Main Photo: Courtesy of Shane Jemelka
You may not recognize this name but entertainment concierge Shane Jemelka has a stronger hold on the music around you than you realize. He’s worked with scores of artists with success, placing him at the top of his game and in a new position at his company, Finest Worldwide Management. Jemelka’s involvement in entertainment should come to no surprise after all -he was born in a musical home. “Some of my earliest memories revolve around my grandfather and the family band playing local gigs, or even sitting out playing in the evenings on the front porch,” he said. He would not start taking this heritage seriously until high school where he joined a band and had a short-lived deal on a label that turned into management full-time.
With a slew of management accolades under his belt, Jemelka now heads a roster of clients in his new position as managing director of operations for Nashville, Los Angeles and Houston at Finest Worldwide Management Group, a division of Finest Worldwide Entertainment. This new title has no bearing on his hard work ethic and sense of responsibility. “I’m not really doing anything different than I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. While this is a new chapter in my life, I’ll continue working with many of the same people with whom I’ve cultivated relationships with over the course of my career. We will be creating synergies across our various companies, and that of course is exciting. But, the basic premise of what I’ll be doing will remain largely the same,” he added.
This innovative thinker does have a few ideas up his sleeve while in his new position. He envisions countless opportunities for leveraging the assets of other divisions in the company to increase the number and quality of services to his clients. “In an increasingly global marketplace, we’ll help our clients create quality [and] value-added content, which will increase our brand awareness, and drive our introduction into new markets and relationships,” he added.
Amidst the new ideas brewing for enhancement of his company, maintaining integrity of artists represented is crucial. According to Jemelka, “we proactively engage [our artists] throughout the creative process, so that the direction I have for them is really just an extension of what they already are…they just might not have had the objectivity to get it out on their own.”
“I wouldn’t say that this is always the case, but my experience has been that artist/writers often have a clearer vision of what they are, or perhaps more importantly, what they are not. Our job is to facilitate that vision or direction into the marketplace, and make sure it’s a product and journey they can feel good about many years down the road.”
Staying true to the core with artists has garnered success in much of Jemelka’s representation including country music legend, John Michael Montgomery who sold more than 16 million records, won countless industry awards. Jemelka believes Montgomery has “ always had a good sense of who he is and what he does well. Rather than chasing trends, he was true to that vision and it worked well for him.”
For those trying to break into the entertainment industry, “You’ve got to have a passion for it because it can be tough and unforgiving,” said Jemelka. Although things are always changing and there are many facets to the music business, but according to Jemelka, “The good news is that change generally brings about opportunity, so in many respects there’s never been a better time to get into the industry.”
“If you truly have the passion for it, it doesn’t feel like work at all! As we like to say at Finest…the possibilities are endless.”