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"I learned that sometimes patience is the best thing and that it always comes down to the product."
RIGHT PLACE, WRIGHT TIME
Wright Entertainment Group, Wright International Records and Entertainment President Johnny Wright Says We're Wrong
"I am not a Svengali," says Johnny Wright. "I’m more like a traffic cop." As the Orlando-based manager of today’s Kings of Pop, NSYNC, as well as co-manager of its reigning Queen, Britney Spears, Wright is comfortable directing at rush hour. His current responsibilities are not all that different from what he’s been doing for the last 15 years.

HITS’ own way-over-17 teenager, Shirley "You Can’t Be Serious" Halperin, went down to O-Town to audition as a Britney Spears dancer and—oh, yeah—interview Wright at his 16-acre "compound," which includes a bowling alley, dance hall, three fully equipped recording studios and a jet ski dock.

For the full interview click the "doubletalk" button at the top of this page, or right here.

On Orlando as a music Mecca:
Disney and Universal recruit a great deal of teen performers to work the parks. So if you’re looking for talent, they’ve already done the work for you—look at Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, Justin Timberlake, Keri Russell—all from "The Mickey Mouse Club." The other thing about Orlando is that people are always recruiting musicians, so it became easy pickings for us when we wanted to assemble a group.

On the alleged teenpop bust:
With radio stations so dependent on ad sales, sometimes a teen audience is too limited. Since they want to expand their demographics (and extend their revenue streams), radio is now programming away from the teen market. There are so many teen groups out there because when something is popular, everybody does it. And naturally not every one of them will be able to do 10 million records. Some see that as a waning of popularity; I think it’s just that people have more options now. When a radio programmer my age sees nine out of 10 acts being teen acts, there is a reaction to that. Although, it won’t be like when New Kids, Hammer and Paula Abdul faded, because there are too many ways for kids to get music now. If it’s not coming from MTV or the radio, it’s coming from the Internet. Aaron Carter is a perfect example. Here’s a 14-year-old kid who has sold 2 million records and has probably had less than 10 spins on major radio and most likely never had his video played on MTV, but he’s still able to sell out a headlining tour. So there are new avenues to promote and sell. At the end of the day, a hit record is a hit record—radio will have to play it and MTV will have to air it.

On NSYNC taking more control on the Celebrity.
Nobody knows their audience better than they do, so nobody can bring their fans what they want better than the band. About seven of the new songs come from the guys themselves, and not just in a co-writer position, but as solo writers and producers. And that the first single, "Pop," is one of their songs says a lot about how far they’ve come in their writing and production abilities.

HITS LIST IS
IN THE MAIL
A not-so-subtle reminder to fill out that ballot. (10/15a)
NEAR TRUTHS: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
The lives behind live music. (10/14a)
HARVEY MASON JR.:
THE HITS INTERVIEW
The Grammy chief takes our call. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020: COMING SOON
It will rain again this fall--we guarantee it. (10/13a)
STEVIE WONDER PARTNERS WITH REPUBLIC
First music in 15 years. (10/14a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
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