The “My Music Row Story” weekly column features notable members of the Nashville music industry selected by the MusicRow editorial team. These individuals serve in key roles that help advance and promote the success of our industry. This column spotlights the invaluable people that keep the wheels rolling and the music playing.
As Founder of Triple 8 Management, George Couri leads a team of 31 staffers overseeing artist management, marketing, and radio promotion efforts from offices in Nashville, Austin, and Los Angeles.
Among the Triple 8 Management roster is Scotty McCreery, who recently notched his fifth consecutive No. 1 hit, as well as multi-Platinum group Eli Young Band, breakout star and new Sony Music Nashville signee Corey Kent, Australian-born country phenom Morgan Evans, and road warrior Pat Green, among others.
Triple 8 is also a founding partner in Triple Tigers Records, which celebrated its first eight singles reaching No. 1 and continues to have success outside of country mainstream with a variety of rock, pop, and Christian artists, as well as songwriters.
MusicRow: Where did you grow up?
What was your dream job? How did you get into the music business?
I started by writing film scores for students at USC Film School. Then I realized one day that I would rather help those more talented than me realize their potential. [That led me to] an internship at the Los Angeles offices of Arista Records, assisting the west coast regional Lori Hartigan. I was working country records to radio.
What was next?
The internship at Arista Records really solidified my path. Next I took a job in a Los Angeles management company that eventually moved to Austin, Texas. From there, I started a management company that later joined forces with a concert promoter, and that ultimately spun off to become Triple 8 Management. It is named after its founding date: August 8, 2008. Triple 8 Management was born out of wanting to serve artists better than the typical management company.
Now, Triple 8 is a 31-member team with team members in Nashville, Austin, and Los Angeles with a roster that includes Scotty McCreery, Eli Young Band, Corey Kent, Morgan Evans and more. What’s a day in the life usually like?
As you can imagine, it varies every day, however it essentially involves talking with our artists about how we grow their careers, and, in turn, talking with the team—internal and external—to make sure we are supporting the team as well. No team members are on their own to manage artists, and it takes conscious effort every day to continue to make sure that remains the case.
[I am also a] co-founder of Triple Tigers Records. We support the record label team as they continue to expand and thrive.
What is a lesson you learned early in your career?
I learned early on that artists do in fact want someone to tell them the truth. Additionally, that I want to work with artists that are willing to hear it.
When do you feel most fulfilled in your role?
I am fulfilled being in service to other people. When that service results in bringing artists and team members closer to their own dreams, I am most fulfilled.
Who are some of your mentors?
My mentors early on were the late Frank Callari, TK Kimbrell, Joey Lee, Rob Light, and most definitely Chuck Flood. They’re all friends, and I definitely listened and learned from them all.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
To remember that none of us have as much time here on earth as we think we have. Do not waste time. Handle your business and actions such that later on, you will not have regrets on how you did anything.
What is something a lot of people probably don’t know about you?
I can speak a bit of Portuguese.
What is one of your favorite experiences in the industry that you will share for the rest of your life?
There was a Triple 8 holiday party at our house a couple months after first signing Scotty McCreery to management. Just as the party was starting, David Crow, Scotty’s attorney, called to say Scotty was free and clear entirely of any previous recording agreements. We celebrated the freedom that comes with re-imagining what is next all night, toasting to the future we would go create!
What remains so memorable is that Scotty was absolutely on fire that entire night—he was happy, celebrating, and truly the most rowdy life of the party. It was infectious and unforgettable and absolutely set the tone for the road ahead. I still laugh when I think about things that happened that night, and it just makes his successes today even sweeter knowing they were fueled from a sense of creative freedom that remains absolutely contagious.
What are you most proud of in your career?
When the general industry consensus has been that a certain artist is not going to have success—or that a particular thing cannot be done— and then actually sometimes managing to do it. It is far more satisfying being a part of delivering that redemption or rediscovery for someone than the money that follows it ever will be. Overcoming difficult odds, not being afraid to bet on the underdog, and continuously fighting for that fuels me every day.