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OUR POST-GRAMMY CHEW TAKES LESS THAN FOUR HOURS TO READ
We'll let you get back to your day ASAP. (2/7a)
HITS LIST WINNERS
Here's who's lighting up the scoreboard before and after the Grammys. (2/3a)
GRAMMY-WEEK ALBUM: PICS TO CLICK
Including shots of several luminaries entrapped by a HITS nerd. (2/8a)
GRAMMY RATINGS SOAR
The emphasis on star power seems to have worked. (2/7a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:
JIM ROPPO
Building blocks of a singular career (2/8a)
HIP-HOP AT 50
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
THE NEXT BIG PLAYER
in the catalog game is...
INDIE BREAKOUTS
More independent music rises at the DSPs.
THE GOP CONGRESS
At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Music City
NASHVILLE'S NEW WAVE:
GEORGE COURI & BRUCE KALMICK
7/19/16

TRIPLE 8 MANAGEMENT

Like all the outlaws before them, Triple 8 set up shop in Austin—and George Couri and Bruce Kalmick set about not just breaking, but melting down the rules of how traditional country business was done. Having been inside the founding company of ACL Festival, Triple 8 understood the power of the live connection and used that for diverse clients like the ACM-winning Eli Young Band, Texas sensations Pat Green and Kevin Fowler, raucous rock leaners Cadillac 3, old guarder Joe Nichols and upstart Chase Rice. Kalmick’s degree in English helps them craft singular narratives that target their decidedly male clientele, which has set their artists apart since hitting the 6-1-5 with Jack Ingram all those years ago.

How is Triple 8 different?

BK: The major thing that brought George and I together was we both saw major flaws in the system, specifically, relying on radio fully to break an artist. Radio was the last thing we thought about, so it was breaking an artist in every other way and building a fan base. We built touring careers.

Give us an example?

GC: When we were launching Sam Hunt, we started with satellite radio, Spotify, multiple videos, all these different things, before we even went to radio. It was a process of building value and demand, and when we did go to radio, it was a different story than just here’s another brand-new act that they’ve never heard of. I’ve had radio tell that me they appreciate this approach, so by the time you do get to radio, you’ve already showed them that there’s public interest in this thing.

How do you handle, “Well, that’s just how things are done”?

GC: I hate that—and it happens a lot. Fact is, it’s more work to do it our way. I just want to give the artist the best chance of winning, dive in and do the work—we all sleep better at night that way.

BK: “It’s just how things are done” has driven me in my 10 years in this business. With Chase, everybody said, “It’s not going to work,” or “We’ll do it, but we want 20% of your touring,” or whatever. “That’s just how it’s done” drives him, too. It’s the motivation behind what’s gotten me here. I was never afraid of the norm—I wanted to do the exact opposite.

GC: We think of what can and should happen for an artist, and then devote the time and manpower to actually do it. We have 12 people in marketing, and we don’t have 30 acts. So our artists don’t have to wait in line at a label to get those services. I think the labels view us as more valuable for that reason, but accountants and lawyers are like, “Why are you spending so much of your money on it?” Well, that’s a choice, it’s a defining trait as to why we’re different. We could make more money, of course, but we’re making plenty, and it’s working.