Jake Udell

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Jake Udell
Jake Udell.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJake Udell
OriginNorthbrook, Illinois
GenresPop, R&B, dance, alternative rock, indie
Occupation(s)Music manager, entrepreneur, founder/owner/CEO of TH3RD BRAIN
Years active2012–present
Associated actsKrewella, Gallant, ZHU, NoMBe, Grace VanderWaal

Jake Udell (born February 21, 1989) is an American music manager, entrepreneur, and founder of TH3RD BRAIN, a talent management company.[1][2][3] At the EDMbiz conference in Las Vegas in June 2014, Udell moderated a panel featuring panelists in the industry under the age of 30. After viewing the panel, music industry analyst Bob Lefsetz included an excerpt about Udell in his newsletter, "Jake is a new Shep Gordon, maybe a new Irving or Geffen."[4] Forbes featured Udell in its 2016 list of 30 under 30 in the Music category.[5]

Education and early career[edit]

At the age of 13, Udell began selling autographed sports memorabilia, most of which he attained by encountering athletes in-person, on eBay. Initially operating out of Chicago, by the time he was 16 Udell had hired a team of people in different cities which allowed him to cover most of the major sporting events in the United States.[6]

Udell attended Indiana University and briefly pursued a career as a performer before getting involved in music management and promotion. In 2011, Udell graduated from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business with a degree in entrepreneurship.[7] After graduating, he worked for Campus Candy for one year as the company's chief marketing officer.[8]


In early 2012 Udell founded TH3RD BRAIN, a talent management firm, claiming his motivation for becoming a manager was that Krewella was the first act he believed in more than his own performing career.[9] Udell had attended Glenbrook North High School in Chicago with Krewella. He vacated his CMO role at Campus Candy and assumed management responsibilities. TH3RD BRAIN has helped launch the careers of the platinum-selling electronic music group Krewella, Grammy-nominated musician ZHU, and Spotify Spotlight Artist Gallant.[10][11] Billboard noted Udell’s social media strategy for Krewella and chronicled their meteoric rise in 2013, focusing on TH3RD BRAIN’s work with blogs, narrative building, and free downloads.[12] Udell's recording artist roster also includes Pegboard Nerds, Stephen, and others.[12][13][14][15]

After a bidding war, Krewella signed to Columbia Records, and released their first album Get Wet in 2013. The album debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 chart. After selling out all 55 dates of the group's first North American headlining 2013 Get Wet Live tour, Krewella’s single "Alive" reached platinum status in 2014.[11]

While still managing Krewella, in 2013 Jake Udell began developing TH3RD BRAIN's next client ZHU.[16] In December 2014, "Faded" was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 57th Grammy Awards, and ZHU continued to perform with a hidden identity and embraced non-traditional advertising methods with street art, flash announcements, and guerrilla digital marketing.[17]

In November 2016, Udell interviewed music manager Shep Gordon.[18]

In 2017, Udell signed 2016 America's Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal to management under TH3RD BRAIN.[19]

Udell writes a daily newsletter covering topics for the music industry.[20]

TH3RD BRAIN Accelerator[edit]

In 2016, Udell launched TH3RD BRAIN Accelerator, a twelve week program aimed at helping the development of promising musicians, modeled after tech entrepreneur Paul Graham's Y Combinator.[21] The program helps teach artists how to grow their business and maximize their impact on culture and in the marketplace.[22]


  1. ^ Karp, Hannah (25 September 2016). "Boot Camp Aims to Help Musicians Amp Up Careers". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  2. ^ Bain, Katie Gallant Played a Show for Ten People, but Two of Them Helped Launch His Career L.A. Weekly. January 17, 2016
  3. ^ Buerger, Megan IMS Engage 2015 Announces Lyor Cohen, Jake Udell, Seth Troxler and Chuck D for Unmoderated Debate Billboard. January 17, 2016
  4. ^ Lefsetz, Bob. "More Vegas / EDMBiz".
  5. ^ "30 Under 30 2016". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  6. ^ Morris, David Are These Guys The New Rock Stars? How Super-Managers Are Taking Over The Game AskMen. January 19, 2016
  7. ^ Two successful IU alumni among those in Forbes' "30 Under 30" lists in tech and music Indiana University Inc. January 17, 2016
  8. ^ Schor, Alyssa Managing Success: A Talk with Jake Udell Odyssey. January 17, 2016
  9. ^ Robehmed, Natalie The $6.9 Billion Bubble? Inside The Uncertain Future Of EDM Forbes. January 17, 2016
  10. ^ Sills, Greg Your EDM's 30 Under 30 Your EDM. January 18, 2016
  11. ^ a b American single certifications – Krewella – Alive Recording Industry Association of America.
  12. ^ a b Buli, Liv How Krewella Leveraged Its Social Strategy Into A Career Billboard. January 18, 2016
  13. ^ Miller, Kiera Aspire to Inspire 003: DANIELLE GRUBERGER Your EDM. January 17, 2016
  14. ^ Medved, Matt Billboard Dance Picks: Listen to Four Tet, ZHU, Hot Since 82 & More Billboard. January 17, 2016
  15. ^ Mazur, James Earmilk Interview: Jake Udell, Manager Of Krewella Earmilk. January 19, 2016
  16. ^ "The Truth About ZHU: From Frat House Outcast to Grammy Nominee | Thump". Thump. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  17. ^ "How Dance-Pop Act Zhu Scored a Major-Label Deal Using Just His Logo and His Music". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  18. ^ Medved, Matt. "Manager Shep Gordon: 'Everybody Beat Up Donald Trump for Saying Exactly What Jay Z's Songs Were Saying'". Billboard.
  19. ^ Kaufman, Gil. "'America's Got Talent' winner displays maturity on a new tune". Billboard.
  20. ^ Cherie, Hu. "Double Vision: Behind the Popular Trend of Releasing Two Singles at Once". Billboard.
  21. ^ Karp, Hannah. "Boot Camp Aims to Help Musicians Amp Up Careers". Wall Street Journal.

External links[edit]