Wade Leak ’89

Music Man

Summer 2009

As a child growing up in Morgan, Utah, Wade Leak ’89 was an avid singer who used to save up his money to buy the latest 45-rpm records at a local music store. “There was always an inkling toward entertainment,” Leak recalls, “because I was always a bit of a showman, a bit of a ham.”

He was also a touch argumentative, which had the adults in his life accurately predicting he’d become a lawyer. He put in several years at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and several more at a boutique litigation firm in New York City before he realized, “Boy, I’d much rather be fighting about the lyrics to Britney Spears’ songs.”

With his passion and his profession aligned, Leak launched his music industry career at Zomba Records. He has since survived two mergers that turned Zomba into BMG Music and, ultimately, Sony Music Entertainment, where he now serves as deputy general counsel. In January, Leak celebrated his 10th year working with music industry clientele—including Spears.

Despite ample industry experience and connections, Leak doesn’t intend to express his creativity in the form of a 10-track album. His chef d’oeuvre is a screenplay, written years ago and now gathering dust in his Flatiron-area apartment. Between taking trips to Iran and Cuba with his partner, Jay Yost, and his work at Sony, he has yet to find the time to polish it up and put it out on the market. But one day, he says, “I really believe I’ll get there.”