Post Malone's sophomore album Beerbongs & Bentleys broke Spotify's first-week streaming record in the U.S. with 411,816,710 streams, and 236,500,546 streams internationally. The album's lead single, “Rockstar,” is five-times platinum and topped Billboard’s charts for eight weeks straight. Similar success is likely in the cards for the Ty Dolla Sign-accompanied single, “Psycho.” A tour, listing national and international dates, will grant thousands of fans the opportunity to shift their devotion from streaming services to amphitheater seats in America and Europe.
But chart-topping singles, record-breaking albums and millions of social media followers don't necessarily make for unconditional adoration.
“There’s no love in the music business,” Dre London, Post Malone’s manager, said.
It’s a harsh reality that almost took London away from the industry altogether. He left his hometown in the U.K. in 2008 with the goal to own the biggest management company in music. But aspirations soon turned into frustration when he reached an impasse with his clients and found himself cut out of deals he had orchestrated.
But meeting Austin Post changed his outlook. When London met the Syracuse-born, Dallas-raised creative, he jumped at the opportunity to manage him. But the then 18-year-old didn’t reciprocate the feeling immediately. Over time, an official partnership was confirmed with a handshake and a handful of words from Post: “I guess you’re my manager now.”
The past four years have been more intentional. Post’s breakout single “White Iverson” earned platinum status and his debut album Stoney moved 58,000 equivalent units in its first week. Since then, London has been adding to his management roster and aligning his company, London Entertainment, Inc. with enterprises from a list of his favorite entrepreneurs and executives, such as Diddy, Jay Z, Pharrell, Kanye West, Troy Carter, Akon, and Richard Branson.
“I was very impressed with his story,” London said of Branson. “I heard he was dyslexic. But any guy that can do what he’s done, turning something from nothing, I think is brilliant.”
Just as Branson ventured into multiple businesses, including the music industry, London’s entrepreneurial endeavors aren’t relegated to just one field. He has worked diligently at launching Kruel London, a women’s shoe line where the highest-priced heels go for $695. He admits that Kanye West inspired him to plunge into the fashion world unapologetically.
He takes heed from Pharrell, too. “He always gives me wise advice. Like, advice on how to approach the game with Post being so different.”
It’s wisdom that London accepts, repurposes and bestows upon his flagship artist, who has attempted to shed the confining stigma and criticism of being relegated to creating one genre of music.
“I just tell [Post] keep doing what you’re doing," London says, regarding criticism. "If they’re talking about you, then you’re doing something right.”
The 37-year-old entrepreneur has made a career out of soaking in wisdom and learning from what he deems as "expensive lessons."
But each expense aided in building the tenacity necessary to tackle sidestep doubt and tackle new challenges, such as investing in a film production company and owning a record label.
Though neither has materialized yet, London promises they are on the horizon. When they arise, he will likely do everything within his power to ensure that the new ventures follow the same trajectory as his management company.
“I’ve always had a hustler’s mentality,” he says. “I’ve never settled.”