A Music Manager is responsible for the leadership, coordination, and overall direction of an individual, team of individuals and/or enterprise. As CEO of Adella Thomas Management, Rico Brooks does all of that and more. He oversees the music careers of some of the most notable names in the industry including gold-selling producer Sonny Digital, as well as hit-makers B. Wheezy Beatz, Metro Boomin, Ronnie D, D. Rich, and songwriter Tasha Catour. In addition to being a top-notch beat broker, Brooks also co-manages Atlantic Records recording artist Que.
Brooks’ solid industry relationships, stringent work ethic and insatiable appetite for learning have helped catapult him and his company to a new pinnacle of success. Under Brooks’ leadership, his clients have landed on projects for 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Beyonce, Young Jeezy, Wiz Khalifa, Future and Rick Ross.
Born and raised in Albany, Georgia, Brooks moved to Atlanta to earn an Associates Degree in History from Atlanta Metropolitan College and attended the coveted Morehouse College, housed in the historic Atlanta University Center, to graduate with a Bachelor of Art Degree in History. Upon graduating, life took a turn and Brooks found himself working as a Sales Associate for Peppermint Music. His undeniable love for music turned his need for a job post-graduation into a full-fledged career of 10 years in music retail. Brooks climbed the ladder from Sales Associate to Manager to District Manager and back to Manager after the decline in record sales.
Brooks’ entrepreneurial drive and leadership skills became even more evident when he formed International Music Distribution (IMD) with fellow industry pioneers, Vince Phillips, Dan Brown and Brad McDonald. IMD opened doors for new artists Lil Scrappy, Trillville and Bonecrusher to get their records heard by a wide audience of music industry tastemakers and record breakers. Brooks determination did not go unnoticed. Russell “Block” Spencer, CEO of Block Entertainment, hired Brooks to break records for signed acts, Big Gee (Mechanicsville USA), Boyz N Da Hood, and rising star Yung Joc. Soon after, Brooks became Manager to Boyz N Da Hood (previously featuring Young Jeezy) to Manager of Yung Joc at the height of his career and went from Co-Manager to Manager of Gorilla Zoe. In 2005, Spencer named Brooks President of Block Entertainment, a position he held until 2010.
As an Artist Manager and record label President, Brooks was responsible for making daily executive decisions, including: calendar management, promotions, marketing, radio spins, new media, publicity and coordination of travel agents, booking agents and publicists to smoothly transition acts from new artist to superstar. Brooks is a staunch advocate for his clients when dealing with major labels. He fights for what’s needed, in addition to strategically branding the artists he represents in the marketplace.
Brooks notes his biggest accomplishment as bringing “new blood into an ever changing industry” by discovering and breaking phenomenal new talent. His persistence is evident when noting the fact that he has broken a new artist or producer every year since 2005 (Boyz N Da Hood, Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Mykko Montana, Que, Sonny Digital, B. Wheezy Beatz). Yung Joc had over 200 paid dates in 2007 alone, which is a testament to the Management team building his career. In 2010, that legacy of greatness continued with the success of music producers Sonny Digital and Metro Boomin, who have both topped the Billboard charts. Sonny Digital with the hit single “Racks” by YC featuring Epic MC Future and 2012 anthems “Same Damn Time” by Future and “Birthday Song” by 2 Chainz featuring Kanye West. Metro Boomin with the hit singles “Karate Chop” and “Honest” also by Future. Under Brooks direction, the producers he has managed scored placements with a myriad of top Hip-Hop artists.
The possibilities are endless for Brooks. Not one to be comfortable in his current position, the ambitious go-getter speaks on various industry panels across the country, as well as being a guest lecturer in music business courses at Alabama State University. With plans on developing a career in Movie Production, Branding and Strategic Marketing, the future holds limitless opportunities for Brooks. As an avid reader, the respected entrepreneur leaves this advice to those in pursuit of their career path: “Learn about the industry, learn other jobs besides yours in the industry, don’t be dispensable and see gems in everyone from the intern to the President.”
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