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Meet Jason Owen, the Mega-Manager clients that are whose the Grammys’ Country Honors

Meet Jason Owen, the Mega-Manager clients that are whose the Grammys’ Country Honors

Nashville’s Sandbox Entertainment houses Kacey Musgraves, Dan + Shay and minimal Big Town, and others.

There was clearly an instant on the of Feb. 10 whenever supervisor Jason Owen permitted their brain to “go here. evening” Could his customer, Kacey Musgraves, whom by 4 p.m. had currently found two Grammy honors — for “Space Cowboy” and “Butterflies,” for best nation track and greatest nation solamente performance, respectively — in Owen’s terms, “sweep this thing”?

Musgraves did just that, winning every category in which she was that is nominated what many give consideration to the essential coveted honor regarding the evening, the all-genre record of the season prize, for “Golden Hour.” Nonetheless it has also been a sweep for Owen’s very own Nashville-based Sandbox Entertainment, whose clients — which include Dan & Shay (co-managed with Scooter Braun) — took home all the Grammys in the united states groups.

For Musgraves, who Owen has represented since 2011, it ended up being “a reckoning,” he claims. “It stated a whole lot for Nashville and also for the future of nation music, to place a limelight on items that are believed never as main-stream that deserve all of the attention on the planet. It had been unique.”

And actually talking? Claims Owen, whom presently boasts jobs in development at Netflix and Amazon: “It ended up being single-handedly the night that is best of my professional life. Hands down.”

When two different people had been destined to traipse through life together, it is Musgraves and Owen — he, an unabashed worshiper of all of the things Dolly and Madonna while growing up in Arkansas, and she, a Texas girl that embodies the united states glamour of a Barbara Mandrell because of the vocal majesty of a Linda Ronstadt (Harry Styles’ contrast). And it’s perhaps their mutual growth that is real-time fairly brand brand new terrain that both received and bonded them to one another. “The work of an excellent supervisor is truly to permit the musician to really make the music as well as the art they desire to make, then allow me to venture out and offer them the possibilities,” Owen describes.

But Owen is more of the builder than the usual finger-snapper. From their very first administration customer Shania Twain, who he took in after serving in senior promotion, advertising and imaginative roles at her label, Universal Music Nashville, to Midland, a neo-traditionalist band that unexpectedly topped the country charts, there’s strategy behind the step by step placement of the Sandbox work, specially because it pertains to the real time arena.

“I never pigeonhole because I don’t tune in to music in that way, and I also do not have,” says Owen. “There’s a spot for several, specially using the right documents as well as the exact same is true of touring. Like Kelsea Ballerini has gone out with Kelly Clarkson at this time; Harry Styles and Kacey ended up being a combination that is magic and in the beginning with Katy Perry and Kacey, too. Neither she nor i desired in which to stay a lane that is specific of touring.” (At Sandbox, Leslie Cohea heads touring.)

Owen has constantly gravitated towards feminine artists, returning to their childhood playing Madonna, Cher, Bette Midler and Dolly Parton. “ i believe female acts simply possess this energy of superstardom,as he eagerly awaited the premiere of Madonna’s “Vogue” video” he says, recalling a family ski trip in 1990 during which he traded the slopes for MTV. “I would personally maybe maybe maybe not go out because I happened to be dying because of it,” he says with a laugh. “The artistic of the spectacle just always stuck beside me.”

Unlike many Nashville industry heavies, nevertheless, Owen didn’t start off in the songs company. Away from university, he went along to work on brand New Line Cinema and Fine Line before moving up to Spelling Entertainment. It had been then that veteran label PR strategist Lauren Murphy (now Lauren Lewis) tapped him to take control of promotion for Mercury Nashville. In the exact same time, UMG established an innovative new label called Lost Highway. Positioning it self as kept of conventional nation, it had been house to records by Johnny money, Ryan Adams (Owen notes that Adams’ promotion had been go out of the latest York) additionally the newly signed Musgraves. “I utilized to sit for the reason that seat at Universal and will have to cope with the worst f—king redtube supervisors. And I also was, like, ‘I am able to fare better than by using my eyes shut.’ And that’s exactly what began me personally thinking about management. However it was frightening.”

Timing-wise, a change had been arriving at the Nashville music company while the 2010s approached.

Luke Lewis, a figure that is beloved musical City, had been set to retire (he had been succeeded by present UMG Nashville president and CEO Mike Dungan) sufficient reason for their exit in 2012 arrived some doubt. Claims Owen: that I possibly could be kept here in a very good or bad situation.“ I knew”

Owen wound up making their peers into the dirt as Sandbox signed Faith Hill, Dan + Shay, Little Big Town, Midland and Devin Dawson (Twain left for Maverick in 2016). Their group expanded too, to 15 — “basically 90 % feminine,” Owen adds. “And the acts don’t really take on one another. They’re all supportive and rooting for every other.”

And there’s great deal to cheer on. Dan + Shay, who saw a huge crossover hit in present months with “Tequila,” and also acquired a Grammy final Sunday, just racked up 10 Academy of Country Music Awards nominations, as a duo or separately. Five a lot more of those ACM nominations decided to go to Musgraves, whom, almost a 12 months after “golden hour” was launched, is finally getting played on country radio, which had all but sat out of the period.

Owen’s destination when you look at the greater socio-political-economic balance of Nashville — an oasis of blue in a typically red state — is significant. Early just last year, whenever conservative talk-show host Mike Huckabee had been appointed to your Country Music Association’s charitable board, Owen ended up being those types of vehemently opposing the move, in specific due to Huckabee’s history of slamming not merely same-sex wedding but parenting that is gay. In a letter to top CMA metal, Owen published, “As you’ll understand i’ve a youngster and two in route. This guy has caused it to be clear that my children isn’t welcome inside the America.” Huckabee quickly resigned amid the firestorm, with many crediting Owen’s clout for the swift action, although he had been fast to indicate that lots of other top execs had been applying their particular force behind the scenes. He’s confident Huckabee’s views are particularly much the exclusion rather than the norm among their Nashville peers.

“Look, since 2002 whenever I relocated right here, I never ever felt any such thing but accepted and adored and normal,” says Owen. “There had been for the time that is long and most likely ‘s still to some degree — exactly the same way of accomplishing things. And there are many of us whom stray far from that way of thinking. Which will hopefully begin the modification.”

In terms of country radio, Owen and Musgraves d have every one of these people saying, ‘Where does this fit?’ Like, whom cares where? It’s brilliant.”

In an instance that is rare of business getting up because of the art,” Owen is thrilled that the structure is coming around to Musgraves, and credits John Sykes at iHeartRadio for leading the cost. “I’m happy for her and I’m delighted for all of us,” he says. “I think it provides her yet another layer of possibilities and things for people to complete. … We’re off to an extremely good begin.”

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