Suzanne “Suz” Paulinski is the founder of The Rock/Star Advocate, a music business coaching consultancy who takes a specialized approach to her work. She calls herself a “mindset coach,” who helps her clients achieve a better work/life balance and to find clarity around their goals. With the endless, 24-7-365 onslaught of social media and other demands required of the indie artist/musicpreneur in the new music landscape, this type of coaching, support, and focus on mental health are quickly becoming essential tools required to survive (and thrive). On this music careers episode, Suz walks us through her career trajectory, becoming one of the first graduates of Drexel University’s music business program, then working at record labels, to pivoting into counseling and mental health. Suz shares her unique journey of discovery and developing her advocacy, aimed towards anyone who is a creative and wants to succeed and thrive, in mind, body and spirit.
Joshua W. Turner is the epitome of a hard-working, dedicated musician. After discovering his passion for music at 15, he got accepted to the prestigious Berklee College of Music. After two years of study he made the jump to the west coast and Musicians Institute, catching the eye of prominent industry types and eventually being offered a multi-year contract. However, Joshua chose to go in another direction, one that allows him to maintain his creative independence and instead invest his talent in the new music industry landscape with sync licensing, teaching online courses and more. Hear all about his inspiring and empowering music career journey and how he’s able to support himself and his family while staying open to new and exciting opportunities.
Devan Joseph, Head of Video at Genius, is documenting today’s rap and hip hop music creation and backstory in real time with their wildly popular, behind-the-music video series, “Verified.” Both an artist and filmmaker himself (part of the duo Maurice), Devan shares his music career trajectory as he walks us through his early inspirations and muses, how he was able to hone his chops doing video content and developing a digital media platform for Business Insider, how he found the perfect internship, and more.
Cris Velasco knows a thing or two about grit. He spent 7 years working day jobs (from retail to telemarketing!) until his big break into the gaming world. Now Cris has a worldwide passionate fan base and is one of the most sought-after, award-winning composers in the business, including his latest work on Fortnite, Resident Evil, Assassin’s Creed and many more. Cris also has written for TV, film and VR, the next innovative platform. During this insightful music careers episode, Cris walks us through his journey, from UCLA to crappy day jobs to his wildly successful video game soundtracks, how to write for an immersive, non-linear experience, how to get started in the business and to never, ever give up.
John DelVento truly understands the meaning of hard work. His passion and commitment started with 2 hour practices on the euphonium as a child, and he continued that drive to write music for advertising campaigns, video games, award-winning films, popular tv shows, documentaries and more. During this music careers episode, John walks us through his career trajectory and what it takes to be a successful composer, which is really all about being a music entrepreneur, and to practice your craft at every available opportunity. (As proof, John, is still a sought-after euphoniumist, playing venues like Carnegie Hall and other high-profile performances.) John also shares invaluable tips and insight, like how to pitch your music, how (and when) to start your own business, how to find opportunities, what pitfalls to avoid, how to market yourself, and more.
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.
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.