Nashville Underground Management was formed in 2013 by Artist Manager Shawn Carnes and Brand Designer Matt Williams. Currently representing hot young talents Jordan DePaul, Masha and Zeke Duhon, the company is as real as the city that bares its name: fun, mildly unconventional, and rapidly growing in popularity.
After meeting in 2012, Matt and Shawn joined forces to launch the podcast Nashville Underground Radio with the goal of bringing exposure to the city’s best emerging artists and highlight the diverse, ever-changing lifestyle of Music City.
Through this, they were introduced to the music of Zeke Duhon. After listening to his music and speaking with Zeke on the phone, Nashville Underground Management was conceived within an hour with Zeke as its flagship artist. Five months after he had moved from Tulsa to Nashville, the 20-year-old indie rocker had a publishing deal with Big Deal Records and landed Grammy Award-winner Charlie Peacock to produce his first EP.
Fast-forward to 2015, when Matt and Shawn saw Jordan DePaul perform at a showcase. When he started playing the two looked at each other and intuitively knew what the other was thinking: that they wanted Jordan to be a part of the Nashville Underground family as soon as possible. Since then, the Americana/Country singer has released his third EP and landed a global distribution deal with ONErpm.
In the summer of 2016, Matt and Shawn added Josh Livingstone to the team as an Artist Manager, and also to help coordinate brand partnerships.
“An organically-developed bond is rare,” says Josh. “As saturated as Nashville is, it’s even more rare for it to happen musically. Nashville Underground’s artists are incredibly talented, passionate and above all, hardworking. I’m honored to have my name associated with this team, and thrilled to help build upon the solid foundation they’ve already laid.”
Co-Founder, Artist Manager
Shawn Carnes is a creative/A&R professional who has worked with the most relevant people in the music industry as an artist manager, publicist and consultant. Not only is he sought after by successful recording artists, he is also combining his talents with revolutionary companies who are paving the way in the industry.
A Nashville native, Josh began his entertainment career with a chance encounter with Robert Smith, manager of world-renowned motivational speaker and three-time New York Times best-selling author, Andy Andrews. Smith was a mentor to Josh in his early years, initially sparking his interest in artist management.
Josh has since continued to grow in various facets of the entertainment industry, from almost three years as Promotion Director at Nashville’s Independent radio station, Lightning 100, to his current position as an artist liaison for venue and web sales at Concord Music Group’s Nashville office. Under Concord, Josh oversees sales for such artists as Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Rush, Iggy Pop, Kenny G, Alison Kraus, Jerry Douglas, Shelby Lynn, The Steeldrivers, Steve Martin, August Burns Red, Andrew McMahon, and Andrew Bird, amongst many others. While Josh will continue his growth as a member of Concord Music Group, he will be spending his free time passionately co-managing Nashville Underground’s artists.
Co-Founder, Brand Manager
Matt is a designer and entrepreneur from Pennsylvania. While earning his Master’s degree in business from Belmont University, he found his way into the music industry through various consulting jobs, as well as internships with Big Yellow Dog Music and the first season of Musicians Corner.
After Belmont, Matt began freelance branding and design work, and honed his self-taught craft of website design. This led to a position as marketing manager and on-air talent of the entertainment blog FOCUS on the 615, which he continued until Nashville Underground Management began. Since that time, Matt has amassed an eclectic client base in industries as diverse as entertainment, fashion, interior design, marketing and public relations, medicine, museums, restaurants and more.
Matt’s business acumen mixed with his creative eye is what drives him to craft artist’s (and Nashville Underground’s) branding and imagery. He continues his freelance work, primarily working in the entertainment industry, while striving to make a household name out of Nashville Underground and its artists.