EMI, L.A. Reid form songwriting firm

Music industry veteran will scout for new talent

LONDON -- EMI Music Publishing has reached an agreement with Antonio "L.A." Reid to form the L.A. Reid Music Publishing Company, a joint venture to sign new songwriters.

The L.A. Reid Music Publishing Company will provide EMI Music Publishing with the exclusive services of Reid as a music publishing talent spotter. He will be responsible for discovering and signing new and established songwriters to publishing deals.

The global agreement was negotiated by EMI Music Publishing president of West Coast Creative, Big Jon Platt.

Solo artists and groups signed by Reid include Toni Braxton, TLC, Usher, OutKast, Avril Lavigne, Pink, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy and Rihanna.

Reid was appointed chairman, Island Def Jam Music Group in 2004, after serving as president and CEO of Arista Records since 2000. Prior to that, he was the co-founder in 1989 of LaFace Records.

Reid formed the Hitco Publishing Group in 1996, as a joint venture with Windswept Music. Signings included Beyonce Knowles, Sean Garrett and Kevin "Shek'spere" Briggs.

"Throughout my career in music, I've been devoted to the songwriter's craft first, last and always, and I consider the business of publishing to be the heart and soul of the industry," said Reid in a statement. "This unique new association with EMI Music Publishing affords me the opportunity to indulge a passion for the two creative cornerstones of my life: artists and their music."

Platt added: "L.A.'s track record speaks for itself. He's discovered some of the most enduring talents of the last 20 years, and his hit rate with songwriters and recording artists alike is phenomenal. I've worked closely with L.A. for many years and I'm now looking forward to taking the partnership to the next level."