7 Questions with Danny Nozell


Danny Nozell is one of the most powerful men in the music industry. Not only does he manage country music icons Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker, but Nozell also oversees the careers of disco sensations KC & the Sunshine Band as well as superstar saxophonist Kenny G. Nozell recently launched his latest venture Nove Entertainment, a world-class rehearsal space and high security premium storage facility.

Nove Entertainment was personally designed by Nozell himself along with some of the top security consultants in the business. The storage facility consists of a free-standing building, including 25 storage units with 12-15 ft. ceilings, each with their own custom built state of the art security system. In addition to the main building roof, each unit is fully enclosed with a secondary beveled roof for added protection. To access the building and storage units, each representative must undergo multiple phases of security to gain entry.

What was the inspiration behind Nove Entertainment?

To provide artists with a premium alternative to storing millions of dollars’ worth of their gear, which is very personal and sentimental. These are the tools they need to operate their business. I put a place together where their gear will be safe and not exposed to the elements. NOVE is not located in a flood zone. It’s very high-tech and high security. Each individual storage unit has its own security system built in. The facility is 24/7-access. Clients at Nove will be specifically trained on the security arrangement at the facility, and keeping with the company’s personal touch – the details will be given to each client on a personal basis.

What was your first big break in the music industry?

My first big break was when I was managing a band called the Coup de Gras. They were on an imprint of Sony Japan. What happened was the drum tech for the group ended up being a member of Slipknot. They said they didn’t have a manager and needed a midwestern guy who they could trust. The band was from Iowa and I am from Minnesota, so it was an instant connection. I was the tour manager/tour accountant for Slipknot for seven years. I ended up also working for their management company overseeing global touring for all of their artists. We went from 2 employees to 85 employees. We went from a bus and a trailer to 10 buses, 10 trucks and a jet, so it was an education that money couldn’t buy. We traveled around the world and I learned marketing from a grass roots approach on a global level, before digital media really kicked in.

How did you get the opportunity to work with Dolly Parton?

I was a tour consultant for a couple international promoters and they said they had a few Dolly Parton US dates and she needed help organizing them because she didn’t have management for the past 14 years. So I ended up going in and helping organize one of Dolly’s tours. That’s how I originally met Dolly.

How has the music industry changed since you began and what part of your management business needed to be adapted to fit these changes?

The music industry is constantly changing and has been since the day I began in it 29 years ago. You have to continuously make sure you’re current with everything: marketing, digital, sales, touring, etc. Everything changes and you adapt and overcome. That’s exactly what I did. In the management/label/tv etc. business, I hired younger people who are tech savvy and know what’s current. I have an old school approach with new technology and I fuse those together. It’s been working really well.

What is the best business decision you ever made?

Managing Dolly Parton!

What advice would you give to someone looking to break in to the business side of the music industry?

Find another career! Haha. I’m almost serious. My advice would be to go out and work for a promoter, a label, a management company, and a publicist. Educate yourself in marketing, touring, merchandising, and publishing. You would want to work for all these different companies so you can be well-rounded and educated so you can make smart decisions.

Dolly is currently in the midst of her first major North American tour in 25 years. What is next on her agenda?

Besides doing a major arena tour of 65 dates across North America, we are releasing an album globally on Dolly Records through Sony RCA. She has several things going on with her other businesses: Dollywood, Dixie Stampede, Splash Country and the Lumberjack Adventure Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge. She’s also writing, producing and filming two different television series and there may also be more touring in the future. She likes to stay busy, so we are never looking for something to do!

Photos courtesy of CTK Management.