In a move to build a powerhouse management company, Primary Wave Talent Management and Chris Lighty's Violater Management are merging to form Primary Violator.
The merged company will be headed by Primary Wave Music founder and CEO Larry Mestel who will be chairman and CEO of the merged company'; founder and CEO Violator Lighty will be chief operating officer; and Primary Wave Talent Management president Michael "Blue" Williams will be president. News of the merger was first reported today in the New York Post.
The merged company will have a staff of 42 employees to manage a roster of about 20 artists which includes Mariah Carey, Soulja Boy, 50 Cent, L.L. Cool J., Busta Rhymes, and Diddy, all currently handled by Violator according to that company's website; while Primary Wave Talent Management brings to the deal Cee Lo Green, Ginuwine, Goodie Mob, and Eric Benet among others.
Primary Wave had waded heavily into artist management prior to the new merger, having cut deals to bring such management talent as rock manager Scott Frazier, who works with bands like Saving Abel and Volbeat; writer/producer manager Tom Maffei, who manages Brian Kennedy and Cam Meekins; manager Jerry Blair, who manages Ebony Bones, Glory For The People, and Alex Young; as well as partnering with music managers David and Winston Simone, who work with Wilson Phillips into the Primary Wave Management fold. While those deals will remain separate from the Primary Wave Talent Management, the company will look for ways to work synergistically between their various management deals.
The plan is to further build the Primary Wave Talent Management roster by trying to lure artists away from management situations were they are "underserved," according to Mestel. "We will take a very aggressive no holds bar stance when it comes to go after artists," Mestel Says. "Chris, Blue and I will make sure everyone knows we are in business and will be very aggressive" in luring name talent to the merged company. "We will provides services that are not being provided elsewhere," he says.
As record labels struggle with the downturn in music sales by downsizing their staffs, management companies have had to step up and fill the void by the labels inability to maintain the save level of marketing services that they previously had when music sales were healthy.
Primary Wave feels it has an edge to offer artists in that area, Mestel says. Primary Violator will provide an array of services for artists allowing them to access its in-house branding company Brand Synergy Group, digital marketing company BrightShop, Lighty's Brand Asset Group, as well as using Primary Wave's in-house film, television, video game, commercial advertising and TV development team.
While the initial roster is urban and pop heavy, Mestel says the company will diversify into handling artists in other genres too.