Matthew Mayer is a busy guy – in addition to an MBA, a young family and a successful business career, he is also an award-winning, internationally renowned, Billboard-charting piano artist. Oh yes, and also a podcaster (“Going Solo”,) blogger, and founder of the popular online collective for piano artists, solopiano.com. During this special music careers episode, Matthew shares about his trajectory from piano lessons to business school to working at NBC in LA, discusses his approach to both his music and business careers, how having financial freedom allows him to pursue different avenues for his music, and how changing his perspective from stressful time management to maximizing his energy has helped him to achieve success and “getting it all done.”
Cherie Hu, an award-winning music business journalist, was on track to be a classical pianist through Juilliard’s pre-college program when a teacher suggested an alternative program of dual studies. That brought Cherie to Harvard, majoring in math and stats, while writing for the university arts blog and an arts column for the Harvard Crimson magazine. Cherie’s musical talents combined with data analysis gave her a fascination of the intersection of tech and music, ultimately leading her towards her current exciting and prominent career as a music + tech journalist. During this music careers interview, Cherie walks us through her trajectory as a musician and ultimately a music journalist, the parallels between math and music, AI, Spotify playlists and its profound effects upon music creation and discovery, how she stays on the cutting edge of tech and music trends, and more.
In her early 20’s, Lauren Deakin Davies has already experienced success and and acclaim as an award-winning record producer in the UK. Her hit work has already garnered her two “Producer of the Year” awards from NMG and a Breakthrough Studio Engineer award from Pro Sounds. Her production work has been featured on BBC shows and reviewed by the Sunday Times, and her plate is full working with artists from every genre. Starting out as an acoustic songwriter and performer in an all-girl band in her teens, Lauren has experienced both sides of the “studio glass” as an artist and now an engineer, which brings her a unique perspective when working with artists. She has also recently launched her solo music career as Didi, releasing a new EP, “Green” on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms. In this music careers episode, Lauren shares her musical journey as artist, producer, writer and engineer, and shares her secrets to success and how to get exposure in a competitive music industry landscape.
Eric “Boots” Greene has been drumming since the age of 2, and has been blessed with the gift of music ever since he can remember. From performing in his family’s church to teaching himself keyboards, instruments and learning “The Wiz” entirely by ear, Boots had a profound talent for music and knew he was meant to perform with fellow greats. A Philly native, he started touring with Jill Scott while still in his teens and continued his career from there, performing with Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, and Jay-Z. Boots is also a gifted songwriter/producer, producing his own albums as well as for other artists. During this music career episode, Boots shares about the importance of faith, standing in your truth, never resting on your laurels, and to keep looking towards the horizon.
With over a decade of experience in the tech landscape as a software developer and entrepreneur, Jongnic Bontemps has an intimate knowledge of the marriage of music and tech, especially in today’s music industry. Jongnic has made a name for himself as a prolific and sought-after film composer, scoring for features, documentaries, shorts, VR, video games and more. His music is featured in the blockbuster hit movie “Creed II” as well as The New York Times and Tribeca favorite documentary “United Skates,” Sundance selection “Leimert Park,” and others. In this episode, Jongnic walks us through his music career trajectory, from Yale to Silicon Valley, USC’s film scoring program and Sundance Film Music Lab, and also discusses the unique perspective and innovative opportunities his tech and software experience have provided him in his successful career. He shares his valuable insight and experience in film scoring, music production, supporting your art and music entrepreneurship, as well as the importance of creating long-lasting relationships in the music business.
Ben C. McLane, Esq, has had decades of experience working with bands and artists, first working as an artist manager during college before going on to get his law degree and immersing himself in all things related to music business and music law as an attorney. He has written hundreds of articles, won awards for his work, has been featured as a speaker at worldwide music conferences and events, served as an educator in music schools, and has participated in projects involving the best and the brightest music superstars today, from Beyonce to Jay Z to MJ, J Lo and beyond. During this episode, Ben talks about his decision to become a lawyer specializing in the music business, his music law career trajectory, his book, “Music Business in 10 Easy Lessons,” and what artists can learn when working with a label or going the independent route.
Simon Tam is a musician of many ideas and very little sleep. He started his first record label at 13, became a band promoter in his teens, and has continued the music jobs entrepreneurial hustle ever since. His band The Slants, the world’s first Asian-American dance rock band, has toured and played to massive audiences. Simon has published several successful books about the music business, and he also founded and hosts a highly-popular daily podcast, “Music Business Hacks: The Daily Habits of the Self-Made Musician.” During this episode Simon talks about his music journey, and how he crafted The Slants to be one of the most sought-after bands in the biz. Simon also shares the secrets of a self-made music thought leader, how to look for opportunities outside the usual platforms/venues, and giving value to people on a consistent basis.
James Beshara, Global Head of Airbnb Concerts and an electronic music artist, understands the intimate connection that is forged between musician and fan. As a product designer and entrepreneur, James previously co-founded Tilt.com, a social payment, crowd-funding app, which many artists and music fans used to fund concerts in new locations or add additional tour dates to an artist’s calendar. James observed the demand for more intimate live experiences and followed that trajectory to Airbnb Concerts, Airbnb’s newest and fastest growing experience category. This exciting new performance platform allows musicians and enthusiasts to directly connect and enjoy live music in unconventional spaces. In this music jobs episode, James discusses his career trajectory from non-profit to Silicon Valley, and how up-and-coming artists now have an amazing opportunity for new fans, exposure 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.