The Changing Role of a Music Manager With Three Six Zero’s Mark Gillespie and Range Media’s Michele Harrison

On the latest episode of Variety's Strictly Business podcast, guiding the careers of hitmakers Calvin Harris and Justin Tranter.

Michele Harrison Mark Gillespie
Courtesy of Michele Harrison; Courtesy of Mark Gillespie

On the latest episode of Variety‘s Strictly Business podcast, how the role of a music manager has changed in recent years.

To help us understand today’s artist representation game, we speak to Mark Gillespie, who co-founded the company Three Six Zero and has been instrumental in guiding the careers of Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, Will Smith as well as Willow and Jaden Smith.

A native of Birmingham in the U.K., Gillespie paid his dues in local dance music clubs, which led him to Calvin Harris some 15 years ago. Today, Gillespie calls the intersection of tech and music his passion and has invested his own funds into such companies as Outdoor Voices, Stance and Ember Technologies. He’s also a big thinker: To get a sense of where the Three Six Zero CEO is coming from, head over to a guest column Gillespie recently authored for Variety: Will 5G and Web 3.0 Usher in a New Copyright Crisis for the Music Industry?

Gillespie would know having been on the other side of the dealmaking, negotiating a reported $100 million deal in 2020 for the publishing catalog of his longtime client Harris to Vine investments. The Scottish DJ may not necessarily be a recognizable face, but you know his songs – “We Found Love” featuring Rihanna, “One Kiss” with Dua Lipa, his own “Summer” and “Feel So Close,” among dozens more dance floor staples around the world.

Our second interview in this music-themed episode is with Michele Harrison of Range Media Partners, a new Hollywood firm that’s shaking up the entertainment landscape. Opened less than a year ago by a group of defectors from big-time agencies like WME and UTA, it’s signed some big name clients, like Bradley Cooper, Keira Knightly and Mariah Carey, as well as respected managers like Harrison, who spent much of her career guiding bands like Vampire Weekend and the Shins and working with Jamie Foxx. At Range, she represents hitmaker Justin Tranter (Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Imagine Dragons’ “Believer,” Selena Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me”) among other music clients.