Marty Diamond, Head of Global Music, Paradigm Talent Agency

Marty Diamond
– Marty Diamond

The Caretakers

Executives making the right moves to keep careers, companies, shows, the business, rolling. Operators as opposed to architects.

Marty Diamond
Head of Global Music, Paradigm Talent Agency

Marty Diamond encourages the template of discussion. Whether he was working an IBM 286 with his Little Big Man partner Larry Webman or booking Ed Sheeran in North America, Diamond continues to be an agent of finds, spreading his discoveries to the pinnacles of the music world.

What elevates Diamond is his knack for developing artists based on their music – and growing them based on a strong sense of how to connect. Now the Head of Global Music at Paradigm, which represents singular superstars Ed Sheeran, Janelle Monáe, Coldplay, Sia, Shawn Mendes, Lorde, Sigur Rós, Alessia Cara and Snow Patrol has come a long way from joining the University of Delaware’s concert committee on a whim.

“It’s easy to fall captive to being transactional, just signing things and booking dates,” says the man who’s worked closely with legendary promoter Bill Graham and iconic label head Clive Davis, of Paradigm’s driving principles.

“But we’re really working to long-term develop. Every superstar has had their club dates and 250-seaters. Coldplay played clubs, Kacey Musgraves, even Billie Eilish – who feels meteoric – has done this,” Diamond tells Pollstar.

With the company having just signed Janet Jackson and acquired Nashville’s Dale Morris & Associates Agency, home to Kenny Chesney and Old Dominion, it’s easy to revel in the big signing. But for Diamond, it’s also about developing unknown talent where “the goal is long term global superstar clients.” 

Out every night to two, three shows and meetings with managers, lawyers and label people, it is a constant seeking. 

Just as importantly, Diamond circles Paradigm’s second floor New York City offices three, maybe four, times a day to check in with the staff, hear people’s ideas and promote an environment of inspiration and exploration. 

“I’ve encouraged the template of discussion. You have to learn from people, both about the talent and the way people consume. When the young agents want to sign someone, we aggressively support it. They’re the future,” Diamond says.

And that support now includes film and television, brand, literary and theatrical departments to create opportunities beyond just music. 

For Sara Bareilles, that hybrid vigor includes the Broadway show “Waitress,” a key role in the live TV broadcast of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” a book, hosting the Tony Awards and, after all that, another concert tour.

“We’ve tested the elasticity of not just our artists, but our agents, too,” Diamond says.

“My job is to protect my clients’ self-esteem as creators, performers, human beings – and create a place where the art and the artist are the guiding light.”

Whether it’s Diplo or Dave Matthews Band, Sturgill Simpson or Grace Jones, Lyle Lovett or Phish, Diamond views each artist as unique – and each agent as a creative engineer expanding the opportunities based on the talent, the need and the reality of the individual artist.

“It’s easy to simply list what’s coming up, or is in the pipeline,” he says. “But what’s more exciting is the creative instincts of our amazing agents, who live to be ahead of things and are truly formidable signers.”

Hot Takes

What’s your favorite laminate? 

Ed Sheeran X – Day Glo Green. I also remember getting my first Grateful Dead laminate during Touch of Grey.

The show that changed your life?

The Clash at Bonds, NYC.

Best/worst career-related advice you were ever given?

“Come Early. Stay Late.”

Biggest miss by you and/or the industry?

Not being more excited about the Followills’ cassette, now known as the Kings of Leon.

What would you like to tell our friends at the record labels and/or radio?  

We all need to be mindful artists are people. We need to work together to find a collective balance to grow careers.

Where can you be found during a show?

Watching! Usually behind the tallest person in the room.

Pet peeves?

Being overhyped.

Technology that has most impacted your daily work or personal life?

A No. 2 pencil, and a smart phone.

Ten years removed from The Great Slump – can it happen again?

Of course it can happen again if we are not careful. I drive a car with a rearview mirror, so I can always be aware of what is behind me.