AREN'T YOU FROM F-ING ARKANSAS
We’ve made it to our final episode of the season. Today we’ll follow the journey of an Arkansas native from politics, to Hollywood, to country music: Jason Owen is in some ways a quintessential Nashville story. Through the interviews we’ve been sharing on “This Nashville Life” there’s an element of happenstance mixed with creativity & perseverance that runs throughout. Jason really “arrives” in Nashville by chance—the urging of a good friend. And ultimately follows his own curiosity and passion all the way to artist management. After getting a little burned out in the label world, Jason started Sandbox Entertainment in early 2011…and his first client was actually the first artist he ever worked with in country music: Shania Twain. He and his team at Sandbox currently manage artists like Little Big Town, Dan + Shay, and Kacey Musgraves. On working with Kacey, Jason says, “I dream for her on a Katy Perry level. She dreams for herself on an Alison Krauss level. Neither are wrong. I think when we meet somewhere in the middle is where it’s magic.”
I asked Jason a lot of process questions about how he approaches the work of management, and I love the spirit with which he watches the work of his peers. On the topic of what other managers are doing Jason says, “I have been obsessed with how Jeffrey Azoff has launched the Harry Styles record. I think it is one of the most brilliant album releases I have seen in years. Everything has been perfection…They really set him up to be a superstar.” One reason I love this sentiment so much is I think this is the work we’re trying to do here on the podcast. Inspire you by sharing inspiring stories. If we can watch our peers (and competitors) with a teachable eye there’s a LOT to be inspired by.
One piece of this interview that we had to leave on the cutting room floor was our conversation around specific TV moments that Jason has been a part of…If you want to dig a little deeper go watch some of them: Sugarland’s “Stay” on the CMT Awards, Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” on the CMA Awards, and Tim McGraw & Faith Hill’s “Speak To A Girl” on the ACMs. I find it really interesting to see how a person’s earlier career (like Jason’s experience working in TV) affect their gifts and strengths in later parts of their careers.
Annnnnnd lastly, Jason has some tough, but cleared eyed words for wannabe interns…but it’s a warning that speaks to what it takes to be successful in this business.
And I happen to agree, and I think you’ll find an invitation in it’s midst.
And with that, we leave you for the summer as Kev and I get to work on Season 3. And let me tell you….a change is coming. Xx ?
Go follow Sandbox Entertainment on socials @SandboxEnt…it’s a great way to stay in the know about their artists and their company.