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A&R Worldwide Interview: Taylor Jones (Vol. 831)




At just 29 years old, the Los Angeles-based, British-born native, Taylor Jones is a figure as enigmatic, as he is inspiring, and energetic, earning him comparisons to the modern-day entrepreneurial icon, Richard Branson. As the Founder, Group Chairman, CEO & Global Head of Creative of The Hello Group (THG), Taylor embodies a multi-dimensional approach to entertainment leadership. With a career spanning various roles including executive, manager, A&R, agent, songwriter, executive producer, and creative director, Taylor’s influence is felt across the global entertainment landscape.

His hands-on approach and creative vision drive THG’s operations, where he showcases unparalleled expertise in business strategy, global marketing initiatives, and project management across all facets of entertainment and branding.

We sit down with Taylor Jones for an interview to learn more about this burgeoning business executive, creative, and entrepreneur before his exclusive in-person keynote interview, which takes place at this year’s global music business conference and showcase event MUSEXPO, March 17 – 20, in Burbank, CA.

Taylor, you’ve been a key player in the global rise of K-Pop, having placed songs resulting in numerous Billboard No.1’s and Gold/Platinum certifications for artists like BTS and TWICE. How has your approach to A&R evolved in response to the rapidly changing landscape of the music industry, particularly within the K-Pop genre?

We have honed our A&R strategy in a genre that thrives on virtual collaboration. While in-person studio sessions remain a part of our workflow, most of our creative process involves exchanging briefs, receiving tracks, and selecting top-tier songwriters to topline those tracks remotely. This approach, accounting for nearly 80% of our process, enables us to connect with talented individuals worldwide and leverage technology to our advantage.

As a result, we’ve seen a surge in global collaborations, opening doors to exceptional talent that was once beyond our immediate reach, particularly evident in the timely briefs and song requests we receive from our partners in South Korea. By leveraging this approach, we are churning out a higher volume of polished demos, and our digital pitching capabilities know no bounds. In the end, it boils down to more writers, more songs, more pitching, and more cuts—all without compromising on quality.

The Hello Group has expanded its reach across various facets of entertainment and branding under your leadership. Can you discuss how you balance the diverse responsibilities of being an entertainment executive, manager, A&R, agent, songwriter, TV producer, and creative director within the company?

Despite the perception that managing numerous projects requires a meticulous approach, my strategy revolves around prioritization based on necessity, urgency, and my unique contributions to the topics at hand. While I handle certain tasks directly, such as meetings, planning, and executing specific projects like TV formats or managing acts with Key-Man clauses, I delegate other responsibilities to a qualified team.

My focus lies in crafting high-level strategies, setting policies, and overseeing the implementation of these plans. There is an enormous amount of crossover in my role which allows me to utilize my A&R and writing skills when managing talent and addressing music-related aspects, and so on. I do try to allocate at least 50% of my time to creative projects, as they drive revenue for both our talent and content ventures.

In terms of productivity, I put in long hours, typically 12 or more per day. However, I make sure to carve out time for my personal life because those moments are crucial for recharging my creative batteries. To streamline my workflow, I rely on AI for scheduling and use tools like and Asana for project management. Here is a tip I often share: aim to keep meetings short, around 15-30 minutes whenever possible, and remember that many matters can be addressed efficiently through a simple email. By freeing up your time from endless meetings, you can focus on executing your plans rather than just discussing them.

With your extensive experience in talent management, including representing winners of major competitions like The Voice Kids and Eurovision, how do you identify and nurture emerging talent amidst such a competitive industry landscape?

Navigating the music industry landscape has undeniably become more challenging over time. In recent years, I’ve consciously opted to take on fewer developmental acts—those still finding their footing, lacking substantial revenue streams, and requiring significant backing to flourish. This decision stems from the realization that, given our size, our resources are finite, and the market is fiercely competitive, with over 800,000 songs released weekly. Even if an artist puts out new music on a weekly basis, it poses a daunting “one in a million” chance of breaking through. But, while it is ‘virtually impossible’ statistically, there are artists breaking out every day and so the mission remains very much alive.

To navigate this reality, we blend our inherent knack for spotting exceptional talent, unyielding drive, and magnetic personalities with data-driven insights. We analyze metrics such as posting frequency, conversion rates, audience growth, and music consistency (from a quality and frequency value). Does the artist have a good team around them that enhances credibility? Are they willing to invest in their own career—whether through securing a part-time job to support their musical endeavors or otherwise? All good questions to ask.

For established acts, the process is comparatively simpler. Our decisions here hinge on whether we’re fans of the music, alignment with our representation approach, and a solid match of personality and vision between us and the client.

As a member of various prestigious industry boards like City of Hope’s “Future Hope,” how do you leverage your position to advocate for positive change and innovation within the music industry?

I have always been driven by a passion for helping others—considering that much of my career as a manager revolves around nurturing others’ dreams into reality. This ethos extends beyond my team and partners to the broader industry. Whether it’s through my role at City of Hope or my involvement with nonprofits like CyberSmile and Make-A-Wish Foundation, and participation in government organizations such as Monaco Private Label‘s “Young Leaders” program, I leverage my connections and relationships to raise funds, offer life-changing experiences, and champion causes close to many hearts.

Beyond philanthropy, I constantly seek to instigate change and innovate within our industry. I have come to understand that unfortunately, resistance to change is prevalent in many sectors of our business, yet I’m immensely resilient, and being told “no” only fuels my determination to drive transformation. From developing technology to revolutionize the music awards sector and certification processes to creating platforms that streamline workflow, and even implementing changes on the creative front—like enforcing proportionate payments to songwriters from producer/master fees—we’re committed to pushing boundaries and are frequently among the first to do so.

Collaborating closely with partners like Sony Music Publishing, we have pioneered unique pitching setups at THG Publishing, significantly boosting our pitching success in APAC regions. Partnering with those who share our passion for innovation is integral to our ethos, driving us to constantly evolve, and elevate the industry as a whole.

You’ve received recognition as “CEO of The Year” at the Global CEO of Excellence Awards and have been listed among the top entrepreneurs under 30 by Yahoo Finance. How do you maintain a balance between achieving personal accolades and driving the success of The Hello Group as a whole?

Fortunately, those two roles intertwine seamlessly. As the Founder and the recognizable face of the business, the bulk of our initial triumphs stemmed from my direct involvement—I personally managed or handled A&R for our top-tier talent, thus sharing in the accolades to my personal credit. Though, with the company’s expansion, our team, clients, and the values instilled by our exceptional colleagues have naturally grown in tandem.

My foremost focus lies in bolstering the organization and supporting our team, facilitating our clients’ optimal performance, and allowing everything else to fall into place organically.

While I do love public speaking and storytelling, I am consistently acknowledged as a spokesperson for The Hello Group. Even in these personal engagements, the benefits reverberate back to the business, opening doors to new opportunities and expanding our reach. Win-win!

The Hello Group has undoubtedly seen significant growth and success under your leadership. Can you discuss any key strategic decisions or initiatives that have contributed to the company’s evolution and continued success?

Despite achieving significant milestones—generating tens of millions in revenue, securing over $20 million (USD) in financing, and signing more than 100 talents—every day still feels like I’m navigating the wild terrain of startup land. While we’ve celebrated monumental successes across various verticals, this journey has been rife with challenges, with each day presenting its own set of obstacles. Yet, amidst the chaos, I find myself thriving under pressure. While we have launched numerous businesses within our group, success is not always guaranteed, but that is all part of the journey—and with each failure, valuable lessons accompany, shaping our path forward.

One pivotal strategic move that propelled us forward was the launch of our music publishing company. Previously, we solely focused on talent management, effectively functioning as a music publisher in many respects. By establishing our own music publishing arm, we streamlined the day-to-day managerial tasks for writers and producers, allowing us to zero in on activities that truly drive revenue and success—such as music creation, pitching, and revenue collection. Empowering our writers to also serve as A&Rs proved to be a game-changing decision, significantly enhancing our incoming talent flow.

Furthermore, we are adept at seizing opportunities presented by market shifts or emerging trends. For instance, when COVID shuttered studios, we seized the moment to launch a TV/film studio, leveraging our newfound access to executives, studio space, and content in what was previously a gated market. Simultaneously, we partnered with an exceptional agent, Cory Riskin, to establish our own agency division, which now books nearly 1,000 shows annually. These opportunities arose from a dynamically shifting marketplace (despite the pandemic being a terrible time for mankind).

Similarly, our keen eye for emerging trends led us to dive headfirst into K-Pop, resulting in our client’s working on BTS‘ first two major projects to achieve Platinum status in the USA—leading us to many more placements in K-Pop, now having solidified our foothold in the K-Pop world. Likewise, we are deeply immersed in the evolution of Indian pop music, thanks in part to my friend Sat Bisla, who facilitated a speaking engagement for me in Mumbai, India last year.

Recently, you faced the loss of a business partner and mentor in Phil Quartararo, how has his mentorship influenced your leadership style and the direction of The Hello Group? Additionally, how have you navigated his loss and worked to honor his legacy while pushing the company forward?

While Phil was not a yes-man by any stretch, he was open to ideas he deemed genuinely worthy. Fortunately for Phil, myself, and our other partners at THG corporate—Kyran and Matt—we often found ourselves on the same page with my out-of-the-box ideas. Whether it was launching a TV/film studio, a publishing company, a beverage company, a tech venture, or an agency, we consistently opted to innovate and shake up industries that seemed stuck in antiquated ways.

Beyond offering business guidance and playing devil’s advocate, Phil provided invaluable personal guidance. He helped shape my temperament, ensured my values were ingrained in every project, coached me on effective communication with my team, honed my listening skills, taught me to pick my battles, and showed me when to let things go and when to persevere. Phil made it his mission to impart his 40+ years of experience and wisdom onto me, and I feel like I absorbed at least 20 of those years because of his exceptional ability to break things down and communicate effectively—we shared the exact same communication style. Every day spent in the office with someone of his caliber was a masterclass in learning.

It is heartwarming to know that Phil’s family are beneficiaries at THG, allowing us to genuinely provide value to the Quartararo family as we continue to grow as a business. Meanwhile, I will carry Phil’s lessons, memories, and a good sense of humor with me no matter where life takes me.


NEED TO MAKE CONTACT, SEND NEWS AND NEW MUSIC RELEASES?: If you have any A&R, publishing, technology, agent/promoter, international radio, management, new media or film/TV music supervisor news you’d like to share with A&R Worldwide, or need to respond to information published in the weekly newsletter please E–mail it to the attention of Sat Bisla at Also, all demos and new music releases should be sent as STREAMING LINKS ONLY to

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