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Back in 2013, Austin Rosen wanted to give creators a base from which to build a career, so he started his own management company. That business has proven to be wildly successful for Electric Feel Entertainment, where Rosen’s stable of hitmakers has contributed to an aggregate 215 billion audio streams. Among them: Louis Bell, Blake Slatkin and Carter Lang, three who helped shape the sound of 2021 with credits on such inescapable songs as 24kGoldn’s “Mood” featuring Iann Dior, SZA’s “Good Days” and the Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s “Stay.” Electric Feel also houses a publishing arm (to which Omer Fedi is signed) and represents artists like Post Malone, giving Rosen a 360-degree view of the industry.

“I built my business on signing writers and producers because I wanted to be able to help artists find collaborative partners for their career,” says the 33-year-old Rosen, the company’s founder and CEO. “It’s very important for an artist to consistently release great music, which means building a team that understands your vision and can help you achieve your goal.”

Variety’s Manager of the Year was able to grow his roster of hitmaking artisans by spotting talent early. In addition to scouting for young beatmakers and lyricists, Rosen also pays attention to personality and attitude. The creatives under the Electric Feel Management banner bring a special synergy that comes from a desire to partner. “It’s about building relationships,” he explains. “It’s not just about throwing songwriters and producers in a studio together. There has to be an environment where they can really get to know each other.”

That ecosystem has resulted in a community that makes music for fun — and also happens to crank out hits. Take “Mood,” which was born during a pandemic-era bubble hang. “It happened organically,” Rosen says. “Sometimes making a hit record is just about putting people together.” This was also true of “Stay.” Both examples grew out of Electric Feel’s culture of collaboration and experimentation.

Another key to Rosen’s success is offering artists continuity by having access to studios in Los Angeles and Berlin (and soon, Miami and Tel-Aviv). Which begs the question: Is there an Electric Feel sound? “For sure,” says Rosen. “Each creative has their own sound, but they all complement each other.”

The other thing that connects Electric Feel projects is the pursuit of excellence. Says Rosen of the firm’s quality control: “It’s a really crazy landscape these days, with more songs than ever being released on a weekly basis. To stay ahead of the curve, our music has to have the highest integrity. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

In many ways, Electric Feel has allowed Rosen to realize a lifelong dream. “The whole reason why I’m in the music business is because I love music,” he says. “I was selling CDs in high school. I was always trying to find artists early and put other people on to them. It’s very natural for me to do what I do. I turned my passion into my business.”

Louis Bell

As one of music’s most prolific hitmakers, the 39-year-old scored his eighth chart-topper with “Peaches,” which Bell co-wrote. Beyond an infectious hook, timing played a crucial role in its success. “It was the feel-good, summertime vibe the world was looking for coming out of quarantine,” he says. Bell is as seasoned as they come, but even with his track record, the sheer volume of music being released “makes our jobs much more difficult,” he says. “But it pushes us to craft something that can stand the test of time.”

Billy Walsh

From early Post Malone cuts like “I Fall Apart” to the Kid Laroi’s breakthrough smash “Without You,” Walsh is among Electric Feel’s most in-demand songwriters. With roots in fashion, Walsh credits much of his success to Rosen. “He loves music, has a great ear and really knows how a song comes together,” Walsh says. “Austin’s humble and chill, but never scared to go to bat for me so that I can just focus on writing.”

24kGoldn

Championed as an artist to watch since “Valentino” went viral in 2019, 24kGoldn surpassed all expectations with “Mood.” The undeniable earworm, which is built around a guitar hook from fellow Electric Feel client Omer Fedi, exploded on TikTok late last year and then inched its way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 where it would spent eight nonconsecutive weeks in early 2021. “‘Mood’ was a life-changing song,” says Goldn, who just turned 21. “And my family at Electric Feel helped make that moment into a career.”

Post Malone

Malone’s relationship with Rosen stretches back to his quin­tuple-platinum debut album “Stoney.” “Austin has been a ride or die for me from the beginning,” the genre-
defying superstar says. “I’m forever grateful for having him in my corner throughout all of my major career milestones.” Malone, who’s co-managed by Dre London, credits Rosen with bringing together his core creative team. “It’s incredible as an artist to have so many of my collaborators under the Electric Feel umbrella, including Louis Bell and Billy Walsh,” Malone says. “I have Austin to thank for connecting these dots.”

Iann Dior

Iann Dior was playing “Call of Duty” with a group of Electric Feel cohorts when inspiration struck. A lazy afternoon suddenly turned productive, and the 22-year-old wound up with a feature on 24kGoldn’s chart-topping “Mood.” “It has been a really rewarding experience and came at such a pivotal time in the pandemic where music helped give people hope,” Dior says. “It was even more dope getting to enjoy the success along-side my brothers at Electric Feel: 24kGoldn, Blake Slatkin and Omer Fedi.”

Andile Ndlovu

It’s not every day that two artists you manage come together for an all-conquering No. 1 hit. “A lot of moving pieces aligned beautifully,” says Ndlovu of “Mood,” by Electric Feel clients 24kGoldn and Iann Dior, citing “the initial support from both fan bases, DSPs, radio, playlisting, live performances and the TikTok campaign.” Each chart milestone broke new ground for the collaborators. “My proudest moment is ongoing,” Ndlovu says. “It’s watching Iann, Goldn and all of the producers on the record grow as adults. It’s amazing to see how well they’ve handled the success.”

Carter Lang

With credits on two of 2021’s most-consumed songs, Lang co-crafted an antidote to lockdown and a soundtrack for reentering the world. For SZA’s “Good Days,” the 30-year-old says he “focused on cinematic textures, both acoustic and synthesized, to help bridge the worlds of fantasy and reality.” The tone of “Kiss Me More,” SZA’s disco-tinged collaboration with Doja Cat, was more carefree. “It came out when people first started going out during the pandemic,” he says. “It was a jump for joy.”