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The New Bosses 2023: Parker Glenn, UTA

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Niklas Magedanz, promoter at Goodlive (DE) here. The series continues with Parker Glenn, a music agent at UTA (US).

Parker Glenn is an agent in UTA’s Music division representing a diverse range of clients including Chance The Rapper, FKA twigs, Polo & Pan, Yves Tumor, Durand Jones, Jordan Ward, Dorian Electra, Major League Djz and more. With a deep understanding of artists’ unique needs and unwavering support for their artistic vision, Glenn has emerged as a future leader in the music space.

Over the past 12 months, he has closed significant deals for his clients including: helping launch Chance The Rapper’s highly anticipated Acid Rap 10-Year Anniversary Shows in New York, Los Angeles and a sold-out show in Chance’s hometown of Chicago; guiding Polo & Pan’s rise by booking closing sets at renowned festivals like Lollapalooza, Outside Lands and Osheaga and booking milestone headline shows at iconic venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks and more; and facilitating South-African musical duo Major League Djz’s highly successful North American tour which marked the first Amapiano artist to tour North America.

Elevating Venezuelan artist, Arca’s career over the past two years, culminating in Glenn booking a groundbreaking new show and residency at the prestigious Park Avenue Armory in New York this October. Glenn’s commitment to the music industry extends beyond traditional dealmaking. As a proud member of UTA’s Justice Now initiative, Glenn actively contributes to the success of the organisation’s mission to dismantle boundaries based on social or racial identity in the industry.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in live music – is it something you studied at university, or is anyone else in your family in the business, for example?
It was kismet. I essentially got my start in music when I bought my first set of turntables and speakers in high school. I was already a music head so DJing and putting on shows quickly became a business for me. In college, I started organising shows at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and as soon as I started working with agents, I knew that was what I wanted to do. It all hit very quickly.

What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find a job in live music?
Be open, keep at it, and take every meeting you can get. You never know where a conversation might take you.

Who on your roster should we all be looking out for in the year ahead?
Jordan Ward is about to have a breakout moment. He’s an incredibly hungry and versatile artist from St. Louis signed to Interscope/No I.D.’s ARTium Recordings, and managed by Eddie Sikazwe. His debut album FORWARD has been one of 2023’s best and received cosigns from SZA and Tyler, the Creator, among others. His whole debut headline tour sold out immediately, and we’re backing that up with tours with Smino, JID, and also 6LACK coming this fall. Simply one of those artists you cannot deny – check him out.

Where is your favourite venue?
For me, you can’t beat an evening at the Hollywood Bowl – it’s always a privilege to be there.

“I always say I’d like to see more kindness. I’m big on that in my business…”

You brought Major League DJz to North America. How was that tour received and can you see the market for Amapiano acts growing?
Major League DJz tour was a smashing success. There’s so much excitement around the guys and the shows right now. I remember the first time I ever saw them – the energy in the room was palpable. I couldn’t stop raving about my experience for weeks.

The market for Amapiano acts is booming and Major League DJz is a major reason for it. The project with Major Lazer was a milestone. Wizkid, Burna Boy, Black Coffee and others have all been supporting as well. It’s a fairly new market in North America but the growth has been organic and we’re excited for the future of the genre.

UTA’s Justice Now initiative sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Justice Now is an internal initiative that was created in response to George Floyd’s murder in 2020 to address social injustices within the music and entertainment industries. There are four different subgroups that make up Justice Now: Education, Empowerment, Mentorship and Fearless Imagination. I’m a member of the Education group where we meet quarterly to discuss various topics and create an open dialogue amongst our team.

As a new boss, what would you like to change to make the live music industry a better place?
I always say I’d like to see more kindness. I’m big on that in my business and always try to foster an environment where we treat others with respect, especially in the tough moments.

What events, tours or festivals are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
There are quite a few events coming up in the next year that I’m looking forward to. From the client side, we have a very exciting show coming up for Major League Djz in October. Polo & Pan’s penultimate slot at Portola in San Francisco will also be a special one. And I’m shamelessly excited to see what U2 brings to the Las Vegas Sphere for Achtung Baby.

As an agent, are there any particular events, forums or platforms that you visit to try to discover the next big act?
For me, the two keys to finding the next big act are making it a point to listen to others, and the second is to never stop being curious. If you do those two things well and believe in your taste, the rest will follow.


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