Following CAA’s $750 million acquisition of ICM Partners last July, APA has been tactically making changes to its own leadership teams. The music industry’s rapid growth in touring has led the agency to readjust focus — upping fresh agents in top positions and encouraging seasoned execs with illustrious rosters to take up roles as mentors to lead their live entertainment division to new heights.
“As APA grows, so do the needs of our clients,” says Becca Wilson, one of the six new promotees in APA’s touring division. “The entrepreneurial spirit at APA has fostered an environment that gives young talent the opportunity to blossom and further their careers. I can confidently say this is not a place where agents get lost in the shuffle,” Wilson tells Variety.
APA has also upped Jon Moss and Griffin Perkiel to agents, and Paul O’Loughlin, Max Rosenfield and Nina Swint to coordinators in the music department — all in an effort to move and shake the budding agency’s reach in artist and talent development.
The six move in just as APA has hired a slate of senior music agents who have elevated APA’s widening roster; Mitch Blackman, Mike Hayes and Chris Smith from ICM, Steve Kaul from CAA and Jeremy Holgersen from UTA, as well as Josh Lanham and Sam Sauerhaft, who came over to handle comedy touring from ICM and from management, respectively.
They bring with them acts such as Aly and AJ, Jon Bellion, Blackbear, Belinda Carlisle, the Go-Gos, Cypress Hill, Jax, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Theory of a Deadman and Kamasi Washington, among 200 others.
In the past six months, APA has lived up to its new post as the fourth largest agency behind only CAA, WME and UTA. Wilson notes that the agency as a whole has become increasingly focused on filling new roles with the aid of experienced senior agents and next-gen hires. In her new post as head of tour marketing, Wilson will guide her team — small, but mighty — in advancing touring opportunities for artists from Judas Priest to Smokey Robinson.
With a background in A&R, distribution, and publishing, O’Loughlin is privy to the touring needs of contemporary clients like $not, Eem Triplin, Eric Bellinger, Arin Ray, Kxllswxtch, Reggie Becton and Sebastian Mikael. He works out of APA’s Los Angeles-area headquarters in Beverly Hills.
Swint works out of the agency’s New York offices — they also have hubs in Nashville, Atlanta and London — with an alt-rock and indie-pop lineup that includes bands like Daisy Grenade and Young Culture, among several others.
Meanwhile, Rosenfield has created a name for himself in the international entertainment space by helping facilitate touring opportunities overseas — specifically for hip-hop artists and the rhythmic contemporary department, which has seen tremendous expansion since the acquisition. APA has also fortified its relationships with specialized communities like LGBTQ+ event organizers, “which has helped us deliver more opportunities for our clients nationwide at Pride festivals and events,” points out Wilson.
Moss has been with APA since 2020, assisting Christianne Weiss, VP and head of adult contemporary, and later Craig Newman, VP and head of performing arts. During that time, Moss worked with far-famed acts from Frankie Valli to Micky Dolenz, Marie Osmond, and more. Today, his sights are set on booking fairs and festivals for the concerts department, and he currently works with clients Al Olender, Isabel Pless and Mikaela Davis.
Perkiel was previously at ICM Partners working in the contemporary music department as an assistant to Mike Hayes. During the ICM and CAA merger, he joined Hayes at APA as a department coordinator and has now been promoted to agent.
Perkiel is heavily involved in developing his own clients –BabyJake, Riz La Vie, Ayleen Valentine, the Lagoons and Skizzy Mars, to name a few — while supporting a wide range of businesses within the APA music department.
“[These] promotions…are richly deserved and [give] us the added people power we need to smoothly handle our growth while rewarding a strong group of diverse young executives who have earned their promotions by making it happen for our clients,” commented Bruce Solar, head of music at APA in an announcement press release.
Outside of music, new agents have brought on comedy touring acts like Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps and Felipe Esparza. Meanwhile, APA continues to ramp up its celebrated talent on the film and television side with the recent signings of Regina Hall, William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Donnie Yen, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ken Jeong, Rosa Salazar, Marc Maron, Michael Rainey Jr., Brianna Hildebrand, Russell Hornsby and Michael Cera.
“Over the next year, you can expect to see APA continue to expand our footprint,” says Wilson. “Both by bringing in new agents and promoting within — the music department is growing at a rapid rate and that won’t be changing any time soon.”
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