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The New Bosses 2019: Sara Schoch, UTA

The New Bosses 2019 – the biggest-ever edition of IQ‘s yearly roundup of future live industry leaders, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 85 last month revealing the twelve promising agents, promoters, bookers and execs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2019’s New Bosses, to discover their greatest inspirations and proudest achievements, pinpoint the reasons for their success and obtain advice for those hoping to be a future New Boss. Snippets of the interviews can be found in the latest IQ Magazine, with all interviews being reproduced in full online and on IQ Index over the coming weeks.

The next New Boss is Sara Schoch, a music agent at UTA in the United States. California-born, Nashville-based Schoch is a UTA lifer, starting her music industry career in the agency’s post room and eventually becoming an assistant to CEO Jeremy Zimmer.

When UTA acquired the Agency Group, she transitioned into her current role as an agent in the music brand partnerships division, where she works with artists including Hayley Williams, Post Malone, Action Bronson, Big Freedia and Saint Jhn. (Read the previous interview with Primavera’s Pau Cristòful here.)

What are you busy with right now?
In addition to fostering the growth and development of UTA’s Nashville office and championing brand partnerships for our Nashville roster, I am focused on supporting the artist-curated events and festivals that so many of our clients have dedicated themselves to producing.

I spent the first half of 2019 working with Paramore’s Hayley Williams to build and programme her activation, the Sanctuary of Self-Love, at Bonnaroo, which was a great success. I am now helping to execute the partnerships our team has secured around Post Malone’s Posty Fest and HER’s Lights On Festival.

Did you always want to work in the music business?
Music has always been an important part of my life but it was never an industry I thought I would be a part of until I found myself in it. I started in the mailroom at UTA with the ambition of becoming a motion picture literary agent and it wasn’t until UTA acquired the Agency Group, while I was working as UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer’s assistant, that I realised I could work in music.

“Music has always been an important part of my life but it was never an industry I thought I would be a part of until I found myself in it”

I recognised that I had the breadth of experience and a point of view that would make me a valuable asset to that team. That inspiration, coupled with my love for the artists and the entrepreneurial spirit I saw in our new music colleagues, drew me into the space.

What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
Working with Hayley Williams and her team to bring the Sanctuary of Self-Love to life at Bonnaroo was an incredible experience for me. Hayley is an amazing artist and human being who is focused on de-stigmatising and starting an open dialogue about mental health. Being part of the team that helped actualise her vision to create a dedicated safe space for self-care at a leading music festival was a true privilege.

How has your role changed since you started out?
As I’ve transitioned across departments and deepened my understanding of the music landscape, I’ve taken on more challenging creative responsibilities that align with my own personal passion for music. I’m now at a place where I’m doing what I truly love – executing brand partnerships and actualising large-scale music events.

“I’m now at a place where I’m doing what I truly love – executing brand partnerships and actualising large-scale music events”

What do you do for fun?
Aside from going to shows, I am an avid runner, practise yoga and love to read!

Do you have an industry mentor?
I am grateful to work at a company that has provided me with so many mentors from different departments and at various levels in their careers. One of my strongest mentors thus far has been Toni Wallace, who is the head of our music brand partnerships team. Toni guided me into my role in music brand partnerships. She has been the ultimate champion for my career and a true friend, supporting and advising me on issues both big and small, personal and professional, every step of the way.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into, or is new to, the business?
Stay curious. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned was from our CEO, Jeremy Zimmer – the importance of approaching each day as an opportunity to learn something new, think about things differently, and to transcend the processes that dominate our day-to-day routine. As artist representatives in an industry that is constantly evolving, it’s more important than ever to remain nimble and open to new ways of harnessing the opportunities that are available to our artists to break through and share their voices with the world.


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