Year: 2021

Lawrence Mestel

Founder & Chief Executive Officer,
Primary Wave Music

Lawrence Mestel, Founder & CEO of Primary Wave Music, has been working in the music and entertainment industry for over 30 years. In 2006, Mestel took his extensive experience working at multiple record labels and founded Primary Wave Music, one of the largest independent music publishing, marketing and talent management companies in the United States. Primary Wave has controlled over 15,000 songs from the catalogs of legendary artists such as Bob Marley, Stevie Nicks, Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Burt Bacharach, Prince, Olivia Newton-John, Ray Charles, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, War, Robbie Robertson, Count Basie, Sly & The Family Stone, Boston, Alice Cooper, Paul Anka, Boy George and Culture Club, Allee Willis, Leon Russell, Free, Toots & The Maytals, Steve Cropper, Glenn Gould, Air Supply, Godsmack, Disturbed, Devo, Donny Hathaway, Nicky Chinn, Noel Hogan (Cranberries) and many more. Originally founded on music publishing, Mestel has strategically and successfully built the company into a full-service music and entertainment powerhouse offering in-house branding, digital marketing, publicity, TV & Film development and a talent management company, whose roster of artists includes CeeLo Green, Cypress Hill, Melissa Etheridge, Isley Brothers, Eric Benet, Fantasia, Bell Biv Devoe, Hot Chelle Rae, Aly & AJ, Jefferson Starship and others.

In 2015, Mestel was one of the producers behind the critically acclaimed Kurt Cobain documentary film, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and has announced he will be part of the team producing the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody which will be distributed by Sony Pictures.

In 2019 Goldman Sachs honored Larry Mestel as one of the “100 most intriguing entrepreneurs” at the annual Goldman Sachs Builders & Inventors summit.  In 2020 Mestel also landed on Billboard Magazine’s “Power List” being recognized for his leadership in the music industry and has also been featured in top press outlets such as New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, New York Post, Forbes, Billboard Magazine, and HITS Magazine.

Prior to founding Primary Wave Music, Larry Mestel was Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Virgin Records, where he was responsible for all marketing, sales and business-related aspects of the company. During his tenure, he worked with iconic artists including The Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Jermaine Dupri and Lenny Kravitz. From 2000 – 2004, Mestel was Executive Vice President and General Manager at Arista Records, managing sales, international and strategic marketing, A&R and marketing administration, finance and business affairs. While at Arista, he helped develop artists such as Avril Lavigne, Outkast, Usher, Pink, Carlos Santana, Dido among many others. Mestel also held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Island Entertainment Group, which included Island Records, Island Music Publishing and Island Pictures.