving. “Having her expertise as we help artists like RAYE and Kelz reach their career goals is invaluable. We are a home for independent creatives and under Junko’s purview, will continue to provide them with the best services possible.”
In December 2020, Sony Music Entertainment acquired Human Re Sources. The company then became part of The Orchard’s global distribution and artist and label services brand. In 2022, the company opened a new workspace in Atlanta, and appointed Mark Jackson as the Head of Atlanta. Human Re Sources has signed and developed artists such as Brent Faiyaz, Cordae, YBN Nahmir, Pink Sweat$, Baby Rose, Bren Joy and added artists like RAYE, who recently solidified her first No. 1 in the UK with the single “Escapism,” Brooklyn-born rapper Kelz, Jensen McRae, and Grammy-nominated Ant Clemons to The Orchard’s roster.
The Orchard today announced the promotion and hiring of two key executives to lead strategy for the Company’s offices in New York and Nashville. Mary Ashley Johnson has been elevated to Executive Vice President, Sales and Artist & Label Management, U.S. and Canada. Katie Studley has been named Vice President, Nashville. They are based in New York and Nashville, respectively. Both will report to Colleen Theis, The Orchard’s Chief Operating Officer.
Collectively, both executives will provide local distribution expertise, release strategy, and regional support to The Orchard’s extensive roster of artist and label clients, while focusing on expanding their reach to global audiences.
As SVP, Sales and Artist & Label Management, U. S. and Canada, a post Johnson held since 2019, she has driven revenue and market share for The Orchard to record highs, while managing teams responsible for client relationships and high level strategy on key releases across the territories. Johnson will continue that trajectory in the EVP position. Prior to joining The Orchard, Johnson spent over 28 years as an employee under the Sony Music umbrella, including 11 years at RED Distribution which was incorporated into The Orchard in 2017.
Johnson said, “I look forward to continuing to deliver record-setting success in both market share growth and artist development for The Orchard and providing best in class service to our clients.”
As The Orchard Nashville’s Vice President, Studley will oversee the office’s day to day operations. Her responsibilities include developing new business relationships as well as providing on the ground support to existing clients in the market, further expanding the company’s presence in Nashville. She will be instrumental in driving The Orchard’s mission of empowering independent creators and entrepreneurs.
“I am equally excited to develop new relationships within Nashville’s independent creative communities as I am honored to foster growth for the Orchard’s incredible existing roster. I’ve long appreciated the Orchard’s quality of service and the good people behind it, and I am proud to join their impressive global organization,” said Studley.
Studley joins the Orchard team from a ten year tenure at Jack White’s Third Man Records where she acted as VP, Operations and Marketing Director. In her roles, she assembled a record breaking label team, strategized the diversification of Third Man’s operations, and worked on album campaigns for artists including Margo Price, The Raconteurs, Sleep, Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, and more. Previously, Studley worked in artist development and marketing at a nascent Thirty Tigers, contributing to the rapid growth of artists like the Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell. Both Third Man Records and Thirty Tigers have distribution agreements with the Orchard.
“We are proud to appoint these two well-deserving women to key executive roles in the company,” said Theis. “Mary Ashley’s leadership, business savvy, and proven expertise has led The Orchard to unprecedented heights in 2022. In her newly expanded role, she will spearhead even bigger opportunities for our artist and label partners. We’re excited to welcome Katie to The Orchard family. As an instrumental partner on the client side, she comes to us with a deep understanding of our business strategy. Her relationships in the Nashville market and beyond will help us further connect local artists and labels to global audiences.”
In addition to the new executive promotions, The Orchard celebrated its 25th year with record breaking successes. In 2022, The Orchard had chart-topping debuts from Bad Bunny Jack White, Nas, $uicideboy$, Blxst, Bizarrap, Sturgill Simpson, and Kelsea Ballerini. The Orchard also delivered over 200 Billboard Top 200 releases; its distributed artist and label clients had over 518 billion total streams, and the company’s market share hit an all time high.