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12:01 AM Friday, 12/2/16 |   |

When Kevin “Coach K” Lee of Quality Control Records heard buzz around Atlanta that a young 19-year-old known as Lil Yachty was making waves, he made efforts to find the artist and learn more. Not long after, an old friend contacted him. 

 “He [said] ‘My son, his career is taking off, and I need some help,’” Coach K told Pollstar. “He said, ‘Have you ever heard of Lil Yachty? … Well, Miles (my son) is Lil Yachty.’”

Coach was floored. It turned out he had known Lil Yachty since the artist was a child. He quickly signed on as Yachty’s manager in February and got him onto Quality Control. The young rapper’s popularity has since exploded.

“From a touring perspective, it’s just been incredible the way his trajectory has gone,” agent Jacqueline Reynolds-Drumm of ICM Partners said. “Coach was really smart about how to first tour him. … [He said] let’s play small rooms and sell them out. … his fans are young; let’s be wary of ticket price.”

It turned out the young artist was so in demand that the first batch of tickets to his headline tour sold out in one weekend.

“The pure pandemonium, kids knowing the songs word for word, just totally vested in what he is saying, what he is doing … it’s something to see. ... The way these kids react to him, the movement and the energy, it’s something special,” Yves Pierre of ICM Partners told Pollstar.

Lil Yachty released his first mixtape, Lil Boat, earlier this year, and followed with Summer Songs 2. He also collaborated on tracks with artists like Chance The Rapper and scored a hit with D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli.”

Coach K said Yachty personally nurtures a strong connection with his fans through social media.

“He really has conversations with his fans through social media. … From the time I signed him in February … he had 15,000 followers on Instagram. … Now he has 1.4 million.”

Yachty already opened for Rae Sremmurd and Young Thug in 2016. Now, Reynolds-Drumm and Pierre said the plan is to strengthen Yachty as a headlining force and to take on some festival appearances in the summer. He has been selling out rooms of 1,000 to 2,500 with just him and his Sailing Team on the bill.



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