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 15,000 songs from the catalogs of legendary artists such as Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley, Steven Tyler, John Lennon, Def Leppard, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Boston, Steve Earle, Paul Anka, Holly Knight, Sly Stone, Lamont Dozier, Robbie Robertson, Glenn Gould, Culture Club, Count Basie 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, Melissa Etheridge, The Isley Brothers, Eric Benet, Fantasia, Toots and the Maytals, Anita Baker, Jefferson Starship and others.
In 2019 Goldman Sachs honored Larry Mestel as one of the “100 most intriguing entrepreneurs” at the annual Goldman Sachs Builders & Inventors summit. In 2012 Mestel also 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 helped develop 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.
Co-Founder, President of 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.
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/SVP Creative, Head of Sync
Marty is Head of the Sync licensing department at Primary Wave. He oversees sync for all Primary Wave’s music publishing catalogs and management clients, as well as focusing on identifying and developing new talent. Marty has served as A&R in creating cover recordings of classic Primary Wave songs, with an emphasis on procuring creative sync placements.
Prior to joining Primary Wave, Marty was head of creative licensing at independent publisher North Star Media. During that time, he partnered with ad agency Leo Burnett in Chicago to establish the innovative “Artist In Residence” program, which continues to break new ground, matching brands and new artists.
He is passionate about melody in songwriting, and finding that next great song.
President, Digital Strategy
Rob began his career in marketing and rose to General Manager at Ruffhouse Records, a pioneering record label with Sony Music which has sold over 100 million albums worldwide with artists Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, Cypress Hill, Wyclef Jean, Kris Kross and others. In 2003, Rob served at Warner Music Groups distribution arm, W.E.A. Corp. developing retail and account based marketing initiatives for WMG artists including T.I., Linkin Park, Metallica, Missy Elliot, Sean Paul and others. In 2005 Rob became Head of Marketing & General Manager of Trustkill Records, an independent industry-leading entertainment and lifestyle company partnered with Sony and Universal Publishing. Trustkill established many key 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 digital marketing services, developing website properties, merchandising, music publishing, recorded music, artist management, mobile technology, as well as overseeing all company marketing initiatives. In 2005, Dippold developed and co-launched “MobileThreat” the first ever mobile content destination platform dedicated to the metal & punk music genres as well as other lifestyle branded websites. Rob has also managed acts including the pioneering alternative rock act Mushroomhead, COLD, Nothing, Dice Raw (The Roots), The Drama Club and many others.
President, Brand Marketing
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.
Partner and Director of Copyrights & Royalties
Matt Jones is responsible for all copyright and royalty functions for Primary Wave. Most recently he worked at Palm Entertainment Properties as Royalties Manager, where he oversaw the implementation of rights management and royalty systems for both its music and film divisions. He has extensive knowledge in copyright matters, including mechanical and synchronization licensing, catalog valuations and copyright terminations. Mr. Jones previously worked as Finance Director of Ultra Records, the country’s leading independent electronic music label.
Head of Creative A&R
Jake Livingston is Head of Creative and based in LA. Livingston’s oversees the day-to-day operations of the contemporary publishing roster as well as running the company’s producer management division. Since Livingston joined Primary Wave in 2012 their clients have made critical hits such as Eminem/Rihanna’s “The Monster” Flo Rida’s “My House” Jason DeRulo’s “Want To Want Me” Kiiara’s “Gold” Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack” Martin Garrix/Dua Lipa’s “Scared To Be Lonely” DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One” Ariana Grande’s “Boy Friend” Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” LP’s “Lost On You” and Ariana Grande’s “Boyfriend.” Under Livingston’s tutelage Primary Wave’s producers have developed artists including Ruel, Carlie Hanson, Love Mansuy, Rachel Platten, Amy Shark, KYLE, D’Andy, Charlotte Lawrence, and CXLOE. Early in his career Livingston worked at Epic Records where he signed artist Starset and managed songwriters Mick Coogan and Sean Douglas.
Janice Brock is a veteran executive of both the UK and US music industry. Until taking up her current role with Primary Wave, she was most recently Head of A+R for Sony/ATV Music Publishing UK and Head of Producer Management there, having been with Sony/ATV for 9 years in total, and originally based in New York, relocating to the UK in 2008. Artists and writers she signed include: Producers Fraser T Smith, Eg White, Naughty Boy and his artists including Sam Smith and Emeli Sande. Also artists Mikky Ekko (feat on “Stay” with Rihanna), James Arthur, Kasabian and Arrow Benjamin (feat on “Freedom” on Beyonce’s Lemonade). Prior to Sony/ATV, Brock was Vice President, Office of the Chairman, at EMI Music Publishing in New York, at their global head office, and also previously worked for publishers and labels SBK Records/Entertainment and Warner/Chappell Music. She was inducted into the UK Music Week’s Women in Music Roll of Honour in 2015, and also serves on UK Music’s Taskforce for Racial and Gender Equality. Janice is both a UK and US citizen, and currently resides in England.
Director of A&R
Andrew began his career in the sync department where he focused on procuring licensing opportunities for Primary Wave’s music publishing catalogs and management clients. As a publishing A&R Andrew has signed or helped promote the careers of songwriters and artists such as Dante Jones, xSDTRK, DJ White Shadow, Livvi Franc, The Donuts, Georgia Ku and LP. Andrew also works across Primary Wave’s writer/producer management business alongside Jake Livingston as day-to-day manager for M-Phazes, Jon Levine, Mitch Allan, Louis Schoorl, and MAG. Andrew is originally from Rhode Island and graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics.
Associate Director, Creative A&R
Matt joins the Primary Wave creative team after two years working alongside legendary industry veteran David Massey to relaunch Clive Davis’ famous Arista Records brand in the US for Sony Music.
Prior to his roles at Arista and Island Records supporting David Massey, his A&R team and many of the world’s biggest pop stars, Matt worked on the cusp of the American and French music industries as a Project Manager for French Embassy’s Music Export Office in New York. In that role at le BureauExport, Matt helped strategize and implement the international development of renowned and developing artists as varied as Stromae, David Guetta, Jain, Alexandre Tharaud and Christine, and the Queens.
Matt graduated from McGill University in Montreal, studying Jazz Guitar Performance and English.
Associate Director, Synch
Peter is the Management Consultant at Primary Wave. Originally from Canada, Peter moved to the U.S. to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a dual Major in Songwriting & Contemporary Writing and Production, then relocated to Los Angeles. Peter interned at Miles High Productions, an online and social marketing company with clientele such as Heart and Coldplay, where he worked closely with CEO/Founder Chip Schutzman. Soon after, he joined the Primary Wave team where he focuses on cultivating placements in TV, film, advertising and other media for Primary Wave’s roster of publishing and music management clients.
Nicholas is a coordinator for the creative team at Primary Wave with a focuses on the placement and licensing of music for film, TV, and advertising as well as finding lucrative marketing opportunities for the companies client roster. Originally from Oregon, Nicholas graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music with a bachelors degree in Music Production & Engineering. He has a background in studio work and has interned in various recording studios and post-production houses across the country. After college, he moved to New York to pursue a career in the music industry and soon after, began interning and eventually working full-time at Primary Wave.
Josh “Cocktail” Hallbauer
Creative A&R & Branding Consultant
After singlehandedly recreating a music economy inside of the brand space, Josh has joined us after conception and executing award-winning music programs for brands like Sour Patch Kids, Tinder, & Door Dash. Since joining the Primary Wave family Josh has lead all of our experience-driven initiatives on the A&R front while continuing to reinvent how brands identify with talent while supporting mutually beneficial growth for both parties.
Creative A&R Consultant
Born & raised in Chicago, Brice started in music, at a young age, as a singer in the world-renowned Chicago Children’s Choir, sharing the stage with the likes of Celine Dion, Nick Carter, Josh Groban, Renee Fleming & more. After studying music & sociology at Bard College, and a brief stint in the tech world, Brice made his way to LA where he joined the team at Infamous PR, working with electronic-music royalty such as Eric Prydz, Pete Tong, DirtyBird records and others. Since then he has worked as an independent manager with artists, writers, producers as well as being a founding member of the creative hub known as ‘The Dock’, located in Burbank, California.
Manager, Creative A&R
Bistricer’s music career began at Interscope Records doing marketing coordination for Lana Del Rey, Zedd, and The 1975, while still a senior at Syracuse University. After being introduced to his current producer client Midi Jones (Alessia Cara, Ella Mai, and Kiana Ledé), the New York City native, now LA transplant, ultimately decided to pursue talent management and A&R. In January 2018, Bistricer joined the A&R division at Primary Wave to support their star-studded deck of writers and producers including M-Phazes, Georgia Ku, Jon Levine, and Dante Jones. His first signing Tim Randolph, who recently wrote and produced “original me” by YUNGBLUD ft. Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons is just getting started. Bistricer will continue his efforts to expand the Primary Wave roster by signing and developing some of the world’s most sought after talent.
VP of Creative A&R
Angelica has managed songwriters and producers who have gone on to sign publishing deals at several of the major publishers. Previously as an A&R for Unrestricted/SONGS Music Publishing she worked on projects for artists such as Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Noah Cyrus, and Chromeo, before becoming the sole US-based A&R for London-headquartered TaP Music while working directly with artists including Hailee Steinfeld and Col3trane. Recently, she has also been working with Alina Baraz on her upcoming debut album. Angelica was born and raised in Los Angeles and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA.
Juan Madrid, who got his start as a music publisher’s assistant at Sony BMG back in 2001, has evolved into an accomplished entrepreneur, with ties in both music and TV. After a long and storied career as an executive at some of the biggest music companies in the world, he now creates opportunities for himself and others, utilizing his vast knowledge of the industry. After fifteen years holding high-level positions as a music publisher, Juan has had many notable signings to his credit. These include some of the brightest stars in the urban music world including, but not limited to, notable producers Lex Luger, T-Minus, and Chief Keef collaborator Young Chop as well as artists The Game, Rick Ross, Flo-Rida, Waka Flocka, Meek Mill, Wiz Khalifa and more. Wanting to do more than signing artists to deals, he saw an opportunity to create his own lane, and not be confined to only music publishing. After leaving his Senior VP of Urban A&R role at Warner Chappell in 2016, he created Cruz Control Music, LLC, which operates fluidly and allows him to not only sign artists to his own publishing company but also manage, consult and more. He has signed AYO, who produced Kyle’s chart-topping record “ISpy” in 2017. He has also signed songwriter Raquelle Dolore who has recent success include co-writing 2Chainz & Arianna Grande’s “Rule The World”. In 2018, he also managed hip hop superstar Rick Ross. While Madrid started out in music, he recently entered the TV industry as a Consulting Producer for MGM and Viacom for the show Signed, which aired on VH1 in 2017. The show is currently in pre-production for Season 2, and Madrid will again contribute to the series as a producer. After wrapping up production of the show, Madrid embarked on a new journey, which found him managing the career of Hip Hop impresario Rick Ross. Madrid worked with Ross for 18 months until he re-entered the music publishing world when his company Cruz Control Music closed a joint venture publishing deal with Primary Wave. Madrid has developed an impeccable reputation in the industry and fortified himself as a main player in the publishing and TV production game.