2022 Impact 50: Kevin Shivers

Partner & Co-Head Of Hip-Hop/R&B


WME’s Kevin Shivers has already had a massive year, thanks in part to client Tyler, the Creator.

The rapper/producer has been busy supporting his sixth studio album, 2021’s Call Me If You Get Lost, and in April he wrapped a 34-date tour through North America. The routing included two sold out nights at Madison Square Garden on Mar. 13 and 14 with 28,880 tickets sold and a $2.3 million gross, according to box office reports submitted to Pollstar.

While supply chain issues have become yet another struggle to navigate in post-pandemic touring, Shivers encouraged Tyler, the Creator to tour with Kali Uchis, Vince Staples, and Teezo Touchdown when embarking on their 2022 tour.

“I’m encouraging clients to go out and package,” Shivers says. “If you look at what Tyler did, he went out on the four band bill, including him. And it’s like going into a crowded marketplace. I think the clients I work with, we all want to give the fans a great show and a lot of bang for their buck.”

When it comes to predicting how tickets will move in the coming years, Shivers has full confidence that a steady improvement and high-grossing numbers are in the future. That sentiment has been common among many in the industry, with the majority of the world locked up in their houses for nearly two years and desperate to get out and see their favorite acts.

“I think ‘22, ‘23 and ‘24 are gonna be record years,” Shivers says. “I think people are gonna focus a lot more on the customer. Like, getting the customer and figuring out how to make their life easier to come out to shows. I think the live experience is gonna be very consumer based.”

Throughout his career, Shivers has used his influence to promote diversity within the workplace. The majority of his clients are artists of color, with Shivers’ career constantly working to help highlight minorities in the industry.

Shivers contributes his success, in part, to what he calls his own personal Board of Directors. Dan Limerick, Damien Granderson, Damien Smith, and Dave Wirtschafter are just a few of the people Shivers regularly consults with. When it comes to expanding diversity and opening doors, he aims to pay it all forward.

“I’m always trying to help,” Shivers says. “Whenever somebody emails me, throughout the industry, I always try to help them find jobs. Making connections with people from a diverse background and being somebody they can call on if they have questions.”

Whether it’s lunch or just a quick 10 minutes on Zoom, he always makes sure to be available for others to ask questions, and he hopes to encourage others to do the same.

“Anybody on this list needs to take time for others,” he encourages. “To be open to people that you don’t know. To take time to answer the questions.”

Like any great leader, Shivers has had his number of failures. From chasing artists he wound up not being able to get to working towards higher goals and not always reaching them, his philosophy is simple.

“The way I look at failure is, if you’re not failing, you’re not really trying,” he says. “I always got these different ideas that I try and sometimes they don’t work. You have to be okay with failure to win. Because if you’re with it all the time, then you’re not pushing yourself.”