Several artists are separating from Sony Music, Pat Handlin is preparing the next step with Kyle Sandilands? (EXCLUSIVE)


Pictured (L-R): Timomatic, Pat Handlin, Jessica Mauboy

Several chart-topping artists have disappeared from Sony Music Australia’s roster as one of its former executives, Pat Handlin, is set to make a comeback after leaving the label, TMN can reveal.

Among the big names who will no longer be releasing new recordings with the major are hitmakers Samantha Jade, The Veronicas, Illy and LDRU, according to multiple sources. TMN understands that Illy and LDRU, who both enjoyed a string of success during their respective stints at Sony Music, have already signed with a rival label ahead of new music releases this year.

The latest roster shakeup follows the defection of Dami Im to ABC Music in August 2020 and Jessica Mauboy to Warner Music four months later. The latter ended a 14-year association that began after the appearance of the singer in season 4 of australian idol. When announcing her new contract with Warner Music, Mauboy said she would be “eternally grateful” for her time with Sony Music.

There is also industry speculation that Jade could be among the first signings of a new pact between former Sony Music VP A&R Pat Handlin and radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands. Sandilands representatives said TMN that an announcement will be made shortly.

Several sources also said TMN that Handlin is eagerly courting world top The Kid Laroi (in the photo above) with the aim of becoming the fourth manager of the prodigy. Laroi hit the headlines this month when it was revealed he had cut ties with Adam Leber, his third manager since becoming a hot property. The couple worked together for less than a year.

He is currently in Australia for his first national tour which begins Thursday in Sydney.

Laroi signed a development deal with Sony Music, 12, and worked closely with Handlin and the label’s former vice president of cultural marketing and artist development, Petrina Convey. The First Nations rapper went on to sign a worldwide deal with Columbia Records and in February last year became the youngest Australian solo artist to reach No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

Handlin’s release from Sony Music was confirmed by record company representatives last August. This followed the departure of Handlin’s father, Denis, from the same company in June 2021 after a very public inquiry into Sony Music Australia’s workplace culture.

TMN does not suggest any wrongdoing on the part of Pat Handlin or Denis Handlin, and the results of Sony’s investigation have not been made public.

Pat Handin

Pictured (L-R): KIIS FM host Kyle Sandilands and Denis Handlin

Sandilands was among a very small cohort of media personalities to openly downplay some of the claims included in an explosive Four corners talk aired on ABC TV about the former boss of Sony Music Australia, the company’s culture and some of its former executives.

Denis, and other ousted executives, have denied the charges against them.

The program looked at the rise and fall of Denis, as well as the toxic culture within the major record label under his leadership. It included allegations of bullying, harassment, bullying and abuse, as well as a story about a sexual assault survivor leaving the organization with an $80,000 payout while the alleged abuser continued with the company for years.

“Oh, so the guy [Handlin] was a bit of a grog freak and screamed in the 80s…Big deal,” Sandilands said on her breakfast show after the ABC TV show aired. “[People said he was horrible], and I was like, ‘Okay, what did he do? I’m waiting? Where is it?’…. He would put people down. So what? Big deal. Like an angry boss yelling and putting people down. Move on.”

Sony Music has yet to hire a new CEO to lead its Australian operations.


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