Grammy-nominated songwriter and former RCA and DefJam recording artist Sterling Simms is UMPG’s Director of Creative, reporting to Ethiopia Habtemariam, UMPG President of Urban Music/Co-Head of Creative, and David Gray, UMPG EVP/Head of West Coast A&R.
Based in Los Angeles, Simms joinedUniversal Music Publishing Group from Songs Music Publishing, where he served in a creative role for the last 2.5 years. In his new position, Simms will work closely with the company’s worldwide A&R team to identify, sign and develop talent and bolster global creative opportunities for UMPG songwriters.
“With a fantastic ear, enthusiasm and A&R skills, Sterling brings good energy to the team, and I’m very happy he’s come to UMPG to help us build upon our already great success,” said Habtemariam.
“As a well-rounded and established writer, artist and an A&R exec, Sterling has everything it takes to support our writers and expand their reach. He speaks their language and understands the business from all sides. We are thrilled to welcome him to UMPG,” said Gray.
“I was privileged to be a songwriter signed to UMPG in 2010, and I’m proud that now I get to come back home as an executive to help curate and facilitate opportunities for this amazing roster – including a lot of people I have worked with myself as a writer. I’m humbled that Jody, David and Ethiopia have brought me in, and super excited to join the company,” said Simms.
As a publishing executive, Simms has worked with such artists and as DJ Mustard, Nelly, Mike Free, DJ AfroJack and Mike Taylor, Jeremih, and Trinidad James, among others. In 2006, he received a Grammy nomination for co-writing Marsha Ambrosius’ R&B hit, “Far Away.” Simms was also a featured artist on “Dig A Hole” recorded by Jay Z on his No.1 double platinum album, Kingdom Come.