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.

At the very least, we’re told copies of our mag make for decent paper plates, which could come in handy for all those Super Bowl leftovers.

Tyshawn “Fly Ty” Johnson
A&R, Epic Records; CEO, Against Da Grain Entertainment

Atlanta stalwart Johnson is understandably pumped to see Jnr Choi’s “TO THE MOON” rocketing skyward—the TikTok-assisted track, which samples Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon,” has been pulling in 2.5m+ streams a day, has topped Spotify’s Viral chart and was added to Today’s Top Hits. Johnson’s also working Philmon Lee’s “Baby Don’t Cry” f/Young Thug and Jamie Ray’s “Sticks,” both due later this month. During his spare time, this avid bowler aims for no spares. We make sure to pack a bowl (and strike a match) before we hit the lanes.

Talya Elitzer

Co-Founder, godmode

Elitzer kicked off her career at WME looking after artists like Britney Spears and M.I.A. In 2013 she moved from NYC to L.A. to do A&R for Capitol, collaborating with Katy Perry, Beck and Sky Ferreira before co-founding godmode, where she’s helped break JPEGMAFIA and develop Yaeji. Elitzer’s currently working toward finishing Compton rapper/singer/producer Channel Tres’ debut full-length. She once delivered a briefcase full of cash to Grace Jones. A briefcase full of cash was once delivered to us, but we spent it all on gum and candy.

Jacob Passick
Specialist, Digital Marketing & Strategy, Roc Nation

Passick’s work with A$AP Ferg is notable for, among other things, his getting a credit on the video for Ferg’s “Green Juice” f/Pharrell & The Neptunes and the time Jay-Z showed up to a meeting Ferg was attending with Passick in tow. At present, the digital dynamo is overseeing the Harlem rapper’s headlining slot at the X-Games and promoting new music by Bobby Shmurda. Fun Fact: Passick passed on an offer from Mark Cuban to buy his Real NBA Memes and ended up making five times that figure. We’d tout our own business acumen if we knew what acumen meant.

Alexa Shouneyia
Associate Director, Digital, Columbia Records

For Detroiter Shouneyia, who holds an M.A. in music business from NYU, it doesn’t get much better than collaborating on the campaigns for BTS’s “Dynamite” and “Butter” (though accompanying King Princess to SNL might be a close second). She’s lately been formulating digital strategy on behalf of Labrinth’s music for Euphoria—including the tracks “Yeh I Fuckin’ Did It” and “I’m Tired”—and Grimes’ upcoming BOOK 1. In 2020, when we were baking special brownies and bingeing Tiger King, Shouneyia self-published a book of poetry, the appropriately titled timelapse.

Lola Plaku
CEO, Lola Media Group; Founder, Girl Connected

In 2020 Plaku launched the Girl Connected mentorship program for women in the biz; it’s the only such group based in Canada—Plaku’s a Toronto native—with a seat on Spotify’s EQUAL Board, a network of organizations empowering women globally. Lola Media Group, meanwhile, recently executive produced a set of performances by Canadian artists for YouTube’s COLORS (6m subscribers). “When I plan family vacations, I route everything as if it’s a tour,” says Plaku, whose husband has been known to call her “Lola Logistics.” You don’t want to know what he calls us.

Fabian “FABO” Traylor
A&R, Cinematic Music Group

Traylor’s been busy with Big Yavo’s Like Yay, the follow-up to last year’s On God II, home to “Rich”—a 500,000-video TikTok dance sensation adopted by no less than Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. The A&R hitter is also developing 16-year-old rapper Nuski2Squad, who in 2021 dropped 2 Broken 2 Heal with Yungeen Ace. Formerly a record-setting track star, Traylor has been known to step into the boxing ring, about which he says, “I could’ve gone pro.” We, too, coulda been a contender. We could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what we are.

Julia McLeod
Associate Director, Artist Marketing, ONErpm

Having risen from intern to Associate Director in a mere four years, McLeod is grateful for the opportunity to grow at the digital-distribution/fan-engagement platform, which counts Tame Impala and Ozomatli among its 15,000 artists. She’s focused at the moment on the brand-new record by indie-pop duo Sports, Get a Good Look, and helping ONErpm streamline its marketing campaigns and make them more scalable. Asked what she does to wind down, Nashville-based McLeod reveals, “I like to sew and repair clothes for myself and my friends.” Us? We failed home ec.

Sam Hysell
Co-Founder/COO, nft now; Co-Founder, NOX Media

With Hysell handling his digital marketing, South African DJ/producer Black Coffee has gone from unknown-in-the-U.S. to sold-out shows at New York’s Brooklyn Mirage (capacity: 6,000) to investing in nft now, which delivers the latest in NFT news, analysis, interviews, drops and videos and the best in crypto art, music and culture. “It feels like we’re ushering in a new age of prosperity for artists,” Hysell, himself a DJ/producer, says of the venture. As we, too, could use a new age of prosperity, we’re wondering how to turn this blurb into an NFT.