HITS Daily Double


In our latest roundup, we present eight rising professionals from various parts of the biz whose dedication and effort make their superiors look good.

This week's entrants will also find their faces in our latest mag. And if they don't care about that (because why should they?), we're told the pages make for semi-decent rolling trays.

Rich Foster
VP, Marketing, Epic

Foster fondly recalls positioning GIVĒON’s Grammy-nominated EP TAKE TIME—at the height of the pandemic. He was also behind the fan-led Change.org petition to get 21 Savage & Metro Boomin to speed up the release of Savage Mode II, which pulled in 100k+ signatures. The 2020 album debuted at #1. He’s now promoting U.K. rising star Joy Crookes and gearing up for Eddie Benjamín’s new album and tour with Justin Bieber. Foster won a fourth-grade talent show performing Biggie Smalls’ “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” We steer clear of talent shows, for obvious reasons.

Marissa Smith
Agent, Music, UTA

Smith is pumped to be playing a role in the burgeoning success of GAYLE, whose TikTok-assisted viral hit “abcdefu” has topped charts the world over (including in the U.K.). The music agent is currently booking 2022 tours for, in addition to GAYLE, clients like 2021 Grammy nominee JP Saxe, JVKE, John Harvie, Francis Karel and Tristan Bushman. Smith is also building virtual worlds in the metaverse for her acts. She considered studying jazz guitar in college but went the business route instead. Unfortunately, that led to her having to deal with us.

Tuo Clark
SVP of A&R, Def Jam

A native of Harvey, Ill. (just south of Chicago), Clark—one half of the “gourmet ratchet” production duo Da Internz—has seen artists he’s collaborated with score nine Grammy nominations, including Nicki Minaj with “Anaconda,” Nas with Life Is Good and Justin Bieber with My World 2.0. He’s presently working on new projects by 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Jeremih, Marqus Clae and new Def Jam signee YBN Nahmir. Clark, who tells us he tap-dances, says a dime has 118 ridges around its edge and a quarter 119. Our own nickel knowledge is worth more like a penny.

Alana Dolgin
Head of Influencer Strategy, Homemade Projects

Dolgin is cultivating a digital talent/brand/music-marketing agency under the Homemade Projects banner. In addition to her efforts on behalf of social-media up-and-comers like Anna Shumate (12.8m TikTok followers), Devyn Winkler (4.7m), Sabrina Quesada (3.9m) and Emma Brooks McAllister (3.6m), Dolgin has worked some of the biggest records on TikTok, among them Cardi B’s “Up,” SAINt JHN’s “Roses,” Rod Wave’s “Rags2Riches” and SpottemGottem’s “BeatBox.” Dolgin loves Legos. We hear she’s building a barricade around herself to keep us at bay.

Katie Hill
SVP, Head of Music, Entertainment & Artist Relations, Global Citizen

In 2020 Hill partnered with Lady Gaga for One World: Together at Home. The broadcast—which came together in only three weeks (of 20-hour days) despite the participation of more than 100 artists—was seen by 300m viewers worldwide and raised $127.9m for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. She’s now focused on Global Citizen’s 10th anniversary festival in Central Park, set for September. A world traveler, Hill has visited every continent but Antarctica, which is on her bucket list. We can get a chilly reception anywhere.

J.R. McKee
CEO, MPR Global Distribution

McKee founded MPR only last year but he’s already enjoyed success with Muni Long, whose “Hrs & Hrs,” from the independent EP Public Displays of Affection, blew up on TikTok and recently landed in the Top 40. At Alamo Records, he oversaw streaming strategy and interfaced with the label’s DSP partners, advancing the careers of artist like Rod Wave and Lil Durk. McKee’s constructing a Web 3.0 platform through which fans can help fund artists’ work and lend input on their career decisions. We wish there were something like that to help with our career decisions.

Aaron “Ace” Christian
Partner, Range Media Partners

Seeing his client Cordae earn 2019 Grammy nominations for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album was mos def a career highlight for Christian, who was equally proud to spearhead a partnership between the rapper and Disney for an annual scholarship fund that puts students through HBCUs—Christian himself was once a college-scholarship basketball player. The entrepreneurial ace, who’s worked in A&R and digital brand management, is also building the label founded by Cordae, Hi Level. We aspire to a high level. Aspiration is about as far as we’ve gotten, though.

Rahul Bhatt
Photographer/Videographer/Content Creator

Having spent the better part of a decade at Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment and Sony Music, Bhatt has seen his work for Camila Cabello on a billboard in Times Square and onscreen at the Grammys. It likewise earned him an iHeart Radio Award nod for Best Tour Photographer. He’s also collaborated with One Direction, Fifth Harmony and most recently, Coldplay, crafting promotional posters. A native of Tanzania, home to safari mecca Serengeti National Park, Bhatt probably never expected to encounter fearsome beasts in the music industry and yet, here we are.