Chris Taylor: Invested In The Power Of Sound

Jun 28 2019

Chris Taylor, global president of music at Entertainment One (eOne), has an ear finely tuned to talent, supporting the success of artists such as Drake, Sum 41 and Billy Talent.

“I really take a lot of satisfaction in seeing artists succeed,” Chris Taylor says, reflecting on a career that’s been focused on music for almost 30 years. “Whether it’s seeing Nelly Furtado perform at the Grammy Awards or watching Drake sell out a huge show in Toronto, those kind of moments have an impact on me. Having a small role in the success of some incredible artists is an honour.”

His parents taught line dancing, so music has always been important in Taylor’s life. It wasn’t until he was in law school, however, that he began to take it more seriously and decided to try his hand at being a rock star. “We put a band together that started gaining momentum, and that’s when the light bulb went off,” he explains. “I said to myself, ‘I think I’m going to be a musician, and if I’m not as big as Bono in five years, I’ll be a music lawyer.’”

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While his band, One, a rock/reggae group, did see notable success, Taylor eventually reached that five-year deadline. “I turned 30 and quit the band three days later. I definitely wasn’t as big as Bono, and that was the sign to try something new.” Armed with a law degree, industry contacts and a habit of seeing live bands five nights a week, Taylor began building a practice dedicated to finding talented artists and securing record deals for them. “I’d been practising in partnership with another lawyer for nine years, and it was time to build a firm around the ideas and concepts I had,” he says. “It was stressful, but it paid off. Between 2006 and 2016, it was the most successful music law practice in the history of Canada.”

It was also during this time Taylor discovered the band Metric. After struggling to find a record deal for them, he decided to take matters into his own hands. In 2004, he set up his own record label, Last Gang, and put out Metric’s first record. The release not only propelled the band to fame, but also marked the beginning of a record label that would go on to release many certified gold albums. “Our motto was ‘Us against the world.’ It was dangerous alternative music the mainstream industry and record labels didn’t want to mess with. They were bands for the adventurous music lover.”

Today, Taylor is global president of music at multinational mass media and entertainment company eOne, overseeing the company’s music and live divisions. He took up the role in 2016, following an ongoing three-year conversation with friend and president of eOne, Darren Throop. “It wasn’t something I was looking for,” Taylor explains. “We had 10 lawyers and 500 clients, and I loved that job and the family I was working with there. So it wasn’t by design until Darren brought it up, and the longer I looked at it, the more I realized it was an amazing opportunity to work with him, expand my experience and have a platform that really advocates for artists. This was a global opportunity to do something special.”

“Having a small role in the success of some incredible artists is an honour”

Change in any industry is inevitable, and Taylor has seen changes within the music industry first-hand, from the impact of vinyls to the rise of streaming services. “From 2002–14, everyone was taking music for free, and no one was lending a hand to protect artists,” he says. “But over the last three years, recording income has increased, so there’s a lot of optimism in the music industry. Artists now, more than ever, are generating incredible bargaining power for themselves and are able to self-produce music, distribute it around the world and build businesses.”

Alongside his work in the music industry, Taylor is a passionate philanthropist. He supports music therapy and is actively involved with City of Hope, a research and treatment centre for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, and Honey Jam, a Toronto-based organization for young women trying to make it in the music business. He’s also a big supporter of research into Alzheimer’s disease. “These organizations make the world a better place,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to benefit from being a part of that world, and so you should want to give back and keep the good karma heading in that direction.”

www.entertainmentone.com

@solicitorct


WRITTEN BY JOSH WALKER

INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

Chris Taylor: Invested In The Power Of Sound

Chris Taylor, global president of music at Entertainment One (eOne), has an ear finely tuned to talent, supporting the success of artists such as Drake, Sum 41 and Billy Talent.

“I really take a lot of satisfaction in seeing artists succeed,” Chris Taylor says, reflecting on a career that’s been focused on music for almost 30 years. “Whether it’s seeing Nelly Furtado perform at the Grammy Awards or watching Drake sell out a huge show in Toronto, those kind of moments have an impact on me. Having a small role in the success of some incredible artists is an honour.”

His parents taught line dancing, so music has always been important in Taylor’s life. It wasn’t until he was in law school, however, that he began to take it more seriously and decided to try his hand at being a rock star. “We put a band together that started gaining momentum, and that’s when the light bulb went off,” he explains. “I said to myself, ‘I think I’m going to be a musician, and if I’m not as big as Bono in five years, I’ll be a music lawyer.’”

Article Continued Below ADVERTISEMENT


SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

While his band, One, a rock/reggae group, did see notable success, Taylor eventually reached that five-year deadline. “I turned 30 and quit the band three days later. I definitely wasn’t as big as Bono, and that was the sign to try something new.” Armed with a law degree, industry contacts and a habit of seeing live bands five nights a week, Taylor began building a practice dedicated to finding talented artists and securing record deals for them. “I’d been practising in partnership with another lawyer for nine years, and it was time to build a firm around the ideas and concepts I had,” he says. “It was stressful, but it paid off. Between 2006 and 2016, it was the most successful music law practice in the history of Canada.”

It was also during this time Taylor discovered the band Metric. After struggling to find a record deal for them, he decided to take matters into his own hands. In 2004, he set up his own record label, Last Gang, and put out Metric’s first record. The release not only propelled the band to fame, but also marked the beginning of a record label that would go on to release many certified gold albums. “Our motto was ‘Us against the world.’ It was dangerous alternative music the mainstream industry and record labels didn’t want to mess with. They were bands for the adventurous music lover.”

Today, Taylor is global president of music at multinational mass media and entertainment company eOne, overseeing the company’s music and live divisions. He took up the role in 2016, following an ongoing three-year conversation with friend and president of eOne, Darren Throop. “It wasn’t something I was looking for,” Taylor explains. “We had 10 lawyers and 500 clients, and I loved that job and the family I was working with there. So it wasn’t by design until Darren brought it up, and the longer I looked at it, the more I realized it was an amazing opportunity to work with him, expand my experience and have a platform that really advocates for artists. This was a global opportunity to do something special.”

“Having a small role in the success of some incredible artists is an honour”

Change in any industry is inevitable, and Taylor has seen changes within the music industry first-hand, from the impact of vinyls to the rise of streaming services. “From 2002–14, everyone was taking music for free, and no one was lending a hand to protect artists,” he says. “But over the last three years, recording income has increased, so there’s a lot of optimism in the music industry. Artists now, more than ever, are generating incredible bargaining power for themselves and are able to self-produce music, distribute it around the world and build businesses.”

Alongside his work in the music industry, Taylor is a passionate philanthropist. He supports music therapy and is actively involved with City of Hope, a research and treatment centre for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, and Honey Jam, a Toronto-based organization for young women trying to make it in the music business. He’s also a big supporter of research into Alzheimer’s disease. “These organizations make the world a better place,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to benefit from being a part of that world, and so you should want to give back and keep the good karma heading in that direction.”

www.entertainmentone.com

@solicitorct


WRITTEN BY JOSH WALKER

INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

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