Above: Kylie Minogue and Roc Nation president Jay Brown
“Managing You First” was the theme of Family Tree Entertainment’s third annual pre-Grammy Managers Brunch at Boa Steakhouse in West Hollywood this morning (Feb. 9). Noting the event and theme this year were in remembrance of late “friend, brother and mentor” Chris Lighty, host and Family Tree president Michael “Blue” Williams emphasized the importance of industry executives balancing success along with learning how to take care of yourself mentally, health-wise, financially and spiritually.
“In the midst of success,” said Williams, “you need to do a little something each week for yourself. You have to take care of each of these key aspects in your life.” He then introduced several experts in each of those aforementioned areas who gave short chats and then were available afterward for guests to talk with as well.
L-R: BET president Stephen Hill, Snoop Lion and guest (Mike Corrado)
Before and after these presentations, guests noshed on salad, chicken and waffles, turkey bacon and potatoes while imbibing mimosas and champagne flavored with different flavors of Red Bull, including cranberry. Spotted in the comfortably crowded outdoor space: Morgan Stanley senior VP/wealth advisor Ted Reid, Primary Wave Music’s West Coast president Tom Maffei with management client and new Atlantic R&B singer/songwriter Trevor Jackson (whose first single “Like We Grown” will drop Feb. 25), SESAC VP James Leach, WME agent Cindy Agi (2Chainz), Jr. Regisford of New Heights Entertainment, Monica Young of Blue Key Management, singers Jordin Sparks and Eric Benet, Island Def Jam senior VP of A&R Max Gousse, manager Jeremy Geffen, Glue Agency CEO Derek Jackson, Notting Hill Music Publishing VP Livio Harris and Quantasy partner/chief growth office Ron Gillyard. Conversations ranged from Frank Ocean and his chances of winning the best new artist Grammy (one opinion: it’s between him and the Lumineers) to MySpace (its revamp should have included a name change).
Afterward, upstairs from Boa at the Soho House, things were beyond crowded at the Roc Nation brunch. Only one-half hour into one of Grammy Week’s hottest annual events, security guards in the parking lot were uttering the dreaded phrase “shut it down” as invited guests and hopefuls clamored to get inside.
L-R: Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, co-CEOs of William Morris Endeavor (Mike Corrado)
Once there, panoramic views of the city provided the perfect backdrop as guests made a beeline for the food table (laden with such comfort food as macaroni and chicken and waffles) and bar featuring drinks made with Jay-Z’s D’Usse Cognac (including the tasty Peach Julep). Pumping up the energy in the room was a DJ spinning sounds from Prince and Adele to Wham.
For nearly two hours into the noon-4pm bash, the VIP room was closed to a long line of hopefuls trying to get in. Once inside, they saw such guests as Warner/Chappell’s President of North America, Creative Jon Platt, hitmaking production duo Stargate, Universal Music Group general counsel/exec. VP Jeff Harleston, Vested in Culture chairman/CEO Sylvia Rhone, industry guru Clarence Avant, Def Jam exec. VP of A&R/producer The-Dream, Disturbing Tha Peace principal Chaka Zulu, Sony/ATV co-president Jody Gerson, Rondor exec. VP/creative Kevin Hall, new Roc Nation management client Timbaland, Warner/Chappell senior VP/head of A&R Greg Sowders and VP of urban A&R Juan Madrid, Roc Nation’s Jana Fleishman and songwriter Ester Dean, who shared pics of the remodeling of her new house.
And, oh yes, holding court during the last hour of the event were Jay-Z and Rihanna. Seen or reported seen elsewhere were Beyonce, Solange, Kelly Rowland, Miguel, Santigold and Jordin Sparks, among others.