Primary Wave Music

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Primary Wave Music
Primary Wave Music.jpg
Founded January, 2006
Founder Lawrence Mestel
Status Active
Distributor(s) Universal Music Group/BMG Rights Management
Genre Various
Country of origin US
Location Los Angeles/ New York/ London
Official website Primary Wave Music

Primary Wave Music was founded in January of 2006 by music executive Larry Mestel, and is one of the largest independent music companies in the U.S. with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and London. Since its origin as a music publishing company, Primary Wave Music has grown it’s business into a full service music and entertainment company with additional in-house resources such as a Talent Management department, digital marketing team BrightShop, branding company Brand Synergy Group, record label and a film/TV development & production division, Primary Wave TV, all of which support the artists signed to the management and publishing rosters.[1]

In August of 2012, CeeLo Green, a management client at Primary Wave Talent Management, was named Chief Creative Officer of Primary Wave Music. CeeLo’s role involves advising developing acts, co-writing with artists, and overseeing the creative planning of the company's events.[2]

In September of 2013, Primary Wave Music entered into a strategic alliance with BMG Rights Management to form a full service label, BMG/Primary Wave Label Services, with Primary Wave Music signing and marketing record releases in the U.S.[3]


Primary Wave Music Publishing was founded in 2006 after the purchase of 50% of Kurt Cobain’s portion of the Nirvana (band) catalog, as well as the MGM Records catalog.[4] Currently, one of the largest indie music publishers in the US, the company markets the copyrights of over 15,000 songs from the catalogs of legendary and contemporary artists and songwriters, including Hall & Oates, Def Leppard, Chicago (band), John Lennon, Roccstar, L.P. (singer), Steven Tyler, Steve Earle, Daniel Johnston, Ryan Hadlock, and many more.[5]

In addition to landing sync placements in film, TV, advertising, video games, and new media, Primary Wave has also spearheaded creative licensing deals for their publishing clients. Examples include brokering a deal with Converse in 2008 to create a limited edition run of Kurt Cobain sneakers, which included graphic designs, his signature, and song lyrics on the sneakers.[6] In 2009, Primary Wave executed an Aerosmith marketing campaign with the 1st-ever artist branded scratch-off lottery ticket, which featured Aerosmith’s likeness and was also promoted by a TV campaign featuring the band’s iconic rock anthem, “Dream On”, in 11 states across the US. Part of the campaign allowed fans to scratch off prizes such as free concert tickets, backstage passes, and even a private performance by the band.[7] That same year, Primary Wave also created an animated cartoon J-stache, based on John Oates of Hall & Oates' signature moustache, which debuted on Funny or Die.[8] In 2012, Primary Wave partnered with Boom! Studios and Wieden+Kennedy Entertainment to release underground musician and artist Daniel Johnston debut graphic novel, Space Ducks: An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness.[9]

Talent Management[edit]

Launched in 2010, Primary Wave Talent Management currently has managers based in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and includes various divisions such as pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, and electronic dance music (EDM).[10]


Artists & Writers[edit]

Talent Management Clients[edit]


External links[edit]