Earlier this month, Billboard announced the five nominees for the second annual Chip Hooper Award, honoring the memory of the beloved talent agent who helped build Paradigm's music department and served as a mentor to countless young executives in the music industry. A finalist will be announced Nov. 5 at the Billboard Live Music Awards in Los Angeles.
The 2019 nominees represent a broad cross-section of the music industry, including UTA agent Chris Jordan, whose roster of hip-hop heavyweights include DJ Khaled, Jeremih, Desiigner, YG, Tierra Whack, Young Thug and more.
Jordan, an LA native, caught up with Billboard in advance of the Nov. 5 awards to talk about his journey into the music business and his work to foster an inclusive and diverse industry.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
I wanted to be a doctor. I had an obsession with medical books and loved watching surgeries on TV as a kid. That quickly changed when I had to cut open a frog in high school.
Name one song that was really important to you as a young person (adolescent or teenager) and why?
Every song on Young Jeezy’s debut album, Thug Motivation 101. At the time, I was in my late teens and really loved how Jeezy was able to motivate through lyrics.
Who was your first mentor in the music business and what was one thing they taught you?
Benjamin Scales at WME was my first mentor in the business. He taught me to always work hard and never give up.
Name one goal you want to accomplish in the next five years.
I of course would love to scale my business, but also be able to mentor young agents starting their careers in the industry.
Name on thing the music industry does really well and one thing it really needs help with.
The music industry does a great job discovering talent and supporting them throughout their careers. We can use help with doing better to identify, support and promote diverse executives.
The winner of the 2019 Chip Hooper award will be announced Nov. 5 in Los Angeles at the Billboard Live Music Awards. Click here to learn more and register today.