Combustion Forms Joint Venture With New West

(L-R) Combustion Music's Chris Farren, Ashley Hertzog, Chris Van Belkom, Stephanie Greene.

(L-R) Combustion Music's Chris Farren, Ashley Hertzog, Chris Van Belkom and Stephanie Greene.

Under the terms of a deal announced by Combustion President/Founder Chris Farren and New West Music President/Founder Cameron Strang, New West has acquired an interest in the Combustion catalog resulting in the formation of a new partnership between the two companies. The new arrangement creates an independent force with offices in Los Angeles and Nashville. New West will be the administrator for the new venture on a worldwide basis.

Combustion has recently had hit singles from Kings Of Leon (“Sex on Fire” “Use Somebody”) plus four No. 1 country singles in past eight months: “It Won’t Be Like this For Long” (Darius Rucker), “Just A Dream” (Carrie Underwood), “Then” (Brad Paisley) and “Start A Band” (Keith Urban and Brad Paisley). The company also published last year’s CMA Single of the Year “You’re Gonna Miss This” (Trace Adkins). Combustion writers Ashley Gorley, Gordie Sampson, Blair Daly and Nathan and Caleb Followill (Kings of Leon) have amassed 16 #1 hits across 5 different formats in the last eighteen months.

“At Combustion we have always strived to sign the very best and most focused songwriters available, regardless of their style or background,” says Farren. “Cameron Strang has always been an independent minded and forward thinking business man, and I am confident that together with New West we will meet the challenges of the new music business while creating as many opportunities for our writers and songs as possible.”

The New West Music/Southside Independent Music offices have also been on a hot streak earning a BMI Song of the Year awards for “S.O.S.” “S.O.S.” (Rihanna 2007), “Beautiful Girls” (Sean Kingston 2008), “Take You There” (Sean Kingston 2009) and current worldwide hits “Better In Time” (Leona Lewis) and “Right Round” (Flo Rida). In 2008, Southside writer/producer J.R. Rotem was recognized with the BMI Urban Songwriter of the Year Award. Cameron Strang is also the president and founder of New West Records, which won the NARM Award for Independent Label of the Year in both 2007 and 2008. The label is home to such artists as Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton, Ben Lee, Drive By Truckers, and Old 97’s.

“Chris Farren and his staff at Combustion Music have an ability to develop songwriters that is second to none,” says Cameron Strang. “Nothing changes as far as creative operations for Combustion or New West except they have a new partner in LA who can bring added opportunities in film, television, urban and pop and we have a new partner in Nashville with a first rate creative team.”

New West will continue to operate at 9215 Olympic Blvd. in Beverly Hills, CA. Combustion continues to operate at 1609 17th Ave S. in Nashville, TN.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. dross@musicrow.com

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