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NOISEMAKERS:
ON THE MOVE

In our latest roundup, we present eight rising professionals from various parts of the biz whose dedication and effort make their superiors look good. 

This week's entrants will also find their faces in our latest mag. And if they don't care about that (because, why should they?), we're told the pages make for semi-decent coasters.



Steph Pensa

VP, Digital Marketing, RCA 

Pensa was stoked when she got to work with Childish Gambino on his 2018 single “This Is America,” which would debut at #1 and win four Grammy Awards, including Record and Song of the Year. “If this doesn’t break the Internet and change the culture, I’m retiring early,” she said upon seeing an early cut of the (Grammy-winning) video. Pensa’s now devoted to developing artists like Tate McRae, whose single “You Broke Me First” amassed more than 1b streams. A high school softball state-champ catcher, she’s tagged us out.





Niles Goodwin
VP, Promotion, Capitol Music Group

Before making waves in marketing and promotion, Goodwin was a teenage DJ at KMOJ Minneapolis, where he hung out with Prince at Paisley Park as a lad of 16. He earned his first radio spin from Hot97 New York’s legendary DJ Enuff (who also gave him an on-air shout-out). When he’s not working on Migos, Halsey, Sam Smith, Katy Perry and other Capitol artists, Goodwin’s at his NYC eatery Late Nite Buns, among the farthest points in the continental U.S. from HITS headquarters, which we suspect is no coincidence.





Roxy Silver
Manager, A&R, APG 

Silver treasures being on the team that delivered Ava Max’s 2020 album Heaven & Hell, which yielded the 1b+ streamer “Sweet but Psycho,” and launched Josh Golden’s artist career. She recently signed Salem Ilese—writer of the viral hit “Mad at Disney” and co-writer of Bella Poarch’s “Build a Bitch”—for publishing. In addition to seasoned songwriters Madison Love and JHart, Silver is working with up-and-comers like LØLØ and Sorana. She may be a self-described dog whisperer, but she’s never had to deal with HITS weasels—until now, that is.





Matt Spiller
Head of Publishing, Ultra Music Publishing

This former Ernst & Young exec transitioned from accounting to music to work with producer/artists like Grammy winner Benny Benassi and Zaytoven (named one of the 50 Greatest Producers of the 21st Century), about whom he says, “They turned me on to music in their respective realms, the gateway drugs, if you will, to hip-hop and dance.” Spiller today oversees a publishing roster that includes JMSN and Clinton Kane, among others. An avid skier, he’s always looking for company on the slopes. Not that he’s asked us to join him.





Marc Rucker
Artist Management, Big Loud

As part of the squad handling Chris Lane and MacKenzie Porter, Rucker’s had a hand in #1 platinum singles, sold-out tours and banner brand deals. At the moment he’s focused on Lane’s song “Fill Them Boots” and tour of the same name; ditto Dustin Lynch’s “Thinking ’Bout You” featuring Porter (who got the high-profile gig via a blind audition) and her forthcoming road show. Once an amateur boxer, Rucker fought for St. Jude at Nashville’s 2020 Rumble on the Row. He’s understandably dubious about having us in his corner. 





Elizabeth Eason 
Product Manager, Artist & Label Services, Vydia

Eason worked on Christmas Eve in 2020 to distribute Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir composition Emmanuel. Her professional dedication was also apparent at SXSW in 2021 when she moderated her panel “Emerging to Mainstream: Africa’s Newfound Success,” a discussion about the music market in sub-Saharan Africa. She’s currently formulating marketing strategy for Sunday Service, Akon, Five Finger Death Punch and Joeboy. A classically trained violinist, Eason is also a member of the Santa Monica Symphony. We know how to play a comb kazoo.





Maxim Karlik
Agent, Music Crossover, UTA  

In 2019 Karlik helped deliver Lauryn Hill’s first release in six years, “Guarding the Gates,” for Queen & Slim. He’s also had a hand in producer Harvey Mason Jr.’s Emmy noms for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist; projects for Issa Rae’s music-supervision company and supe Brienne Rose (Emmy-nominated for Russian Doll); and signing Grammy-winning producer Marius de Vries (La La Land) and White Horse Pictures (Emmy nominee The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart); and much more. Improbably, Karlik binged 10 seasons of Survivor while we were writing this. 





Zachary Crandall
Co-Founder, Very Rare

Relying on his A&R background, Crandall co-founded Very Rare with a fellow former BMG intern. The management company represents Lexi Jayde—whose debut EP arrived on 7/23 via APG—and producers Bendik Møller (Jaime Miller’s “Here’s Your Perfect,” which hit #2 on Spotify’s global Viral 50) and Jason Strong (Jack Newsome, Sueco, Lonely God). He’s also working on a project intended to create a sense of community among managers. Something he might want to share: his obsession with Trader Joe’s seasonal offerings; Crandall’s counting the days until TJ’s fall drop.

  

 

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(Adele.)
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