This profile is part of Billboard’s Oct. 25 cover story package on the launch of Maverick, a new music-management consortium. You can find our full coverage right here.
Describing himself as “an artist manager first,” Leber notes he also wears a second hat as a surveyor of “emerging technologies and strategies growing out of Silicon Valley, figuring out what companies I can get behind and how my artists can help those companies.” This year, Leber made a large investment in Sherpa Ventures, the venture capital fund of Shervin Pishevar, whose major past investments include Uber, Warby Parker and Tumblr.
Partners with Larry Rudolph in Reign Deer for 12 years, Leber has previously collaborated with Guy Oseary and Gee Roberson. In addition to strengthening those ties, Leber is excited about working more closely with Scott Rodger, Ron Laffitte and the other Mavericks. “Every single person that I either knew prior or know now is a team player,” says Leber. “I’m not an ego guy. I just want to win and love working with like-minded people who want to win collectively in a bigger sense.”
Artist/brand synergy is what appeals most to Leber about the new consortium. “The time has finally come for artists to band together outside of the creative space and build bigger businesses beyond music with the collective strengths of their audiences,” he says. “There have been a lot of management companies somewhat like this in the past. But the missing puzzle piece was that mindshare between managers who aren’t afraid to share information.”
“We live in a digital age. But I’m somewhat confused as to why digital strategy and the digital business still aren’t at the forefront of the music business. I’m always meeting with established and emerging digital companies to see how these companies can help move product, help get my artists’ message out there and help bring their music to a broader audience in a more compelling way.”
SIGN OF THE TIMES
“Because of more direct connections to their audience through social media, the artist and the manager have significantly more power than they’ve ever had in the industry. On the minus side, it’s a lot more work. It’s one thing to have big numbers. It’s another to have direct engagement from the fans within that audience. But at the same time, the payoff can be much greater.”
“You have to assess who’s going to be a good management client and who’s going to be a good friend. Sometimes business and friendships don’t mix.”
IF I WASN’T A MUSIC MANAGER…
“A hundred percent in the tech space. It’s the Renaissance of this day and age.”
This article first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of Billboard.