Veteran entertainment executive Alison Ball and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriterhave partnered to establish JBR Creative Group. Ball will serve as CEO and Benét as president of the new creative agency, whose first artist signing is singer-songwriter Maxine Ashley.
Ashley’s upcoming project for JBR Creative Group includes her debut single, “Somebody Else.” The signing of the singer-songwriter, whose writing credits include Ariana Grande and Black Coffee, embodies Ball and Benét’s goal of empowering the creative community by fostering an equal playing field for emerging and legacy acts within the music, film/TV, sync and music tech industries.
“Eric and I see JBR as an old-school, new-school blend,” Ball tells Billboard. “Our collaboration with the younger creative generation has been a learning experience, with fresh perspectives on artist promotion. Simultaneously, we share our insights and expertise to help them with monetization, expansion and, above all, achieving success while enjoying their craft. Our environment at JBR is to be successful while having fun, making money and, most importantly, building this company on teamwork.”
Adds Benét, “I had a conversation with my dear friend. We talked about how recording artists are often the last to get paid, if at all. It’s almost criminal how little financial gain some artists make. It was bad when I was 25 years old, and it’s even worse now. But somehow, record labels are still able to be multibillion-dollar industries while artists suffer. We talked about creating a company to combat that; to be an example of something more egalitarian for both labels and artists. And that was the birth of JBR.”
Ball, also president of TuneGO, is a veteran A&R executive. Prior to serving as vp of A&R at Warner Bros. Records, she held posts as senior director of A&R at RCA Records and director of A&R at EMI. During the course of her career, she has worked with Prince, Chaka Khan and Curtis Mayfield, among other artists.
The other artists include four-time Grammy nominee Benét, who launched his solo recording career with Warner Music in 1994. His string of hits includes “Spend My Life With You” featuring Tamia — which garnered his first Grammy nod for best R&B performance by a duo or group — and “Georgy Porgy” featuring Faith Evans.