Speaker Profile

Johnson Barry

Job TitlePresident & Co-Owner

Company NameSince the 80’s (USA)


Managing talent in the music business is a role Barry “Hefner” Johnson approaches with the keen understanding that great talent requires great guidance. His discovery and groom tutelage have been substantial in the early career growths of various clients from behind the scenes. In the background is where he learned to be the coach who develops artist into champions.


Before managing musicians, at the early age of 10, Barry knew he wanted to make music. Growing up around a grandfather who was a disc jockey inspired the passion. By 23, due to a growing contempt for the industry’s politics, he started considering alternatives to be within music without being an artist. In 2005, after moving from the home state of Atlanta, Georgia to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the company Fab 5 Entertainment and Fab 5 Management were founded by a collective of creatives with Barry as the CEO.


After a series of promising prospects, uncoachable clients, and unavoidable pitfalls, 10 years of perseverance paid off with the recent success of hip-hop newcomer J.I.D and EarthGang―who under Barry and Zeke’s co-management and development was able to sign record deals with J. Cole’s Dreamville record label and sellout two headlining North America tours in 2017-2018. As his artist began to soar, Barry found a partner and kindred spirit in entrepreneur and talent manager in KeiSaundra ‘Kei Opens Doors’ Henderson. The two agreed to merge their management companies―Governed By Loyalty & Fab 5 Entertainment―to create SinceThe80s: a joint venture label, management, and publishing company.


The sound of a sample is history repeating.

The concept of Since the 80s is similar to sampling: the transformation of old ethos learned from the past with present-day perspective. As babies born, raised, and ultimately students of the ‘80s, Since the 80s founders Barry “Hefner” Johnson, Kei Henderson, and Zeke Nicholson remember what the decade brought to the world of music: Revolution. Innovation. The glow of a new dawn. In the words of John Simon: “There is no point in saying less than your predecessors,” they aim to bare new torches, light new fire, but never forgetting the era that showed them the way.

Conference Sessions

  • Atlanta: 30 Years & Running as the Hip-Hop Capitol of the World

    07 Jun 2019, 12:15 PM - 01:00 PM, Ca$h Factory

    More music is listened to today than ever before and hip-hop is the most streamed, watched and influential genre. Atlanta has become ground-zero for hip-hop art...

    • Language: English
      1. Event
      2. Event Date
        Fri, Jun 7
      3. Event Theme
        Country Focus
        Music & Brands
        Music Business
        Music Genre Focus

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