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Updated: How the agencies stacked up at the 2019 Brits

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Little Mix as being represented by CAA worldwide. The band are actually represented by John Giddings at Solo Agency outside North America. IQ apologises to Solo for the error.

 


Artists represented by talent agencies WME Entertainment and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) took home five and six awards, respectively, at last night’s Brit Awards in London.

The O2 Arena (20,000-cap.) on 20 February played host to the British music industry’s biggest awards night. Hugh Jackman opened the show with a rendition from the actor’s hit film The Greatest Showman. Calvin Harris performed a medley featuring Rag’n’Bone Man, Sam Smith and Dua Lipa, with other performances courtesy of Pink, Jorja Smith, the 1975 and Jess Glynne.

CAA was the biggest winner of the night, with six separate artists receiving awards, including the respective best British and international female solo artists, Jorja Smith and Ariana Grande. The agency represents both artists worldwide.

Other triumphant CAA acts were Ed Sheeran, winner of Brits global success award (represented by CAA for UK and rest of world), Dua Lipa for British single (North America), Little Mix for British video (North America) and Sam Fender for Critics’ Choice (worldwide). Solo Agency represents Little Mix outside North America.

CAA were the biggest winners of the night, with six separate artists receiving awards

Acts represented by WME were also successful on the night, with four artists scooping up awards across five categories. Calvin Harris, represented by WME’s David Levy in Europe and Joel Zimmerman worldwide, enjoyed double success on the night. The Scottish DJ won his first-ever Brit Awards, for best British producer and British single, which he shared with Dua Lipa for ‘One Kiss’. Dua Lipa is also represented by WME’s David Levy in Europe.

The agency also has the international male solo artist and British male solo artist on its roster: Drake (worldwide) and George Ezra (North America).

Paradigm agent Marty Diamond saw success with two artists, representing both best British breakthrough act Tom Walker and Brits global success award winner Ed Sheeran in North America.

Primary Talent’s Matt Bates and Paradigm Agency’s Mike Mori make up the team representing double Brit award-winning the 1975, as the band took home British group and Mastercard British album of the year.

See a full breakdown of 2019 Brit Award winners below.

 

AwardArtistAgency
British Male Solo ArtistGeorge Ezra13 Artists (UK, RoW); WME (North America)
British Female Solo ArtistJorja SmithCAA
British GroupThe 1975Primary Talent (UK and RoW), Paradigm (North America)
British Breakthrough ActTom WalkerCoda (UK, RoW), Paradigm (North America)
International GroupThe CartersLive Nation
International Male Solo ArtistDrakeWME
International Female Solo ArtistAriana GrandeCAA
Brits Global Success AwardEd SheeranCAA (UK, RoW), Paradigm (North America)
British Artist Video AwardLittle Mix ft Nicki Minaj ‘Woman Like Me’Solo (UK, RoW); CAA (USA)/ ICM (UK, RoW); (Maverick (North America)
Best British Producer Calvin HarrisWME
British SingleCalvin Harris & Dua Lipa ‘One Kiss’WME/ WME (Europe); CAA (North America)
Mastercard British Album of The YearThe 1975 A Brief Inquiry into Online RelationshipsPrimary Talent (UK and RoW), Paradigm (North America)
Outstanding Contribution to MusicP!nkMarshall Arts
Announced in December 2018 - Critics’ ChoiceSam FenderCAA

 


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Tom Windish: ‘I miss the days when guys would threaten to run over my hand…’

Veteran agent Tom Windish has spoken of his nostalgia for the live music industry of old, dominated by “entrepreneurs”, “impresarios” and “lunatics obsessed by music”.

Windish – who sold his Windish Agency to Paradigm in 2015 – was one of the keynote speakers at last week’s Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) conference in the Netherlands, where he was interviewed by ILMC MD Greg Parmley.

Speaking to Parmley about his early days in the business, when he ran a company called Bug Booking (“because I was bugging people to book my bands”) following a short-lived internship at WMA (“I was told I wasn’t William Morris material”), Windish recalled: “I was doing a few shows at [New York club] the Knitting Factory in the Bug era, and the owner of the venue said to try and get Yo La Tengo.

“The band’s agent at the time, Bob Lawton, wasn’t returning my calls, so I phoned the lead singer directly. Bob came back five minutes later and told me, ‘Don’t ever call one of my acts again, or I’ll come over and run over your hand with a taxi so you can’t ever make a call again.’”

“I miss the days of the entrepreneurs, the impresarios – even the guy who threatened to run over my hand!” he continued. “I don’t think we’re going back to that, when it was just these lunatics obsessed by music… It’s becoming much more corporate.

“But there are lots of great things, too. The fact that more artists are selling tickets and making a living is fantastic; back in the day, some of these artists would never be discovered without the data we have now.”

Windish also spoke on the increased role booking agents have in talent development, compared to when he started out in the ’90s.

“I don’t think we’re going back to that, when it was just these lunatics obsessed by music”

“We [agents] often get involved years before a label is helping,” he explained. “JS Ondara is releasing his debut album [Tales of America] on Verve this month; I signed him two years ago. That’s a real issue these days: the lack of help for these great artists early on, and the amount of time they have to wait for it.

“These big companies are relying on data and [in the case of Ondara] there were no streams.

“When I started doing this, the record labels told me what to do, what cities to play, they put the bills together, et cetera. It’s the opposite now: agents are leading that development and labels are getting involved later.”

The 33rd edition of ESNS wrapped up on Saturday 19 January at the Oosterpoort in Groningen, Netherlands, having been attended by a total of 42,789 visitors, of which 4,135 were conference delegates.

Other speakers included Fruzsina Szép of Lollapalooza Berlin, Cindy Castillo from Mad Cool Festival, Mojo’s Kim Bloem and Key Music Management’s Richard Jones, as well as Pinkpop director Jan Smeets, whose keynote interview focused on the 50-year history of the legendary Dutch festival.

Outside of the conference programme, highlights included the European Festival Awards and A Greener Festival Awards, as well as a total of 342 shows in 52 venues across the city.

Eurosonic returns on 15–18 January 2020.

 


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Agencies, investors partner for $275m Unison Fund

Cash-starved SFX Entertainment may have found a willing buyer for its festival properties in the form of the Unison Fund, a planned investment fund backed by the Windish Agency, artist-management company Tmrwk, music consultancy Mtheory and private-equity firm AGI Partners.

Although considering buying into festivals, the fund’s chief activity will be financing tours, albums, videos and other ventures for emerging artists, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Hannah Karp, and has so far secured US$25 million from investors. It reportedly hopes to raise an additional $250m, preferably from wealthy individuals with “experience or connections in the music industry”.

The fund will finanace tours, albums, videos and other ventures for emerging artists

Tmwrk – which was owned by SFX until January, when it paid $3.6m to buy itself out – previously collaborated with Mtheory last year to fund Peace is the Mission by Major Lazer, a band led by Tmrwk client Diplo.

IQ has contacted Tom Windish for comment.

 


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