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.
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.
Scott Hawksworth has always loved music, but he made the “practical” choice to get a business degree in college. After working at several businesses, he realized he missed his creative calling; utilizing all of his business experience, he decided to pursue a music career by creating an online business for producers and musicians. AudioSkills.com is now a burgeoning community with a popular podcast, YouTube channel and robust membership offering courses, tools, resources and more to producers, podcasters, and musicians who want to learn more about mixing, mastering and recording. Scott shares how each career choice he made has only helped to serve his online music business and to create a prosperous, forward-thinking and evolving enterprise.
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.
Tribeca and Grand Agent, members of the rap group Tribeca-Grand, have a particular goal in mind as they work: to create music that they themselves would want to listen to. That goal has served them extremely well, both as independent artists (Tribeca is an MC, producer, songwriter and author who has worked with KRS-One, Camp Lo and more; Grand Agent has toured worldwide as a hip hop artist and has worked with other artists like Pete Rock and Common) and also their current project, Tribeca-Grand. Their hit singles, Take a Knee and NY-PHI, have been tearing up college rap radio charts and they are about to release their debut album, Sport of the Gods, on April 17th. During our chat on this music job episode, Tribeca and Grand Agent talk about their pasts, their passions as they continue to work on their craft, and their experience and insight on the evolution of music and the biz.
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.
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.
Alejandro Cohen is a well-known creative force in LA’s music and arts community, with several music jobs under his belt as a musician, composer, DJ and Executive Director at dublab.com. Dublab began its start in the heart of Los Angeles, as one of the first online stations in 1999 and a fierce supporter of LA arts, music and culture. In addition, Alejandro worked on many bands and projects based in Los Angeles, including Languis, Pharaohs and Psychic Powers. His film music will be featured in the film “The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo,” about countercultural icon Oscar Zeta Acosta, premiering next month on PBS. Ale talks about his personal music journey and the expansion of dublab to affiliate stations around the globe, as well as to terrestrial radio, on the FM dial at 99.1.
Photo Credit: Kate Berry
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.