Maria Forte has worked in the music industry since she started at Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd in the late seventies. She began in an administrative capacity and remained there for 14 years, the last six years as General Manager, until the sale of Virgin to the EMI Group. She worked with many contemporary bands/writers including The Police; The Human League; Culture Club; Soul II Soul; The Clash; Stereo MC’s and The Prodigy. During her tenure there, Virgin Music expanded from a London based entity to a global multi territory publishing network.
She spent four years at EMI Music Publishing, running the copyright department as well as setting up and establishing the sampling department. She continued to work with the Virgin Music catalogue as well as the rich and varied catalogue belonging to EMI.
In 1996, she returned to work with Richard Branson and was a co-founder and Director of Commercial Affairs at V2 Music Publishing Ltd. Despite her move away from EMI, she continued to work with The Prodigy at that time, in order to complete the sample clearance work for their multi-platinum selling album “Fat Of The Land”. She also worked closely with Liam Howlett on prior albums ‘Experience’ and ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’. At V2, she signed, amongst others, Fluke and Boy George to the music publishing entity.
She left V2 in 2000 to join MusicState as Chief Operating Officer. MusicState offered an online source of pre-cleared commercial music for synchronization. She defined and oversaw the launch of this website/service, creating a template and accompanying systems through which it could operate.
Returning to music publishing she subsequently joined Sanctuary Music Publishing as Director of Commercial Business where her role included the acquisition of rights, catalogue or writer, as well as operational responsibilities for the company. She worked with a catalogue that included Bert Jansch; Axl Rose; UB40, Gil Scott Heron, Wasp and Spiritual Beggars.
Maria Forte Music Services Ltd was created in July 2006, working with a wide and varied group of clients across multiple genres and media. She specializes in rights management, working with her clients either in an advisory capacity or on specific projects within this area, on a short or long term basis. Her clients, past and present, are diverse and includes organisations such as Fintage House, Amnesty International, Warner Chappell Music, Omnifone, Modest! Management, Spotify, Netflix, The Really Useful Group. She has also worked with artists and/or writers such as Radiohead, Iron Maiden, Soul II Soul and David Lewis Gedge (for both The Wedding Present and Cinerama), as well as his label Scopitones. Her experience with these clients ranges from pure administration of publishing or recording rights to live performance rights management and the licensing of secondary rights.