Echo Location founder, Obi Asika, is to serve as co-head of the UK office
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UTA today announced it has bought Obi Asika’s London-based Echo Location Talent Agency in a deal that will see Asika assume the role of the conglomerate’s UK office alongside Neil Warnock.
Financial details were not disclosed, but in a statement the companies said that the deal “further enhances UTA’s global music footprint and will provide Echo’s clients with access to the company’s full-service resources and capabilities.”
UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer comments, “Obi and his team have built an impressive business and have done excellent work taking their artists to the next level.
“He is a highly respected leader in the music industry and is well-versed in the global entertainment marketplace. This acquisition further amplifies our efforts to expand UTA’s presence, and I know that alongside Neil, Obi’s leadership, drive, and passion will be a vital addition not only to the UK office, but for UTA at large.”
“OBI IS A HIGHLY RESPECTED LEADER IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND IS WELL-VERSED IN THE GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT MARKETPLACE”
As co-head of the UK office, Asika will be responsible for driving UTA’s growing music business as well as expanding existing practice areas including comedy, sports, marketing, and other verticals. Asika will report to co-heads of worldwide music, Samantha Kirby Yoh and David Zedeck.
For his part, Asika says, “Throughout the years, Echo has been approached by several suitors, and as we evaluated the agency landscape, UTA’s strength, ingenuity and true commitment to their artists really stood out. UTA was ultimately the perfect fit.
“Jeremy, Sam, David, and Neil have shown strong and thoughtful leadership as they have built out the music division and the company’s global influence. I am so proud of what the team at Echo has achieved and I am fired up as to what we can all accomplish together.”
Joining Asika in the move across London to UTA will be senior agent Belinda Law and staff including Myles Jessop, Tom Jones, Jack Clark, Hannah Shogbola, Kazia Davy and Ishsha Bourguet.
“AS [ECHO] EVALUATED THE AGENCY LANDSCAPE, UTA’S STRENGTH, INGENUITY AND TRUE COMMITMENT TO THEIR ARTISTS REALLY STOOD OUT”
UTA will also add Echo Location artists such as Alesso, Bugzy Malone, Chase & Status, Davido, Diplo, Galantis, Gorgon City, Giggs, Hannah Wants, Major Lazer, Marshmello, Pendulum, Pa Salieu, Sampa The Great, Teni, Clara Amfo, Mistajam, Charlie Sloth, Ocean Wisdom, DJEZ, and Wizkid to its international roster.
Those Echo clients will now have access to UTA’s full scope of services across multiple practice areas including fine art, licensing, branding, video games, digital content, publishing, television, motion pictures, public speaking and more.
Echo Location was founded in 2012 by Asika and represents a diverse roster of clients across multiple genres, focussing on Afrobeats, Grime, Drill, Hip-Hop and Electronic music.
The acquisition follows a number of deals that UTA has completed during the pandemic period, with the agency’s music division adding several senior executives and agents to its ranks across multiple offices during the past 12 months.
Its new hires include partner and co-head of worldwide music, Samantha Kirby Yoh, who is based in New York; agents Jeffrey Hasson, Brett Saliba and Jenny DeLoach, who are based in Nashville; agents Robbie Brown and Matt Meyer and coordinator Natalie Koe, who work out of Los Angeles; and agent Carlos Abreu, who is based in London.