Downtown Music Publishing has signed a worldwide deal with Australian singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly. Donnelly has received critical acclaim in her home country, including being named 'Unearthed Artist of the Year' by the Australian national radio station Triple J.
The announcement comes on the heels of Donnelly taking the top honors at Western Australian Music Awards (WAM) Song of the Year Awards, winning the Grand Prize with her highly regarded single, "Boys WIll Be Boys." Donnelly has been rising on the strength of her 2017 debut EP, Thrush Metal, released on Healthy Tapes in Australia, and reissued in the US by Secretly Canadian. Just in the past twelve months, Donnelly won Bigsound's inaugural Levi's Music Prize as the 'most outstanding talent', a swathe of Western Australian Music Industry Awards, including Best EP, Best Folk Act, Best Single, Best Female Vocalist and Most Popular New Act, and was nominated for Best Independent Artist and Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year for the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) Awards.
Commenting on the signing Donnelly said, "I'm so pleased to be signing a world deal with Downtown Publishing and also to be the first of many artists that represent the Australian base that the amazing Rachel Kelly has opened with her great world team around her. It's been a pleasure meeting everyone already, exciting times ahead!"
More recently, Donnelly shared the New Zealand-filmed video for her second single, "Mechanical Bull" and received invitations to perform at world-renowned music showcases in the UK's The Great Escape and Austin's SXSW. Donnelly has also traveled to London to perform sold-out shows as part of The Great Escape's 'First 50,' from which she has kicked off tour dates in Australia, US, UK and Europe.
"Stella Donnelly is a culturally important artist and part of the next wave of storytellers," said Rachel Kelly, Creative Director and Head of Sync of Downtown's ANZ operation. I'm incredibly honoured to be supporting Stella in this phase of her career, as we work closely with Philip Stevens and the good people at Secretly Canadian. Being our first signing in Australia, this moment is particularly special. I look forward to working with our team on this debut album and watching her star rise on the global stage."
"She's a one in a million artist, a troubadour," added Daniel Lloyd Jones, Downtown's Senior Vice President of Global Creative Services and Head of UK A&R. "Her lyrical prowess is second to none. Her narratives are hard-hitting, honest, vulnerable and heartfelt. We are so proud that she's chosen us to represent and nurture her art, but also that Stella is the artist by which we lay the foundation of our intent in ANZ"
Downtown will provide its bespoke creative and advisory services as well as their global royalty collection platform to Donnelly's catalog, covering her debut EP, Thrush Metal, as well as forthcoming album to be released in early 2019 on Secretly Canadian worldwide.
Stella Donnelly was raised between Morriston, Swansea in Wales and the burbs of Quinns Rocks, Western Australia. Donnelly's brutally honest and witty observations of people and relationships are transformed into blissful poems and lyrical punchlines on her standout debut EP Thrush Metal. Donnelly's relatable way of writing is her lens to the world in which we live, a glimpse into what it's like to be a millennial woman in the age of Trump, Tinder and third wave feminism.
Continuing to grow its global footprint, Downtown opened its doors in Sydney in February 2017, with the appointment of Rachel Kelly as Creative Director and Head of Sync. Kelly is responsible for establishing and promoting Downtown's brand and catalog across Australia and New Zealand, signing and developing local songwriters, artists, and producers, and more efficiently collecting songwriting royalties.