BEVERLY HILLS, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The William Morris Agency (WMA), in a joint venture with music visionary Pete Tong, has formed William Morris Electronic (WME) to focus on the electronic music market. This will be Tong’s first foray into the agency representation business, and as part of this expansion, agent Joel Zimmerman has joined WMA to head WME.
Tong gained international recognition as host to BBC Radio 1’s Friday night Essential Selection & Essential Mix radio shows, which are the most highly-rated dance & electronic programs in the UK and garner a worldwide following via the internet/satellite (Sirius) & terrestrial syndication. Additionally Tong is respected as one of the world's premier live DJs, regularly performing in venues spanning the globe, including his own residency at the WMA packaged Wonderland night at Eden, San Antonio, that is currently the big hit of the 2008 Ibiza Season.
WME and Tong will collaborate in signing, developing, and representing electronic artists, as well as creating and programming electronic music properties.
The WME group will consist of music agents across WMA's offices, led by David Levy, Tong’s responsible agent, in the London office, Zimmerman and Sam Kirby in the New York office, and Marc Geiger in the Beverly Hills office.
“This is an exciting and groundbreaking opportunity for the business of electronic music; a dedicated team plugged into the wealth of experience of the William Morris Agency will provide a unique and diverse opportunity for our clients,” said Tong. “The dance community experienced the fundamental changes in the music business before any other genre and I believe we are ahead of the game in terms of developing sound strategies for the future. WME will be at the core of that.”
“On the heels of our UK music department expansion, this is an important next step to ensure that William Morris covers all facets of the music business around the globe,” said Peter Grosslight, WMA’s Worldwide Head of Music. “Partnering with Pete Tong enhances not only our presence, but our credibility in the burgeoning electronic arena, underscoring the relevance of electronic music and its importance in today’s music business,” added Marc Geiger, WMA’s Head of Contemporary Music.
Garry Blackburn of Anglo management added, "Pete has a unique perspective on the DJ career flightpath, grown from his experience as a BBC Radio 1 DJ, A&R man and artist. With the team at WME, electronic artists will go further in more exciting ways into the new music landscape."
Founder of the leading electronic artist agency Division One, Zimmerman has been involved with booking electronic acts for the past eight years. During the past two and a half years, Zimmerman worked in conjunction with WMA to service its electronic roster of clients which include electronic superstars Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Pendulum, The Crystal Method, LCD Soundsystem, and Basement Jaxx.
“Having worked previously with WMA, I am enthusiastic to come in-house to be a part of the focused electronic music team,” added Zimmerman. “Through WMA’s diverse professional organization, WME will be able to deliver new financial and creative opportunities to the artists who are responsible for building the dance community to where it is today.”
In addition, Zimmerman is bringing with him a roster of cutting edge electronic artists, including Steve Lawler, James Zabiela, Booka Shade, Erol Alkan, Deadmau5, Lee Burridge, M.A.N.D.Y., Dieselboy, and Hercules and Love Affair, among others.
The WME roster can be found at www.wma.com/wme. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers