Neil Jacobson, who left his post as president of Geffen Records in December, has made his first major hire as head Hallwood Media, his own independent music management, publishing and record label venture. Nathan Olivas joins as senior vice president of A&R / management, having previously served in an A&R role at Mad Decent Publishing, home to mega-producer Diplo’s independent label and publishing company. Olivas brings with him clients Phil Scully, who has upcoming projects with Diplo, Zayn, Dillon Francis and Carmen DeLeon, and Jim-E Stack (Bon Iver, Octavian, Kacy Hill).
The company originated as Interscope Records’ producer management division, which Jacobson started in 2013; he spun it off into Hallwood as part of his exit from Geffen. Jacobson represents producers and songwriters Jeff Bhasker (Bruno Mars, Harry Styles), Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Eminem) and Brendan O’Brien (Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam) along with King Henry, Bipolar Sunshine, Alex Salibian and Beach Noise. He is also a key architect in bridging music rights owners and Wall Street.
Recent additions to the Hallwood Media roster include J.R. Rotem and David Stewart.
Jacobson represented Bhasker, Haynie, and O’Brien in the sale of song catalogs to Hipgnosis Songs, and a division of Hallwood Media is specifically dedicated to such catalog deals.
“I have been trying to hire Nathan for years,” Jacobsen said. “From the first day I met him it was glaringly evident he was a star. He has impeccable taste, amazing ears and one of the best personalities of anyone I know in the business.”
“The goal for Year One is to begin building the best and strongest producer-songwriter roster in the sector,” Olivas said.
A graduate of Berklee School of Music — from which he and Bhasker graduated in 1999 — Jacobson spent 17 years at Interscope-Geffen-A&M, where he signed or working closely with Avicii, Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO and others.