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A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS II:
DAVID MASSEY

In this latest excerpt from our profiles of industry ballers, we review an early episode in the career of Arista chief David Massey.

While handling Wang Chung and Tom Robinson, among others, Massey launched his own indie label/pubco, Big World. He had a successful career and was enjoying himself. But then opportunity knocked.

Artist management—specifically in the way that he approached the job—was a logical gateway to A&R for Massey.

“When I was a manager back in the 
day,” he tells HITS, “I was always involved in the A&R of my bands. My management company was A&R-driven in terms of our involvement, which is probably why I ended up doing A&R.”

In the early ’90s, when he and his wife were having their second child, Michele Anthony and Tommy Mottola reached out to him and offered him an A&R job in New York.

“It just felt right at that time to move from being a young manager with a good staff—I had a dozen people working for us—into the heart of the business, which was at that time New York,” he has shared. “It just felt like an opportunity to learn a huge amount around the age of 30 and absorb a whole new set of experiences, so I thought I’d stay a couple years, but it ended up being 15.”

In 1993, two years into his first label gig, as VP A&R at Epic, Massey had another eureka moment when Creation Records head Alan McGee played him a tape by the little-known English band Oasis. “He came to see me in New York with the demo before he signed the band, and I fell in love with it,” Massey recalled. “I had never heard a demo as strong as theirs was. So, Oasis became a Creation signing and a Sony act worldwide.”

Read the entire profile here. Massey is seen below just a few months back with his Arista team and artists Audrey, Julian Lamadrid and Sophia Messa.

 

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