Leyre Granda has an exciting life; she’s well aware of this fact. As an artist manager and A&R for Los Angeles based First Access Entertainment (FAE), Ms. Granda works with such music luminaries as singer and TV personality Nicole Scherzinger (of the Pussycat Dolls and Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV show The Masked Singer), Zayn Malik (solo artist, formerly of One Direction. Billboard Music Award winner, American Music Award winner, MTV Video Music Award winner), singer/actor/filmmaker Jacob Sartorious (forty million SM followers), rapper Madein TYO, singer Madison Beer, Sofia Carson, Teddy, Parri$ Goebel, Fat Nick, Lil Peep, Naations, and many others. Such a diverse list of clients testifies to the fact that Leyre knows exceedingly well the art of positive trajectory for an artist and how to maximize opportunities. She adamantly professes that there is no template for working with artists and it’s this perception of the individualism each requires which has cemented the professional relationships Ms. Granda has established and maintained. From acting as the sole A&R for the Pussycat Dolls reunion single “React” (certified Silver in the UK) to coordinating and producing the film BREATHE for Jacob Sartorious and day to day management of artists such as Kiya Juliet, Zayn Malik, Nicole Scherzinger, and others; Leyre Granda has a professional life as varied as it is thrilling
We are all searching for connection. The same connection that begins with understanding ourselves also allows us to reach others. Leyre’s commitment to helping the artists whom she works with project their personal identity as strong individuals, rather than assimilating to an overall general appeal, is a cornerstone of her approach. An authentic perception of who the artist is and what is integral to their sense of personal and creative self is a component that every creative professional desires. Leyre communicates, “With Nicole [Scherzinger], it’s essential to keep her identity as an Island girl from Hawaii who grew up in Louisville KY and whose parents were of Filipino and Ukrainian descent. Her music, her brand values, her brand identity, and everything about her communicates these things. This makes her special and relatable to so many markets and cultures. Her overall message and brand values are also aligned with what most markets consider highly appealing such as living an active and healthy lifestyle, being conscious about social and racial matters, or female empowerment and equality. It’s the same with Zayn [Malik]. He always embraced his identity in his art and that made him unique, authentic, and relatable after leaving One Direction; a boyband where he didn’t have much creative autonomy. For instance, on his first solo album, Zayn’s merchandising had writing in Urdu, the national Pakistani language, his father’s native tongue which he speaks. And the Pakistani identity was embraced throughout all aspects of his art.”
The world becomes smaller with each passing day. Navigating the differences in cultures and markets is essential for any artist with high visibility these days; making an informed manager a valuable commodity. A world traveler who is fluent in multiple languages, Leyre is highly attuned to the subtleties of communication and decorum in different parts of the world; a skill she has made use of with many of her clients. True success in today’s market means international success. Ms. Granda perceives the differences among us as strengths rather than obstacles. She remarks, “Embracing your culture and your roots is essential. One of an artist’s most important assets is where they come from, the environment they grew up in, the music they listened to growing up, the food they ate, the shows they watched. An artist must be an ambassador of they own culture thought their art. Embracing their culture will make them unique, believable and authentic. As a manager, it is important to reinforce this in the artist and help them translate all that into their art. It is important both for their own culture markets and also in order to be appealing and attractive to new markets. It’s key to be able to identify the common denominators of the cultures to be marketed and highlight the ones that are shared and be able to introduce new ones in a manner that will be well received.” Staying sensitive and conscious of political and cultural topics around the world factors into Leyre’s advisement to all of her clients.
There’s an abundance of fulfillment in Leyre’s career. She refers to her work with the Pussycat Dolls as a highwater moment, bringing her back to her dancing and fandom days of the group back in the 90s and 2000s. Her essential role in the group’s “React” single and “Genetics” with (Grammy Award winner) Meghan Trainor has made Ms. Granda a part of creating music that will inspire the young fans of today. Leyre also refers to the pride she feels in being a part of the Jacob Sartorious BREATHE documentary with Wim Hof as well as his collaboration with The White House and Dr. Anthony Fauci. While there is ample celebrity and glamour, this is not what Leyre Granda focuses on when reflecting over her seven years at FAE. She confesses, “This is a job where you get to work with the most amazing creative people in the world and that is very enjoyable. It is a lifestyle more than anything and you definitely have to be built for it. It comes with a lot of hard work and sacrifices but the rewards are immense when the goals are achieved. The most enjoyable part is being able to share all the hard work that there is behind the scenes with the world. My own proudest moments are always when I see an artist feel proud of themselves, when receiving an award or simply being nominated, releasing music, performing live, or achieving some sort of milestone. It is great to see people’s dreams come true and the best part is when working with these artists who are so influential and part of causing a positive impact in people’s lives.”