John McLucas, drummer, singer/songwriter, producer, podcaster and recording engineer, is all about his music career. After Musicians Institute, he worked with several bands and toured with signed rising-star bands, playing shows with the likes of Tool and Primus before he decided he needed to strike out on his own to create a lucrative music career. His hard work (including living and sleeping at his studio) paid off with his own production/mixing business and a popular podcast, Stay Spongy Show. During this music careers episode, John shares what it took to get his business off the ground, the cost-benefit analysis of a bunch of guys touring versus a targeted IG ad campaign, what he’s learned from Gary Vaynerchuk, working on his solo career, and more.
Dr. Gigi Johnson, Inaugural Director of UCLA’s Center for Music Innovation, has taken an unconventional route when it comes to a career in music. A gifted singer and creative, she has performed and released music all while pursuing a film production degree at USC, an MBA, a PhD in education change/media studies, starting her own business (the Maremel Institute) and having 9 different careers in banking, media, marketing and education, among others. During this episode Gigi walks us through each career decision and trajectory, how each business skill set has contributed to the next as well as overall personal and creative development, and shares insights and well-honed wisdom about technology’s impact on creation, content and beyond.
J. Michael Dolan is a published, prolific author and blogger, a professional musician, a successful entrepreneur, a veteran of the entertainment industry, and the founder of Music Connection magazine. But what Michael shares on this episode is about the business of happiness, commitment, being of service and navigating the new music industry landscape with these tools in hand. As an artist and entrepreneur, Michael explains the stepping stones throughout his music industry career that led to his success, and the development of his spiritual principles that continue to guide his journey. His insight, wisdom and candor inspires and empowers his clients, his readers, and everyone he meets.
Zac Harding is a self-professed “engineer rat”, starting from the world-renowned studio once owned by Bruce Swedien in Minneapolis, working with the Replacements and Prince(!!) and making the move to Los Angeles. In fact, his engineer experience helped him land the Director of Marketing position at Songtradr (more on that in the interview!) Zac talks about his transition from the recording studio to marketing, the licensing resources and financial opportunities that Songtradr offers to artists, why this is the best time to be an independent musician, why it’s so important to make goals for your music career, and what tools and innovations are available to artists to succeed.
Vicky Wang, Los Angeles Director of Sofar Sounds, loves being part of an innovative music experience for artists and music fans alike. In this week’s episode, Vicky shares her journey from Texas to Los Angeles and joining Sofar Sounds, first in Chicago and then in Los Angeles. A veteran of pr and marketing, Vicky discusses Sofar Sound’s grassroots campaign of secret gigs and unusual venues as a new platform and music job opportunity for up-and-coming artists and a delightfully intimate, one-of-a-kind live experience for true music lovers. Vicky also shares how to apply to be a guest artist, how to be a host for one of these special shows, or how to join the Sofar Sounds team.
Sofar Sounds is already in over 400 cities around the world and shows no signs of slowing down, with its ever-expanding community of fervent music fans who long for the magic of a live event experience – for one night only.
Travis Holcombe loves discovering new music, which works perfectly with his career as a DJ at KCRW. Spinning underground grooves, lost tracks and quirky-cool mixes from 10PM to midnight on weeknights, Travis entertains and educates a global, enthusiastic audience who stream his show worldwide or find it on the FM dial at 89.9 in Los Angeles. KCRW is world renowned for its eclectic and original music programming and music discovery, as well as serving as a launch pad for innumerable stars, both past, present and future. In this episode, Travis shares the story of his music career trajectory from Georgia to California, working in independent radio, how to get started as a DJ and discusses all of the digital platforms and mediums for finding and supporting independent artists and music.
Naima Cochrane, currently part of the management team for John Legend, is a music marketing veteran. She’s worked at Bad Boy Records, Columbia, Epic, and Arista, and brings a wealth of knowledge about marketing, promotion, the music industry landscape, evolving trends and more. She’s also the creator of Music Sermon, (a Twitter sensation with a cult following,) which educates, celebrates and supports “the under-appreciated and often overlooked artists, songs, and sub-genres of Urban music.” Naima shares her inspiration, her keen insights and knowledge of the music biz for music career newbies and veterans alike, and what the future may possibly hold for music.
Monte Malone is a seasoned player in the music industry with a career that spans decades. He’s been on all sides of the music business, as a touring musician, a roadie, a studio engineer/producer, Art Director of a music magazine, VP/New Media at record label SMC, and now Senior Vice President at A&R Worldwide. He shares stories from behind the scenes, working with all the aspects of marketing, promotion, distribution and more in support of emerging talent and superstars alike, as well as using technology (for better or worse) as a means of promotion and reaching your audience. His experience and insights are invaluable to anyone who is looking for that next music job or going for the next level.
Graham Cochrane is a singer/songwriter musician, a mixing and recording engineer, and the Founder/CEO of The Recording Revolution. With a simple blog that started back in the late 2000’s, Graham has produced hundreds of tutorials, products and online courses with one goal – to make producing, mixing and recording accessible to everyone. His business and YouTube channel have grown exponentially, as well as his grateful fan base, with a simple, cost-effective approach to producing the best sound and quality for your music. Graham shares his music career journey and all the entrepreneurial and marketing insights he has gained along the way.
Curtiss King is a rap artist, an entrepreneur, a beats maker and hip hop producer. He’s produced for Kendrick Lamar and MURS, E-40 and Ab-Soul, done nationwide tours and festivals, and more – but now he’s giving back by inspiring and educating tens of thousands on his YouTube Channel, CurtissKingTV. Curtiss discusses his music career start, the obstacles he faced, and the decision to strike out on his own, selling beats and mentoring producers, hip hop artists and musicians starting out in the biz. His popular book, “The Prosperous Hip Hop Producer” is sold on Amazon, and he continues to give back by sharing the lessons he’s learned and motivating everyone he meets.