Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Lawrence Mestel, Founder & CEO of Primary Wave Music, has been working in the music and entertainment industry for over 30 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.
In 2019 Goldman Sachs honored Larry Mestel as one of the “100 most intriguing entrepreneurs” at the annual Goldman Sachs Builders & Inventors summit. In 2020 Mestel also landed on Billboard Magazine’s “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, Los Angeles 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.
Chief Marketing Officer
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 Sync at Primary Wave, overseeing licensing activity for Primary Wave’s music publishing and management clients. With staff in Los Angeles and New York, the dynamic Primary Wave Sync team is a key part of Primary Wave’s proactive marketing approach, constantly creating new opportunities and driving big ideas for music in film/TV, advertising, video games, and other visual media.
In 17 years in music publishing, Marty has worked with and secured placements in film, TV and advertising campaigns for artists such as Kurt Cobain, Smokey Robinson, Def Leppard, Hall & Oates, Aerosmith, Collective Soul, Bruce Hornsby, Kenny Loggins, L.P. and Foy Vance.
He was recognized as one of Billboard Magazine’s Top Branding Power Players in both 2018 and 2019.
Earlier in his career, while at independent publisher North Star Media, Marty partnered with Chicago advertising agency Leo Burnett to establish the innovative “Artist-In-Residence” program, which continues to break new ground, matching brands and new artists.
He has a Bachelor of Arts/Psychology from Queen’s University in Canada, where he conducted research and published papers on the Psychology of popular music. He has also been an instructor at his other alma mater, Berklee College of Music, teaching “Current Issues in the Music Industry.”
President, Digital Strategy & Marketing
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” 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, Charlotte Lawrence, Carlie Hanson, Rachel Platten, Amy Shark, and KYLE. Early in his career Livingston worked at Epic Records where he signed artist Starset and managed songwriters Mick Coogan and Sean Douglas.
Senior Director of A&R
Alyssa is a young music industry executive who started the A&R research division of Island Records right out of college after learning the skill through a year’s worth of interning at Republic Records. She went on to flag and advocate to sign artists through research that ended up being signed at the label (including American Authors, Olivia O’Brien, and PUBLIC), and several who did not but who went on to subsequent success (Halsey, Hozier, Lauv, X Ambassadors & more). She developed Olivia O’Brien’s artistry on repertoire & marketing levels and in 2018 signed the label Avant Garden to Island Records, bringing in such critically acclaimed artists as Emotional Oranges, THEY., slenderbodies, iamnotshane, Rynx & Chiiild, based solely on intuition. She brings her repertoire skills, scouting abilities, & data background to Primary Wave, where she does A&R across the publishing roster in addition to representing management clients iamnotshane, Julian Soto, Kieran Watters, Pom Pom & Teddy Sinclair.
Senior Director, A&R and Catalogue Acquisition
Matt joined 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. In his role at Primary Wave, Matt splits his time working creative projects across both the contemporary publishing roster and our renowned and expansive catalogue of legendary artists, including placing songs with artists, flipping songs and generating contemporary covers from the Primary Wave catalogue, and developing large creative strategies around our writers, artists, producers, and catalogues.
Matt also plays an active role in publishing catalogue acquisition at the company, sourcing a number of deals, including Dan Wilson & Semisonic (“Closing Time” “Someone Like You” by Adele) and Sturken & Rogers (Master stake in Rihanna’s first 7 albums).
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 Literature + Cultural Studies.
Management Consultant in Music Publishing & Marketing
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.
Christian Morrissey joins the Primary Wave team with over ten years under his belt in the music industry. He has an extensive background in music licensing, having started out at Beggars Group, worked on custom ad compositions with Amber Music, and facilitated catalog acquisition for DSPs at Sony. Based in his hometown of New York, he’ll be working out of the east coast office with a continued focus on advertising synch. Outside of Primary Wave, he’s an active DJ for independent radio and an official citizen pruner for the Gowanus Canal Conservancy.
Derek comes to Primary Wave with a rich, diversified background in the music industry, focused in the world of sync licensing. His career began in New York City at Nylon Magazine, where he gained experience music coordinating for Nylon TV. Soon after began a seven-year stretch at Bank Robber Music and Rough Trade Publishing, pitching their expansive catalog to music supervisors across all media types. Most recently Derek was working at Secret Road Music Services as the Manager of Advertising and Branding, assisting the company in opening its long-awaited New York office. With a recent move to the west coast, Derek has joined the team at Primary Wave as the Manager of Sync, working to secure placements for their iconic roster in advertising, film, television, and video games.
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.
VP of Creative
An alum of Berklee College of Music, Franny Graham, started his career as a recording engineer at Record Plant Recording Studio in Hollywood. After ten years of working with artists like Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Madonna, and Bruno Mars, he decided to switch his focus to A&R and management. First, with Electric Feel Management and more recently as Sr. Director of A&R at APG, Franny has been involved in platinum releases by DJ Snake and Justin Bieber, Martin Garrix and Troye Sivan, Kyle and Kehlani and Fifth Harmony.
David Weitzman is a creative business music executive who has worked with world-class artists and songwriters throughout his multi-faceted career. David’s love of music and the discovery of new artists led to his choosing a career he has a deep passion for.
David started his music business career in the 90’s where he worked with record labels such as Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, iconic punk label, Epitaph Records, Sublime’s Skunk Records and infamous Red Ant Records. David worked in the A & R & radio promotion capacities working with platinum artists including Sublime, Rancid, The Black Crowes, Sir Mix a Lot and more.
David transitioned to digital distributor Emusic during the dotcom boom of the late ‘90s where he signed up independent labels and artists to exclusive digital distribution deals. After Emusic, David started music supervising audiovisual projects mostly in television including MTV hits, Jackass, Wildboyz, Rob & Big, and Run’s House.
David’s next professional chapter was his entry into music publishing and asset acquisition at indie music publisher, ole. At ole, David signed legendary super-producer, Timbaland for catalog and futures, led the acquisition of major film studio, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s music publishing assets, acquired the dynamic production music library, Jingle Punks, acquired RedOne’s 2101 Songs catalog and purchased catalog and futures of acclaimed veteran songwriter, Jeff Trott among many other successful transactions.
One of Samantha’s earliest music memories is year after year hearing “Roundabout” by Yes reverberating off the walls of her childhood home. This formative experience grew into a passion over time and is what ultimately drew her into the music industry. A deep interest in the relationship between audio & visual narratives emerged as she pursued the study of photography and film as a teenager. Her career began at Warner Music Group where she interned on the digital accounts team at WEA. Most recently she comes from 12Tone Music, where she oversaw all of the label’s digital & physical production. She served a diverse roster of artists such as Anderson .Paak, Joji, Lauren Daigle, ILLENIUM, Raveena, and executed the release of Dolly Parton’s first Christmas album in over 30 years which sold 267,000+ physical units (vinyl, CD, 8-track, & cassette) across the globe in its first Holiday season. Samantha studied Media at Hunter College in New York City and dreams of one day DJing a Brazilian Tropicália set at her favorite nightclub, Marula Café in Barcelona. She is originally from Fresh Meadows, Queens.