Sony/ATV signs Wayne Wilkins

U.K. born producer wrote songs for Beyonce, Leona Lewis

Sony/ATV continues to expand its roster with the signing of songwriter/producer Wayne Wilkins to an exclusive worldwide co-publishing agreement. The U.K.-born Wilkins has penned songs for Beyonce and Natasha Bedingfield as well as newcomers Leona Lewis and Shontelle.

Wilkins is also a member of songwriting/production team the Runaways, who wrote and produced Keri Hilson's first single "Energy." Wilkins' signing follows in the wake of Sony/ATV's recent roster addition, Grammy Award-winning songwriter Johnta Austin.

"Our signing of Wayne and Johnta is part of our ongoing strategy to aggressively build the Sony/ATV roster and repertoire," says Danny Strick, co-president of Sony/ATV. "Wayne is an established writer through his association with the Runaways and on his own. 'T-Shirt' is a strong example of his talent. We want to augment that to help him develop further as an individual writer and open up other collaboration opportunities."

Wilkins got his professional start at Olympic Studios in London. During this period, he worked on No Doubt's "Rock Steady" album as well as other projects. From there, Wilkins teamed with songwriters Steve Kipner and Andrew Frampton to write songs for Natasha Bedingfield, including "These Words."

With the Runaways team -- whose additional members are Rico Love, Sam Watters and fellow Sony/ATV writer Louis Biancaniello -- Wilkins collaborated on Bedingfield's "Love Like This" (featuring Sean Kingston) as well as the aforementioned Hilson single.

Managed by Danny Dominguez and Gregory Frankel, Wilkins was brought to Sony/ATV by senior creative director Britt Morgan-Saks. His recent songwriting forays include work on Michelle Williams' just-released "Unexpected" album and Beyonce's upcoming third solo album.

He is also collaborating with the Black Eyed Peas, David Archuleta, Girlicious and Universal Motown's new girl group Jada. He also has Shontelle's next single, "Battle Cry," and is about to start writing for Bedingfield's third album.

"Sony/ATV is at the stage where it's being built into a much bigger entity," says Wilkins, who moved to Los Angeles last year. "And I want to be part of that."

Gail Mitchell is a senior correspondent for Billboard. (L.A.)