Yvette Medina from the creative management company on her passion for the development of artists

Courtesy of Lyme Lite Media / Yvette MedinaYvette Medina,founder of Creative Management Firm

Over the nearly 20 years that Yvette Medina has spent in the music industry, she has been fortunate enough to work in various areas of the company, from the agency world at CAA and WME to marketing and as a label manager for artists such as Romeo Santos, Pitbull and Calle 13 at labels such as Sony Music and Roc Nation. Thanks in part to mentors including Darryl Eaton and CAA’s Pitbull, Medina discovered her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for managing artists, especially the rising stars.

Medina spoke to Pollstar about her journey with the business and becoming the owner of Los Angeles-based artist management firm Creative Management Firm with clients including Chilean singer / songwriter Paloma Mami, singer / Argentine rapper Ecko, Trinidadian artist LATENIGHTJIGGY and producer De La Cruz. Mami, who recently released her bilingual debut album, Sueños de Dalí, was nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist.

Pollstar: How did you get started in the business?

Yvette Medina: I started my career at CAA as an assistant. I had an amazing boss, Darryl Eaton, who is now one of the co-managers [of contemporary music] of the CAA. He [gave] me the opportunity to learn as much as I could. And I was the only Latina in CAA at the time, and he had several Latin clients. I was able to learn how to make bookings for the United States and around the world for the different artists he had. He has always been an amazing mentor to really help me grow. And I stayed at CAA for five years working for him and, you know, I really built that whole Latin side. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to get into this kind of music. I didn’t know much about it. But realistically, being just a Latina you have all the knowledge you really need (laughs) and having such a great mentor like him, he really helped me nurture that and gave me the opportunity to start. .

Tell me more about being the only Latina.

I was the only Latina overall [music] department. And the only person who spoke Spanish. I was sort of the spearhead of anything anyone needed in terms of any of the Latin clients they currently had and tried to help where I could.

Initially, you did not see yourself in the Latin market. Was there another genre you were in?

I’m an R&B fan… R&B was something that intrigued me and I really enjoyed listening to it, so I always thought I would work with artists who focused on that genre. But you know, Darryl was [working] in so many different genres. He booked artists from Blink-182 to Ice Cube to Enrique Iglesias and [inspired me], instead of focusing on one genre, just being generally good at booking. And Latin became part of what I did because I spoke Spanish.

How did you get on the label side of the company?

After five years at CAA, I ended up going to work for William Morris. They had an office in Miami that focused on Latin. And I was there for about two years… at CAA, I worked with Ricky Martin and when they needed a label manager for his project at Sony, I left the agency side, taking care of the reservations and started focusing on managing the label. side of things. It was a turning point for me because from that moment on, I wanted to continue working on the management side of the company.

And you also worked in marketing?

I worked at Sony for two years, and one of the artists I was responsible for on the label was Pitbull. After working with him for a while he was at the point in his career where he was starting his own business and trying to bring in different people to start building his team. And so I left Sony to go work for Pitbull and become their marketing manager there. [I] was part of his management team but spearheaded marketing for him.

Was there anything to take away from your work with Pitbull or Romeo Santos?

Working with Pit, in my career, was a crucial point because it really went from understanding who I was as an employee of a label to saying: “You are destined to be an entrepreneur, and if the management is what you want to do, then we’ll help you do it. And he’s always been someone I could turn to for advice. And he helped me… guide me and gave me opportunities that really helped establish my career. And with Pit, I mean, we’ve done so many amazing things together… from winning his first Grammy to touring the world.

When I decided to move to Roc Nation Latin, it was also really because I had worked with Romeo Santos at Sony… being able to come back to another artist who had done so many amazing things in his career. And with [bachata], Romeo took on a genre that many people considered to be more local … people listened to this type of music in the Dominican Republic and became a global sensation, he became one of the greatest artists in Latin music. So I think I’m using it now for my artists who have different visions and want to accomplish certain things so they never [lose] focus on your goal, because anything is possible.

How did the launch of your own artist management company come about?

When I decided to leave Roc Nation… I wanted to develop artists. I really wanted to help this next generation… and make an impact there. So, artists that I had in mind, I went to see them and see how we can work together. I was fortunate that one of the [my first clients] was Ecko, who is one of the leaders of trap music in Argentina.
He’s only 22, but he’s made such an impact in so many ways. He is the protagonist of a series for HBO Max [“Días de Gallos”] and also just made a commercial license to sing in the general market in Spanish.
Courtesy of Lyme Lite Media / Yvette MedinaYvette Medina from the creative management firm (L) poses with client Paloma Mami at Premios Juventud in Miami on July 22. Mami took the stage at the 2021 awards ceremony with Ricky Martin to perform their single “Qué Rico Fuera”.
I have another artist, Paloma Mami, who was recently nominated for a Latin Grammy. She is only 21 years old. His album went so well and had no [songs with special guests] above. And in the history of Latin music, [she’s] the only female artist to have released a first album [with no special guests] and go for gold in the United States. I believe Paloma is one of those artists who is going to impact music and the world on a much bigger level outside of music – she co-directs videos. It is also fashionable; she designs all the clothes you see her wearing. People like that don’t come very often. I am very happy to be part of his team.

Has he always dreamed of starting your own business? Did you see this as a necessity to forge your own path in the business?

I always wanted to have my own business and… to be able to launch my business and concentrate 100% on it after leaving Roc Nation, it was something that also seemed necessary to me. I thought I would really like to be able to have this relationship that I had with my other artists and do it for myself. And no one else could say, “Oh, you have to do this, or you have to do that. I just want to take their vision and make it happen. The only way to do this is to be able to 100% control what is being done and to be one-on-one with your artist.

You mentioned that you are passionate about helping the next generation of artists.

There are a lot of people who don’t take the time to develop artists. When you see [your client] have a dream and together as a team put it together and watch it unfold to its fullest – that’s the best feeling ever. Seeing them grow up and seeing them in concert where people are screaming is another level. It just fills your heart, like “OK, wow, this is for real.” There is no desire.

How have you seen the Latin market grow since you started in the business?

Over the past 20 years, music has evolved. Obviously, urban music has taken off and has really had an impact on a global level. Many other people have tried to participate. And I think it’s amazing – now there are so many different opportunities for artists and for our genre that we didn’t have before. I hope he will continue to grow and it looks like he will. There are so many amazing artists who keep coming and making music that intersect. And when I [say] they cross, they don’t even cross in terms of language, they sing in Spanish… and we see different people in different countries who don’t even speak Spanish singing in Spanish. I hope that we can continue to grow and, especially for Latinas, it can continue to find an avenue where they can become managers in this genre or in any genre. As the years go by and the genders continue to blend together… the more we add these different workers to the workforce, it just makes everyone better as a whole.

What’s next for Paloma Mami and Ecko?

We’re lucky that next month – we’ve started touring here and there – they’re both going to festivals in Mexico next month in November, and both plan to tour next year. So it’s exciting to really come back to the pitch so that they can connect with their fans again on a personal level, which is always. [about] live music!