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Wasserman ups agents Blackgrove, Malak and Slater

Wasserman Music has elevated London-based agents Dave Blackgrove, Mike Malak and Adele Slater to partner.

The trio have bolstered the leadership team of the Wasserman’s UK office, while veteran agents Nick Cave and Chris Smyth have also joined the agency.

Electronic music specialist Blackgrove joined Coda Agency 14 years ago as an assistant and has developed a roster including Camelphat, Fisher, Sonny Fodera, Dom Dolla, Franky Wah, Ben Böhmer, and recent signing Syreeta.

“To move from assistant to a partner at the company says a lot about us as a company, but more about Dave as a person,” says Wasserman Music partner Tom Schroeder. “An unbelievably hard-working family man, he has put so much into the job, showing real tenacity and total commitment to his artists.

“He has established an incredible dance music roster in a sphere that rarely backs a newcomer. We are very proud of what he has achieved, and can already feel what an important impact he is going to make on our board.”

“He has extraordinary instincts for A&R and artist development”

Malak, who won the top agent prize at the Arthur Awards in April, is the European agent for Billie Eilish, who just became the youngest headliner in Glastonbury Festival history and sold out a six-show run at The O2 in London.

He also helped Eilish and her team organise climate change summit Overheated at The O2 and was an executive producer for the accompanying Overheated documentary. Additionally, he is the founder of record label and publishing company Coldpress.

Malak began his career working in various capacities with Black Eyed Peas, then at Warner Bros. Records in London and at Steve Aoki management company Seminal Music before joining Coda 11 years ago. His client roster also includes the likes of Girl in Red, Denzel Curry, Pusha T, BoyWithUke, Joji and 070 Shake.

“Mike has had a great year, with Billie’s European shows and helping her create the Overheated climate conference, as well as winning the Arthur Award,” says Wasserman Music partner Alex Hardee. “He has extraordinary instincts for A&R and artist development, and we’re proud to welcome him into the leadership of our agency.”

“Adele is agent to some of the most exciting acts around

Slater joined Coda six years ago, and signed Liam Gallagher with Alex Hardee. Gallagher headlined two nights at Knebworth last month, bookending Slater’s career, which began as a receptionist and assistant to Stuart Galbraith at concert promoter MCP, who staged Oasis’s legendary shows at Knebworth in 1996.

She later worked as an assistant to Neil Warnock at The Agency Group before returning as a promoter at Live Nation. Slater returned to The Agency Group to work with agent Russell Warby, then moved with Warby to WME, where she was an agent for nine years before joining Coda. Her roster also includes Courtney Barnett, Perfume Genius, The Horrors, Gruff Rhys, Lynks, Asgeir and Wet Leg.

“Adele is agent to some of the most exciting acts around,” says Wasserman Music partner James Whitting. “Liam Gallagher, Wet Leg and Courtney Barnett, to name a select few, are all having fantastic years. Wet Leg’s set at Glastonbury was a particular highlight, and officially the busiest that stage has ever been.

“Not only is Adele a great agent, she has an invaluable knowledge of the live industry that can only be gained by years of experience as both an agent and a promoter, and we welcome her input into the future management of Wasserman Music.”

“Having him join our team is a fantastic win for TeamWass”

Meanwhile, Nick Cave spent 13 years at WME, growing an electronic music roster that includes Charlotte de Witte, Anfisa Letyago, John Summit, 2manydjs/Soulwax, Enrico Sangiuliano, Mind Against and Trentemøller.

“Nick is an unwavering force in this electronic scene. Having him join our team is a fantastic win for TeamWass,” says Blackgrove. “He’s also good for a midday lunch which is great for me.”

Chris Smyth ran his own digital PR company early in his career, before joining Primary Talent International as an agent in 2015. He joined Paradigm’s UK music team in January 2022, shortly before its acquisition by Wasserman Music in April.

His primarily pop-focused roster includes BI, IC3PEAK, Melanie C, MØ, The Rose, The Walters and Tommy Cash.

“Chris brings fantastic taste and instincts to our team of agents, and we look forward to working with him on this next stage of his career,” adds Whitting.


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