President of music and entertainment, SEFG
King of the Road
Shawn Gee has mastered the full package. With a background on Wall Street, Gee parlayed his interest in finance into music and entertainment, becoming a central figure in the touring market for hip-hop artists. Last year, he served as tour manager for Lil Wayne's I Am Still Music tour, which ranked No. 14 on Billboard's top 25 tours of 2011 with a gross of $46.3 million, according to Billboard Boxscore. Most recently, he lent his expertise to Nicki Minaj and J. Cole for their respective Pink Friday and Cole World international treks, as well as serving as executive producer of the Roots Picnic music festival and the upcoming Philly Fourth of July Jam, billed as the "largest free concert" in America.
For Gee, who also serves as touring consultant for the Blueprint Group, a successful tour hinges on three Ps: packaging, pricing and performance. He emphasizes to artists the importance of knowing their audience and excessive presentation. "We never want to put anything out that the consumer has to think about. You want something that overdelivers to them," says Gee, who oversaw Kanye West's celebrated Glow in the Dark tour ($30.8 million gross from 49 shows reporting to Boxscore). "What I tend to do is make sure that we take a step back and be proactive. We look at where we want to be, where we want to end up on the next album cycle, and [consider] what direction or steps we take with this album to get there. It's that strategic view of the touring business that differentiates me from my contemporaries." - Steven J. Horowitz