Where are they now? TMN’s 30 Under 30 from 2010 revisited!
In 2010, TMN compiled a list of fast-rising executives aged 30 and under.
Each of them went on to build illustrious careers, some becoming global figures responsible for breaking a number of acts at home and abroad.
Widely respected peers like Jaddan Comerford, Susan Heymann and Craig Hawker were part of the class of 2010. They are now at the top of their game and continue to grow in influence.
What we can reveal today is that just over 37% of the entries received for 2020 are from women, which shows we still have a way to go and one week to change the course of history.
Looking back, the now decade-old list, published in June 2010, gives some insight into what the music industry looked like just over ten years ago, and what we can expect this year.
TMN made contact with a number of 2010’s 30 Under 30 alumni to see where they are now:
In 2010: director, Staple Group, aged 26.
Now: Jaddan Comerford is US-based CEO of UNIFIED Music Group, which includes artist management, label and distribution services, publishing, touring, festivals and merchandise.
Headquartered in Melbourne, the firm has offices in Sydney, Los Angeles and London.
UNIFIED’s roster of artist managers overlooks the careers of Vance Joy, Illy, The Amity Affliction, Dashboard Confessional, Violent Soho, Client Liaison, Ocean Alley and SAFIA.
Its brands include merchandise outlet 24 Hundred, heavy and alternative music label, UNFD and heavy rock festival UNIFY Gathering.
Comerford, who was nominated for UK trade magazine Music Business Worldwide’s Young Executive award, tells TMN, “Our world has changed so much in the last ten years.
“For me, the thought of having offices in other cities, let alone countries, would have seemed unfathomable.
“But now with the way streaming has evolved and with Australia finally being recognised for its incredible talent, we are able to do business on a global scale working alongside the best in the business.”
In 2010: founder, Illusive Presents, 25.
Now: Matt Gudinski is now executive director of Mushroom Group since 2013, overlooking two dozen subsidiary brands and hundreds of staff.
Illusive has toured Drake, Bruno Mars and A$AP Rocky, and as a label A&R he signed Bliss n Eso whom he also co-manages.
In 2016, Gudinski set up management company Role Model Artists.
In 2010: marketing & promotions manager, Chugg Entertainment, 30.
Now: Susan Heymann has since had a fast rise, immediately after the 30 Under 30 list promoted to GM of touring.
In 2016, she became managing director, overseeing a staff of 30, working on high profile tours, charity events and festivals as CMC Rocks and Laneway.
She continues in her role after Chugg Entertainment merged with Frontier Touring in April 2019 and Frontier’s alliance with AEG.
In 2010: artist manager, One Louder, 25.
Now: after ten years as an artist manager and on the board of the Association of Artist Managers for six, Briese Abbott bowed out of artist management in 2017.
She became director of synchronisation, ANZ, at Kobalt “working with music supervisors, agencies and production companies to maximise sync licensing opportunities for our clients.”
In 2010: assistant music director, triple j, 26.
Now: Nick Findlay became music director at triple j in 2017, taking over from Richard Kingsmill.
Under his watch, the broadcaster has continued to discover acts including Billie Eilish, Bene, Ocean Alley, Spacey Jane and King Princess, and made the Hottest 100 receive a record 3 million votes.
In 2010: director of Brisbane based Stephen Green Consulting, 29. Lone wolf working as BIGSOUND programmer and working on launching Play MPE in Australia.
Now: Stephen Green presides over a media empire as managing director of SGC Media Group, with a staff of ten across PR, marketing and media businesses including SGC Media, Title Track, For The Record Digital, Collision Course, Purple Sneakers, The Faction Radio and Radio Monitor.
Green says, “In the last decade our big projects have included the first-ever ARIA #1 Indigenous language album (Gurrumul’s Djarrimirri), Fire Fight Australia, the launch of the annual Faction Hardest 100, the launch of Radio Monitor in the Australian and New Zealand markets, two dozen ARIA nominations, and over a dozen top ten albums.
“I helped BIGSOUND grow both as a publicist and as QMusic vice president and serving as a foundation board member of Brisbane’s Music Industry College. I also added two kids to the mix just to keep things interesting.”
In 2010: manager, AMRAP, 30.
Now: Chris Johnson has been managing director of Onto It Media since January 2018.
The Sydney-based company helps bars, pubs, clubs, hotels and festivals put on (more) live entertainment by providing them with a tailored website and online marketing platforms, practical administrative tools, and ongoing support to help program and promote events.
In 2010: owner, Rice Is Nice Records, 28.
Now: Julia Wilson continues to expand the Sydney-based Rice Is Nice which she named after Welsh band Mclusky‘s 2000 single and co-founded in 2008 with Ben Shackleton saying her ambition in high school was to run a label.
It quickly gained a name for itself by signing SPOD, Seekae, The Laurels and Straight Arrows.
In the last 12 months, it released titles by SPOD, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Summer Flake, and Straight Arrows.
In 2010: international manager, Native Tongue Music Publishing, 27.
Now: Jaime Gough is managing director at Native Tongue.
He also serves the AMPAL board and was three years as director of the APRA AMCOS board.
Of his current title, Gough says, “It’s a broader role of looking after the company’s offices in Melbourne and Auckland and staff in Sydney.
“The staff has grown from three to 15 now. We have a really good senior team, and part of my role is to increase their experience so they can run their own divisions better.”
In 2010: manager of the WAM festival Perth, 28.
Now: Sarah Norton is acting director of federal-state relations at Dept of the Premier and Cabinet WA.
In 2010: head of touring, Future Classic, 26.
Now: Chad Gillard is referred to as a co-CEO as Future Classic becomes an international enterprise, with offices in Sydney and Los Angeles (with its own studio), and global hitmakers as Flume and Nick Murphy (ex-Chet Faker).
Nina Agzarian/Nina Las Vegas
In 2010: producer/presenter, triple j’s House Party, 25.
Now: Nina Las Vegas departed triple j after ten years to concentrate on her production and solo career.
In 2020: booker, Village Sounds, 25.
Now: Evan Davis is Sydney-based managing director of talent at Secret Sounds Group which includes festivals as Splendour and Falls, tours, artist management and Dew Process.
In 2010: music director, Meredith & Golden Plains festivals, 25.
Now: Woody McDonald, who did work experience at Spunk Records and a long time Triple R presenter, continues as music director of both festivals.
Both continue to stay before the curve, and yet have a sports-team loyalty which sees them sell-out instantly before the acts are announced.
In 2010: general manager of Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR), 26.
Now: Nick O’Byrne finished up with AIR in 2012, and after a stint as executive programmer of BIGSOUND (2013-2016), he has focussed on his role as co-owner and director of artist management company Look Out Kid and Barely Dressed Records working with the likes of Courtney Barnett, Briggs, Sarah Blasko, Seeker Lover Keeper, Jess Ribeiro, Oh Pep! and Jack Ladder.
In 2010: managing director, Peer Group Media, 29.
Now: Kate Edwards went on to become founder, CEO and executive producer of full-service creative, content and strategy agency Kontented and in 2012 was the founder and managing director of band and brand business Fostered. She is currently on a sabbatical.
In 2010: A&R Labels Australasia, EMI, 30.
Now: Craig Hawker has been head of A&R/Creative of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia. since 2011 and runs his own indie label Eloper Music.
He worked with Thelma Plum, Electric Fields, Empire of The Sun, Hermitude, Styalz Fuego, Angus & Julia Stone, Peter Garrett, Paul Dempsey, Busby Marou and was nominated in 2018 for Publishing A&R of the Year in the TMN Tinnies.
In 2010: presenter of triple j’s Home & Hosed, 26.
Now: Dom Alessio left triple j at the end of 2017 and joined music export body Sounds Australia as a digital export producer.
He tells TMN, “Instead of sitting in a radio studio four nights a week, I now spend a lot of time away from home, in other countries, at conferences and festivals, making connections with the international music industry and finding opportunities for Australian artists and their teams.
“My particular focus is anything digital – so if it’s something to do with streaming, social media, gaming, podcasting, it’s my remit.”
In 2010: Sydney-based photographer, 30.
Now: Daniel Boud is still a leader in his field, with a distinguished eye for portraits and lighting, which has seen him a runner-up of various arts prizes as well as being tapped for commercial campaigns for Destination NSW, Foxtel, Vivid Sydney, MTV, Carriageworks, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, AFL Women’s, Samsung, Lynx, Acer and Airbnb
He is the chief clicker for Time Out Sydney and works regularly with Sydney Opera House, Australian Ballet and numerous theatre groups.
In 2010: director, Penny Drop, 29.
Now: under Emily York‘s directorship, Melbourne-based Penny Drop has been involved in tours by Christine And The Queens, Cat Power, Aldous Harding, Leon Bridges, Mac DeMarco, Clairo, Pabllo Vittar and New Order.
Since 2013, York has programmed, marketed and staffed Melbourne Zoo’s summer concert series Zoo Twilights which sells 50,000 tickets a year, and programs ABC’s concert New Year’s Eve –The Night is Yours under the sails of the Sydney Opera House and broadcast to 4 million viewers.
In 2010: creative director, Music NSW, 27.
Now: Eliza Sarlos has followed her training from 2016 as an employment and industrial relations lawyer with experience working with unions and employees in federal and state jurisdictions.
In 2018 she became the national legal office of the mining and energy division of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining Energy Union.
In 2010: DJ, manager, 25.
Now: Andrew Levins, also known as Levins) continues to be a DJ as well as being a chef, writer, behind party nights as The Rhythm of the Night and Halfway Crooks, and heard weekly on the podcasts Hey Fam and The Mitchen.
In 2010: chief executive of R’n’B production house Legit Music, 30.
Now: Jamie Huber Is CEO of Huber Agency with offices in Sydney and Switzerland, helping corporations with branding and strategies to grow with a full suite of business services.
In 2010: Sydney-based entertainment lawyer, 30.
Now: Chris Chow Is managing director of Chris Chow Creative Lawyers which he set up in 2012, and focuses on contract drafting and negotiation for the entertainment and creative industries, and copyright and intellectual property.
He was involved in the Communications and Media Law Association in the Young Lawyers Committee, advisory committee member of I-Manifest which opens up disadvantaged and rural teenagers to the creative industries and was director and company secretary of the Aboriginal Benefits Foundation for seven years.
In 2010: music coordinator, Surfers Paradise Festival, 25.
Now: Jolie Hertzberg went on to found with two others, Rabbit + Cocoon a Gold Coast not-for-profit creative precinct which provides spaces and resources for people to run creative practices, businesses and events.
In 2010: founder of Below Par Records, 26.
Now: Jai Al-Attas is based in Venice, California, and is CEO and founder of Loqules, a curated marketplace that uses experiences to improve people’s lives, and is co-founder of the Creative Futures Collective.
He sold Below Par – which he set up as a 16-year old and signed Kisschasy, The Scare, Brand New, Yellowcard and Something With Numbers – to EMI Music.
Shortly after moving to LA, he wrote and directed the movie One Nine Nine Four, about the ‘90s punk rock scene.
In 2010: co-founder of Pedestrian TV, 27.
Now: Chris Wirasinha and co-founder Oscar Martin sold Pedestrian to Nine Network for a rumoured $10 million, and left in April 2019 to work on more digital ventures.
In 2010: musician, managers and arts worker, 30.
Now: Dane Hunnerup is the project manager for Falls Festival in Marion Bay, Tasmania, and in June 2019 became a program officer at the Australia Council for the Arts.
In 2010: director of AAA Entertainment 29
Now: Marc Mancini continues to grow AAA Entertainment as a marketing, publicity and creative service with clients including Melinda Schneider, Andrew O’Keefe and The Choirboys.
In August 2019, he launched List My Gig, which submits and optimises events for discovery across a network of popular event guides.
In 2010: graphic, designer, illustrator, 29.
Now: Jonathan Zawada has expanded his creativity to include object and furniture design, sculpture, video, installation and painting.
He won two ARIA awards for his graphic design for his album artwork, with his solo exhibitions of his oil paintings and installations in galleries around the world including Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, London, Sydney and Beijing.
If you are aged 30 or under and work in or around the music industry, get your submission in stat before entries close on March 6. You’ll kick yourself later if you don’t, maybe.
It’s not just about finding the next Chuggi!
With support from APRA AMCOS, Eventbrite, MTV, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music, the TMN 30 Under 30 Awards are all about showcasing the next generation of leaders from a wide cross-section of the biz.
Together, our mission is to unearth the youngest and brightest minds who will go on to do great things for artists and the industry. So don’t be a spectator, it’s your turn to shine bright like a diamond. Entries are open right now.