IMPACT INTERNATIONAL: UK/EURO HONORS
Co-Head, UTA UK
Founder of Echo Location Talent Agency, Obi Asika joined UTA in 2021 for several reasons, the main one being “the full-service aspect that UTA can provide to clients,” he says. “It is an extremely forward-thinking agency with innovation at the forefront. Lockdown made the world seem smaller. Speaking to someone in the same city to the other side of the world was the same, everyone communicated online. It humbled us all as nobody had all the answers and people could come together to help one another. We were able to have open and amazing dialogues, which created a great deal of opportunity. It focused my attention to the opportunity of playing on a global level.”
The ability to secure brand partnerships and crossover opportunities into other media were previously only available to the most well-known acts, according to Asika. “But these opportunities have become more accessible to artists at all levels in recent years, and the pandemic accelerated this evolution.”
He also emphasizes the need to develop domestic talent, saying “the cost of bringing international artists over is increasing, promoters will need the key international acts that add value, but also look to invest in local talent in European markets. Focusing on domestic talent is essential to get through this.”
Asika dedicated most of last year to expanding UTA’s roster in the Afrobeats and Amapiano genres and helping each client within those spaces achieve their individual career goals. Very successfully, as demonstrated by the itineraries of clients including Wizkid, Burna Boy, Scorpion Kingz, Major League DJz and more.
Working to develop multiple genres of music is what Asika considers his biggest accomplishment. He says, “Often what gets me excited is not just an artist but helping to build a genre, a movement, a culture, an expression, and I have helped play a role in this on more than one occasion.”