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Power 50 - #7: Jaddan Comerford

7 March 2019 | 6:10 am | Bryget Chrisfield

#7: Jaddan Comerford - UNIFIED Music Group, Founder/CEO

BACKGROUND CHECK

After selling his clarinet when he was 17 years old, Jaddan Comerford started Boomtown Records – inspired by California's indie-punk label Epitaph Records – while he was still living in his family home. He also completed a Bachelor Of Commerce at Victoria University, majoring in Music Industry, and by the time Comerford graduated he was already operating a full-blown business. UNIFIED was then founded in 2011 to consolidate the artist services Comerford was already providing through Boomtown Records and Staple MGMT. In partnership with Live Nation, UNIFIED then launched a touring arm of the business, Unify Presents, in 2016. In 2017, UNIFIED Music Group was launched to consolidate UNIFIED Artist Management, UNIFIED Recorded Music, UNIFIED Touring & Events and UNIFIED Merchandise Services under the one banner.

THE YEAR THAT WAS

With Comerford at the helm, UNIFIED Music Group continued to grow on a global scale throughout 2018. A partnership with Mardi Caught's new marketing services company The Annex was announced, as was a worldwide deal with Sony's distribution arm The Orchard. UNIFIED also opened a new office in Hollywood so that their management roster could expand to include US acts (their first signing being Dashboard Confessional). UNIFIED co-promoted the first-ever Australian Download Festival in Melbourne last year as well, with the 2019 edition expanding to also include an event in Sydney. UNIFY: A Heavy Music Gathering, the boutique festival UNIFIED run in conjunction with The Hills Are Alive, sold out for a fifth consecutive year in 2019.

After launching two joint venture labels in late 2017 - THAA Records (with The Hills Are Alive Festival's Aidan and Rhett McLaren) and Domestic LaLa (with James Tidswell of Violent Soho, another jewel in the UNIFIED Artist Management crown) - the 2018 releases kept rolling out thanks to BATTS and LANKS (THAA) plus Dear Seattle and West Thebarton (Domestic LaLa). The UNFD label itself experienced some outstanding results on the ARIA Albums Chart in 2018, with The Amity Affliction's Misery becoming the Gympie metalcore band's fourth consecutive #1. UNFD clocked up the following three top 10 albums last year as well: Holy Hell by Architects (#8), Anon by Hands Like Houses (#4) and The American Dream by Trophy Eyes (#8).

Comerford also co-manages the global careers of Vance Joy, Amy Shark and producer Edwin White (Joy's drummer/Musical Director) with his wife and business partner Rachael (who comes in just two spots behind him in the 2018 Power 50). And it's certainly no secret that Joy, Shark and White had extremely successful 2018s (for a comprehensive account of their specific achievements, head to #9).

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