James Grant Group and Deckstar Join Forces
LA based music artist management company Deckstar, founded by Lawrence Vavra and Matt Colon, is to join forces with the James Grant Group (JGG), the UK’s leading integrated management and professional services company in entertainment, sport and music.
Deckstar, which represents over 50 acts including Blink 182, Steve Aoki and Jane’s Addiction, was founded over a decade ago. As part of the deal, JGG’s LA based team will relocate to Deckstar’s Wilshire Boulevard offices where it has 35 staff, and Vavra and Colon will join the James Grant Group’s Shareholder and operational boards. Deckstar will sit alongside JGG’s UK based music management companies, Hall or Nothing and James Grant Music, bringing together its roster with JGG clients including The Script, Manic Street Preachers, Louis Tomlinson, James Arthur and The Horrors.
JGG is headquartered in London and provides bespoke services to over 1500 clients. The Group has over 30 years of experience in the management space with clients from the worlds of TV & radio, athletes, musicians, authors, digital influencers and increasingly media rights holders. Its professional services division provides business affairs, accountancy and legal services. In addition, the Group is increasingly investing in IP creation and exploitation in areas such as TV format development, live events, recorded music and music publishing. The existing Group has circa 230 employees in London and Manchester in the UK, and Washington DC and LA in the USA. The Group is headed by Neil Rodford, CEO, who has led its growth from both an organic and acquisition perspective. The Group boasts a near 100% client retention.
The bringing together of the two companies after a year of discussions aims to achieve a shared vision of building an integrated “International” management company that services clients both sides of the Atlantic, to the highest levels in the industry. Together, the Group will offer music clients a full 360 service across all aspects of business and financial management, marketing, promotion and intellectual property and it is expected that new hires will be made as the Group expands its operations and client base.
The Group’s vision is based on a belief that clients’ careers should be considered through a long-term lens, and that the only way to effectively deliver to the fullest potential is to house in-house specialists that serve every area of artists’ needs. The enlarged Group has an enviable track record of building artists’ careers and brands from the ground up and that collective experience will be harnessed to fully embrace the opportunities and challenges of the always-evolving music industry. Crucial to the motivation behind this connection is the opportunity to offer clients a global proposition.
Lawrence Vavra additionally cites the opportunity of connection to the wider Group to allow Deckstar to embrace experience and strategise from other entertainment verticals, reflecting the increasing desire of artists to effectively coordinate their brands, IP and audience’s engagement with a holistic view, particularly given the proliferation of streaming services, digital and social media platforms.
Lawrence Vavra commented: “As artists become more dependent on management, we want to be able to set a new standard on a global level. Merging with a partner with the same philosophy in music, television, social and sports allows both companies to scale more quickly whilst maintaining our core values and fundamental beliefs about the principles of artist management.”
Matt Colon commented: “The last ten years of Deckstar development have seen huge changes in both our artist’s careers and the musical landscape. In our search for the right partner, it became increasingly apparent that today’s artists require a worldwide footprint with resources outside the traditional music industry to face the demands of a global entertainment audience. By combining our talent roster and knowledge base with James Grant’s stable of TV, film, music, sports, digital influencers and talent executives we are now able to service a wide spectrum of our client’s needs via in house solutions and services on both sides of the Atlantic”
Neil Rodford said: “I am delighted that we have been able to persuade the Deckstar team to join us. Our combined client roster creates a depth and breadth of music artists, which puts us at the forefront of the music management industry on both sides of the Atlantic. We are committed to investing the resources needed to ensure we deliver a first-class service. I look forward to working with and learning from my new colleagues and finding the resources needed to improve what we do.”