MBW’s World’s Biggest Managers sequence profiles one of the best artist managers within the world enterprise. This time, we converse to Will Dzombak, supervisor of Wiz Khalifa and Ty Dolla $ign, amongst others, and the founding father of Taylor Gang Leisure. World’s Biggest Managers is supported by Centtrip, a specialist in clever treasury, funds and overseas trade – created with the music business and its wants in thoughts.
During the last decade, Will Dzombak has gone from faculty grad to supervisor of one of many greatest hip-hop acts within the US, Wiz Khalifa, who’s been by his facet from the start.
The duo began working collectively after Dzombak booked Khalifa for a neighborhood present in Pittsburgh, and has since taken him from a neighborhood rapper performing to 300 followers to a multi Grammy-nominee and platinum-selling artist.
In 2014, Dzombak and Khalifa prolonged their partnership with the launch of administration and document label, Taylor Gang Leisure, which works with expertise together with Ty Dolla $ign, who hit No.4 on the US albums chart in October together with his third launch, Chevy Woods and Juicy J.
Past the music, Dzombak is founding father of branding and administration firm The William Gerard Group, and he has helped Khalifa launch his personal merchandise, together with McQueen and Violet Fog Gin, in addition to a variety of Khalifa branded RAW Paper rolling papers.
Being from a small city distant from the established music industries in New York and LA, Dzombak tells us that he learnt his music enterprise smarts by trial and error. “I feel folks can learn all of the books they need and have all of the again finish information, however it’s about residing it and doing it and that’s actually the way you study probably the most,” he says.
“folks can learn all of the books they need and have all of the again finish information, however it’s about residing it and doing it. that’s actually the way you study probably the most.”
will dzombak, taylor gang
“Being from Pittsburgh, there was no profitable superstars that have been simply accessible so we needed to do it on our personal.”
This, he says, has had a optimistic affect on his method to artist improvement by enabling him to actually faucet into tradition and construct fanbases. Dzombak explains: “It’s made me be extra sensible about it and understanding what’s culturally vital, what really strikes the needle, what will get folks excited, versus simply hiding behind a pc all day like so many music business folks do.
“Being out within the streets, listening to stuff and listening to what the individuals are saying, I feel is tremendous necessary.”
This 12 months, Dzombak and Khalifa partnered with Genius for the first-ever Genius Stay interactive livestream in July, which enabled followers to speak to one another throughout the efficiency, make purchases in real-time, and management the present by voting on the setlist, getting a shoutout, asking a query, or showing on the stream.
Voting on the setlist was free; becoming a member of the stream “watch social gathering” price $10; asking for a shoutout price $100; and asking a query price $200. All proceeds have been donated to the Black Political Empowerment Undertaking (B-PEP).
Extra not too long ago, Dzombak and Khalifa have launched Wiz’s supply restaurant, HotBox By Wiz.
Elsewhere on Taylor Gang’s roster, Atlanta producer TM88 has a mission popping out by means of Capitol and creating acts embrace fellow Pittsburgh native Fedd The God, Houston rapper Younger Deji, R&B artist Kris Hollis and producer Sledgren. As well as, Dzombak tells us that him and Khalifa are engaged on a gaggle album collectively.
Right here, we chat to Dzombak about livestreaming past Covid, his administration rules, and the place he sees the music business heading in future…
How have you ever been managing by means of this 12 months and what are you engaged on in the mean time?
This 12 months, I’ve been making an attempt to be inventive and give you new concepts. I feel so many individuals are doing stay streams that it’s simply turn out to be the norm, however one factor that we’ve not too long ago launched that I’m actually enthusiastic about is Wiz’s supply restaurant referred to as HotBox by Wiz.
“It’s been a very enjoyable mission and it’s a technique to maintain Wiz’s title on the market, maintain him related, and do it in a special vogue.”
We partnered with a software program firm and it performs on the concept that you pay a chef a full-time wage however, particularly throughout the pandemic, he’s not working full time, so what are different methods to herald income for your corporation? Throughout this time with Wiz, we got here up with a delivery-only restaurant. It’s been a very enjoyable mission and it’s a technique to maintain Wiz’s title on the market, maintain him related, and do it in a special vogue.
The livestream that you simply did with Wiz and Genius appeared notably progressive as a result of it was interactive. What did you study from that have and may you inform us a bit extra about how that mission took place?
That mission took place by means of Wiz and my pal, Rob Markman, who works at Genius. He really hosted Wiz’s mixtape, Taylor Allerdice, so we’ve been mates for over a decade. He was placing the occasion collectively together with his firm and wished to do it a special approach and this was the way in which to do it.
We thought it was actually cool — we appreciated the facet of understanding that since we’re controlling it, it doesn’t have to be a simple present in that Rob and Wiz might break it up and have a dialog between songs, speak to the followers and interact with folks on-line.
As you talked about earlier than, everyone seems to be doing stay streams in the mean time. Do you assume the format has a life past Covid?
I feel in some elements, sure. With Covid, it’s actually damaged down the partitions of digital and streaming. Particularly if there’s a child that’s in the midst of nowhere that doesn’t get to live shows, it’s a approach for them to faucet in.
“Shifting ahead, I feel there can be a approach at each live performance [for fans] to purchase entry digitally to it.”
Shifting ahead, I feel there can be a approach at each live performance to purchase entry digitally to it. So if somebody is on tour, there can be a approach for folks [at home] to purchase in and be like, ‘Oh, I wish to be at Wiz’s present in Oklahoma.’ It’ll spin into that in some unspecified time in the future to generate additional earnings for folks.
Do you will have any extra plans to do extra of the interactive stay streaming that you simply did with Genius?
Yep, we’ve not too long ago closed a few offers to do a couple of extra that we’re actually enthusiastic about. They’re totally different and a few are in digital actuality, some have actually cool set designs, so I’m excited to see a subsequent degree.
It’s below wraps for now till we’re a bit additional into the method however it’s kind of just like what we did with Oculus — we did a VR live performance with them. One of many cool issues there was once you’re in your VR headset, it’s such as you’re in a crowd so you probably have the headset on and I’ve a headset on, within the VR world we could possibly be sitting proper subsequent to one another and speaking to one another.
With regards to administration… what are your administration rules?
All the time deal with folks nicely and need them to ask you again and to see you win. Be loyal and be truthful. There may be a lot funniness that goes on within the music business, simply being simple and trustworthy with folks has all the time appeared to be one of the simplest ways to method it.
What’s the important thing to a long-lasting artist and supervisor partnership just like the one you will have with Wiz?
I feel it’s all about communication and fascinating your fanbase. An issue with what goes on proper now’s that so many followers really feel disconnected from their favorite artist as a result of there’s such a heavy emphasis on digital that they don’t get the true life expertise, and particularly proper now throughout Covid.
That’s why I feel you see a few of these children which have large songs with a billion streams however can’t promote out a Home of Blues as a result of they’ve by no means put the groundwork in of constructing their fanbase out — they’re simply chasing a music.
How do you see the position of a supervisor evolving in future?
Particularly now, all roles are evolving. As a result of there’s a lot extra music, managers are way more concerned within the A&R and advertising course of. It’s changing into an increasing number of of a partnership with a supervisor versus a manufacturing firm, and I feel these issues are on the way in which out as nicely.
“you’ll see administration firms flip into full-service administration and manufacturing firms, all wrapped into one.”
I feel managers have gotten extra like manufacturing firms and also you’ll see administration firms flip into full-service administration and manufacturing, all wrapped into one.
While you say manufacturing firms, do you imply labels, or manufacturing firms that particularly produce content material?
Each. I feel all of them are going to see a shift in how folks do issues within the subsequent 12 months, or each time we come out of the pandemic.
What are the largest classes you’ve realized throughout your profession?
Talk together with your crew — there isn’t any ‘I’ in crew, it takes a crew to maneuver everybody. And also you by no means know the place somebody goes to finish up so don’t burn bridges.
What recommendation would you give to your youthful self?
Don’t be as trusting in folks; really feel folks out.
What would you modify concerning the music business and why?
I might change the demeanor and the way folks carry themselves.
I do know that’s a really broad reply, however the way in which music business folks deal with one another, and it’s a small business, is bizarre. Understanding that there are such a lot of overlaps with one another… it’s humorous to see folks come again up in conditions.
“music isn’t rocket science, and deal phrases aren’t rocket science, it’s simply the folks that trigger points.”
Particularly managers, and folks now have a number of purchasers, so somebody could possibly be being very tough in a single state of affairs and have one other state of affairs with you for a completely totally different consumer and also you’ve bought to cope with folks. Why not be simply fluid with all the things and make it occur versus making an attempt to make all the things tough?
On the finish of the day, music isn’t rocket science, and deal phrases aren’t rocket science, it’s simply the folks that trigger points and if folks have been flowing extra with one another, I feel it will be simpler.
What do you assume can be the music business’s greatest problem in future?
The largest problem is, as folks turn out to be an increasing number of educated about their offers, restructuring what the business normal for a deal is.
How would you prefer to see offers change?
For artists to personal their masters and discover a totally different monetary construction that works, versus being completely handicapped.
What are your future plans and ambitions?
My future plans are to all the time continue learning, rising, evolving and reinventing ourselves. For Taylor Gang, it’s to continue to grow, signing artists, and getting right into a circulation of being in step with our content material and have the world excited for all of our drops.
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