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 rolling trays.

Julie Vastola
VP, Creative (Visual Content), Republic

Vastola treasures having traveled the world with Florence Welch while she toured and promoted her 2022 album Dance Fever. She also worked with Welch to launch her TikTok presence, “Flo-Tok,” which she used to tease Florence + The Machine’s “Mermaids.” Vastola has lately worked on the visual presentation of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” and “Red Ruby da Sleeze” and Kim Petras’ “Alone” f/Minaj. In a real-life version of Dave Chapelle’s SNL skit, Vastola once played Ping-Pong and ate pancakes with Prince at Paisley Park. We have, too (in our dreams).

Alan Zadeh

Zadeh has collaborated over the years with the likes of The Weeknd, Diddy, Swedish House Mafia, Metro Boomin and French Montana. He’s overseen innovative music videos for, among others, The Weeknd and Nicki Minaj, Maluma & Myriam Fares, whose “Tukoh Taka” was the official 2022 FIFA Fan Festival anthem. Zadeh’s taken a “creative incubator” approach to these projects as well as SALXCO’s film and TV endeavors. Up next: podcasting. Zadeh is not only a die-hard martial-arts fan but a practitioner of judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. We’re practitioners of napping.

Sharon Bako
Senior Director, Marketing, Def Jam

Among other career highlights, Bako launched Amazon Music’s first-ever hip-hop and R&B brand, “Rotation,” was written up in Forbes for her advocacy of African artists and Afrobeats and was encouraged―and hugged―by Beyoncé at a holiday event. Today, she’s devoted to advancing new projects by Coco Jones, including her single “ICU” (at one point the #1 Most Added track at R&B radio), and Adekunle Gold (whose “Party No Dey Stop” has amassed 20m+ streams). Bako’s dream is to produce and host a season of Love Island U.K. That’s one island we’d surely be voted off.

Guy Oldaker
Agent, UTA

From being a member of the audience to helping his clients sell out shows and getting a shout-out from Grammy winner Jon Cleary, Oldaker’s career has been nothing short of thrilling. He’s particularly proud to have booked ILLENIUM’s sold-out post-lockdown performances at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium and Denver’s Mile High Stadium. He’s now wrangling ILLENIUM’s world tour, which begins late next month and has already moved 150k+ tickets. Oldaker is the proud owner of 1,500 vinyl albums and is also a guitar collector and player. We’re just collecting dust.

Shannon Mingal
Senior Director, Digital Marketing, Epic

During quarantine, Mingal was honored to launch a first-of-its-kind immersive concert experience for Madison Beer on TikTok and help throw what turned out to be a Clio-winning album-release party for Zara Larsson on Roblox. She worked on the rollout of Mimi Webb’s debut album, Amelia, which dropped in March, and is now focused on digital strategy for Bakar’s platinum “Hell N Back” and material by newcomers Tyla, Eddie Benjamin and Absolutely. The first artist Mingal met was Nas―in an airport when she was in middle school. She’s grateful never to have met us.

Tariq Stewart
Manager, A&R, RCA

Having worked with some of the biggest names in music, Stewart will never forget being in the studio with his mentor, RCA President Mark Pitts, while Chris Brown was working on 2022’s BREEZY, the deluxe version of which went on to be nominated for a Grammy. He’s especially pumped about the rising stars on the RCA roster, including Libianca, whose single “People” will hit the Rhythm chart this week. “First time I heard it, I got goosebumps,” he says. Stewart once played bass drum in marching band. After this, he’ll be marching away from us.

Cecilia Rivas
Digital Production Manager, Warner Music México

Rivas fondly recalls the time she calculated precisely when to release Bizarrap’s “Paulo Londra: Bzrp Music Session, Vol. 23” to coincide with an Instagram post’s reaching 23m comments based on its growth in its first few hours. This spring, she’s overseeing the delivery of Luis Miguel and Jesse & Joy’s catalog in Dolby Atmos and sped-up versions of Piso 21’s “Los Cachos,” among others projects. Rivas helped Omar Apollo find some toilet paper when he was visiting the office last year. Somehow, toilet paper always finds our house.

Nadeem Mirza
VP of Network, Create Music Group

For Mirza, satisfaction comes in knowing he’s helped clients like mau5trap, Magic Music and Karolina Protsenko see upwards of five times more revenue for their work. He’s presently devising strategies to help creators and artists maximize their reach and value through short-form content, including YouTube Shorts. He’s also working on a content-licensing platform that will allow creators, artists and content developers to collaborate without copyright-infringement concerns. Mirza is a certified scuba diver, which comes in handy when trying to avoid us at sea.