Billboard's "30 Under 30" For 2009


Billboard Magazine just released their "30 Under 30" list of the top industry power players under the age of, well, thirty.
The list includes Asher Roth & Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun, Drake & Lil' Wayne's manager Cortez Bryant and twenty eight other names that are making major moves. Catch all of them below.
Scott "Scooter" Braun
Founder/CEO, Scooter Braun Projects
Scott "Scooter" Braun, 28, started his first business in 2001 while still a freshman at Emory University, promoting some of the most notorious parties on Atlanta's club scene. Jermaine Dupri recruited him, at age 20, to be So So Def executive director of marketing. There he brokered deals with Live Nation to produce the first urban and pop stages at the Music Midtown Festival in Atlanta and made Dupri the face of 3 Vodka while also working on projects for such artists as Usher and Anthony Hamilton. Braun then left So So Def to do independent consulting and brokered a $10 million campaign deal with Ludacris and the Pontiac Solstice. Braun also discovered his first two artists, Asher Roth and Justin Bieber, on MySpace and YouTube, respectively. Today, Scooter Braun Projects includes School Boy Records, RBMG (his label with Usher), and Sheba Publishing. Braun also manages producer Orent Yoel in addition to Roth and Bieber.
Cortez Bryant
CEO, Bryant Management
Cortez Bryant, 29, is not only the DJ to one of hip-hop's most sought-after rappers, Lil Wayne, he also manages him along with rap music's latest golden child, Drake. "I've helped cultivate both Wayne's and Drake's brands by seeking different opportunities to expand and maintain their careers on a superstar level," he says, including strategically laying out the release of Wayne's "Tha Carter III" album, setting him up as a successful touring artist by launching the I Am Music tour and pairing him with brands like Nike and Gatorade. "Drake's success has come by releasing an unconventional, free downloadable mixtape, 'So Far Gone,' and pairing him with the likes of Lil Wayne and Mary J. Blige," he adds. Recently, Bryant merged his company with the management firm Hip-Hop Since 1978, which manages Kanye West. Now he's looking forward to the release of Drake's Universal Records debut, "Thank Me Later," and Wayne's first rock album, "Rebirth."
Brian Cappelli
Manager of music resources, EMI Music Publishing
Brian Cappelli, 29, got his start as an assistant at EMI Music Publishing, gaining expertise in tracking mechanical payments and in the foreign synch department. Moving up to take on NBC as a major synch client, he secured placements in more than 30 shows including "The Office," "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live" while establishing a rapport with music supervisors, says Brian Monaco, EMI senior VP of music resources. Cappelli also landed a six-figure deal with ESPN that offers the channel EMI's developing songwriter/artists' back catalog of copyrights pre-cleared for use. The ESPN/EMI relationship also led to Rob Thomas' hit "Give Me the Meltdown" appearing in ESPN promos for the 2009 NBA/WNBA finals. In other deals, Cappelli placed "Money (That's What I Want)" as the theme for a new ABC/Mark Burnett reality show and a landed a one-stop custom music deal in which Buckcherry rerecorded Deep Purple's "Highway Star" to serve as a theme for TNT's multiplatform marketing and promotional campaigns for NASCAR. With a recent promotion to EMI's music resources department, Cappelli's responsibilities have shifted to pitching songs for advertisements.
Jamar Chess
Co-president, Sunflower Entertainment
Jamar Chess, 28, grew up helping out at Arc Music Group, owner of the publishing catalog of Chess Records (the label founded by his grandfather, Leonard Chess). Eight years ago, Chess and his partner Juan Carlos Barguil moved into Latin music with Sunflower Entertainment, administering the publishing and masters of Colombia's Discos Fuentes, home to Joe Arroyo, Fruko y Sus Tesos and other stars of cumbia and salsa. Chess says that catalog's revenue tripled after signing with Sunflower. "We saw a need in the Latin industry for proper publishing administration and representation," Chess says, as well as synch opportunities for "amazing Latin music that's untapped." Sunflower now has more than 25,000 titles, including urban and tropical genres, and just started releasing its own compilations through the indie distributor Select-O-Hits.
Roslynn Cobarrubias
Director of urban marketing, MySpace
Roslynn Cobarrubias, 29, has always had an ear for music. While in college, she founded and launched a radio show called "Third Floor Radio," which she also produced and hosted. That led her to self-promote concerts and events. "I had developed great relationships with artists, managers, DJs and labels," she says. Stints with the National Assn. of Record Industry Professionals, among others, led to her current role as MySpace director of urban marketing. Cobarrubias says she continues to "create marketing plans to help promote new music from urban artists—emerging talent that deserves a spotlight and advertisers that are looking to raise brand awareness in the urban demographic," among other duties.
Mathieu Drouin
Co-founder, Crystal Math Management, Equator Music, Remedy Music, Runaway Music
A rising young Canadian executive, Mathieu Drouin, 29, has his hands in management, two labels, publishing and an events company (an acquisition of School Rocks Canada is in progress), but the best measure of his success is his work with Metric. The band self-released its latest effort, "Fantasies," worldwide without the aid of a label, and has crossed over to the mainstream. Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Barenaked Ladies have had similar success with self-releases, but only after they were established on a label. Drouin credits his partner, Françoise de Grandpre, who is also under 30, with much of the success, noting, "I would not be here without her."
Daniel Ek
Co-founder/CEO, Spotify
Daniel Ek, 26, founded the ad-supported music streaming service Spotify in Stockholm in April 2006 with Martin Lorentzon, co-founder of the Internet marketing company TradeDoubler. Formerly chief technical officer at the game site Stardoll, Ek has won plaudits for the simplicity and smoothness of the Spotify interface and the range of tracks from indies and all the majors. It claims 3 million users in the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Spain and France. "It was crucial that we kept Spotify simple," Ek says. "Our users can listen to whatever music they want to instantly, in good quality and with the minimum of fuss." Based in Stockholm and London with 80 employees, Spotify is set to launch in the United States later this year. Aiming to offer "all the world's music to users across the globe," Ek says, "our move into the U.S. will go a considerable way to reaching that goal."
Seth Faber
Director of marketing and artist development, Primary Wave Music Publishing
Internships at RCA Victor and Arista Records, an assistant's job at Octone Records and 18 months as an artist development manager at Island Def Jam all led to Seth Faber, 27, to his current spot at Primary Wave Music Publishing. Since joining the company 18 months ago, Faber struck "a landmark licensing deal with [the digital transaction firm] GTECH, which enabled Aerosmith to be the first band to have its own multiplatform lottery campaign," according to Primary Wave chief marketing officer Adam Lowenberg. GTECH then chose Primary Wave as its exclusive agent for future music licensing agreements. Faber has since been busy creating a new licensing division for Primary Wave, securing Big Fish Media as the digital distributor for the company's catalog, guiding a deal between Chicago and 877 Music for a new multimedia recording of the band's music by Cuban musicians and a documentary, tribute album and live DVD for Graham Parker, whom Farber describes as "a legend who has not gotten his due."
Dave Godowsky

Director of A&R, Rounder Records
Dave Godowsky, 29, started his career at Rounder Records with a bang, signing the quirky duo Ween, which proceeded to score its highest chart debut in its 20-year career. He also signed the critically lauded rock band Delta Spirit, Mike Gordon of Phish, Son Volt and Sondre Lerche. As if that wasn't enough, Godowsky, who cut his teeth as a publicist/manager of the indie success story Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, is an accomplished musician in his own right. He's opened for Bon Iver and Delta Spirit and will head to Wisconsin this fall to record in Bon Iver's studio. He also mans the drum kit in Mr. Brownstone, the well-known Guns N' Roses tribute act.
Russell Harper
Legal and business affairs executive, PPL
Russell Harper, 28, never achieved his childhood dream to be a musician. Yet this British lawyer has had a significant impact that goes beyond hit records since he joined the U.K. performing right collecting society PPL in 2007 in a newly created role. Heading up PPL's enforcement team, he has helped boost income from the public performance of recorded music in bars, shops and medical offices. That revenue rose 11% year on year to £54.2 million ($89.4 million) during 2008. That year, PPL distributed more than £110 million ($181.5 million) in royalties to 3,400 U.K. record companies and 38,000 U.K. performers.
Ian Harrison
Marketing director, Hopeless Records
Perhaps the best indicator of Ian Harrison's marketing savvy appeared earlier this summer when All Time Low's "Nothing Personal" scored an all-time high for the band and Hopeless Records. With sales of 63,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 alongside Maxwell's "BLACKsummer'snight" and "Hannah Montana 3." While All Time Low's sales numbers weren't comparable to those other titles, top 10 status was a milestone for the upstart pop-punk band and the Van Nuys, Calif.-based label. In his fourth year with Hopeless, Harrison, 28, is also a driving force in the spinoff charity imprint Sub City, which has raised more than $1.8 million.
Ian Hogarth
CEO, Songkick
In June, Ian Hogarth, 27, and two partners launched The site not only allows fans to track upcoming concerts, it uses social networking to build a database of information about users' concert experiences going back to 1960 and to share preferences for future shows. Hogarth, who was employed as a DJ while attending Cambridge University, worked with the consulting firm Bain & Co., specializing in technology strategy before co-founding Songkick. The site is backed by Index Ventures—which has also invested in Skype, MySQL and—as well as sponsors from the technology and music industry. Published reports suggest that he has raised $5 million to launch Songkick. Hogarth "raised money for a music startup in the beginning of 2009," Topspin CEO Ian Rogers says. "How many humans on this planet did that?"
Larry Jackson
President of A&R, Arista Records; executive VP of A&R, RCA Music Group
Larry Jackson, 28, came into the music industry as a 12-year-old obsessive in San Francisco who had won so many contests at KEML-FM he later began working at the station. That's where he came to the attention of Clive Davis, and J Records hired him in 2000. Jackson co-produced and won a Grammy Award for Jennifer Hudson's self-titled debut, and he helmed Leona Lewis' "Spirit." He also discovered songwriter Keshia Briscoe and shepherded her "Womanizer" as the lead single for Britney Spears' "Circus" album. He's currently working on Whitney Houston's upcoming "I Look to You" album and with new artist BC Rich. "I put on a lot of different hats," Jackson says. "It's a bit dizzying in that respect, but it keeps it interesting."
Russ Jones
VP of crossover promotions and lifestyle marketing, RCA/Jive Label Group
For New York native Russ Jones, 28, his DJ'ing career while in high school opened doors. During "vinyl pickup days"—back when labels would allow DJs to pick up promotional singles—Jones started building relationships with executives. "I would be visiting labels up to two times a day," he says. In his senior year, Jones was offered a position at Elektra Records, where he remained for two years. But for the past nine years, Jones has made a home at RCA/Jive, where he "exposes music by label artists" like Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx, in conjunction with radio and DJs. "There is no better feeling than when your artist goes to No. 1 on the charts," he says of Foxx, whose song "Blame It" recently topped Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for a record 12 weeks.
David Klein
Music agent, Creative Artists Agency
As the booking agent for such acts as Gavin DeGraw, Matisyahu, Carolina Liar, Five for Fighting and Lifehouse, David Klein, 28, is also responsible for booking Creative Artists Agency's non-country music tours in the Northeast. While attending the University of Wisconsin, Klein and friends independently booked concerts. After graduating, he did a two-year stint for Clear Channel-owned Electric Factory Concerts in Philadelphia, where he learned that his true passion was booking artists. Klein joined CAA in the summer of 2005 and was promoted to music agent two years later. Most recently, he helped develop the music format for NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" and played a key role in securing the Roots as the show's house band.
Evan Lipschutz
Senior director of A&R, Mercury Records
Hailing from Tampa, Fla., "a test market for food chains," Evan Lipschutz, 29, feels like he comes from "a good breeding ground. I think like a basic American." And he applies that viewpoint working with acts like Parachute, the Killers, Fall Out Boy, Duffy, Portishead and the up-and-coming Utah band Neon Trees. Mercury Records chief David Massey hired him at Sony Music International (later Daylight/Epic) as he was about to graduate from New York University's music business program and there he worked with Shakira, Good Charlotte, Phantom Planet and Franz Ferdinand. Lipschutz moved to Mercury with Massey in April 2007 and began a development campaign for Parachute that resulted in Nivea ads featuring the band's single "We Call It Love" from its album, "Losing Sleep."
Aaron Monty
Marketing manager, EMI Music Publishing
Aaron Monty, 27, helped EMI Music Publishing increase its synch client base by 10% last year. Monty also creates and distributes compilations highlighting new EMI music from the company's offices around the world. His "Songbird" compilations (previously named "The Full Monty") are discs "that everyone in the company looks forward to getting," says Scott Cru, the executive in charge of international production and distribution at Mark Burnett Productions. "While we know his goal is to place songs on our shows, which he often does, we enjoy the music he puts together both on a professional and personal level," Cru says.
Jeremy Norkin
Talent agent, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
At 28, Jeremy Norkin has already booked some of the top acts in Latin music, including Los Tigres del Norte, Paulina Rubio, Jose Carreras, Mariachi Sol de Mexico and Los Temerarios. He also booked a 14-show tour by a relatively new artist, Colombia's Fonseca, that scored nine sellouts and two title sponsors. Norkin credits his conservative approach and outsider perspective with his success in the Latin music world: "My business approach is more slow and steady. I think long term."
Laura O'Connell
Creative director, Gupta Media
Laura O'Connell, 25, is creative director for Gupta Media, a firm whose Web design has supported more than 300 artists and album releases in the last two years. O'Connell this year designed Zoltaroo, the "mind reader" application created to help Bonnaroo attendees find their way through the music festival's massive schedule, and worked on Twitter applications for Fuse. "Laura's design/[user interface] work on Zoltaroo helped our new attendees visualize how big Bonnaroo was and helped our returning fans plan their time at Bonnaroo in a fun, engaging way," Superfly Presents partner Kerry Black says.
Heather Peggs
President, Hell Ya Records
Heather Peggs, 29, started out at KROQ Los Angeles, distributing mixtapes to on-air DJs. From there, she began booking club shows titled Hell Ya and launched her own label. Peggs started working in A&R at Capitol in 2004 and was recently recruited to join Atlantic Records, running Hell Ya as an imprint of Elektra/Atlantic. "Heather has all the skills a modern music executive needs to be successful; she's hardworking, focused, creative and entrepreneurial to the core," says her boss, Mike Caren, Atlantic Records executive VP and Elektra Records co-president. "We see big things for her and Hell Ya."
Val Pensa
Marketing director, A&M/Octone
While still attending Quinnipiac University in New Haven, Conn., Val Pensa juggled an internship with RCA Music Group and a job at WKCI-FM New Haven—and still found time to attend classes. The résumé-building and networking paid off with a post-graduate job as an assistant in J Records' A&R/marketing department and a promotion to junior product manager. Then A&M/Octone hired her to help develop a career-breaking campaign for Hollywood Undead and a global licensing/sponsorship/touring partnership for K'Naan with Coca-Cola in 150-plus countries. Pensa, 27, also has worked with Maroon 5 and Flyleaf and is developing such new acts as Paper Tongues and Kevin Hammond.
Eddy Perdomo
Creative director, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Eddy Perdomo, 27, signs writers in Latin urban, tropical, rock and pop at Sony/ATV, recruiting hitmakers Wise, Los Mambo Kingz, Juan Jose Hernandez, Roy Tavaré and Baltazar Hinojosa, among others. He has renegotiated deals with Elvis Crespo, Alexis y Fido, Olga Tañón and Manuel Ruiz but is particularly proud of working with Puerto Rico's Los Convertibles, which the publisher has recorded and pitched to labels. "I want to sign someone small and make them huge. As an A&R, that's my dream," he says.
Angela Rogers
Attorney/partner, James E. McMillan
Angela Rogers, 28, says the biggest accomplishment of her law career was helping her sister, R&B singer Amerie, exit an earlier recording contract to enter a new agreement with Def Jam. "I helped liberate my sister from a situation that wasn't working for her and find one designed to help her individual success," she says. A partner in the law office of James E. McMillan, who focuses on entertainment law, Rogers' other clients include the Clipse, Ron Browz, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Too Short and Slim Thug. She is also a founder of the nonprofit organization Black Women in Entertainment. "Our mission," she says, "is to provide a support network for women in entertainment law and to provide scholarships to women of color who aspire to have a career in the legal field."
Sean Rosenberg
VP of mobile business, RCA/Jive Records
At RCA/Jive Records, Sean Rosenberg, 29, is credited with building the company's mobile department from the ground up since joining the company in 2006. Last October, he helped create some of the first artist-branded iPhone applications for Pink and David Cook. He also helped integrate album, single and ringtone sales capabilities into such mobile platforms as text messaging and stand-alone wireless Web sites. And this spring, Rosenberg created an AT&T-sponsored program to debut music videos from Kelly Clarkson and David Cook on "American Idol." RCA/Jive released some of the best-selling ringtones of 2008, including "No One" from Alicia Keys. According to its internal estimates, RCA/Jive commands 19% of the overall master ringtone market.
Mary Tastet
Director of digital business, RED Distribution
After a couple of internships at Warner Music Group led to a job as an e-commerce coordinator within WEA, Mary Tastet cemented her career path by joining RED's digital/mobile department in early 2007. At the time, the department was in its infancy and needed a strong leader, says Tony Bruno, RED senior VP of marketing and digital business. Tastet emerged as that person, overseeing the department's business and strategic development and managing day-to-day sales, marketing and label relations. During her tenure, RED reported a 25% year-over-year increase in its digital business. Moreover, Bruno says Tastet, 26, has strategically involved RED with creative and advanced digital products, which has benefited its labels, their artists and RED's bottom line.
Milun Tesovic
Chief technology officer, Metroleap
Milun Tesovic, 24, started the music lyrics service when he was 16. The site gets more than 32 million unique monthly visitors and is the sixth-most-popular music site, according to ComScore. While originally lacking the necessary agreements with publishers to make it a legitimate service, MetroLyrics has since struck a licensing deal with Gracenote's lyrics program. It also now acts as the default lyrics program for AOL Music. While coordinating all this activity, Tesovic is a full-time student at Canada's Simon Fraser University, studying for his MBA, which he hopes to complete next year. He recently won a Canadian student entrepreneur of the year award from ACE, a Canadian charity that supports young business students.
Katie Welle
Manager of creative, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Katie Welle, 28, used an internship at Epic Records as a springboard to an A&R position at the label, where she worked on projects by acts like Modest Mouse, Natasha Bedingfield and the Fray; she also brought rapper Yung Berg to the label. Welle then joined Sony/ATV Music's creative staff on the West Coast. She now scouts new songwriters and artists, arranges co-writes and plugs songs for major-label artist projects. Her recent writer signings include songwriter/producer Jeff Bhasker—who has songs with such artists as Kanye West, Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z—and newcomers Da Internz, who have become a go-to production team. In addition, Welle's song-plugging work has placed records with artists like Atlantic's Little Boots and Interscope artists Mishon and Robin Thicke.
Frank Woodworth
GM, Eleven Seven Music Group
"I worked in every facet of the industry, from PR to online marketing to A&R," says Frank Woodworth, 29, who has logged time at Universal Records; New York's SummerStage; what is now the Toyota Pavilion in Scranton, Pa.; and as an independent publicist and consultant before joining Eleven Seven Music Group. During his two years working with company chief Allen Kovac and key client Nikki Sixx, Woodworth has been involved with projects by Mötley Crüe, Sixx: A.M., Drowning Pool, Buckcherry, Trapt and Charm City Devils, helping turn Eleven Seven into one of the most successful independent rock labels of the past year. He has also been instrumental in launching Eleven Seven's new modern rock division, Five Seven Music, with Jet.
Dre Wright
Strategic marketing, product integration and events, Island Def Jam Music Group
While interning at Island Def Jam's New York headquarters in 2004, Dre Wright proved he had the marketing chops of a seasoned veteran. Now, Wright, 24, works with IDJ artists like Kanye West, Rihanna and Mariah Carey to "generate revenue by nontraditional means and maximize exposure of our artists with corporate partners," including an exclusive deal with Under Armour, for which IDJ is the official music arm, in part due to Wright's skills. Next, he hopes to broker a deal with the luxury brand Carmen Steffens and the Cartoon Network. "The sexiest part of this job is to see how corporate strategies come together," he says, "and the rush of closing deals that you know will impact culture."
Jeremiah "Ice" Younossi
President, A-List Talent Agency
Jeremiah "Ice" Younossi, 28, runs the global touring arm for G-Unit Records and coordinates international tours and concerts for such artists as 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott in regions like Africa, Dubai, Asia and Latin America. In the past six months, Younossi has been a key player in arranging successful shows in Chile, Colombia and Venezuela. Through his A-List Talent Agency he has booked Black Violin on some 300 dates in the United States and abroad during the past two years, including the 2009 Earth Day concert on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Younossi has key experience under his belt and an independent spirit. "I've spent my 20s with 50 Cent [working with] his manager Chris Lighty, creating unique touring opportunities in North America and abroad," he says. "Most successful agents my age work as part of larger teams and concentrate on perfecting the art of booking and routing within a certain region, venue size and genre. In contrast, I'm more of a freestyle agent, with manager capabilities that have allowed me to experiment with various types of venues, all territories and countless promoters."

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