The Neal Agency
As co-head of The Neal Agency, Adi Sharma had a massive year. His client, Bailey Zimmerman, had his first headline tour, a feat that feels particularly special to Sharma.
“When we signed him, he had everyone coming out of the woodwork, yet he took a shot on a young agent and legitimized me,” Sharma says. “I will never take his trust for granted. He inspires me the most with how he understands his vision and his brand — I’ve not seen another artist like him.”
Sharma got his start at WME, where he worked as an assistant for his first two years in the industry. He dreamed of working in country music, deciding to take a leap of faith and moving to Nashville, where Joey Lee took him under his wing. When the opportunity to join the Neal Agency arose, Sharma then took another leap.
“It’s allowed me to service my clients in the way I’ve always wanted, leveraging everything we have to get them the best looks,” he says. “Building TNA from the ground up has also reminded me how much fun this can be.”
Sharma believes his younger age to be an advantage in the industry, providing him with a fresh perspective on things. He isn’t beholden to the old ways and finds himself more willing to break the status quo. He also finds herself taking a different approach when it comes to serving his artists.
Sharma credits top live execs Kirk Sommer, Kevin Neal and Joey Lee for being his biggest guiding mentors throughout his career.
He says they all taught him how to think long term for his clients, focusing on how they can all make long careers together, rather than focusing on short-term gains.
Sharma didn’t always expect to join the music industry. His father is a doctor and his brother works as a cardiologist. When he first started college, he went in expecting to pursue medicine, as well.
“What inspired me was discovering John Mayer’s music as a senior in high school,” he says. “From there, I learned about Berklee College of Music along with what goes on behind the scenes in the industry.”