Master Craft Management
HOW PETE OLSON’S EXPERIENCES IN BOOKING, MANAGEMENT, AND PUBLISHING BECAME THE PERFECT STORM TO LAUNCH HIS OWN COMPANY
NASHVILLE SINCE 1999
Pretty early on, Master Craft Management owner Pete Olson knew he wanted to be in the music industry. “I don’t know what else I would do,” he says. “There’s a reason I had a dream and a vision when I was 15 years old that I wanted to do this.”
For the Rockford, Illinois native, Nashville was the obvious first step. He moved to Music City in 1999 to attend Middle Tennessee State University and quickly gravitated towards their recording industry program and eventually, artist management and concert promotion. His goal was the prestigious William Morris Agency’s agent training program.
While he was hoping for a call from WMA, he became friends with a girl named Whitney, who he met at a fraternity/sorority mixer one night. In a conversation one day, she asked what Pete wanted to do and he mentioned management and promotion. “She was like, ‘Well, why don’t you go work for my dad and see if it’s something you’d be interested in?’” he recalls. She called the manager of her dad, Ronnie Dunn, and the next Monday he had an internship with industry veteran Clarence Spalding.
The internship with Clarence opened the doors to the music industry for Pete, specifically at William Morris Agency. Spalding’s client Brooks and Dunn were repped by the then head of WME Nashville, Rick Shipp. Rick told Clarence they were looking for someone to be an agent trainee and he knew that Pete had been applying to their famed agent training program since well before the internship began. Spalding referred him and he then began his path to becoming an agent.
Pete spent five years with WMA and then two with Paradigm, booking some of the biggest acts in country music. He then made the move to management, securing wins like Wade Bowen’s signing to Sony. Next, he returned to William Morris to head a new management, publishing, and artist development wing under Jingle Punks/Pop Up Music.
When Ole Music bought the catalog and his department was shuttered, he decided it was time to branch out on his own. He created Master Craft Management, and recently signed a new artist with Triple 8 Management, named Tyler Braden.. The name Master Craft has a dual meaning; it references his love of water sports and boating as well as his desire to work with masters of their craft.
“It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he says. However, his experience in booking, management, and publishing are proving to be the perfect storm for his new venture. Though it hasn’t been easy, his faith in his calling carried him through any doubts that came with launching a new venture. “There’s a reason I had a dream and a vision when I was 15 years old that I wanted to do this and I know that I have it inside of me, that something good is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.”
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Listen to Tyler Braden’s song “Little Red Wine” on Spotify
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