While it’s not unheard of for singer-songwriters and producer-engineers to form a management company, it certainly is unusual. Yet that’s exactly what Jared Cotter, Jeremy Skaller and Anthony Kronfle have done. Friends and collaborators for many years, in 2016 the trio formed The Heavy Group, which manages artists including Bazzi, British R&B star Jay Sean and dance-pop singer-songwriter Shaylen as well as producer-songwriters like the duo Rice N’ Peas, which collaborated on every song on Bazzi’s debut album.
Cotter, Skaller and Kronfle bring an unusual range of experience to their roles. Cotter began as a singer and reached the semifinal stage of the sixth season of “American Idol”; he later worked as an on-air host on Fuse, The List and The Daily Buzz. Skaller played a big role in Sean’s success and has published songs by Rihanna, Ty Dolla $ign and Ariana Grande. Kronfle is an engineer and mixer whose credits include songs by Drake, Lil Wayne, Usher and David Guetta.
With Bazzi, the three felt they’d found the artist to build a company around. “We knew he was gonna be great, but when we put him in the studio with Rice N’ Peas, we realized he was more special than we thought and signed him immediately,” Cotter says. And while they admit their background as songwriters and producers sometimes makes it difficult not to get involved in Bazzi’s creative process, their focus remains on the big picture.
“It’s like a relay race,” Skaller says. “Jared and I started and ran as fast as we could and handed the baton to Rice N’ Peas and Bazzi, and they’re finishing the lap. And who knows — maybe they’ll hand off the baton to someone else.”