No. 23

Partners, music department, William Morris Endeavor


Each a partner in the music department of William Morris Endeavor, Samantha Kirby Yoh and Sara Newkirk Simon can both look back on a rewarding year with their respective achievements. Kirby works with a varied roster: Alicia Keys, Florence & the Machine, Björk, M.I.A., Swedish House Mafia, Kid Cudi, TV on the Radio and Depeche Mode. Based in WME’s New York office, she’s also considered a pioneer in booking EDM acts. “I was one of the first agents working here in the dance world,” says Kirby, who also reps the Chemical Brothers and SHM’s Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and Alesso. “My first-ever client was Fatboy Slim when nobody ever knew who he was back in the early 1990s.” Working alongside WME’s Joel Zimmerman, Marc Geiger, David Levy and British DJ Pete Tong, Kirby has enjoyed watching the growth of the agency’s EDM division in recent years. “It’s teamwork here,” she says. “That’s what is so special about working at WME.” Kirby was the driving force behind SHM’s sold-out worldwide farewell tour, which ended in March with a set at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival. Newkirk Simon leads the music department’s initiatives to create business opportunities for clients and spearheads major signings. In 2013, she helped bring to WME such acts as John Legend, Depeche Mode and Miguel, and maintains a client list that includes Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Usher. “I am proud of our work helping our artists build their businesses beyond their core disciplines,” Newkirk Simon says, citing TV projects for Nas, Pharrell Williams’ equity partnership in Liquipel and Usher’s film role as iconic boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. She’s also working on opportunities for new clients August Alsina and Rich Homie Quan. “They are young artists who are truly blazing new trails,” she says. But the most exciting part of the past year “has been watching our group operate as a team,” Newkirk Simon says. “I truly believe that we are stronger than ever, and there is support throughout every level of the agency.” —Mitchell Peters