Owner/founder, Cara Lewis Group
Last Year's Rank: New
Allen and Lewis hit their stride in 2017, the first full year of a partnership -- which includes shared office space -- that has MAC working on promotional opportunities for CLG’s stellar slate of clients. They secured Khalid a global partnership with Forever 21 before he had even released an album, and a Pride Month collaboration between Taylor Bennett and Urban Outfitters that benefitted the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. “The first year was really getting to know all of her clients and the managers and letting them get to know us and our team,” says Allen, “and then in 2017 it just kind of all exploded.” Lewis also had a major year with the blockbuster tours of Chance the Rapper and Travis Scott, and Pitbull’s Las Vegas residency. Allen booked Garth Brooks for the inaugural concert at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the first show by the country superstar that he didn’t promote himself.
What’s the biggest industry story of 2017?
LEWIS: Hip-hop and urban music being the true leader of pop culture. It is the most urgent genre of music on all platforms. In 2017 we booked 1,200-plus shows worldwide touring Chance the Rapper, Travis Scott, Khalid, Metro Boomin, Russ, Bryson Tiller, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, The Roots and Vic Mensa, to name a few. It is so rewarding to finally see this genre get the recognition it truly deserves.
What’s the biggest issue that the music industry faces in 2018?
ALLEN: The ongoing boxing gloves in the music ring. Artists-writers versus streaming giants, while many of us sit ringside, feet up with our Beats on, chewing popcorn and listening to tunes for free.
How have you mobilized in the wake of #MeToo?
LEWIS: We did not need to mobilize. CLG is a female-owned and -operated business that invests in associates who share the same values.
ALLEN: Eighty percent of our team is women.