We had the good fortune of connecting with Evan Griffith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Evan, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
After working in A&R (“Artists and Repertoire”) at both an independent artist management company and then a major label, I decided to take the plunge and start my own business, Fire Tower Entertainment. However, I could never do it alone. One of the most important decisions I’ve made is putting together an unstoppable team — that includes both my colleagues and the talent we represent. Ruth Nichols, Yuval Sorkin, and our entire roster of artists, producers, and influencers are some of the hardest working folks in the business and they’re unbeatable because of it. Always putting music first, I’ve strived to create a community of both staff and clients that values art for art’s sake. This grassroots approach plays into why I named the company “Fire Tower Entertainment”: to reflect standing atop a fire tower, being the first to spot the next wildfire — in our case — emerging talent. This past year alone, we have onboarded new artists and producers that have profoundly impacted and shaped our course as a company. Our A+ roster continues to challenge us in the best possible ways. As a manager, I’m in a position to be constantly checking in on our clients’ activities, and bringing new opportunities and business their way. Yet one of my favorite elements of the gig is the reverse: when our artists keep US just as busy! Curating a community of artists and industry professionals who are excited by creativity for its own sake, but equally value the tireless work and endless nights that all go into breathing that art into life, has been requisite to our success.
What should our readers know about your business?
Fire Tower Entertainment is a management company that focuses on artist development and A&R, always putting the artist’s vision and their art front-and-center. Our artists’ tireless work sees mainstream success in top press, radio, and editorial playlists around the world. We create strategic teams for each of our clients, curating the best writers, producers, collaborators, publicists, content creators, brands, marketing professionals, and overall day-to-day support for each project, to optimize for the greatest chances at achieving our big picture goals. One important lesson to be learned, particularly from the entrepreneurial standpoint, is the power of internal motivation, which fuels all of our business activities. Motivation can come externally (rewards, success stories, social clout) or internally (waking up in the morning excited to brew some coffee and start work, dancing in your seat to a song that your client created). It’s so important to be true to yourself (advice that my clients often give to new artists) in how you work, and to feel satisfied after a hard day of work knowing that you’ve helped amplify important new art, even if not one follower takes any immediate notice. Last, it’s important for me to also keep being creative myself, so that my mind is as open as possible to new opportunities and connections for our talent. Outside of the music industry, I am an active organist and pianist, holding both BA and CAGO degrees in the art, playing weekly at Temple Beth Tikvah and Saint Athanasius Episcopal Church. Being able to exercise my own musical abilities is a great way to be sure I’m bringing my best and most inspired energy possible to the table for my clients. My colleagues Ruth and Yuval are also both musicians, and so our coming from musical backgrounds has continued to be another level on which we can identify, understand, and connect with our talent.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend CJ Junior is currently in law school and would likely decline my invitation until after he completes his Bar exam! He’s been working and studying like crazy, so a good time would be absolutely necessary for him. Our mornings would both start by SLEEPING IN! Once we are both awake, I’d love to take him for a brunch at Soho House, perhaps a jaunt around some of LA’s best dispensaries, then go on some drives through the winding LA hills and valleys, including Angeles National Forest, perhaps stopping for some horseback riding along the way. I’d then take him to my favorite happy hour hang, Fiesta Cantina in West Hollywood, for tacos and margaritas. We could work our way to Hollywood, perhaps The Hotel Cafe, to catch some live music, before commuting to DTLA for some after-hours warehouse revelry.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For this, I need to first shout out my mother! I remember being in grade school lying on the floor playing with our dog late one night, bemoaning how I hadn’t yet found an extracurricular that had truly excited me. It was at this point that my mother encouraged me to start a “Music Outreach” club. In this club, I would put together different musical groups, ensembles, and bands, and create arrangements for us to perform non-profit at local hospitals, schools, community centers, and assisted living homes. In addition to the privilege of being able to provide a concert setting for communities that would not otherwise have access to such entertainment, developing the organization also allowed me to come into my own as both a leader and advocate for talent. I’d also like to shout out three of my industry mentors, former bosses Eshy Gazit (Maverick Management) and Joey Arbagey (Epic Records), as well as close family friend Steve Levine (ICM Partners) whose advice, wisdom, and tutelage have been invaluable to my own development and understanding of the industry, and ultimately my company’s success.