(March 2, 2023) — Mojo Music & Media kicked off the new year with a flurry of catalog acquisitions which collectively represent 30 chart hits spanning seven decades, from the 1950’s through the 2010’s. The deals, done with 2022 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Warren Cuccurullo, Teddy Sky, Bruce Belland, Omar Lyefook, Anthony Improgo and Blake Healy, include rights to such era and genre defining songs as Missing Persons’ “Destination Unknown,” Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” Jennifer Lopez’ “On The Floor,” The Four Preps’ “26 Miles (Santa Catalina),” Omar’s “There’s Nothing Like This” and Metro Station’s “Shake It.”
Warren Cuccurullo, an acclaimed songwriter and guitarist, got his start with Frank Zappa, co-founded New Wave rock band Missing Persons with Dale and Terry Bozzio, and later joined Duran Duran. Mojo has acquired his complete songwriter and publishing rights, along with artist royalties and neighboring rights. The catalog reflects the entirety of Missing Persons’ ‘80s heyday including pop hits “Words” and “Destination Unknown” as well as breakout single “Mental Hopscotch,” “Give” and club hit “I Can’t Think About Dancin.” Joining Duran Duran in the early ‘90s, Cuccurullo is credited with breathing new life into the band, introducing envelope-pushing guitar work and sweeping arrangements and contributing such songs as “Burning The Ground” and “Violence Of Summer.” He was a driving force behind 1993’s platinum-selling Wedding Album, co-writing Top 10 singles “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone,” as well as “Too Much Information.” Cuccurullo was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame last year along with fellow members of Duran Duran. In addition to the catalog acquisition, Mojo also signed a futures deal to manage and promote Cuccurullo’s prolific solo work. Cuccurullo was represented in the deal by David Ravden of Ravden Media.
The agreement with Brazilian-born, LA-based writer/producer Geraldo Sandell a/k/a Teddy Sky, a prolific songwriter on several continents through the 2010’s, saw Mojo acquire his complete songwriter and publishing interests which include Jennifer Lopez’ dancefloor smash with Pitbull, “On The Floor” as well as dance hit “Papi,” JLS’ UK chart-topper “She Makes Me Wanna,” Kelly Rowland’s “Down For Whatever” and Greek artist Eleni Foureira’s 2018 Eurovision Song Contest finalist “Fuego.” Sky also contributed to global chart singles by One Direction, UK rapper Dizzee Rascal, Mexican pop artist Paulina Rubio, Swedish collective Neiked and Norwegian duo Madcon. Sky was represented in the deal by attorney Larry Katz.
In another deal, Mojo acquired complete songwriter and publishing rights along with recorded music royalties from Bruce Belland, founder and lead singer of pop vocal group The Four Preps. The Preps, who signed to Capitol Records while still in high school, were an influential vocal group known for their four-part harmonies and comedic live shows. Between 1956 and 1964, they charted multiple singles including their breakout top five pop and R&B hits “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)” and “Big Man” along with “Down By The Station,” “Got A Girl” and “A Letter To The Beatles.” Belland also wrote singles for the Barron Knights, Lee Hazelwood and Lutricia McNeal. The Preps made numerous film and TV appearances as actors and performers including the 1959 Sandra Dee-Cliff Robertson beach classic Gidget and spent four years as Ricky Nelson’s backing band on long-running sitcom Ozzie & Harriet. Belland, while continuing to write and perform with various versions of the Four Preps though the ’90s, became a successful TV producer and network executive and is about to publish two books chronicling his long career.
The complete catalog deal with Omar Lyefook, an English artist widely credited with launching the Neo Soul sound in the UK, saw Mojo acquire his songwriter shares and a majority interest in his publishing. Omar burst on the scene in the early ’90s with his debut single “There’s Nothing Like This.” Over the course of several albums released through the ’90s, he landed six more UK chart singles including “Outside,” “Keep Steppin,” “Saturday” and “Say Nothin.” He has collaborated famously with such American soul icons as Lamont Dozier, Leon Ware, Angie Stone and Stevie Wonder. Beyond music, Omar began an acting career in 2009, joining the cast of the musical Been So Long and going on to appear in several BBC dramas and comedies. Last year he landed a role on one of the UK’s longest running daytime dramas, Eastenders. Lyefook was represented in the deal by Alaye Dhannie.
Finally, Mojo signed deals with Blake Healy and Anthony Improgo, the keyboardist and drummer for West Coast pop/rock band Metro Station, acquiring their songwriter and publisher interests in all the songs on the band’s self-titled 2007 debut including worldwide hit “Shake It,” as well as it’s follow-up “Seventeen Forever.” Healy was represented by Bret Disend and Mike McKoy, Improgo by Seth Keller and Jim Kozmor.
Said Mojo Co-Founder and CEO Mark Fried, “As we approach our fifth anniversary, we are deeply honored that our success in thoughtfully promoting veteran songwriters and their songs continues to attract some of the most influential music makers in the world to our Mojo family. The Mojo catalog, now representing nearly 700 chart hits, including 250 Top 10’s spanning nine decades, is proudly one of the most diverse and hit-laden collections in the indie publishing space. We couldn’t be more excited to be representing Warren, Teddy, Bruce, Omar, Blake and Ant’s collective works, still beloved by fans everywhere, and look forward to re-energizing them via everything from faithful covers and genre-busting interpolations to trailerized remixes, ubiquitous syncs and guerilla social media campaigns.”
Said Warren Cuccurullo, “It’s funny, but I thought I’d be hooking up with a company like Mojo shortly after my departure from Duran Duran in the early 2000’s. 11 solo albums and 22 years later, it’s now a reality. My life’s work is in their hands and I could not be more excited about the future. Thanks to everyone involved in bringing this partnership to fruition!”
Said Bruce Belland, “I gave big thanks to Santa last year for the gift of meeting Mark and Team Mojo and for what has become a fast friendship with such a positive vibe. What a lucky break for this long-in-the-tooth boy singer to join forces with folks devoted to helping guys like me perpetuate their legacies. I’m grateful, not only for what they’ve already done, but for what I’m going to be a part of in the days ahead.”
The recent series of deals follow an active 2022 during which Mojo concluded publishing agreements with Country Music Hall Of Fame member Sharon Vaughn, multiple Grammy winning writer/artists Roberta Flack and Rita Coolidge, pop singer/songwriter Tommy Roe, soul duo Jerry and Katreese Barnes, members of R&B/funk group Ready For The World, DJ/Producer John Borger and Nine Days’ lead singer and primary songwriter John Hampson.