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. Lucky for them, we're told the pages make semi-decent tissues, which could come in handy while watching the playoffs.

Tina Dunca
Agent, UTA

Last year Dunca saw Marc Rebillet play Red Rocks for the first time. This year, she worked on her first Super Bowl commercial (featuring client Kelis and Diddy for Uber One) and collaborated with Toni Braxton on her May “Get Uncomfortable” Lupus Awareness Month campaign urging people living with the autoimmune disease to prioritize routine testing. A trained makeup artist, Dunca has been a script supervisor and, having kept her substitute-teaching certificate up to date, an on-set tutor. We bet after she reads this she’ll think we need a tutor.

Ryan Stevens
VP, Commerce, Republic

During the pandemic, Stevens worked with Vevo on performance shoots for The Weeknd and Ariana Grande and with YouTube on Post Malone’s home livestream, all of which he found “surreal.” This year, he helped Taylor Swift top her role as 2022 Record Store Day global ambassador with the RSD vinyl exclusive folklore: the long pond studio sessions, which debuted at #3 with 75,000 platters sold. Presaging his presence on the Republic data team, Stevens received an award for the highest pre-calculus average in his high school class. We barely passed long division.

Adele Sakey
Commercial Partnerships Specialist, Arista

Sakey spent two years at Sony before returning to Arista, where she started as an intern. Since then, she’s seen BUNT. shut down Prince Street Pizza with 300+ fans for a show, secured UPSAHL a spot on Spotify’s Times Square billboard, witnessed Lola Brooke earn her first gold single (“Don’t Play With It”) and contributed to MÅNESKIN’s album release, which involved an Amazon Music livestream, an Apple Music interview with Zane Lowe and a Spotify-hosted wedding. Sakey got her music-industry start in concert photography at age 16. We can barely manage a selfie.

Daniel Gonzalez
VP, Commercial, Universal Music Latino

Gonzalez is proud to have played a role in elevating Latin music on a global scale, including helping Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” and J Balvin and Willy William’s “Mi Gente” hit #1 on Spotify’s global chart—the first Spanish-language songs to do so. He was equally thrilled about the historic #1 debut of Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito. He’s now got his hands full setting up new music by Fonsi, Feid and Juanes. Off the clock, Gonzalez enjoys post-apocalyptic and superhero-themed entertainment. We’re always here as a sleep aid.

Gina Messeri
Director, Marketing, RCA Records

On Messeri’s first visit to Madison Square Garden, she watched Kygo debut music from 2022’s Thrill of the Chase for a sold-out crowd. She worked with Channel Tres on this year’s Real Cultural Shit (and saw him sell out three shows at L.A.’s Fonda Theatre) and helped Ari Abdul earn 150m+ global streams. She’s now supporting Kesha’s just-released Gag Order, Becky G’s third full-length and projects by emerging artists YENDRY and Isaac Dunbar. Messeri can’t swim, but she does do an “elegant” dog paddle. Our entire existence has been described as a belly flop.

Pavan Vasdev
Director, Strategy & Growth, Merlin

From smashing a guitar onstage in front of 2,000 people a decade ago—“I think that’s when my coolness peaked”—to helping produce a collaboration between Marshmello and Bollywood producer Pritam at a Mumbai studio at 2am, Vasdev has come a long way. To celebrate Merlin’s 15th anniversary, he’s co-hosting a series of events “to support independents and foster a closer relationship between rightsholders and digital services.” In his spare time, Vasdev produces artist projects and makes his own ’70s-inspired music. If only we could remember the ’70s.

Génesis Ahtty
Head of Streaming Strategy & Revenue, Independent Co.

Ahtty will never forget jetting to Singapore—a bucket-list destination—with Malaysian singer Yuna for an intimate, Spotify-hosted show during a Formula 1 weekend. At the moment, she’s boosting the work of creators like DJ-producer-remixers The Martinez Brothers, who, following 2022’s “KILO” f/Tokischa, have collaborations in the works with Major Lazer, and the band Trousdale, whose debut is due later this year. Last summer, Ahtty backpacked through the Galapagos Islands in her home country of Ecuador, which she hadn’t visited in 20 years. We were not invited.

Scott Maness

Maness has enjoyed an office pop-in from JAY-Z, eaten sushi with Mariah Carey and begged to get Justin Bieber added to one of his first shows—then drove him home. He once even sat in on a playback session with Prince. Specializing in DSP marketing, FORWARD helped launch the Grammy-nominated “F.N.F. (Let’s Go)” by Hitkidd f/GloRilla, which led to a major-label deal, and has lent streaming strategy to Hit-Boy’s SURF OR DROWN and Keke Palmer’s just-released concept album, Big Boss. Maness has snuck onto the Grammy red carpet. We have to sneak into everything.