From L to R: Michelle Lewis (CEO, SONA/The SONA Foundation), Kellie Brown (COO, SONA//The SONA Foundation), Linda Bloss-Baum (Government Affairs Lead, SONA), Erin McAnally (Executive Director, SONA), and Camus Celli (SONA NY). Photo credit: SONA
Songwriters of North America grows with key leadership to continue defending songwriters and composers amid a changing media landscape.
LOS ANGELES, CA, JANUARY 25, 2024: SONA (Songwriters of North America), the closest thing songwriters and composers have to a union in the United States, announces exciting new developments in leadership and expansion. Despite tremendous strides in how songwriters are paid from digital audio streaming, existential threats to their livelihood continue. In order to address the growing needs, while maintaining their independent, by-songwriters-for-songwriters voice, SONA is announcing a major expansion in the SONA-verse structure, with the addition of new, key leadership positions as well as the creation of a SONA chapter in New York.
SONA and The SONA Foundation are sister organizations with separate Boards and missions, which will both be overseen by now CEO, Michelle Lewis, and newly appointed COO, Kellie Brown. Stepping into the Executive Director position at SONA will be longtime creator, and creator-advocate, Erin McAnally, who will be overseeing SONA’s advocacy, membership and educational initiatives. Linda Bloss-Baum joins the Board and has been retained to lend her expertise in policy and government affairs, and Camus Celli will also join the board to lead the new New York chapter and head SONA’s growth efforts on the east coast.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with and build upon the strong foundation laid by such formidable advocates who work to protect and lift up songwriting as a profession. SONA provides a powerful nexus where advocacy, education, and songwriting meet, and the organization wholly aligns with so many of my life’s passions.” – Erin McAnally (Executive Director, SONA)
“SONA’s original co-founders and I believe, as we grow from a friend-group of songwriters and composers advocating for our rights to an established, sustainable trade association and advocacy group, our most important, defining characteristic is that we remain creator-led. So, in selecting my successor, we looked for someone with a policy brain and a creator heart. I’m so happy and grateful to have found that unique combination in Erin McAnally. In addition, we have always imagined our growth would lead us to having a presence in DC and NY. It took eight years of hard work and growing pains to get here, but we are so excited to reach this goal! Welcome to the SONA-verse Camus and Linda!” – Michelle Lewis (Chief Executive Officer, SONA/The SONA Foundation)
SONA remains a membership organization, providing advocacy, education and a community for music creators in a volatile music marketplace.
ABOUT MICHELLE LEWIS
Michelle Lewis is a two-time Emmy-winning and Peabody award-winning songwriter and composer, executive producer and influential music creators’ rights advocate. Since co-founding Songwriters of North America in 2015, she has served as its Board chair and Executive Director, helping to educate and empower songwriters to advocate for themselves, while also leading SONA from its start as a small but passionate group of creators fighting for fairness, to a accomplished, industry-recognized 501c6 trade association, as well as establishing The SONA Foundation in 2022, a charitable organization with the mission of supporting the health and wellness of songwriters and composers. She also serves on the ASCAP Board of Directors, the ASCAP Foundation Board, the LA Chapter of the Recording Academy and the Executive Committee of the Music Peer Group at the Television Academy.
ABOUT KELLIE BROWN
Kellie Brown is a philanthropic focused marketer and strategist with more than 20 years of experience in program development, partner relations, and fundraising worldwide. She has worked for global brands including CNN, The NBA (National Basketball Association), The NHL (National Hockey League), and Hard Rock International where she led the creation of the Hard Rock Heals Foundation and designed programs that supported the growth of music based organizations in more than 85 countries. A graduate of Seminole State College and the University of Central Florida’s Non Profit Management program, Kellie is a keen philanthropist both in training and in heart. She is the creator of Sound Circle Management, a boutique sized think tank and development firm focused on mission based programming and local community growth. Kellie is a native of Long Beach, California. Some of her favorite songwriters are Fela Kuti, Nipsey Hussle, and Hil St Soul.
ABOUT ERIN MCANALLY
Songwriter and artist advocate Erin McAnally has always been a part of the music business. Born in Muscle Shoals, AL, and raised in Nashville, she has extensive experience in A&R, production, music supervision and scoring for film and tv, publishing, and concerts and festivals. Now living in Los Angeles, she has been serving as Songwriters of North America’s Co-Executive Director and Vice-Chair since 2023. She co-owns a publishing company with her husband, Mick Utley. They were frequent co-writers with Jimmy Buffett, landing two songs on his most recent and posthumous album. She also works as a consultant and prose writer, helping artists, brands, and non-profits with marketing and communications, fundraising, education, events, and operations. In the past few years, one of her focuses was developing and teaching an education program with Artist Rights Alliance to empower artists and music creators and aiding the organization with strategic growth initiatives. She has extensive public speaking experience, having presented at conferences like Folk Alliance, SXSW, Americana Fest, and the US Copyright Office’s Unclaimed Royalties Study Kickoff Symposium.
ABOUT LINDA BLOSS-BAUM
Linda Bloss-Baum is a full time faculty member and the Assistant Director of the Business and Entertainment Program at American University’s KOGOD School of Business. Prior to joining her beloved alma mater, American University, in her full time role, Bloss-Baum taught the popular course, Protecting the Creative Class, as an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University for a decade while she was serving as the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy at SoundExchange. Before joining SoundExchange, Bloss-Baum ran the Warner Music Group office in Washington, D.C. for six years. She also served as Vice President, Public Policy/Government Relations at Universal Music Group/NBC Universal and Time Warner, Inc. Linda graduated from Catholic University Law School and has lived in the Washington, DC area for over 35 years.
ABOUT CAMUS CELLI
Camus Celli is an American songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur born in Savannah, GA. He studied composition and production at Berklee College of Music before moving to New York to work as a freelance programmer for such music legends as Nile Rodgers and Keith Diamond. After Writing and Producing UK soul sensation Mica Paris’ 1991 second album Contribution album with Andres Levin, Celli signed his first publishing deal with Virgin Music and was later signed to EMI Publishing. In 2003 Camus developed singer songwriter Gavin DeGraw culminating in a deal with J Records, Gavin’s first record Chariot went on to sell one million copies and earned platinum certification. In 2009 Camus Produced and Mixed Gavin’s critically acclaimed FREE. In 2008 Camus launched Vel Records to provide an incubator for artists that included management, marketing, publishing, as well as songwriting and production. The first signing to VEL was a joint venture with Clive Davis on his J Records Label. Current signings include the Birmingham UK Indie Rock band DELUKA. Camus has recently begun consulting for Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records bringing Portland Oregon singer/songwriter Christian Burghardt into the Kemosabe roster.
Songwriters of North America is an open and diverse community which unites enthusiastic music creators and thoughtful business leaders to redefine the music business in the 21st century. SONA creates a unified voice to protect artistic expression, compensation, and the rights of songwriters in North America.
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