Story by Teresa Leyva
Photos by Lynn Levitt
While he was going to school and waiting tables at a local restaurant, Kevin Weaver never expected to become the executive vice president of the iconic label Atlantic Records. His fairy tale story brings his passion to life.
While working one day, a good friend of Weaver’s asked him if he would be interested in an internship at International Creative Management (ICM), a talent agency.
“Yeah sure. I love music,” Weaver had said to him.
“On my first day there I got tickets to a concert and a box of CDs,” he said.
Weaver stuck around.
“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” he said.
Weaver was able to showcase himself and his work through the networking, and this is something that is common in the music industry, according to Wayne “Skip” Perkins, a music instructor at Pierce College.
“One skill that really needs to be developed other than music is networking, being able to go out and talk with people and promote themselves and being able to network with people,” Perkins said.
Weaver spent three years at ICM. From 1991 to 1993, he became passionate about his job.
It allowed him to grow and to get promoted, and it created future opportunities.
“I just kind of immersed myself more in it and continued on the path,” Weaver said.
While Weaver was in the Assistant/Agent Trainee Program at ICM, he met many influential people.
“Networking is extremely important in this kind of business,” said Aidan Kiely, a music major at Pierce.
Jason Flom, who ran a label called Lava Records in the mid-1990s, mentored Weaver.
“He hired me as the second employee. I was the West Coast A&R [Artist and Repertoire] person,” Weaver said.
In 2005, Flom sold Lava Records to Atlantic, and was appointed chairman and CEO of the Atlantic Records Group and took Weaver with him.
By the time Weaver returned to Atlantic Records, he was the senior vice president. Weaver really got the ball rolling when he began working on major projects and collaborating with prominent people.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with tons of fantastic projects,” Weaver said.
He was nominated twice for a Grammy for two soundtrack albums he put together for the HBO show “True Blood,” and he won for the best original soundtrack album for the HBO show “Boardwalk Empire.”
Weaver runs a tight ship, balancing work with family and still managing to be professional at all times.
“I work all the time, so ultimately there’s no real schedule to how crisis evolves in my world. There are a lot of fires that need to be put out on a constant, daily basis. A lot of times I’ll have to deal with stuff on weekends and during the evenings, so I wouldn’t say it interferes with my personal life, but my job is my personal life,” Weaver said.
A common misconception people make is thinking that those in high-ranking jobs live a life that is laid back and all fun and games. It’s really the opposite. They are constantly on the chopping block, and all eyes are them. One wrong move and there goes their reputation.
“I’m honest, loyal and I’m trustworthy. Reputation is a critical component to your character and it’s very important that my reputation is consistent with who I believe I am as a person,” Weaver said. “I don’t think there’s anything I would want to change about my job. I’m very fortunate I work for a great company. I’m very lucky to work with super talented incredible artists who are very talented and smart as well, and I’m pretty pleased with my job.”
From waiting tables, to working with some of the industry’s top artist, Weaver went with the flow and landed his dream job.
“I had no expectations. I just went into it like this is fun. I enjoy doing it and I’m just going to go down the road and kind of see what develops and where it leads,” Weaver said.
Weaver’s first day at ICM turned out to be the beginning of what became a path to the executive vice presidency of Atlantic Records. He continues to work hard on a daily basis, and he hopes to continue winning awards in the future.