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Caroline Yim and Zach Iser join WME as partners

Caroline Yim and Zach Iser have joined WME as partners and co-heads of hip-hop/R&B, alongside James Rubin and Kevin Shivers, after nearly three years at CAA.

Yim and Iser joined CAA in 2018 after a long bidding war to land the two agents following their exit from ICM Partners.

The two agents brought SZA, Future, Anderson Paak, Daniel Caesar, Rae Sremmurd, ScHoolboy Q, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, The Internet and Willow Smith to CAA in 2018. The pair are yet to reveal which artists will be making the jump with them to WME.

“Caroline and Zach reflect the future of the music business, having already built an incredible roster of artists through their entrepreneurial approach to client representation,” reads a statement from Scott Clayton, Lucy Dickins and Kirk Sommer, co-heads of WME’s music division. “Their addition underscores our commitment to the hip-hop/R&B space, and their energy will serve as a tremendous benefit to both our colleagues and clients.”

Yim and Iser say: “We are excited to bring our 25 plus years of combined experience to the innovative and forward-thinking music department at WME led by Scott, Lucy and Kirk.

“Caroline and Zach reflect the future of the music business, through their entrepreneurial approach to representation”

“We are blessed to represent extraordinary, ground-breaking talent, and we look forward to working alongside their management teams to guide their multi-dimensional artistry to the highest levels utilising the breadth of resources that WME has to offer. We are eager to continue to expand our business and build upon WME’s strength in the hip-hop/R&B space.”

Yim began her career at MCA Records, before joining ICM Partners. Alongside her work as an agent, Yim is on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters LA, a community-based mentoring programme for young people, predominantly from low-income, single-parent households.

In early 2020, Yim co-founded the Asian American Collective, a community organisation that fosters growth, education and connection for current and future Asian American creatives.

Iser began his career as a talent manager and promoter in New York City before joining ICM Partners where he quickly became the youngest agent at the company.

Iser was named in Billboard’s ’40 Under 40 power list’; Variety’s ‘New Leaders’ list in 2016; Hollywood Reporter’s ’35 Under 35  Next Generation of Rising Executives’ in 2018 and for each of the past six years, has been featured on Billboard’s ‘Hip-Hop and R&B Power Players List’.

WME recently hired country music agent Aaron Tannenbaum as a partner based in its Nashville office.

Lucy Dickins, co-head of WME’s music division, will be participating in The Agency Business 2021 session at this year’s ILMC on Thursday 4 March.

 


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All change in US agency sector

The past few days have seen a flurry of moves in the agency world in North America, with new hires for CAA, WME, Arrival Artists and more.

Carly James has joined Creative Artists Agency as an agent in its music touring department, bringing acts including Idles, Fontaines DC and Norwegian singer-songwriter Girl in Red.

James is the latest agent to exit Paradigm Talent Agency, which she joined from the Agency Group (now UTA) in 2015.

James, whose roster also includes Squid, Tomberlin and Mild High Club, will be based in CAA’s New York office.

Elsewhere, country music agent Aaron Tannenbaum has joined WME as a partner based in its Nashville office.

“Aaron has earned a reputation in our business as an agent who has a strong ability to identify talent and takes the long-view in building an artist’s career, making him a great fit for us,” says Scott Clayton, WME’s co-head of music.

“As our Nashville office continues to grow, Aaron represents a significant addition to our team”

“As our Nashville office continues to grow, Aaron represents a significant addition to our team and we look forward to bringing his creativity and strategic approach to our colleagues and clients,” adds Jay Williams, co-head of WME’s Nashville office.

Prior to joining WME, Tannenbaum was with CAA, which he joined in 2010. He was previously an agent at Paradigm.

Newly formed boutique agency Arrival Artists has hired Ryan Farlow, who brings clients such as Enter Shikari, Mercury Rev, the Joy Formidable, Andy Shauf, Georgia and Charlie Cunningham.

Farlow, who most recently worked at Partisan Arts, will also be based in New York.

“I’m absolutely over the moon with excitement to be joining Arrival,” says Farlow. “I’ve long admired these great agents and their highest quality of work and artist-first ethics. Along with ATC Live, I believe the aligned values and worldwide approach here will make Arrival a leading light for years to come. I’m excited to get to work.”

Arrival co-founding agent and partner John Bongiorno adds: “I’m thrilled to have Ryan joining us at Arrival. If there is any agent who exemplifies what Arrival stands for, it’s Ryan. He is a true agent who books career artists, thrives in a team setting, is as creative as they come, and whose clients love him.”

“If there is any agent who exemplifies what Arrival stands for, it’s Ryan”

Bongiorno adds: “We’ve worked side by side for close to 14 years and we’re so excited to welcome him and his incredible roster of clients.”

UTA, meanwhile, is losing one of its prominent female executives as Natalia Nastaskin, formerly GM of the agency’s music group, heads to publishing company Primary Wave.

In her new role, Nastaskin will look after a roster that includes Stevie Nicks, Bob Marley, Whitney Houston and Ray Charles, as well as a management stable of Cee Lo Green, Cypress Hill and more.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the Primary Wave family and will be forever grateful for the opportunities that UTA has provided me,” she says. “By guiding the ascent of UTA Music into a dominant player in artist representation, now gives me the opportunity to explore an entirely new sector which is rapidly developing and thriving.

“For an avid music fan like myself, every song tells a story, and Primary Wave’s extraordinary artists and assets provide a vast canvas for creativity around them. As chief content officer, I look forward to identifying a myriad of ways to tell those legendary stories in unique ways through diverse media.”

 


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