17-Year-Old Partners with BMG for Label Creation

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BMG has signed digital media sensation and singer/songwriter Jacob Whitesides to a global partnership for the creation of his Double U record label.

The 17 year-old has built his following entirely on his own, amassing 1.6 million Twitter followers, increasing by tens of thousands per week, over 1.3 million Facebook likes, nearly 1 million Instagram fans, over 750,000 Vine subscribers and over 12 million views on YouTube.

Whitesides will serve as CEO of Double U Records supported by Billy Mann’s management firm, Manncom Creative, while BMG will handle global label operations. Double U will release Whitesides’ own material, including upcoming EP and album releases, and will look to expand with other developing artists.

Read More: Industry Profile: BMG Chrysalis

Whitesides has already made an impact. His first EP, A Piece Of Me, released in February through his own JW Records label shot into the U.S. Top 10 on the iTunes Top Albums chart, peaking at No. 5 on the iTunes Top Albums and No. 1 on the Singer/Songwriter charts. The EP also reached No. 4 in Portugal, entered the Top 10 in Canada and Top 40 in the U.K. A recent appearance at the 2015 Radio Disney Music Awards led to a major bump in social media mentions and the single becoming the No. 1 requested song on Radio Disney.

The EP track "Not My Type At All" was handpicked to be added into rotation on SiriusXM’s discerning singer/songwriter channel The Coffee House, VEVO premiered his lyric video and MTV premiered the music video worldwide. The song was performed on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live in May.

Having wrapped a sold-out tour with Fifth Harmony earlier in the year, Whitesides just completed his own sold-out European headlining tour. He will follow this as direct support on the R5 tour in the U.S. beginning July 7 in Orange Park, FL.

Read More: BMG Acquires Rise Records

Jon Cohen EVP of Recorded Music at BMG Chrysalis U.S. said, “Jacob’s songwriting and performing is far beyond his years, but one of the main differentiators for us is what a superb entrepreneur he is.”

Fred Casimir, BMG EVP Continental Europe, said, “Jacob is a great example of the power of social media to allow artists to reach out to literally millions of fans. We are delighted to have the opportunity to expand upon what he has already created and work with him to make his vision of success happen internationally.”

Whitesides added, “It’s such an honor to be partnering with BMG to help me stay true to myself. The only reason I have the option to choose the people I get to do this with is my fans’ support, and I couldn’t be more excited about this next chapter. As CEO of my own label, my biggest promise is that I will continue to keep as little as possible standing between my fans and me. Everything I do, I do for them and BMG has given me the freedom to be myself and still give me the muscle and infrastructure I need to grow without any limits.”

For more information, visit bmg.com.

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