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Communications Journalism Media

Rezak Lecture: State of the Music Business

August 26, 2020 at 6:45pm8:05pm EDT

Virtual (See event details)

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Please respect that the discussions in this lecture series are off-the-record, with a no social media policy. If you are not registered for this class and would like to join, please email for the link.

In this first Rezak lecture of the year, we have the unique opportunity to hear from leaders of each of the major industry sectors: record labels, music publishing and the live business. We will discuss how COVID-19 has changed the industry, including what’s working well, and what isn’t working at all. We’ll dive into some specific campaigns represented by this week’s guests, including everyone from Whitney Houston to emerging phenom 24kGoldn. Added bonus? All three speakers are Syracuse University alumni, so we’ll talk about their path from campus to the top of the music business, and what the Orange Mafia has meant for their lives and careers.

Sara Gil ’14 – Vice President Label Management, RECORDS

Sara Gil is an alumna of Syracuse University’s Bandier Program. During her time at Syracuse, she interned for Sony Music and Shapiro Bernstein Music Publishing. She spent her last semester of college studying and interning in Nashville at Big Machine Label Group. Her first job after college was label coordinator and executive assistant to Salaam Remi at Sony Music in New York City. She currently works at industry veteran Barry Weiss’ label venture with Sony Music as vice president, label management. She oversees all label operations, overhead operations and A&R operations. The current label roster includes Lennon Stella, Noah Cyrus, 24kGoldn, Matt Stell, and KBFR among many others.

Peter Schwartz ’90 – Agent, WME

Peter Schwartz is an agent at WME (William Morris Endeavor) in New York, where he represents over 30 music artists. Schwartz was born and raised in New York City. He majored in television, radio and film production at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and graduated in 1990.

In 1991, Schwartz was selected to join the coveted agent trainee program at the William Morris Agency. After two years assisting, he left to join The Agency Group (TAG), a new U.S. start-up agency, where he was promoted to agent. There he spent over two decades growing his roster and the company from a boutique agency into one of the largest global music agencies. At TAG he was a vice president and in 2010 became head of urban music.

In 2015, Schwartz returned to where his agency career started and rejoined WME, where he is now. As an agent, Schwartz has booked well over 25,000 shows and hundreds of tours throughout his career. Schwartz prides himself in his success with artist development, tour packaging and overseeing his artist’s global careers.

Some of his current client roster includes: AJR, Macklemore, Lil Mosey, Ferg, 24KGoldn, Lucky Daye, Kenzie, Amine, Joey BadA$$, Joe Budden Podcast, Flatbush Zombies, Jidenna and many more.

Justin Shukat ’96 – Founding Partner and 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. He oversees all areas of Primary Wave’s synch exploitation and works alongside all partner companies to ensure that all businesses are focused and delivering. His music career began at the Montreux Jazz Festival and was followed by various positions at Walter Yetnikoff’s Velvel Records. Shukat then moved on to senior marketing positions at both Arista and Epic Records. He recently landed on Billboard Magazine’s “Indie Power Player” list as well as “40 under 40.”

This event was published on August 25, 2020.

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