For Immediate Release, May 9, 2022: Sakamoto Agency is excited to announce the signing of two up and coming Albertan artists and Country Music Alberta Award winners to the Canadian roster; Hailey Benedict, and The Prairie States. Sakamoto’s Paul Biro will be Responsible Agent for both. In addition, Sakamoto Agency would like to announce new hire Kate Howse, who is taking on the role of Logistics Manager for the agency. With the recent growth of the agency and the creation of two subsidiary companies, a new team member is a welcome addition.

Hailey Benedict finished last year as the first artist to simultaneously secure the iHeart Radio Future Star and Stingray Trending track features, which catapulted her single, “Wanted You To”, to #25 on the Mediabase country charts. The song was the highest-charting independent CANCON single by a female artist in 2021 and Hailey went on to win both Horizon Female Artist of the Year and Horizon Single of the Year at the Country Music Alberta Awards in March 2022. This dynamic, guitar-wielding singer-songwriter has the talent and power to capture an audience and Sakamoto Agency is already well into booking shows for Hailey.

Hailey is “so very thrilled and grateful to take my career to the next level by signing with Sakamoto Agency.” She says, “The team at Sakamoto has been so wonderful to work with and I’m looking forward to taking that relationship further to expand my brand and presence across Canada!”

The Prairie States also took home awards at this year’s Country Music Alberta Awards, including Album of the Year for their 2021 release Every Little Town, and Horizon Group or Duo of the Year, adding to their 9 total CMAB Awards. The 2018 winners of the Project Wild Artist Development Program put on by Alberta Music and Wild 95.3 in Calgary, The Prairie States have also had 6 singles break the Mediabase top 100, and were one of the first Canadian bands to release music as an NFT. Recently signed to Willing Records in Canada, distributed by Universal Music Canada, and working their current single “Rebel Phase”, The Prairie States are set to release several more singles in 2022, and they can’t wait to hit the road for some shows.

Says Jeff Dick of The Prairie States, “We couldn’t be happier with our new partnership with Sakamoto Agency. Their team of award winning professionals are the perfect match for us.

More importantly their values of kindness, fairness, and integrity, are exactly in line with ours and we look forward to all we will accomplish together. We cannot wait to hit the road to do what we do best, play live.”


Sakamoto Agency President and Operating Partner Paul Biro is excited for the new additions to the roster, saying “We have been huge supporters of Hailey throughout her budding career, and it’s been exciting to see her grow into an amazing artist with exceptional talent, commitment and drive. Unequivocally there was not one person on our team that did not respond with a resounding YES!! to adding her to the roster when the opportunity arose.”

“And from the first time I saw The Prairie States perform it was undeniable, this was a unique and talented group that would fit very well into what we are creating at Sakamoto Agency, not to mention I could not help but like them personally. Their live show evokes tremendous emotion, with great playing and haunting voices, while each band member presents an individual style that compliments the rest.” 

With the added roster artists and recent formation of subsidiary companies, comes the need to expand the team. Sakamoto Agency is so pleased to add long-time industry insider Kate Howse to the staff as Logistics Manager for the agency itself. Kate is known throughout the country music industry as a dedicated and passionate professional with 20 years of diverse experience, with the majority of her time spent working in every aspect of artist management. She’s contributed her wide range of skills to help develop the careers of such artists as Hunter Bros., Madeline Merlo, and Victoria Banks, showing herself an asset to the Sakamoto team.

Paul Biro joins the entire staff in welcoming Kate to the team, “Sometime the stars seem to just line up. I have known Kate Howse for many years through her diligent work, and I knew we she would be a great addition to our Agency family. Kate’s experience and industry knowledge is a huge asset to everything we do. Her passion for the artist and music industry as well as her professionalism and personality made her a fantastic fit for our company. We are so excited and honoured to welcome her to the team!”

While the live booking roster and event programming continue to be priority number one for Sakamoto Agency, the company endured much of last two years in choosing to grow by diversifying its business, with the launch of two subsidiary companies. GPS Promotion, a digital and radio promotions company in partnership with GrassRoots Promotion (Nashville), and Sakamoto Musican independent label distributed by Warner Music Canada. With more ready to announce soon, the Sakamoto group of companies aims to provide comprehensive support to artists in Canada.

Press requests may be directed to Joelle May at [email protected].