STEVEN VICTOR, 38
Executive vp/head of A&R, Def Jam Recordings; CEO, Victor Victor Worldwide
Back in 2004 — two years afterwards the hip-hop duo Clipse bankrupt through with the assertive coke-rap canticle “Grindin’” — Pusha T, who formed the act with his brother Malice (who currently annal as No Malice), got a alarm from Nicole Plantin, an abettor at their label, Pharrell Williams’ Ablaze Trak Records. “She’s like, ‘Hey, this guy is your bigger fan. I feel like he could be an asset to you,’” remembers Pusha. “And she alien me to Steven Victor.”
At the time, Victor was a 24-year-old publicity abettor at Interscope Records, and Clipse was bent in record-label limbo afterwards Ablaze Trak’s ancestor company, Arista Records, was bankrupt into Jive Records. With the brothers’ additional album, Hell Hath No Fury, delayed indefinitely and drive from their antecedent success dissipating, Pusha brought in Victor to advice out with publicity. “I got on the buzz with him and was like, ‘Yo, this is what I appetite to do for you,’” recalls Victor. “‘I’ll do it for chargeless if I accept to.’”
That apparent the alpha of a continued and abounding alive accord amidst the two men — one in which Pusha went from Clipse MC to abandoned artisan to G.O.O.D. Music characterization president, and Victor rose from arranger to artisan administrator to controlling vp/head of A&R for Def Jam Recordings. Along the way, their adherence to and acceptance in ceremony added through bouldered times led them to the heights of the music business, accomplishment the blazon of mutually benign accord that is invaluable for accession attempting to calibration the glace rungs of appearance business.
Today, Pusha, 41, has a sneaker bandage with Adidas and a accouterment brand, Comedy Cloths, in accession to his G.O.O.D. work. Meanwhile, Victor’s Def Jam accord allows him to abide active Victor Victor Worldwide, an awning aggregation that houses his administration firm, William Victor Management, as able-bodied as film, TV and publishing ventures with Accepted Music Group. The two co-headlined UMG’s countdown Masterclass college-speaking alternation at New York University aftermost September, and accept able relationships in ball music and the blur soundtrack apple that accept opened up new, awful advantageous acquirement streams.
“I accept a approach that comes from this,” says Victor, now 38, of his and Pusha’s relationship. “For [any partnership] to work, you accept to assurance that that actuality has your best interests [at heart], whether it’s financially, emotionally, whatever. And sometimes you accept to be accommodating to let that actuality accomplish a mistake, because everybody makes mistakes. Pusha and his brother gave me the aerodrome to do what I was acceptable at.”
It’s accessible to see why the two assignment able-bodied together: It’s midday on the fifth attic of UMG address in Manhattan, and they are in the bosom of arise ceremony added up. Victor’s quicker to laugh, admitting Pusha favors a deadpan delivery, although his eyes abandon his amusement. Their wives are accompany — Pusha and Victor were groomsmen at ceremony other’s weddings — and all four accept a accumulation babble alleged Vacay Gang. Soon, they may be alike closer. Pusha’s wife, Virginia, keeps nudging her bedmate to move to New Jersey, afterpiece to the Victors. “This aing $10 million, you accept to move,” says Victor with a laugh.
Things weren’t consistently so good. Aback Victor active on to assignment with Clipse, the duo had changed to the underground, absolution a three-volume alternation of mixtapes as the Re-Up Gang alleged We Got It 4 Cheap, alongside Ab-Liva and Sandman, while angry for absolution from Jive. Victor brought a new aspect to the team. If Clipse had the streets, again Victor had the web — and the internet was area all the adolescent writers and editors were absorbing over the newest hip-hop music of the time.
“The alternation was actuality hailed on the internet, and we weren’t necessarily hip to that,” remembers Pusha. “I was a bit shellshocked. But we aloof listened to [Victor].”
When Hell Hath No Fury was assuredly appear in 2006, it was met with accepted acclaim. It additionally won Clipse its absolution from Jive.
Victor began to booty on added duties with the duo, eventually acceptable co-manager alongside Suave Abode Annal artisan Tony Draper. “Tony was teaching Steven and again array of larboard the aperture accessible for Steven to appear in and booty over,” says Pusha.
Victor’s alteration from arranger to administrator came amidst near-constant upheaval. He helped arrange a new characterization accord with Columbia for the third Clipse anthology in 2009, ’Til the Casket Drops. But again things began to spiral. In January 2010, aboriginal Clipse administrator Anthony Gonzalez was bedevilled to 32 years in bastille on biologic charges. In the average of Clipse’s tour, Malice committed himself to adoration and absitively to abdicate rapping. Clipse was no more. And again Kanye West called.
“He was like, ‘Yo, can you appear to Hawaii?’” says Pusha. “And it formed out aloof like that: Boom, ‘Runaway.’ Boom, ‘So Appalled.’ Boom, GOOD Fridays.” Pusha’s collaborations with West paved the way for his abandoned accord with West’s G.O.O.D. Music, a aggregate adventure with Def Jam. With Victor benumbed shotgun as Pusha’s manager, a run of acclaimed mixtapes and bedfellow verses angry the rapper into one of hip-hop’s best in-demand featured artists. And his aboriginal abandoned LP, My Name Is My Name, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 in 2013.
“The business was changing, we were acquirements everything: how deals were structured, why one accord ability be bigger than another,” says Victor. “Learning how to aerate opportunities.” Adds Pusha, “We ample out our own aisle of how to accomplish money and breach relevant.”
Along the way, the two began growing their careers as executives. Victor, who became COO of G.O.O.D. Music, parlayed his successes into A&R roles as chief vp at UMG and, as of October 2017, controlling vp/head of A&R at Def Jam; in 2015, Pusha was appointed admiral of G.O.O.D. Music, tacking on characterization duties to his aesthetic endeavors. The two accept overseen successes like Desiigner’s Billboard Hot 100 No. 1, “Panda”; chart-topping albums by Big Sean and West; and, in June, the five-albums-in-five-weeks rollout of new LPs by Pusha, West, Kids See Ghosts, Nas and Teyana Taylor.
Their paths in the industry accept run parallel, which they acclaim for the abiding success of their partnership. “Your agendas accept to match, abnormally aback you’re starting off and you can’t see the ablaze at the end of the tunnel,” says Victor. These days, their careers are as intertwined as ever, with touring, endorsements, investments and a new Pusha T anthology on the horizon. If they’ve accustomed at the destination, it’s now about authoritative the accomplished operation bigger and added lucrative.
“We accept been alive calm for so continued that our attempt are in tune,” says Pusha. “If we let you in this fold, again you charge to be about our principles, too.”
— DAN RYS
MICHAEL ALEXANDER, 35
Executive vp all-embracing marketing, Accepted Music Accumulation East Coast labels
78M Streams for Post Malone: Alexander oversees all-embracing rollouts for Def Jam, Island and Republic’s top talent, including Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Post Malone. The executive’s methodical “country-by-country approach” to business helped Post Malone breach a Spotify almanac aback his 2018 album, beerbongs & bentleys, racked up 78 million all-around streams on its aboriginal day of release. “The go-to bandage [for all-embracing marketing] acclimated to be, ‘We accept to delay for the U.S. to [generate] a story, and again we can cycle it out to the blow of the world,’” says Alexander. “We don’t delay anymore.”
Nonmusical Pursuit: “Summiting Mount Rainier [in Washington state].”
ERIKA ALFREDSON, 38
VP Marketing, Columbia Records
Did Appropriate by Jack White: Alfredson, who describes her role as “an artist’s administrator central the label,” helped a brace of adept bedrock acts admission at No. 1 on the Billboard 200: Arcade Fire with its 2017 album, Aggregate Now, and Jack White with his 2018 LP Boarding Abode Reach. She additionally serves as artefact administrator for contempo Columbia recruit Diplo and says she’s aflame to be alive on the aggregation developing The Four: Battle for Stardom adversary Zhavia into one of the label’s ascent stars.
Advice to Her High-School-Age Self: “Enjoy your metaism! And don’t diaphoresis the baby stuff.”
DERRICK AROH, 29
VP A&R, RCA Records
Golden ‘Gut Formula’: Aroh, a Brooklyn native, was active in two key 2018 signings for RCA: Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) and hip-hop boy bandage Brockhampton. The former’s aboriginal distinct for the label, “This Is America,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May, and afterwards signing to RCA for a appear $15 million in March, Brockhampton’s aboriginal anthology for the label, iridescence, topped the Billboard 200 in October. Aroh says that he favors a “gut formula” aback it comes to signing new talent. “Brockhampton is the absolute example,” he says. “They don’t accept a radio hit yet, but I was awash at their Irving Plaza appearance [in New York] in January.”
Before He Turns 40… “I’d like to accept a family, with apparently two kids. Alike numbers are good.”
ROSA ASCIOLLA, 32
Head of North American artisan and characterization marketing, Spotify
Made Hot Country Hotter: The Loyola University grad, who aing Spotify in 2013, has broadcast the alive platform’s Hot Country cast — its playlist counts 5 million followers — through the Hot Country Alive series, which launched with a Carrie Underwood concert in New York. “We articular Nashville and country as an important bazaar to develop,” says Asciolla, who adds that her role consistently involves demystifying Spotify — and alive — for artists.
NOAH ASSAD, 28
Co-founder/CEO, Rimas Entertainment
Jump-Started Bad Bunny: Assad, who manages Bad Bunny and owns and operates the characterization that releases the Puerto Rican trap/reggaetón singer’s music, guided him to his aboriginal Hot 100 No. 1 single, “I Like It,” alongside Cardi B and J Balvin. Assad and Bad Bunny are acquisitive to abide the crossover hot bandage with “MIA,” a accord with Drake. A built-in of Puerto Rico, Assad has set his artisan on the hip-hop music amphitheatre in Mexico, area he afresh bought a recording studio. Millennials there, he says, “are now accepting reggaetón and allurement artists.”
Nonmusical Pursuit: “I’m a huge Chicago Cubs fan.”
Founder/CEO, CID Entertainment, CID Presents
Connecting Artists and Fans: Berkowitz translated his adulation of jam bands into curated VIP admission adventures and biking bales for 105 tours in 2018, including those by Chris Stapleton, Phish, Lil Xan, Liz Phair and ODESZA. Through CID Presents, Berkowitz launched artist-curated festivals for Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Dead & Aggregation and Luke Bryan in 2018 and has already angled business for 2019. CID’s goal, he says, is to actualize “authentic” bonds amidst artists and fans.
If He Didn’t Assignment in Music…: “I’d be a approved accession on The Howard Stern Show.”
*Executive was 39 aback the account was finalized.
NICOLE BILZERIAN, 36
Senior vp/head of burghal marketing, Interscope Geffen A&M
Hit Paydirt with MUDBOY: Bilzerian oversaw the absolution of J. Cole’s KOD, which angled at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — his fifth anthology to top the blueprint — and has generated upwards of 1.1 billion streams. The Worcester, Mass., built-in additionally helped breach 6LACK, Sheck Wes and Juice WRLD, application a action that doesn’t await alone on stats. “There accept to be actual cultural adventures to accomplish fans,” she says. For the absolution of Wes’ MUDBOY, Bilzerian formed with the rapper to actualize a New York-centric empiric basic that included a pop-up at basketball battlefield Kingdome Court in Wes’ built-in Harlem, a alms ride with admirers and aliment trucks captivated with anthology art.
EESEAN BOLDEN, 33
Senior vp A&R, Warner Bros. Records
Big After-effects With Lil Pump: Bolden brought SoundCloud rapper Lil Pump to Warner Bros. through an early-2017 accord with Tha Lights Global, a acceptable move that has accustomed the characterization new hip-hop cred. In September, Pump’s viral Kanye West collaboration, “I Adulation It,” became YouTube’s bigger first-week hip-hop all-around video debut, with 76 million views, and leaped to No. 6 on the Hot 100. Added recruits accommodate Saweetie, whose “ICY GRL” has accumulated over 58 million all-around YouTube views. The California built-in credits his A&R success to “due activity and acute betting.”
Before He Turns 40…: “I’d like to skydive. I put it off every year.”
AMANDA CATES, 37
Head of business and agenda strategy, Maverick Nashville
Took Aldean to No. 1: Cates quarterbacked the beforehand and agenda campaigns for Jason Aldean’s Rearview Town, which premiered alone on premium-streaming tiers in April but still debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Central to the LP’s chart-topping success: The Appalachian Accompaniment University alum accommodating a alternation of Apple Music exclusives, including a Beats 1 account and a alive adaptation of “Drowns the Whiskey,” both of which helped the anthology hit No. 1 on the alive service’s country albums chart.
TONY COREY, 36
VP marketing, Island Records
A Lot of Lovato Streams: “The best acknowledged campaigns alpha with the artist’s vision,” says Corey, who calibrated the business attack for Demi Lovato’s 2017 album, Tell Me You Adulation Me, to the LP’s “soulful R&B-driven” sound, which helped account her bigger distinct to date, “Sorry Not Sorry.” (The clue ailing at No. 6 on the Hot 100 and generated upwards of 610 million streams.) The East Carolina University alum says he’s additionally allotment of the beforehand to “build on the success of our new artisan Loote,” the pop duo that has generated over 80 million U.S. streams.
IAN CRIPPS, 29
VP A&R, Atlantic Records
Made Mason Ramsey Famous: In April, Cripps partnered with Big Loud Annal to assurance 11-year-old “Walmart yodeling kid” Mason Ramsey, whose admission single, “Famous,” hit No. 4 on Hot Country Songs. “After spending time with him, I knew he was a star,” says Cripps, abacus that his ambition is to acquisition artists “who actualize their own lanes.” The A&R controlling additionally bet aboriginal on hip-hop artists DRAM, whose “Broccoli” hit No. 5 on the Hot 100, and KYLE, whose beforehand single, “iSpy,” accomplished No. 4 — both with assists from Lil Yachty.
JAMIL “BIG JUICE” DAVIS, 29
Co-founder/co-CEO, The Revels Group/RVG Records; founder/CEO, Big Juice Poppin Party Promotions
G-Eazy Victory: While co-managing flagship applicant G-Eazy — who has three top 10 Billboard 200 albums and 5.5 billion streams to his name — Davis and his accomplice of 10 years, Matt Bauerschmidt, adviser a agenda that includes Leven Kali, Anthony Russo, Dounia, Gibson Hazard and Carly Rose. To accord with their growing applicant list, they added three inferior managers to the agents in 2018. “I adulation adolescent hustlers,” says Davis. Revels Accumulation additionally manages Drake’s Aubrey and The Three Migos Live! Tour.
Nonmusical Pursuit: “My 150 atramentous shirts.”
ARI FINK, 36
Program director/host, SiriusXM
Dave Matthews — In Demand: This summer, Fink created two pop-up channels for the accessory broadcaster: Phish Radio, which debuted with a Q&A with bandleader Trey Anastasio, and Dave Matthews Bandage Radio, which launched on the heels of DMB’s new LP, Appear Tomorrow. The closing approach was such a hit amid SiriusXM’s 33.5 million subscribers, it was continued through Labor Day.
STEVE GORDON, 37
Co-head of cyberbanking music, United Aptitude Agency
Muscle for Marshmello: When Circle Talent, the dance- and electronica-centric bureau Gordon co-founded with Kevin Gimble, was acquired by UTA in April, the admiral active on as co-heads of their new employer’s cyberbanking music division. Their roster, which includes Marshmello and Kaskade, came with them, and Gordon says the added beef of UTA has enabled him to focus on “servicing our admirers in beginning areas.”
MICHAEL GREISCH, 33
Agent, Paradigm Aptitude Agency
Helped Phish Accomplish History: Greisch, who was mentored by the backward Chip Hooper and affiliated the much-loved agent’s artists, played a key role in Phish’s battleground 13-night Baker’s Dozen summer address at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2017, which raked in $15 million. He additionally appointed back-to-back tours for Dave Matthews. “I’ve consistently been such a fan of both bands,” says Greisch. “Getting to assignment with them and to be allotment of their adventure is blood-tingling every day.”
10 Years Ago…: “I was aggravating to argue my approaching wife to move to California so that I could get a job in a mailroom.”
MIKE HAYES, 38
Concert agent, ICM Partners
Got the Go-Go’s to Go Again: In accession to branch up ICM’s ceremony department, Hayes helped beforehand Machine Gun Kelly and Jon Bellion as bankable alive acts. The ancestor of two additionally appointed The Go-Go’s for three sold-out shows in July at the Hollywood Bowl, area they were accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
If He Didn’t Assignment in Music…: “I’d hopefully be alive for the Los Angeles Chargers or San Diego Padres.”
MIKE HURST, 38
Royalties Recovery Ace: In May, Exactuals launched RAI, an bogus intelligence apparatus that Belfast, Northern Ireland-born Hurst says uses “machine learning” to actual and enhance metadata acclimated by agenda account providers to abstain ability misattributions. The tech was so able that in August, City National Bank, an abettor aback 2013, acquired Exactuals and kept Hurst at the helm. “Now that the Music Modernization Act has passed, the industry has a awe-inspiring abstracts activity to complete,” says Hurst. “With RAI, we aim to be a above allotment of the solution.”
BRUCE KALMICK, 36
Co-owner/partner; Triple 8 Management, Triple Tigers Records
Double No. 1s for Triple Tigers: Kalmick began 2018 with two Country Airplay No. 1 singles: ”Yours” by Russell Dickerson and “Five Added Minutes” by Scotty McCreery, the aboriginal two signees to the Triple Tigers characterization he and business accomplice George Couri founded in 2016. This year brought the beforehand of Whiskey Myers, the aboriginal bandage Kalmick took on as a administrator 11 years ago, afterwards he landed the Texas accumulation a adornment — and three of its songs — on the hit TV alternation Yellowstone. “We attending for artists who are activity to accept absolute careers, and if I accept to go to Iceland to assurance them, I will,” says the Austin-based ancestor of two, a advertence to Triple 8’s Reykjavík-based blues-rock bandage Kaleo, which denticulate a No. 1 Alternative hit with “Way Down We Go” afterwards acceptable allotment of his agenda in backward 2014.
If He Wasn’t in Music…: “I’d be a sports agent.”
LUCAS KELLER, 34
Founder/CEO, Milk & Honey Management
Silenced the Skeptics: “You’re never activity to accomplish any money with songwriters and producers” was a burden Keller says he generally heard aback he founded Milk & Honey as an A&R- and marketing-focused songwriter, ambassador and artisan administration aggregation in 2014. Four years later, Milk & Honey boasts a agenda of 44 creatives that, says Keller, accept awash or streamed the agnate of 400 million songs, including Sir Nolan’s “No Brainer” with DJ Khaled, which ailing at No. 5 on the Hot 100. Up next: an beginning in Amsterdam to abutment a advancing agenda of cyberbanking artists, including ascent DJ Oliver Heldens.
If He Wasn’t in Music…: “I’d be an architect. It’s my additional passion.”
TAYLOR LINDSEY, 32
VP A&R, Sony Music Nashville
New High for Old Dominion: Three years spent developing Old Dominion came to accomplishment for Lindsey in April, aback the five-piece took home the Academy of Country Music Award for articulate accumulation of the year. The adolescent sister of country songwriter Hillary Lindsey (Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush”) additionally spearheaded the 2015 signing of Grammy champ Maren Morris and helped singer-songwriter Luke Combs account a career-opening hat ambush of Country Airplay No. 1s (“One Cardinal Away” crowned the blueprint in June.) Says the University of Georgia alum, “I beforehand with my gut.”
HEATHER LOWERY, 39
VP aptitude and touring, Alive Nation Urban
Urban Music Incubator: Since the conception of Alive Nation Burghal in 2017, Lowery has partnered with and tripled the admeasurement of the Broccoli City Ceremony in Washington, D.C., to 29,000 attendees and helped body bristles new alive contest for burghal artists, including Kirk Franklin’s Exodus Music & Arts Ceremony and the aboriginal alive abundance of a Spotify playlist, RapCaviar Live, which she has appointed in Philadelphia, Dallas, Detroit and other cities.
Before She Turns 40…: “I’m diplomacy a abode and closing a accord on a TV appearance I’m developing.”
AMAYA MENDIZABAL, 34
Latin music curator, Amazon Music
Amazon’s Latin Strategist: A above Billboard blueprint manager, the Miami-based Mendizabal aing Amazon Music in 2017 as the aboriginal U.S.-based Latin music curator. In the anew created position, she drives the company’s Latin action by architecture playlists and stations (including the afresh launched Fuego Latino, featuring artists like Becky G and Ozuna) that baby to audiences from altered Latin cultures. She additionally increases beat opportunities, including aboriginal agreeable from artists. Mendizabal, who is assured her aboriginal adolescent in aboriginal 2019, says, “I absolutely accept to be in tune with what’s accident beyond assorted genres.”
ADAM MERSEL, 27
Manager, Aboriginal Access Entertainment
Behind Bebe’s Big Year: Client Bebe Rexha set a new almanac for the longest-running No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs blueprint with “Meant to Be,” her affiliation with Florida Georgia Line, which has captivated the top atom for 45 weeks and counting. “I absolutely anticipate the lyric and accent of the almanac came at a time in this country — and about the apple — when abounding of us bare hope,” says Mersel. The beauteous success of “Meant to Be” meant Rexha’s admission album, Expectations, went gold its aboriginal day of absolution in June, and her accepted single, “I’m a Mess,” has racked up over 144 million all-around angle on YouTube. Now, says Mersel, “Bebe’s breaking as a abandoned act.”
If He Wasn’t in Music…: “I’d accessible a restaurant or go to comestible school.”
SCOTT NAGELBERG, 39
Manager, Crush Music
Panic! At the Pinnacle: Panic! at the Disco — Nagelberg’s flagship applicant aback 2004 — landed its additional No. 1 anthology on the Billboard 200 with Pray for the Wicked (80,000 agnate anthology units becoming in its aboriginal week) and its second-ever sold-out Madison Square Garden gig in July. “This is not a beam in the pan,” says the Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based manager. “We’ve accustomed [Panic!] as a career generational artist.” Nagelberg additionally helped authorize frontman Brendon Urie as a Broadway ablaze with his 10-week run in Kinky Boots.
Advice to His High-School-Age Self: “Stay strong. The Cubs will win the Apple Alternation in your lifetime.”
NATINA NIMENE, 38
VP burghal promotion, Def Jam Recordings
All G.O.O.D.: Nimene was allotment of the aggregation that launched the massive G.O.O.D. Music five-album rollout that included Kanye West’s Ye, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in June. Collectively, the bristles albums generated first-week streams accretion 390 million. “Natina consistently goes hard,” says Def Jam artisan 2 Chainz. “She understands radio promo and the ability as a whole.” Nimene adds, “We use alive advice to appearance the aisle of a accurate project. [But] ultimately, radio is still the way that best bodies consume music.”
If She Wasn’t in Music…: “I’d be a argumentative pathologist or detective.”
NELLY ORTIZ, 29
Director of business and partnerships, Roc Nation
DJ Khaled’s Cast Broker: This accomplished year, Ortiz has helped accomplish DJ Khaled the baron of branding. The “I’m the One” ambassador actual his weight accident on amusing media for WW (formerly Weight Watchers). Ortiz, who’s the sole cast abettor on Roc Nation’s administration team, additionally helped actuate Big Sean’s PUMA affiliation and commodity business for Shakira. “Once the accord gets to the beheading phase, it’s my job to accomplish abiding it gets done.”
JASON PETERSON, 36
Chairman, GoDigital Media Group
Making Vidaprimo Supreme: Peterson launched GoDigital as a rights administration account that could aggregate agreeable acquirement for artists from YouTube and added agenda platforms. But, he says, he bound accomplished “the befalling was in growing the admirers and creating a arrangement for them.” Today, GoDigital includes label, benefactor and administrator Cinq Music, and a multiplatform video network, Vidaprimo, that generates 2 billion streams per month, mostly in Latin America. “Everything indicates Latin is in a huge beforehand ambit for abounding years to come,” says Peterson, whose success has bent the absorption of U.S. artists as well. This year, GoDigital partnered with Janet Jackson’s Her Rhythm Nation Annal to almanac and administer her new music. Jackson’s contempo single, “Made for Now,” with Daddy Yankee, is her aboriginal access on the Hot 100 aback 2015.
HORACIO RODRIGUEZ, 37
Senior vp marketing; Accepted Music Latino, Machete Music and Capitol Latin
Dialed “Despacito” Up to 11: As the arch of U.S. business for Universal’s Latin labels, Rodriguez helped authorize Luis Fonsi as a all-around superstar with his assignment on “Despacito.” It surpassed the 5 billion mark for all-around YouTube angle and angry the almanac for cardinal of weeks aloft the Hot 100 — 16. And J Balvin led the Latin Grammy backpack with eight noms, the best of any artist. “What absolutely drives me is allowance new artists carve out a lane to accomplish their potential,” says Rodriguez.
Senior vp all-around touring, AEG Presents
Relit The Gaslight Anthem: In June, Schaefer, who was managing Soundgarden’s touring business at the time of Chris Cornell’s 2017 suicide, larboard the close he co-founded with Affluent Cohen aloof two years beforehand to accompany AEG at the bidding of accession above business partner, Gary Gersh. Prior to AEG, Schaefer reunited The Gaslight Canticle for a 21-date bout abaft the 10th ceremony of the rockers’ beforehand album, The ’59 Sound, that included two shows at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and three nights at the Stone Pony’s Summer Stage in Asbury Park, N.J.
Nonmusical Pursuit: “I accept gotten abysmal into accession wine and accept taken several trips to Oregon’s Willamette Valley to aftertaste some of the best pinot noirs in the world.”
GABRIELA SCHWARTZ, 39
Senior vp marketing, Capitol Music Group
Making Migos Mega: Schwartz, a self-described “Jew-Rican,” oversaw “The Year of Migos” attack for Quality Ascendancy Music, Motown and Capitol: “They came into 2018 with Culture II, and it has aloof been about adorning their cast with all-around expansion,” says Schwartz. The numbers aback her up: Aback its No. 1 admission on the Billboard 200 in February, the Atlanta rap trio’s anthology has generated over 4.5 billion streams worldwide. In 2019, Schwartz says she’ll be spotlighting Motown’s 60th anniversary: “We’re activity to accept a huge all-around attack to admire what the characterization has done for music and ability [and] what Motown bureau for the future.”
Five Years Ago…: “I was at Def Jam, and we were putting out Rihanna’s Unapologetic.”
MITCHELL SHYMANSKY, 36
VP abstracts and analytics, Accepted Music Group
Digital Abstracts Jedi: Shymansky, who active a 28-person aggregation that includes eight analysts and six abstracts scientists, has spent the aftermost 18 months afterlight all of the world’s better characterization group’s systems with the ambition of accession abstracts and allegory it to aftermath actionable opportunities. “We action 105,000 terabytes of abstracts ceremony month,” says Shymansky, the accumulator agnate of 157.6 million CD-ROMs. But that’s aloof the aboriginal step. “As [Republic Annal chairman/CEO] Monte Lipman says, ‘We are abstracts affluent but acumen poor,’ so my job is to booty all that abstracts and get it to be usable.”
If He Wasn’t in Music…: “I’d be a Formula One chase engineer. [That is] abstracts use in its purest and best aggressive form.”
CAMILLE SOTO, 36
President, GLAD Empire
Strategized Anuel’s Comeback: The Puerto Rico-born Soto orrated the remix of “Te Boté,” which hit No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs; the accessible “Te Boté Remix 2,” featuring Jennifer Lopez; and the absolution action of Anuel AA’s Real Hasta la Muerte, which debuted at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums the ceremony he absolved out of bastille in July. Originally a aggregation that managed amusing media and recouped publishing revenue, GLAD blossomed aback Soto launched the agenda administration arm Gladcore in 2016. Her agenda of 250 artists releases 100-150 songs a month, and GLAD grossed upwards of $3 actor in 2017. “Reggaetón, Latin allurement and burghal music are amid the best captivated in the apple appropriate now,” says Soto. “And we accept all these indie Latin artists who appetite added ascendancy over their business.”
JONATHAN STRAUSS, 32
Founder/CEO, Actualize Music Group
18 Actor Reasons Why: Create Music Group’s original-content arm, Flighthouse — a top TikTok approach with about 18 million admirers — launched a YouTube belvedere in June. “We appetite to be allotment of this [youth] ability that wants to allotment things and allocution about things,” he says. “Brands like Nickelodeon don’t absolutely focus on that.” In September, he apparent a publishing arm that active a “multiyear deal” with rapper 6ix9ine, who is active to Strauss’ pal Elliot Grainge’s 10K Projects.
Advice to His High-School-Age Self: “Invest in Amazon and Netflix.”
AARON TANNENBAUM, 38
Music agent, Creative Artists Agency
Luke Combs’ Beforehand Agent: Tannenbaum helped alum blemish country artisan Luke Combs to amphitheatre amateur with his 2018 Beer Never Bankrupt My Affection Tour, and now, he says, 98 percent of the “Hurricane” singer’s 2019 amphitheatre bout has awash out months in advance. Tannenbaum, who additionally represents Martina McBride and Brantley Gilbert, has appear absolutely a continued way aback his aboriginal industry job, answering phones at the Monterey Peninsula Artists booking agency. “I fabricated beam cards of all the common callers and about abdicate the aboriginal day,” he recalls. “I accept a lot of account for receptionists.”
Nonmusical Pursuit: “History — several trips to places of actual significance, [such as] Monticello and Appomattox [Va.].”
MELISSA THOMAS, 37
Senior vp international; Epic and Columbia Records
Streaming Giant: Thomas, who was answer to her accepted position in September, devised the all-around business action for Camila Cabello, whose Adolescent Thug-featuring “Havana” became Spotify’s best streamed song anytime by a beforehand abandoned changeable artisan in June. (It has aback accumulated over 1 billion common to date.) “Some of my greatest career highlights accept been in the aftermost year-and-a-half,” says the 13-year adept of Sony Music. Prior to her promotion, Thomas served as vp all-embracing business for Epic. There, she led a aggregation of bristles in managing all-around campaigns for DJ Khaled, Approaching and Travis Scott. The lattermost’s Billboard 200 No. 1, Astroworld, she says, bankrupt Sony’s centralized first-week album-streaming almanac with about 350 million U.S. streams.
Nonmusical Pursuit: “I accept a affair for bags, abnormally from French appearance houses. Aftermost year, I bought my aboriginal Chanel purse at the flagship abundance in Paris. It ability complete superficial, but it meant commodity because it was a aftereffect of my adamantine assignment over the years.”
BEN TOTIS, 35
Booking Cabello and Balvin: Totis has appointed some of the year’s bigger stars, including 2018 MTV Video Music Award artisan of the year Camila Cabello’s aboriginal headlining bout with stops in North and South America, Europe and the United Kingdom. The above Fifth Harmony accompanist additionally opened a cardinal of dates on Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour. Totis, a University of Georgia alum who majored in all-embracing affairs, additionally has amorphous booking shows for Colombian reggaetón ablaze J Balvin, who in June briefly replaced Drake as the best accepted artisan on Spotify. “Reggaetón, Latin allurement and all the [success] that Bad Bunny and J Balvin are accepting is commensurable to what is demography over the a landscape, which is the burghal scene,” says Totis.
Before He Turns 40…: “I’d like to body a allotment of appliance from scratch.”
JOSH VAN VALKENBURG, 36
Senior vp A&R, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville
Finding Nashville’s Future: While acknowledging such accustomed Sony/ATV Nashville songwriters as Ross Copperman, Chris DeStefano and Lindsay Rimes — who saw such co-writes as Kane Brown’s ”Heaven,” Kenny Chesney’s “Get Along,” Dierks Bentley’s “Woman, Amen” and Chris Young’s “Losing Sleep” top the Country Airplay blueprint in 2018 — Van Valkenberg and his aggregation accept been signing and developing acts that address their own actual as, he says, the country brand “becomes added of an artist- and writer-driven format.” Amid them: Mitchell Tenpenny, The Sisterhood, Fairground Saints, Jon Langston and Lainey Wilson.
Nonmusical Pursuit: “I adulation to comedy cards: poker, rummy, gin. And anyone who isn’t accustomed with the d Nertz, appear see me. I’ll change your life.”
KATY WOLAVER, 32
VP A&R, Warner/Chappell Music
The Writer Whisperer: Wolaver was answer to her accepted position in June afterwards affective to Warner/Chappell from SONGS Music Publishing two-and-a-half years ago. Her agenda of songwriters includes the abounding busbee (Maren Morris, Florida Georgia Line, P!nk), Sasha Sloan (Camila Cabello’s “Never Be the Same”) and Scott Harris, who co-wrote the Shawn Mendes hit “In My Blood,” which rose to No. 11 on the Hot 100. Wolaver says that job accomplishment comes from audition her abiding of writers’ songs “land on the radio and seeing them performed live. Those are the moments.”
Advice to Her High-School-Age Self: “Listen to that baby articulation in your gut.”
JAIME ZELUCK HINDLIN, 33
Founder/owner, NONSTOP Management
Doing it for Lauv: Zeluck Hindlin appear the accumulation of her administration close in August, but the adventure was a year in development and abundantly the aftereffect of a life-changing moment: The above A&R controlling for Dr. Luke’s Prescription Songs suffered affection abortion afterward the bearing of her babe with songwriter bedmate — and longtime applicant — JKash (Maroon 5, Charlie Puth) in aboriginal 2017. “I about died,” says the Continued Island native. “I had to amend everything.” Her accommodation to go into business for herself has already paid off: Writers/producers Andrew Wells, Michael Pollack, Michael Matosic and Bantu are active and above applicant Lauv, who she active to Prescription bankrupt through with his abandoned hit, “I Like Me Better,” –and Zeluck Hindlin just clearly came on lath to serve as A&R adviser for his aing project. .
10 Years Ago… “I was an A&R abettor at Sire Annal alive with bands like Avenged Sevenfold and My Chemical Romance.”
*Declined to accord age
Contributors: Trevor Anderson, Megan Armstrong, Keith Caulfield, Ed Christman, Leila Cobo, Camille Dodero, Eric Frankenberg, Bianca Gracie, Katy Kroll, Catherine Lowe, Brooke Mazurek, Taylor Mims, Melinda Newman, Silvija Ozols, Paula Parisi, Kevin Rutherford, Diane Snyder, Eric Spitznagel, Christa Titus, Jack Tregoning, Christine Werthman, Nick Williams, Xander Zellner
Methodology: A board of Billboard editors and reporters advised a array of factors in free the 2018 40 Under 40 list, including, but not bound to, Billboard’s 2017 Top Artists and Top Tours rankings; nominations by peers, colleagues and superiors; appulse on customer behavior as abstinent by such metrics as chart, sales and alive performance, amusing media impressions, and radio and TV audiences accomplished application the latest abstracts accessible as of Oct. 11. Career aisle and all-embracing appulse in the industry are additionally considered. Aback available, banking after-effects are taken into consideration. Area required, U.S. record-label bazaar allotment was consulted application Nielsen Music’s bazaar allotment for anthology additional track-equivalent and streaming-equivalent album-consumption units and Billboard’s annual top 10 administrator rankings. Unless contrarily noted, Billboard Boxscore and Nielsen Music are the sources for bout grosses and sales/streaming data, respectively. Nielsen is additionally the antecedent for radio admirers metrics. Unless contrarily noted, anthology alive abstracts cited represent aggregate U.S. on-demand audio totals for the album’s tracks, and song and artisan alive abstracts represent U.S. on-demand audio and video totals.
MY THEME SONG
Katy Wolaver, Warner/Chappell Music: “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco. I put it on aback I charge to feel aggressive or added motivated. There is commodity so appropriate about the spirit of the song that absolutely resonates with me.
Mike Alexander, UMG East Coast Labels: Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Aback Down.” His bluntness and backbone will consistently bell with me. It’s so important to be abrupt and accept a point of view.
Nelly Ortiz, Roc Nation: Calle 13’s “Latinoamérica.” The video showcases so abounding Latin cultures and makes you apprehend we’re not as altered as we anticipate we are culturally. It reminds me how appreciative I am to be a Latina.
Amaya Mendizabal, Amazon Music: Gang of Youths’ “Say Yes to Life.” It’s a ablaze clue about accustomed yourself and those about you through aphotic times by afraid off negativity and adage “yes” to aggregate activity throws at you.
‘MY DOGS ATE ME’
From flat after-effects to toothless mouths, this year’s 40 Under 40 admiral allotment their best bone-chilling, night-sweat-inducing (and, yes, comical) accent dreams.
Jason Peterson, GoDigital: I acclimated to accept alternating tsunami dreams. But I use Image Transformation Therapy and activating animation assignment to metaize alarming stressors. This has removed these dreams absolutely for several years.
Josh Van Valkenburg, Sony/ATV: I’m walking onstage as the beforehand in a comedy and apprehend I don’t apperceive any of my lines. I consistently try to affected my way through it, but it’s a disaster. I’ll agitation and deathwatch up with a ailing activity in my stomach.
Lucas Keller, Milk & Honey: The aftermost daydream I had was that commodity happened to me and my dogs ate me. [Laughs.] I can’t accomplish that up. Every time I see my chihuahua lick her chops, I get afraid now.
Scott Nagelberg, Crush Music: I’ve been adored with two: one area my teeth abatement out and the added area I able my iPhone screen. Both are odd, as I accept above-average dental hygiene and alone absurd my buzz awning once. Definitely aloof jinxed myself.
Bruce Kalmick, Triple 8 Management: I accept this dream that I’ve gotten to the end of the academy division and I’ve abandoned to go to a class. Like I aloof absent it the accomplished way. Dreams are not reality, but in the dream it’s all over. It’s aloof all over.
This commodity originally appeared in the Oct. 20 affair of Billboard.
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