Seeker Music, the music rights, publishing, and record company, has hired Dan Stuart as its General Counsel. In keeping with Seeker’s creative-first strategy, Stuart brings to the company a combination of 20+ years of legal representation and advocacy for both talent and music companies; and prior experience as a successful vinyl-era DJ and groundbreaking music journalist.
As a music lawyer, Stuart recently completed a nearly five-year run as SVP, Business Affairs, at AWAL (US) during which AWAL’s US client base experienced significant growth and AWAL was acquired by Sony Music Entertainment. Prior to joining AWAL, Stuart spent five years as a Partner at King, Holmes, Paterno andamp; Soriano, and 15 years as an attorney at Manatt, Phelps andamp; Phillips. During his illustrious legal career, Stuart has represented countless A-list and developing songwriters, producers and recording artists, and played key roles in clients' acquisitions of over one billion dollars’ worth of sound recording and music publishing catalogs.
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Before Stuart’s success in law, his career in music began in the mid-1980s. As a journalist, he began writing for music magazines while, on the weekends, he was the DJ-in-residence at a popular Pasadena night spot. Greg Mack, the Music Director at LA’s legendary hip-hop radio station 1580-KDAY (and now known as the “Godfather of Hip-Hop Radio”), hired Stuart as an assistant after Stuart interviewed Mack for a magazine profile. Stuart would occasionally use his DJ skills to create “traffic jam” mixes broadcast on KDAY, and once performed a warm-up DJ set for KDAY’s “Mixmasters” at Compton’s iconic Skateland USA. Stuart later spent over three years as the editor of Lee Bailey’s nationally syndicated program “RadioScope”, wrote the acclaimed two-hour radio documentary “Marvin Gaye: We Miss You” and, with Bailey, created the first nationally-syndication hip-hop countdown show on radio, “The Hip-Hop Countdown andamp; Report” in 1989. Somehow, during this same period, Stuart found time to spend a year co-anchoring KPCC's "Evening Edition" with Larry Mantle.
While at RadioScope, Stuart was inspired to pivot from music journalism to music law when several artists he interviewed explained how signing a bad deal or having inadequate representation robbed them of participating fully in the results of their great work. After graduating from Loyola Law School in the late 90s, his passion for music artist advocacy led him to Manatt, Phelps andamp; Phillips, where he honed his legal skills under the tutelage of highly respected name partner Lee Phillips for 14 years before joining renowned L.A. entertainment firm King, Holmes, Paterno andamp; Soriano, LLP as a Partner. During this time, Stuart became an author, contributing multiple chapters to The Musician's Business andamp; Legal Guide, and writing the first draft of what would become the new-and-improved Coogan Law in California. In 2018, Stuart left private practice and joined AWAL, as he was intrigued by the challenge of helping the company (which was then independent) build its US client base.
Stuart was drawn to Seeker by its growing reputation for both business and creative integrity, and its top-notch executive line-up. In the music catalog space, Seeker is known to only acquire music that their creative-first executive team is passionate about and committed to help thrive with a sense of responsibility in line with that passion. When it comes to frontline signings, Seeker’s known for always putting the vision of its artists and writers first.
Stuart said of joining Seeker “In my role as an attorney, whether my client is an aspiring young musician, or a well-funded music company, my goal has always been to ‘represent’ them in the true sense of the word. I aspire to understand what their goals are, financially, in business, creatively, and in life, so that I can use my skills and resources to help them authentically achieve those goals. I’ve known Evan for many years, and I’ve seen him succeed at many things because he operates the same way. Evan has always been about authenticity, and bringing out the very best in people by learning about their true goals. It’s been great to watch Seeker establish itself and grow by following that same ethos. I am absolutely honored to be joining Evan and the entire Seeker team in this next chapter. And Seeker’s catalog of sweet 90’s hip-hop classics doesn’t hurt!”
Evan Bogart, Seeker’s CEO, and award-winning hit songwriter (Rihanna’s “SOS,” Beyonce’s “Halo”), said, “I’ve known Dan for almost 20 years. And what I’ve known about Dan since the day I met him is how smart, dedicated, passionate, authentic, and well-respected he is. He is one of the best in the business, and in my view it’s because he’s not just a lawyer, he’s an OG music guy who really cares about music and music creators. I speak for the entire Seeker family when I say there’s no better fit for someone to serve as our General Counsel.”
Along with Bogart, Stuart joins an executive team composed of Seeker CFO Jennifer Scher, COO Rob Guthrie, Global Head of Creative Steven Melrose, Chief Rights andamp; Royalties Officer Jennifer Blakeman, and Board Chairman, John Smith (representing key investors MandG). Watch this space for more to come from Seeker Music.
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