THR Names Music's 35 Top Hitmakers
This story first appeared in the Feb. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Last year was a huge one for Patrick Moxey, 46, the founder of Ultra Music: His electronic-music label was behind five Grammy-nominated songs (including Calvin Harris’ “Let’s Go,” featuring Ne-Yo) and albums (among them, Deadmau5’s >Album Title Goes Here<). And just a few weeks ago, a lucrative deal with Sony vaulted him into a more expansive universe, by opening Ultra’s artists up to the international market and talent pool.
So how did this former rap-music exec who worked with Jay-Z and Kelis come to realize there’s untapped lucre in EDM? “I was watching how alive hip-hop was,” he says. “It was a real culture, a movement. That’s exactly what I started noticing in the club scene. It’s stuff that’s buzzing really naturally. Most people connect with it through live shows.”
Seventeen years after he started Ultra, its artists have evolved from grassroots phenoms to pop-chart secret weapons. “What’s so interesting is that a lot of mainstream artists are coming to our guys,” says Moxey. In particular, he’s found crossover success with Harris (Rihanna, Mary J. Blige) and Benny Benassi (Madonna, Chris Brown). “Electronic music is continuing to morph. We’re seeing growth happening right now in trap, hard style, deep house. It’s like this living organism that’s constantly changing and adapting.”Click here to read THR's complete Pop's Top 35 Hitmakers list.