Music Touring Agent
CAA agent Akin Aliu knew from a very young age – “6 or 7” – that he wanted to work in music. In high school he was in a rap group, and his first role in the entertainment business was as a promotions intern at Clear Channel Radio’s KUBE-FM in Seattle. Next, he interned with BET Networks in programming and strategy, which he notes wasn’t “quite a music role, but it helped me get my job at CAA. At CAA I started from the bottom and worked my way up.”
Aliu adds, “I was inspired to get into the live side of the business because touring was touted as the most lucrative revenue stream of an artist’s business. … I loved the idea of becoming one of the most valuable parts of an artist’s team.”
Colleagues at CAA say that Aliu is passionate about “amplifying the voices of diverse artists and has shaped his client roster to work predominantly with Black and female artists. He expertly works to build artists from the ground up, working with independent promoters and those who don’t yet have big deals or attachments to a major label.”
Aliu – who joined CAA as an intern in 2012 and was promoted to agent in 2019 – represents a number of major artists including Becky G, Freddie Gibbs, Skip Marley, Young M.A., Doja Cat, Tom Misch, and Jorja Smith, among many others. Highlights from his career include helping lead the strategy and planning on Doja Cat and Freddie Gibbs’ respective recent tours, as well as being integral in signing Joyner Lucas, Lil Baby, ZAYN, and Ciara, among others.
Giving back and promoting inclusivity is a huge part of Aliu’s life. He is a member of the team that created and conceived of the Social Change Fund United, which is led by a few NBA superstars/CAA clients and aims to address public safety, criminal justice reform, and social inequalities in the Black community. Aliu also helped organize CAA Music’s Urban Meeting Speakers Series; he’s a member of the leadership committee for CAA Elevate; and he was elected to the advisory board of nonprofit LIFT-LA, which focuses on breaking intergenerational poverty.