Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Lawrence Mestel, Founder & CEO of Primary Wave Music, has been working in the music and entertainment industry for over 20 years. In 2006, Mestel took his extensive experience working at multiple record labels and founded Primary Wave Music, one of the largest independent music publishing, marketing and talent management companies in the United States. Primary Wave has controlled over 10,000 songs from the catalogs of legendary artists such as Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, John Lennon, Def Leppard, Hall and Oates, Chicago, Maurice White, Steve Earle, Graham Parker, Holy Knight, Steven Curtis Chapman, Lamont Dozier, Blue October, The Airborne Toxic Event, Anberlin, Shwayze, New Boyz, Taddy Porter and many others. Originally founded on music publishing, Mestel has strategically and successfully built the company into a full service music and entertainment powerhouse offering in-house branding, digital marketing, publicity, TV & Film development and a talent management company and manages artists including CeeLo Green, Cypress Hill, Audien, Melissa Etheridge, Eric Benet, Fantasia, Erik Morillo and others.
Recently, Larry Mestel landed on Billboard Magazine’s 2012 “Urban Power List”, being recognized for his leadership in the music industry and has also been featured in top press outlets such as New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Fast Company, New York Post, Forbes, Billboard Magazine, and HITS Magazine.
Prior to founding Primary Wave Music, Larry Mestel was Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Virgin Records, where he was responsible for all marketing, sales and business-related aspects of the company. During his tenure, he worked with iconic artists including The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Dupri and Lenny Kravitz. From 2000 – 2004, Mestel was Executive Vice President and General Manager at Arista Records, managing sales, international and strategic marketing, A&R and marketing administration, finance and business affairs. While at Arista, he developed artists such as Avril Lavigne, Outkast, Usher, Pink, Carlos Santana, Dido among many others. Mestel also held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Island Entertainment Group, which included Island Records, Island Music Publishing and Island Pictures.
President, Primary Wave Music Publishing
Justin Shukat is a founding partner and President at Primary Wave Music Publishing. He is responsible for new writer signings, content acquisitions and works closely with the current writer roster to facilitate recordings within the industry. Additionally he oversees all areas of Primary Wave’s synch exploitation and is General Manager of the Primary Wave stable of companies, working with all our partner companies to insure that all our businesses are focussed and delivering. His music career began at The Montreux Jazz Festival and was followed by various positions at Walter Yetnikoff’s Velvel Records. Justin then moved on to senior marketing positions at both Arista and Epic Records. Justin recently landed on Billboard Magazine’s “40 under 40” list.
CMO & G.M. Primary Wave Talent Management
Adam brings 17 years of music industry experience to Primary Wave. He is responsible for all marketing related activities within the organization. Most recently, Mr. Lowenberg was Sr. VP of Marketing for Island Def Jam. He also served as Sr. VP of Marketing at Virgin Records and VP of Marketing at Arista Records. Adam’s career has been punctuated by the multi-platinum success of such global superstars as Avril Lavigne, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, Pink, Rihanna and Bon Jovi.
Partner, COO and CFO
Ramon Villa wears many hats in managing the financial and operational functions for Primary Wave. His 20 years of experience within entertainment, including the first half of his career working closely with Island records founder, Chris Blackwell, has immersed him across many platforms including records, publishing, video, film, distribution, talent management, branding and marketing. He has been involved since the early days of Primary Wave building the publishing catalog and the various marketing and management arms surrounding it. As COO and CFO and “chief aesthetic officer” he sees that the numbers and the vibe all stay in check….
Partner & President, Digital Strategy & Marketing
Rob began his music career in marketing and rose to General Manager at Ruffhouse Records, a pioneering Sony Music record label which has sold over 100 million albums worldwide with artists Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Cypress Hill, Wyclef Jean, Kris Kross and others. He has extensive history working in the music industry from marketing and promotion to publishing, management and merchandising.
Rob served at Warner Music Group’s distribution arm, W.E.A. Corp. in 2003, developing retail and account based marketing initiatives for WMG artists including T.I., Linkin Park, Metallica, Missy Elliot, Sean Paul and others.
In 2005, Dippold became Partner & General Manager of Trustkill Records, an independent industry-leading entertainment company partnered with Sony and Universal Publishing. Trustkill was instrumental in launching and breaking influential bands in the metal and hardcore rock scene including Bullet For My Valentine, Eighteen Visions, Poison The Well amongst others. Under the Trustkill brand, Rob was actively involved in the digital & mobile technology space including developing and launching “MobileThreat” the first ever mobile content destination platform dedicated to the metal & punk music genres, as well as other lifestyle branded websites and virtual reality communities.
In 2010, he became a Partner & President of Digital Strategy & Marketing at Primary Wave Entertainment where he is charged with developing creative digital marketing campaigns, strategic partnerships, as well as building e-commerce, and direct to fan initiatives. In addition, Dippold also actively seeks, signs, and develops talent and new business opportunities. Most recently Rob’s work on Def Leppard’s 30th Anniversary of Hysteria album was named “Best Music Marketing Campaigns of 2017” by Music Ally’s Sandbox.
Dippold attended The Pennsylvania State University, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Business in Marketing and Management.
Branding & Founder, Brand Synergy Group
Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Brand Synergy Group. Jeff Straughn has over twenty years of core marketing experience that includes working for global advertising firms, such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Interpublic Group’s Bozell, and ten years within sports marketing at global powerhouse Octagon. Jeff worked for Jay-Z and Mr. Antonio “LA” Reid while building a new strategic marketing department for Universal Music Group at Island Def Jam Recordings, and he has become a leader and trendsetter in how brands and artists work together. Now at Brand Synergy Group, with relationships that are direct and limitless, Jeff’s experience in brand development for Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Fall Out Boy and many others is now used to help corporate America leverage key assets to market their own brands.
President, Primary Wave IP Investment Management
Sr. V.P. of Creative / Head of Sync
Marty heads the licensing team at Primary Wave, overseeing synchronization for the company’s published songwriters and its artist management clients, as well as focusing on the identification and development of new talent. Along with team members based in both Los Angeles and New York, he has driven sync activity in all media with major placements in film, TV and advertising campaigns for artists such as Hall & Oates, Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, Def Leppard and Chicago. Before joining Primary Wave, Marty was the head of licensing and creative affairs at independent publisher North Star Media. Marty began his music career in Canada at the Queen’s University Department of Psychology, conducting research on the psychology of popular music. He has been an instructor at his alma mater, Berklee College of Music, teaching “Current Issues in the Music Industry” and regularly speaks at music industry panels and events.
VP, Business Development & Legal Affairs
Sam joins Primary Wave with a mission to utilize her many contacts from the past 15 years working as an attorney in the music industry to create business opportunities for the company. Sam also provides legal support to the executive team for acquisitions and other high level matters.
Prior to joining Primary Wave, Sam was Senior Counsel at Ritholz Levy LLP where her clients were primarily musicians, songwriters, producers, independent record labels and start-up businesses. She is experienced in structuring, negotiating and drafting a wide variety of agreements, including recording, publishing, management, branding, appearance and live performance. She was previously a Director of Business & Legal Affairs for Atlantic Records and was also a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society where she represented low-income tenants in housing matters in Harlem. Educated at Fordham University School of Law, J.D. Notes Editor, Urban Law Journal. Bucknell University, B.A., cum laude.