Today’s top artists — from Ed Sheeran and Fifth Harmony to Cardi B and Kygo — would not be selling out arenas or dominating the charts without the vision, innovation and “no is not an option” perseverance of this fresh crop of young industry executives.
SARA WINTER-BANKS, 33
Senior vp/head of pop and alternative marketing, Messina Touring Group
Sheeran and Swift’s road warrior: This year Winter-Banks added The Lumineers‘ first arena trek — 32 sold-out shows in partnership with AEG that grossed over $14 million — to a portfolio that includes tours by Ed Sheeran and, since 2009, Taylor Swift. The South Austin resident, who got married in 2016, has thrived for 11 years by personally attending to MTG’s roster of A-list acts. “I’m placing every phone call, I’m booking every ad, I’m talking to every program and promotions director. If someone has a question about what’s going on in Cleveland, I don’t have to pick up the phone. I know, because my hands are everywhere.”
“Sara is an absolute legend … a brilliant person to have on our side.” — Ed Sheeran
BEN ADELSON, 32
Senior vp A&R, Republic Records
“Young Blood” specialist: Under Adelson’s guidance, Cleveland-based blues-rockers Welshly Arms are off to a good start with the single “Legendary,” which generated 6.5 million U.S. streams, and singer-songwriter Noah Kahan began the year with his first charting single, “Young Blood,” which debuted at No. 6 on Spotify’s U.S. Viral Chart (3.9 million streams). Kahan has released five more singles at a rapid clip — “Sink,” “Hurt Somebody,” “Hallelujah,” “Fine” and “Hold It Down” — but Adelson isn’t worried about overkill. “Our focus is on breaking an artist, not necessarily one song,” he says. “All [of Noah’s] songs feel cohesive and part of one body of work.”
How the political climate has affected business: “Artists are much more open to speaking their beliefs, which is incredibly powerful.”
JORDAN BLAUGRUND, 35
Senior vp sales, RCA Records
Sizzling with SZA and Khalid: “Our campaigns are rooted in the artist’s vision,” says Blaugrund. “We do our best to find something special that helps tell a part of the story.” That strategy helped deliver two of 2017’s hottest breakthroughs: Khalid and SZA. In the case of Khalid — the newcomer behind the Billboard Hot 100 hit “Location,” which has logged 478 million streams — his story was told through a five-week Up Next new-artist campaign on Apple Music. A massive physical retail push in partnership with DreamWorks yielded the Trolls soundtrack, which has sold 759,000 copies. RCA’s banner year also boasts first-time No. 1 albums by Bryson Tiller and Kings of Leon, recent releases from Miley Cyrus and Kesha, and anticipated projects from P!nk and G-Eazy.
Favorite networking venue: “The mezzanine bar at Bowery Ballroom.”
TOMMY BRUCE, 30
Manager, Full Stop Management
Styles guru: In March 2016, Bruce left Creative Artists Agency with fellow agent Jeffrey Azoff to start Full Stop with Harry Styles as their first client. A year later, they merged with Brandon Creed’s The Creed Company and Azoff Music Management, founded by Jeffrey’s father, industry titan Irving Azoff. “It has been pretty wild,” says Bruce, who maintains his energy level with a “borderline addiction” to Starbucks iced coffee. He focuses on Meghan Trainor, songwriter/producer Kid Harpoon and Styles, whose self-titled album had the strongest debut sales week by a U.K. male artist in the Nielsen Music era. Styles also made his acting debut in Dunkirk and has sold 600,000 concert tickets globally for his solo tour. Trainor is finishing her next album after her second vocal surgery, says Bruce, “and she has never sounded better.”
First job in music: “I was a floater at CAA in the music department in New York. It took me six months and 10 interviews.”
LATRICE BURNETTE, 34
Senior vp marketing, Epic Records
Nonstop shining: “It has been a whirlwind,” says Burnette about her past year, which, just for starters, has included No. 1 Billboard 200 albums for Travis Scott and DJ Khaled. She also helped roll out Yo Gotti‘s White Friday LP on Dec. 23, 2016, and Nick Grant‘s Epic debut, Return of the Cool, three weeks later. Then, on Feb. 12, Grammys night, Burnette launched Khaled’s lead single, “Shining,” and on Feb. 17 and 24, Future‘s history-making back-to-back albums, Future and HNDRXX. “We sometimes put the plan together in a week or two,” she says. “It’s nonstop, every single day. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
First job in music: I was at Roc-A-Fella Records where I was Coordinator, New Media, before new media became what’s known today as digital marketing.
JOSE CEDEÑO, 36
Senior vp growth and innovation, Sony Music U.S. Latin
Helping Nicky Jam gel: After only months in this newly created -position, Cedeño, who oversees sales and all revenue-generating assets at the label’s U.S. Latin division, ended 2016 with six of the year’s 10 best-selling digital songs, including Nicky Jam‘s “Hasta el Amanecer” and Enrique Iglesias‘ “Duele el Corazon.” And commercial, digital and merch campaigns that he created for Nicky Jam were so successful that they’ll now serve as a blueprint for other Sony acts. “Our goal is to provide a 360-degree service for the artist,” says Cedeño, who holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Favorite networking venue: “Rey Castro [nightclub] in São Paulo. It was how I stayed connected to my roots when I was living in Brazil.”
ZIGGY CHARETON, 28
Director of A&R, Island Records
Made Shawn Mendes the “Life of the Party”: The Manhattan native spearheaded Mendes’ quick rise from Vine star to Madison Square Garden headliner, generating 2.3 billion on-demand streams along the way. Working with his longtime friend (and former Atlantic Records co-intern) Andrew Gertler, who manages Mendes, Chareton saw the star’s potential from the start, and even set him up to record his 2014 single, “Life of the Party,” in the Brooklyn home studio of a friend. In addition to helping Mendes debut two albums atop the Billboard 200, Chareton has assisted fellow Island artist James TW (“When You Love Someone”) in racking up 69 million on-demand streams.
MIKE CHESTER, 38
Senior vp marketing and promotion, SB Projects
Promoted “Despacito” with Purpose: Chester worked on the promotion strategies that made Justin Bieber‘s “Despacito” remix tie for the longest run atop the Hot 100 — together with the original, it’s the world’s most-streamed song of all time — and boosted the singles from his Purpose album. “Tech and music are coming together so that the listening experience is changing daily,” he says. He also worked on broadcast partnerships for SB Projects’ Hand in Hand benefit, which reached 15.7 million viewers, as well as One Love Manchester. “It was good to take these muscles used for business,” he says, “and use them for a good cause.”
ERNEST “TUO” CLARK, 37
Senior vp A&R, Def Jam Recordings
Grew Big Sean even bigger: Already a successful producer as one-half of the seven-time Grammy-nominated duo Da Internz (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber), Clark was appointed Def Jam senior vp A&R last December. He cites his building of “stronger camaraderie between the label and artists” as a major factor in the success of projects he oversaw during the last year, which included Big Sean‘s Billboard 200 No. 1 album, I Decided. Up next: an anticipated EP, Life Is Lit, from new signing Trap Beckham.
BOBBY CORY, 33
Agent, Creative Artists Agency
Built Bridges, booked Styles: Cory has developed a roster of emerging artists such as Leon Bridges into robust box-office attractions. “We’ve gone beyond the top 20 major markets to places like Burlington, Vt., and Portland, Maine,” says the University of Alabama graduate, who is based in Nashville. He also has put the finishing touches on Harry Styles‘ tour, which included a recent stop at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. “We only had 2,200 tickets to sell through Verified Fan, but we had 29,000 people sign up,” says Cory. “The writing was on the wall.”
Favorite networking venue: “The Dolphin Bar at Tommy Bahama in New York City.”
MANNY DION, 37
Making French Montana “Unforgettable”: Dion began 2016 by helping to promote Belly‘s newly certified (as of Oct. 4) platinum single “Might Not” — with fellow SAL&CO artist The Weeknd — and ended it with the release of Montana’s “Unforgettable,” a No. 3 Hot 100 hit. Dion also works with R&B newcomer Sabrina Claudio and songwriter-producers Jason “DaHeala” Quenneville, DannyBoyStyles and Massari at SAL&CO, which joined Maverick in May 2016. “That’s about taking things to the next level,” says Dion.
ALEJANDRO DUQUE, 34
GM, Universal Music Latino/Machete Music/Capitol Latin
Digital strategist for “Despacito”: Universal’s former vp digital and business development for Latin America brought a “digital mind-set” to the label’s U.S. operations, and less than two years into his new job, the results are apparent. Two records, “Despacito” and “Mi Gente,” hit No. 1 on Spotify’s global charts. And although Duque’s scope is the United States, “we [still] think globally,” he says.
MARIA EGAN, 39
President/head of creative, Pulse Music Group
Leading Pulse’s Latin music push: Egan is leading Pulse’s drive into the hot Latin music market: In August 2016, the company created a joint venture with Marc Anthony’s Magnus Media. (It also has a minority stake in the publishing for Luis Fonsi‘s “Despacito” remix featuring Justin Bieber.) “It really was obvious that there was a new wave of talent coming to the fore, and it seemed like an opportunity for an indie music publisher to take advantage of what we saw as a big vacuum there,” she says. Pulse also has six non-Latin songs on the Hot 100, including Bieber and BloodPop’s “Friends” and Niall Horan‘s “Slow Hands.”
JACOB FAIN, 34
VP A&R/head of research and analytics, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Lit The Chainsmokers: Sony/ATV continues to ride high atop Billboard’s quarterly top 10 publishers ranking, thanks in large part to The Chainsmokers, whom Fain signed. The act has accumulated 1.5 million equivalent album units so far in 2017 and is only the third duo or group in chart history to have landed three concurrent top 10 hits on the Hot 100. Fain also convinced his bosses to create his analytics role so that A&R executives can back up their instincts with research. “Signing artists without data can be like bringing a knife to a gunfight,” he says.
KRISTEN FRASER, 34
Music marketing, Beats By Dr. Dre
Pairing Beats with the best of the new: A “silent killer,” as one colleague calls her, Fraser prefers to fly beneath the radar. She cultivated the headphones/speaker brand’s growth by identifying talent to represent the Apple-owned company and curating experiential events like the Beats Presents series (Fifth Harmony, DJ Khaled) and the Hot Boys reunion (including Lil Wayne) during the 2017 NBA All Star Weekend. Fraser also maintains the business’ robust database of potential artist partners, with her eyes and ears on the next big thing. “We take chances on the emerging guys,” she says, citing past campaigns with Anderson .Paak and Kehlani.
Artists with whom she’d like to work: “Daniel Caesar and Leikeli47 are making incredible music.”
MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN, 38
VP sports and entertainment, Madison Square Garden Company
Growing acts through Garden branding: Goldstein heads up MSGC’s marketing partnership team and has built a programming platform that has implemented 360-degree branding efforts for DNCE, X Ambassadors and other acts. Goldstein also worked with Anheuser-Busch on its One Night Only series with Florida Georgia Line, Post Malone and Rascal Flatts. “Our team creates opportunities by leveraging our assets nationwide at important times in artists’ career cycles.”
Mentor wisdom: “Evan Frankel, our senior vice president of business solutions, told me, ‘Listen to the room. There’s no need to be the first to speak.'”
ZEINA GRENIER, 37
VP business and legal affairs, Universal Music Publishing Group
Tapping into the streaming surge: Grenier works on the team that “leads the charge in digital,” she says, and, in the past year, has put together deals with Pandora, Google/YouTube, Apple and musical.ly. In the first half of 2017, streaming helped fuel an 11.1 percent increase in revenue to $431.2 million, up from $400.7 million for the same period in 2016. “The biggest challenge and opportunity is still streaming,” says Grenier, who recently gave birth to her second child. “Getting the rates up for our songwriters is our No. 1 priority.”
DIONNEE HARPER, 39 // MARSHA ST. HUBERT, 39
Senior VPs urban marketing, Atlantic Records
Making monster market share: The duo behind Atlantic’s R&B/hip-hop marketing team, both of whom were promoted to their current positions in May, have a combined 30 years of experience at Warner Music Group. And that has paid off immensely, as Atlantic has increased its R&B/hip-hop market share from 10.5 percent in the first half of 2016 to an industry-leading 15.4 percent through Sept. 21. It hasn’t been easy: St. Hubert (Gucci Mane, Kodak Black) and Harper (Kevin Gates) had to get creative with marketing when their artists did jail time, but they’ve also capitalized on hip-hop’s explosion in popularity due to streaming. “Now that our culture has become mainstream, we don’t have limitations,” says St. Hubert, who helped Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” reach No. 1 on the Hot 100. “You can be featured on WorldStarHipHop and Vogue.com.”
Favorite networking venue: “Coachella” — St. Hubert.
BEN HARVEY, 38
Program director, SiriusXM Chill/SiriusXM Pop2k; host, SiriusXM BPM
DJs get hot through the Chill: After getting his start hosting nights at WXRK/K-Rock, Harvey went to SiriusXM and emerged as one of the satellite radio service’s most important voices in dance music. He oversees the Chill channel, which was one of the first stations to play Kygo in North America, and later gave the superstar DJ his own limited-run channel. Harvey also helped launch an exclusive partnership with YouTube called Chill Trending Tracks – Powered by YouTube. It features a weekly spotlight of top deep-house songs on YouTube playlists and has highlighted acts such as Shallou and BAYNK before their songs have gone on sale or reached streaming outlets.
JEFFREY HASSON, 34
Boosted Young the Giant’s box office: Nashville-based Hasson reps Ben Folds, Jamey Johnson and Blues Traveler, and developed Young the Giant from a band gigging at 200-capacity clubs to headlining festivals and playing iconic amphitheaters like Red Rocks. “We’ve been able to constantly put the band in positions to keep growing,” says the father of three sons (one is just 2 months old). “I have a very understanding wife,” he says. And when Folds wanted to tour without a new album, Hasson worked with him to come up with a novel — and lo-fi — way to give his fans what they wanted from a concert: paper airplanes. “Fans would write down their song requests” and glide them to the stage. “He loved it,” says Hasson, who got his start at Monterey Peninsula Artists with vet Chip Hooper before Paradigm bought the shop.
How the political climate has affected business: “I have been directly impacted by international artists I represent. The process of obtaining work visas for them has become much harder as of late.”
LÁZARO HERNANDEZ, 35
Senior director of A&R, U.S. Latin/-Latin America; Warner/Chappell Music
Latin Airplay ace: Hernandez has had a hand in signing Gaby Music (who co-wrote Enrique Iglesias’ “Súbeme la Radio”), Cuba’s Jacob Forever, producer/DJ Chris Jeday and “Despacito” co-producer Andres Torres — moves that have helped Warner/Chappell chart 24 songs on Latin Airplay so far in 2017. The Florida International University graduate also closed a deal for Warner/Chappell to administer MTV Latin America’s catalog for all countries except the United States.
JUSTIN KALIFOWITZ, 36
CEO, Downtown Music Publishing
Building globally, thinking locally: The Port Washington, N.Y., native has one word for Downtown’s focus during the past year: expansion. The company has signed publishing deals with Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco and One Direction‘s Niall Horan, and, in February, opened its sixth office, in Tokyo. “Music has no borders, and we want to build a company that reflects that,” says Kalifowitz, who, despite Downtown’s international growth, has not lost sight of the company’s roots. He also spearheaded advocacy group NY Is Music, which together with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment announced in June the first-ever New York Music Month with a full slate of programming.
First job in music: “I managed a band called The Rhythm Warehouse when I was 13.”
LEE L’HEUREUX, 36
Senior VP/head of rhythm, urban and hip-hop promotion and strategy, Warner Bros. Records
Brought PARTYNEXTDOOR to the party: In fostering Warner’s relationship with Drake‘s OVO Sound, L’Heureux and his team reaped two top 10 singles on Hot R&B Songs for Grammy-nominated singer PARTYNEXTDOOR: “Come and See Me” and “Not Nice.” And fellow Grammy nominee Andra Day (“Rise Up”) broke into the mainstream through major brand endorsements and high-profile TV performances. “The coolest thing we’ve accomplished is the rebuilding of urban music at Warner Bros.,” says L’Heureux, a 13-year veteran of the label. “We’ve been given great latitude to go out and do so.”
MATT LAMOTTE, 39
Senior VP/head of rock and pop marketing and artist development, Interscope Geffen A&M
Gave Imagine Dragons more fire: A digital native who has worked at Interscope since 2005 (“I helped build Lady Gaga‘s Myspace page and website”), LaMotte rose to senior vp in 2017 and led the campaigns for Lana Del Rey‘s Lust for Life, which bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 (107,000 equivalent album units) and Imagine Dragons‘ Evolve — the biggest rock album of 2017, with 704,000 equivalent album units (through the week ending Sept. 21). The Virginia native, who drove the Dragons’ numbers upward through a livestream launch event and a Nintendo Super Bowl ad synch, says, “I see marketing not so much as where we’re placing advertising or our paid looks, but as anywhere where we’re creating a moment with an artist.”
Favorite networking venue: “Lollapalooza. It feels like a music conference.”
ALLISON MACCIO, 38
Vice president, Live Nation Media and sponsorship
Experiential innovator: Maccio, who majored in international politics at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., leads Live Nation’s global partnership with Hilton Hotels, which she has developed into a VIP program where unique experiences — a golf foursome with Thomas Rhett, an Ibiza boat tour for two with Steve Aoki — are auctioned online for Hilton Honors loyalty points. Engagement has topped 9 million through the years. “I’m looking for the most influential experience I can bring to you — that’s one-on-one,” says Maccio, whose leadership on Live Nation’s business with the hotel chain and its U.S. promotion and marketing work with Pepsi have contributed to the company’s double-digit ad and sponsorship revenue growth, which was up 31 percent to $124.6 million in the second quarter of 2017.
CHERYL PAGLIERANI, 33
Agent, United Talent Agency
Took Post Malone from viral to vital: Paglierani, who trained with Eminem agent Cara Lewis at WME, has a talent for building viral hip-hop sensations into established artists. “Post Malone had 600 followers on Twitter when I first signed him,” she says. Since 2015, that number has grown to over 1.5 million, and Malone’s current 34-city tour of 1,500- to 3,500-capacity rooms sold out during presales. “That was pretty massive for us.” After moving to Los Angeles from New York 18 months ago, Paglierani has added Rich Chigga (whose “Dat $tick” video has over 67 million YouTube views) and SAINt JHN to a roster that includes 21 Savage, and expanded their audiences with key bookings at Lollapalooza and Governors Ball.
Favorite app for discovering new music: “My 19-year-old brother.”
ADAM PARNESS, 39
Head of publisher licensing and relations, Pandora Media
Pandora industry liaison: Prior to accepting a gig with Spotify as its global head of publishing — he starts Oct. 30 –Parness was a key player in what he called the positive “seismic shift” in Pandora’s once-fraught relationship with the songwriting community. With a monthly active listener base of over 76 million, Parness says it’s still “green fields and blue sky” for Pandora, as publishers rely on the service to boost their digital bottom line. Education was a major mission for the former session musician, who spread Pandora’s new testament through speaking engagements at South by Southwest, the Association of Independent Music Publishers and the Christian Music Publishers Association.
Favorite social media account: “I follow more chefs than musicians. I love David Lebovitz and the brilliant Alton Brown.”
JARED PAUL, 39
Founder/CEO, Faculty Management/Faculty Productions
Earning big bucks for New Kids: Under Paul’s management, New Kids on the Block‘s success since its 2008 reunion has, in some ways, eclipsed its original run. The group’s most recent tour sold 500,000 tickets and grossed $40 million. The Rockville, Md., native, who began his career in the booking department of what is now the Capital One Center in nearby Landover, has since grown his business by assembling creative touring concepts for Dancing With the Stars and hoofers Derek and Julianne Hough. “They don’t have a set list of hits, but we created a show for them,” says Paul. Next up: a residency at the Venetian in Las Vegas for management client Il Divo.
Mentor wisdom: “Irving Azoff told me, ‘Always put your clients first — otherwise you won’t have any.'”
JAKE UDELL, 28
Founder, TH3RD BRAIN
Next-gen manager: Following a short-lived stint as a rapper, Udell found his footing in management, curating a diverse roster that includes 13-year-old Grace VanderWaal, the Grammy-nominated Gallant, Krewella and ZHU. The Chicago native signed VanderWaal this year and is overseeing the campaign for her forthcoming debut album, Just the Beginning; her single, “Moonlight,” has earned her over 18 million streams, and helped her overall streaming total reach 86 million. “Jake doesn’t think the way most people in the industry do,” says VanderWaal, who, in August, won Next Big Thing honors at the Teen Choice Awards. “That makes him stand out to so many young artists.”
“Jake and his staff operate on the ethos of ‘what can we do better, faster, bigger?,’ to which I attribute a great deal of [my album]ology’s success.” — Gallant
NICK PETROPOULOS, 38
Head of promotion, Glassnote Records
Keeping “Redbone” aloft on the charts: “Childish Gambino‘s ‘Redbone,'” says Petropoulos without pause when asked to name the past year’s milestones. The New York-based executive, who’s tasked with Glassnote’s global radio strategy, credits the indie label’s strength in A&R and executing long-term marketing campaigns with its long line of slow-and-steady hits. Released in November 2016 by actor Donald Glover’s musical alter ego, “Redbone” has so far spent 42 weeks on the Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 12, and generated 410 million streams. Glover’s Emmy Award-winning FX series, Atlanta, also provided an assist. “A lot of urban markets never played Gambino,” explains the St. John’s alum. “That show helped connect a lot of dots between the artist, the actor and the personality, and set us up at urban radio.”
Favorite networking restaurant: “Le Coucou in New York.”
YVES C. PIERRE, 39
Music agent, ICM
Building bigger box office for Lil Yachty: While Migos and Lil Yachty were busy charting breakthroughs on the Hot 100, Pierre and her partner, Jacqueline Reynolds-Drumm, were strategizing both artists’ transition to touring stars. Each performed over 100 shows this festival season, and Yachty graduated to playing 1,200- to 4,000-seat venues — more than twice the size of the spaces he was playing a year ago. Pierre credits the mentorship of Roc Nation’s Chaka Pilgrim and former Def Jam executive Mignon Espy for her career focus: “They [counseled] me to figure out my passion, work hard and not worry about what other people are doing.”
Favorite app for discovering new music: “TIDAL: both for actual usage and using the staff as sound boards for new talent.”
ARJUN PULIJAL, 33
VP marketing, Capitol Music Group
Winning with big streams and “cool shit”: The things that excite Pulijal aren’t always the numbers. Sure, he can boast that Australian pop singer Troye Sivan‘s newest single, “There for You,” a collaboration with DJ Martin Garrix, has yielded 59 million U.S. streams so far. Or brag about Ryan Adams‘ new album, Prisoner, which hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200. But he’d rather talk about Adams’ quirky End of World Edition box set, which includes 12 vinyl records and a 2-D playset of the band with working lights and sound. “We went into it knowing who our consumer was and had a good gauge on demand,” he says. “Sometimes you just have to make cool shit and see what happens.”
JEFF REGUILON, 37
Manager of music programming and curation, Amazon Music
Master of metadata: In overseeing the launch of Amazon Music Unlimited last October, Reguilon constructed a new team “from scratch” to support the full catalog service with curated music discovery programming through new programs Today in Music — part of Alexa’s daily flash briefing — and Weekly One, which spotlights emerging acts. “We’ve been able to shine a light on rising artists like Jillian Jacqueline, Jule Vera and Alice Merton,” says the Seattle-based executive of the latter platform. “You’re going to get a great playlist because of the work that my team did.”
First job in music: “Online sales assistant at Tower Records.”
DAVE ROCCO, 33
Global head of artist marketing, Spotify
Streaming’s storyteller extraordinaire: Rocco was hand-picked by his now-boss Troy Carter to spearhead the streaming giant’s artist marketing campaigns because of his past experience at MTV, WHTZ (Z100) New York and the Deutsch agency, where the two worked together on a Charlie Puth campaign. Now a year into his role, Rocco and his staff of 10 have become experts at shaping artist narratives into advertisements, innovative social campaigns and experiential events. While he admits that superstars require “more manpower,” it’s the emerging voices who “get more heart.” Citing Khalid, whose American Teen debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, Rocco says, “There’s a lot of data in this business, but there’s no replacement for heart, instinct and guts.”
JAMES RUBIN, 38
Global booker for hip-hop heavyweights: The native Australian looks after the global business of Wiz Khalifa and international bookings for G-Eazy, who played Kuala Lumpur and Japan during the summer, and Run the Jewels, whom Rubin saw U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn introduce at the 2017 Glastonbury Festival. After living in both New York and London, Rubin has made the Big Apple his home because, in part, “No matter where you are in the city, you will always discover talent.”
Favorite social media account: “On Twitter, @jamilio [Jamil Davis]. He is G-Eazy’s [co-]manager and quite possibly the most ridiculous human being I know. We troll each other daily.”
RYAN RUDEN, 39
VP touring and events, Columbia Records
Bundling up to No. 1: When The Chainsmokers’ first album, Memories…Do Not Open, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in April with 221,000 equivalent album units earned in its first week of release, a substantial chunk of that number came from copies sold as part of a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion that he and his team have increasingly used. The strategy, he explains, has helped move 750,000 albums during the past year for Columbia artists — including Barbra Streisand and Arcade Fire, both of which also topped the Billboard 200. “It’s about finding new ways to drive music consumption on all platforms through the live audience and tickets,” says the American University graduate.
VICENTE SAAVEDRA, 34
Founder, Dímelo Vi; manager, Ozuna
Managed Ozuna’s stratospheric success: Through a mix of street smarts and business-school strategy, Saavedra has helped his newest client, reggaetón artist Ozuna, achieve staggering success in just 18 months. In that time span, the artist has charted 12 tracks simultaneously on Hot Latin Songs, seen his album Odisea hit No. 1 on Top Latin Albums and his newly launched YouTube channel add over 7 million subscribers. “It was a combination of two hungers,” says Saavedra of the feat. “His as an artist and mine as someone in the business since he was 16.”
Favorite site for discovering new music: “Rapetón or LaMusica.”
COURTNEY “COURT” STEWART, 34
Manager/producer, Right Hand Music Group
Engineered Khalid’s breakthrough year: Khalid went from an artist to watch in 2016 to a pop phenomenon in 2017. Since January, his debut single, “Location,” has become a sizable hit, cracking the top 20 on the Hot 100 and achieving certified-platinum status, with 478 million U.S. streams. In addition to managing Khalid’s career, Stewart served as executive producer of his debut album, American Teen, which rose to No. 4 on the Billboard 200. And when Khalid won best new artist at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, “it was truly an incredible moment to share with him,” says Stewart.
MAT VLASIC, 38
Making merch fashion-forward: Black T-shirts festooned with tour dates don’t define Vlasic’s take on the merch business. Since arriving at the Universal Music Group-owned Bravado from Sony in March 2016, he has used data-driven insights to connect with consumers outside arenas and tapped the collision of music and fashion to open new channels at high-end retailers like Selfridges in the United Kingdom and Barneys in the United States. Few better understand the impact artists have on luxury designers. In 2016, Vlasic’s team of over 170 in 40 countries opened 21 pop-up boutiques for Kanye West‘s Saint Pablo Tour — a success Vogue labeled a “social experiment-cum-art project.” Two seasons later, what went down the runways had a familiar look. “Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton are selling what you would call merch,” he says, “and we’re selling what you would call fashion.”
Contributors: Dave Brooks, Ed Christman, Tatiana Cirisano, Leila Cobo, Jenn Haltman, Caitlin Kelley, Robert Levine, Joe Levy, Christopher Malone, Matt Medved, Gail Mitchell, Bryan Rolli, Dan Rys, Eric Spitznagel, Tatiana Tenreyro, Zane Warman, Nick Williams
Birthday Dreaming: ‘I’d Like My Own Starbucks’
This year’s power listers describe the gift they would most like to receive when they hit the big 4-0, ranging from serious Rolex bling to a $22 million private jet.
1. A SLICE OF PARADISE
Mat Vlasic, Bravado: “A piece of land on Šipan, a small island in Croatia, 25 minutes outside of Dubrovnik. That’s my favorite place in the world. It’s very simple — it has maybe six cars on it and 450 people. My father is Croatian, and I spent summers there as a kid.”
Price Tag: Marija Bojcic, managing director of LuxuryCroatia.net, says real estate on the island, which is hard to come by, typically ranges from $6 million for a historic waterfront villa with a quarter acre of land to $590,000 for a three-family fixer-upper with half that acreage. She advises American buyers to register a Croatian company (cost: about $620) to enable them to buy property without approval from Croatia’s Ministry of Justice.
2. VINTAGE WHEELS
Kristen Fraser, Beats by Dr. Dre: “A brightly colored, refurbished Ford Bronco — any year from 1974 to 1977.”
Price Tag: A bright blue, completely restored 1974 Bronco offered on Autotrader.com carries a $234,995 asking price. It is powered by a Smeding 347 engine with Cross Ram fuel injection and upholstered with navy-blue leather and suede.
3. SERIOUS WRIST CANDY
Marsha St. Hubert, Atlantic Records: “An 18-karat rose gold Rolex day and date watch.”
Price Tag: A jeweler at Tourneau Time Machine in New York says this model ranges from $31,000 to $150,000, depending on the number of diamonds placed on the watch.
4. AN ORIGINAL WORK BY THE LOS ANGELES PUNK SCENE’S MOST CELEBRATED VISUAL ARTIST
Nick Petropoulos, Glassnote Records: “I’ve always wanted to own Raymond Pettibon artwork.” (The artist created Black Flag‘s “four bars” logo and was briefly its bassist.)
Price Tag: According to the Phillips auction house, Pettibon’s work fetches $700 to $150,000. Pictured: “Untitled, What would you have me say Ladies” (2002); $3,600; David Lawrence Gallery, Beverly Hills.
5. WIND BENEATH MY WINGS
Jared Paul, Faculty Management/Faculty Productions: “I’d like a private jet, but only as a time[-saving] machine to spend more time with my family.”
Price Tag: According to Business Insider, a Cessna Citation X+, the world’s fastest private jet — thanks to Rolls-Royce Allison engines — can make the trip from New York to Los Angeles in four hours, and costs $22 million.
6. TWO ICED COFFEES, HOLD THE LINE
Tommy Bruce, Full Stop Management: “I’d like my own Starbucks — an entire store. I love the experience because it’s consistent. I like to find that logo and get a piece of what I know. I have two iced coffees a day, always with lots of ice.”
Price Tag: Sorry, Tommy: According to the coffee chain’s website, “Starbucks does not franchise operations and has no plans to franchise in the foreseeable future.”