Chris Taylor is the Global President, Music at Entertainment One.
He joined the company following the acquisition of his label, publishing and management company, Last Gang, in 2016.
Chris Taylor: Rock star and early career
After graduating from law school in 1990, Chris Taylor was the lead singer for rock-reggae act One, which signed to Virgin Records and had some chart success.
In 1997, Taylor began practicing law with the law firm of Sanderson Taylor, representing Canadian artists including Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne and Tom Cochrane.
Chris Taylor: Last Gang to eOne
While still at Sanderson Taylor, in 2004 Chris Taylor founded Last Gang Entertainment with Montreal music mogul Donald Tarlton, in order to release Metric’s debut album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
Death From Above 1979 was the label’s second signing, and it went on to launch the careers of Crystal Castles, MSTRKRFT and more.
In 2006, Taylor co-founded his own law firm, Taylor Mitsopulos Klein Oballa, which represented Drake, Avril Lavigne, Billy Talent, Three Days Grace, Alexisonfire, Nelly Furtado, and Gordon Lightfoot, among others.
Balancing Last Gang and his law firm, in 2016 Taylor sold Last Gang to Entertainment One (eOne), becoming President of the company’s music arm in the process.
In 2018, Taylor was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Canadian Independent Music Association.
In 2019, eOne was acquired by toy giant Hasbro.
Chris Taylor: Personal philosophy
Asked by MBW in 2017 what the biggest lessons he had learned in his career were, Chris Taylor pressed the importance of business affairs and contracts, and criticised the short-term thinking prevalent in the music industry.
Taylor said: “Business affairs and contracts are so important. I know people might dismiss them sometimes and say, ‘Well if we are all friends, everything is going to work out. But the reality is that when there are millions of dollars on the table, people pull out the contracts and read them pretty closely.”
He added: “Lawyers are largely to blame for destroying relationships and thinking pretty short-term on that discussion on a regular basis. That has been a bit of an eye opener for me, which is a funny thing to say, coming from an attorney.
“I tell everyone I work with that I want to work with them forever, I want to go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and retire together.”
Chris Taylor on working relationships
“Unfortunately, there is too much short-term thinking in this business. People that work with artists are often thinking about a three-year cycle because they are going to get fired. Maybe artists are to blame for that a little bit because they like to change their teams like they change a T-Shirt.
“That breeds short-term thinking and a focus on advances – get as much upfront in your pocket day one because you don’t know if you’re going to be here tomorrow. It’s not something I’ve ever subscribed too, for better or worse. I tell everyone I work with that I want to work with them forever, I want to go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and retire together.”
Music Business Worldwide