ALEXI CORY-SMITH MAKES PASSION PLAY LAUNCHES BELLA FIGURA MUSIC
Widely respected former President of BMG UK, Alexi Cory-Smith, has created Bella Figura Music – a music company for the digital age. She is CEO alongside co-founder and Head of Investments, Neelesh Prabhu, who previously led the global investments division of BMG.
Bella Figura Music was born out of shared passions for music and technology. The team are building a purpose-built, artist-centric music company, bringing together leading technology and a relentless focus on creative excellence. The team have spent much of the past year acquiring an impressive and exciting catalogue of recording and publishing assets, with the backing of Freshstream, a private equity fund with a track-record backing entrepreneurs. Deals to date include:
Guy Chambers’ publishing catalogue which includes iconic Robbie Williams hits such as ‘Angels’, ‘Feel’ and ‘Let Me Entertain You’.
David Gray’s record label IHT which owns all his albums from the breakthrough 1998 ‘White Ladder’ to the 2019 acclaimed Gold In A Brass Age. David is closely involved with Bella Figura Music.
R3HAB’s catalogue up to 2022 including ‘All Around the World’, ‘Sad Boy’, ‘Runaway’ and ‘Call Me’.
AWAL divested portfolio of rights including shares in recordings by Placebo, David Gray, Wombats, Dashboard Confessional and more.
US songwriter/producer Darrell Brown’s publishing shares in 25 songs including hits for LeAnn Rimes and Keith Urban.
“I view David Gray and Guy Chambers as the founding blocks on which we build the business,” Alexi says. “One is records, the other is publishing – both top quality catalogues.
I am very proud of what we have achieved in Bella Figura Music’s first year of business.”
“I’ve always wanted to have my own music company and after years in corporates the timing to take an entrepreneurial path felt right,” she added.
David Gray says; “I’ve been looking for a new partner for my music for quite some time, so when I heard about Alexi and Bella Figura I thought it had the potential to be a good fit. They struck me as a company with serious ambitions, an eye for detail and a point to prove, and the fact that I had a good relationship with Alexi from her time at Chrysalis/BMG was definitely a major positive too. The world of music and technology is in a state of constant flux and it’s vital to work with people who are not only attentive to its challenges, but also alert to its opportunities. I feel very optimistic that with Bella Figura I’ve found just that.”
Guy Chambers adds; “I’m so pleased to be working with Bella Figura. I think Alexi is one of the most dynamic executives working in the music industry. Having Alexi at the helm of Bella Figura is an exciting prospect for what is a new and vital area for songwriters in the industry today.”
Artist-driven and forward-thinking, Bella Figura Music is creating a blueprint for managing music rights in the digital age. Based in a quirky Soho, London office, they are building a small, passionate team with a boutique hands-on approach, with the artists involved in every aspect of business. A primary goal is to ensure its copyright data matches every royalty payment as soon as that payment is triggered.
Why Bella Figura Music? “I wish I had a more intellectual answer for the name,” Alexi admits. “The truth is I was in an Italian deli weighing up whether to order some cake when the waiter pointed out it would not be good for the ‘Bella Figura’. At that exact moment, one of our advisors called asking for the company name. And Bella Figura just stuck. It makes a lot more sense now when you consider that our company is focused on delivering beautiful numbers and figures! I suppose I could have called it Lemon Ricotta Cake. Or not. Because as it turned out, I left the deli with just a black coffee.”
About Alexi Cory-Smith:
Prior to forming BFM, Alexi was president of BMG UK where she grew and led its music publishing and recordings business. Alexi joined BMG in January 2011, becoming SVP of BMG UK before moving up to EVP of the combined BMG Chrysalis UK in 2013.
She was promoted to President, Repertoire and Marketing of BMG UK, in 2016, heading up the Repertoire business across both publishing and records. She was instrumental in originating and managing some of the key M&A for the group including (in the UK) Chrysalis (publishing), Union Square (master catalogue marketing and licensing), ‘Rosetta’ (the Virgin/ Famous Music publishing catalogue divestment by EMI) Mute and Sanctuary (Master Catalogue divestments by UMG) and Infectious (frontline Record Label) and supporting the integration of Bug (Publishing)
She was personally responsible for key signings including The Rolling Stones and Roger Waters, two of the highest earning international acts in the BMG roster.
About Neelesh Prabhu:
Neelesh joined BMG in January 2011 and, like Alexi, served a hugely successful seven-year stint, more recently co-founding an Insurtech Start Up in Singapore.
Prior to that Neelesh ran BMG’s global investments / M&A department, looking after teams in Berlin, LA, NYC, and London, working alongside Alexi.
Freshstream Investment Partners is a private equity firm focused on the UK/Benelux regions. Freshstream made its first investment in 2016 and has offices in London and Amsterdam. It seeks to partner with entrepreneurs and management teams of rapidly growing companies to provide insight, expertise and capital to build strong, future-proof businesses that create value for its shareholders.
Freshstream is a signatory of UN Principles for Responsible Investment, iCi, and has been carbon neutral since 2018.