Jeffrey James - An Adventure in the Nashville Songwriters Scene, Publishing Deals, & Working Towards Songwriting Mastery

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

How many songs do you have to write to start getting to the good stuff? This episode features Nashville based R&B/Alt-Pop/Singer-Songwriter Jeffrey James. In this conversation we discuss reaching mastery in songwriting, the Nashville music scene and songwriters rounds, building your business team, publishing, collaborations, and much more. We dive into Jeffrey’s story about growing up playing basketball in Indiana to moving to Nashville to attend Belmont University, and his journey to getting a manager, booking agent, attorney, publishing deal with Sony/ATV Publishing.

Jeffrey James released the EP “UNSAID” in 2017, and we dive into this EP, which was released by South by Sea, and what people can expect from these songs. We also discuss him venturing into collaborations with EDM artists, and getting his song placed in the TV show “Nashville.” Jeffrey James shares all kinds of great and wonderful lessons with you in this conversation. This was the first time on the podcast where we really got to dive into the Nashville songwriter’s rounds, and Jeffrey had some great insight to share on the benefits of being part of them and how to get into that circuit. We really dive into what it takes to reaching songwriter mastery, and his pursuit of continued success in songwriter. You’ll learn about how he built his team, and much more.

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Highlights from this Episode
Nashville Music Scene (03:40)
Experience in NOLA (05:15)
Cold Blood Collaboration (06:05)
Publishing Deals (07:40)
Unsaid EP (12:30)
What happens to the unused songs (14:34)
Jeffrey’s favorite memories of a small town (15:35)
Lessons learned from small town community (18:35)
Jesus Christ Superstar experience (20:20)
Choir experience (22:55)
The book of guitar playing (24:20)
What made Jeffrey decide to do music professionally (25:40)
Who inspired Jeffrey (27:25)
Reason for moving to Nashville (28:10)
Songwriters rounds (31:50)
Nashville Co-Writing culture (39:00)
Co-Writing do’s and don’ts (40:05)
Jeffrey’s writing process (41:53)
Advice for writer’s block (43:29)
What was Jeffrey’s life before his label deal (44:50)
Moment when Jeffrey felt comfortable in his career (49:55)
The team behind the music (53:15)
How to know when you know you’ve found your voice (55:55)
What changed for Jeffrey (1:01:55)
Jeffrey James being featured on Nashville (1:03:30)
Collaborations in the music career (1:05:55)
Jeffrey’s advice on content (1:08:08)
What to expect (1:11:05)
Advice for the aspiring songwriter (1:11:50)
Behind the scenes questions (1:13:24)

  •             Funny Fan Encounters
  •             Superpowers
  •             Success
  •             First Concert & First Album
  •             First 90 / Last 90
  •             Favorite Media
  •             Favorite Apps
  •             Mentors
  •             Night of drinks with anyone
  •             Time Travel

Making it to Jeffrey James (1:21:30)

Quotes from Jeffrey James
Just be nice man, people talk.”
“As big as Nashville is, it’s still a small city.”
“You start out and you’re just replication the music you know, and you do that until you find your own voice.”
“At that point it wasn’t about people hearing me, I needed to perform.”
“You grow thick skin by preforming in front of people who aren’t necessary there to hear you.”
“If they love you that night, they won’t have any problem booking you.”                 
“The best way to get a good lyric it to get the crappy ones out.”
 “If you hear yourself talking the most, then shut up for a bit.”
“No one wants to write with the guy who uses all of his own music.”
“I gravity towards content that I can connect with my life.”
“People are coming to be without me having to swim against the current.”
“I knew what I thought was good, and the music I was making didn’t add up to that.”
“We are in the ages of singles.”
“As long as I can put out music, I will put out music.”
“I’m still finding the balance between release things and promoting them.”
“Keep writing, and don’t hold too many songs close to your heart.”
“Every song you write before you write 200 songs is crap.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Eric Olson
Gabe Simon
Tungevaag & Raaben
Emily Kopp
Michael McDonald
Randy Dease
Antonio Benderas

Places & Things
Unsaid EP
South By Sea
Les Miserables
Jesus Christ Superstar
Hal Lenard Guitar Method
The Beatles
Doobie Brothers
Belmont University
Full Sail University
Fly South
Walls EP
Criminal Minds
Finding Carter
I Zombie
SouthWest Airlines

Jeffrey James’ Definition of Making It
“It changes every year.”

Keep in touch with Jeffrey James

Help us create more content & become a subscriber on patreon - & we will create more podcasts, blogs, lessons, & videos that help you get one step closer to making it

Help us create more content & become a subscriber on patreon - & we will create more podcasts, blogs, lessons, & videos that help you get one step closer to making it

Pank Nayyar - A 9,000 Mile Journey to Pursue a Dream to Become a WWE Superstar

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud  

What would you do to reach your dreams? How much would you sacrifice to get one step closer to reaching them? The most beautiful part in pursuing your dreams is the journey. That’s where all the stories and the good stuff happens that we teach and share with others. One of my main missions of this podcast is to share inspiring stories and insight with lessons from leaders of the Entertainment Business and fascinating Entrepreneurs. It’s my goal to share those stories in a way that the guests would be proud to share with their family and closest friends, and also bring a lot of value to our listeners. I also look for stories that inspire me, and that I want to share with the world to help make a difference in people’s lives. This weeks guest is Pank Nayyar who travelled to Orlando, FL all the way from New Delhi, India to pursue his dream to become a WWE Superstar. Pank Nayyar’s story is very inspiring to me, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Pank’s story is an inspiring adventure of someone that will make massive sacrifices to pursue their dream. When he was 12 years old, he was sitting in a classroom when the teacher asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up, and in front of the entire class he answered “I want to be a WWE Superstar just like the Undertaker.” And just a few years later the journey began where after several obstacles he moved to Phuket to train with an MMA school and started getting in shape. In 2015, he was voted as the WWE’s biggest fan in India, and was able to attend a live event. After seeing WWE Tough Enough on TV in India being broadcast live from Full Sail University, he decided to move to Orlando, FL to go the Full Sail for his masters, and pursue his dream. And the journey begins.  

In this conversation we talk about his journey so far, his obstacles pursuing his dream, traveling the world and much more. Pank graduated from Full Sail University with his Masters Degree in Entertainment Business with me on June 2017. He’s a very humble and very inspiring human being, who works extremely hard for his dream. How far would you go? How far would you travel? What would you leave behind to live the life you love?  

Highlights from this Episode
Where is Pank today (05:40)
Pank’s story (6:00)
Influencers in his journey (7:00)
First experience with pro wrestling (07:45)
How wrestling is broadcasted in India (08:30)
Pank’s dream for his future (09:20)
How India impacted wrestling (11:35)
School in India vs School in America (12:05)
When Pank began training (12:45)
Journey to OVW & FCW (13:13)
Pank’s journey after rejection (15:00)
Training (16:30)
Biggest WWE fan of India interview (17:30)
Motivation for moving to American and enrolling in Full Sail (18:40)
Relationships with Pank’s parents (19:45)
First live wrestling experience (20:20)
Pank’s MMA schedule in Orlando (21:12)
Training routine (21:45)
WWE tryout experience (23:36)
Pank’s internship with WWE at Full Sail (27:17)
The upcoming journey to a wrestling career in India (28:20)
How Pank’s peers could support him (29:37)
Favorite books and quotes (30:38)
Pank’s superpower (31:55)
Who comes to mind at the thought of successful (32:03)
New discovery (32:23)
Best piece of advice (32:55)
Where would Pank travel to in time (33:10)
Journey for Pank’s next 3 months (33:40)
Making It to Pank (34:40)

Quotes from Pank Nayyar
“I can do it; I want to follow my dream.”
“You just have to be at the right place, right time.”
“I have my fingers crossed and I’m hoping for the best.”
“If it’s meant to be, it will be. It it’s your destiny, it will be.”
“I’m an open book.”
“Dream big”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
John Cena
The Rock

Places & Things
Full Sail University
New Delhi – India
Festival of Lights
The Jungle

Get in Touch with Pank Nayyar

Pank Nayyar’s Definition of Making It
“Me representing my country and making my family proud. Like okay he made it. Dream big.”

Fran Snyder - The Power of Building a Worldwide House Concerts Network of Over 1,000 Hosts

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

One of the keys to business that I’ve learned from my mentors that it’s important to be genuine, authentic, and to be an innovator. In a very saturated music industry, this is more important than ever. Anyone can put up music on Spotify, Soundcloud, or YouTube, and book shows in clubs across the country. How do you stand out from all the noise? At the end of the day, every artist starts out as a small business. How do you grow that business? Fran Snyder is an innovator who thinks outside of the box, and doesn’t try to follow the basic rules of put your music and content online, book a bunch of shows, promote them like hell, and pray something happens.

This is part two of our house concerts series, and in this episode features Fran Snyder, a singer-songwriter and the Founder of Concerts In Your Home, The Listening Room Network, and the Listening Room Festival. In this you’ll learn about his company, Concerts In Your Home. We discuss how to be part of the network as a host and as an artist. The network has over 1,000 hosts all over the world. You’ll learn what hosts are looking for, and how to book a tour oversees through the network, and much more. We spend some time on Fran’s backstory of following the “formula” of grinding through clubs and the college circuit, until the switch flipped and he became one of the pioneers of the house concerts movement.

“House Concerts are the Emotional Anchors to a Tour” - Hans York

 Highlights from this Episode
The resurgence of House Concerts [6:10]
When did the entrepreneurial spirit start for Fran Snyder [9:52]
The first time playing live and Fran’s booking process in the beginning [13:46]
When Fran discovered playing House Concerts [19:28]
How Fran finds hosts and how to become a host [25:31]
How does an artist become part of the network, and what genres work best [32:15]
What kind of video should artists submit [38:14]
How does the process work once an artist is accepted [41:12]
How do artists get paid and all the different opportunities? [43:48]
What types of artists are part of the network and how to work this into your touring strategy [50:22]
Countries that are part of the network and active and can artists use this to get overseas [52:18]
Stories of artists that are part of the network [56:32] 

Quotes from Fran Snyder
“Recorded music wants to become free”
“I’m training this audience on listening rooms, because we don’t want to see the public performance disappear.”
“We want our artists to have a listening audience and a living wage.”
“If you want to be a musician, start now.”
“Once we started charging for the application process, it immediately improved the quality.”
“People really value the feedback that they’re getting.”
“House Concerts are becoming often times the anchor date.”
“(House Concerts) can be a beautiful working vacation.”
“What’s really fun is what happens after the gig.”
“Often times you become part of these people’s lives and become lifelong friends.”
“We play music because it’s our favorite way to connect with people.”
“Are you creating moments that you’re going to remember?”  

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Barry Manilow
Indigo Girls
Shannon Curtis
Hans York
Buzz Cason 

Places & Things
Concerts In Your Home
The Living Room Network
The Listening Room Festival  
NACA College Conference  

Keep in touch with Fran Snyder:

Definition of Making It by Fran Snyder
“Having a career on  your terms. Every artist has to define success for themselves.”

Shannon Curtis - How to Earn Over $50k in 4 Months Playing House Concerts - An Innovative Approach to Building a Fulfilling Music Career

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

Sometimes I bring guests on the show that are successful entrepreneurs, marketers, and content creators outside of the music business, and relate their lessons and insight to artists and students of the music business. Shannon Curtis has a completely unique approach to her music career, from which people in ALL industries can learn her lessons on community and creating genuine deep relationships.  Shannon Curtis is an independent songwriter, singer, performer, recording artist, speaker, and author, based in Los Angeles. Her fourth full-length record, entitled Creationism, was released on June 17, 2016, and debuted on Nielsen's Top New Artists Albums chart.

Shannon Curtis is a fearless innovator of the music business taking her career completely in her own hands. In 2011, she performed her first house concert and was hooked on the art of building a community around house concerts. Shortly after she grossed over $25K and wrote a book about her experience called “No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender, How I made $25K on a 2-Month House Concert Tour (And How you can too)” Today, she’s performing over 70 house shows in less than four months every Summer grossing over $50K. In this episode she shares how she discovered house concerts, how she was able to build her own community through her supporters without relying on other networks or middle people. Shannon shares her beautiful philosophy on focusing on building community, not fans. We also talk about her new album, and all the projects she works on during her time off road, which also includes writing personal songs for people.

Curtis’s music has been featured prominently in independent film & in TV shows such as ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars, MTV’s The Hills, and ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Curtis lives in Los Angeles with her husband, record producer Jamie Hill.  This was an incredibly inspiring episode for me. I meet so many artists and students of the music business every day trying to navigate their way through the business. I try to push and force them to think outside of the box, and figure out a way to stand out and be completely different form the norm and following the “formula.” Shannon Curtis is not only completely creative with her art, but had a complete creative and genuine approach to entrepreneurship that builds deep connections with people in her community.

Get a Copy of Shannon's Book:


Highlights from this Episode
Breakdown of Shannon’s house concert tour (04:40)
How to describe Shannon’s music (06:55)
What lit the fire for the music industry (7:50)
Four years of being an up and coming artist (12:30)
Story of the first house concert (15:05)
How Shannon occupies her time while she’s not on the road (21:55)
First concert and first album bought (25:50)
Who comes to mind when Shannon thinks “Successful” (27:12)
Advice for artists attempting a house concert tour (27:50)
DIY venue experiences (32:55)
Most effective way to run a house concert, beginning to end (36:15)
Asking process to the host of the house concert (43:00)
How Shannon does ice breakers (49:35)
Worst concert and what was learned (51:35)
Shannon explains fans vs community philosophy (56:25)
Advice for successful social media use (1:01:05)
What to expect for Shannon’s new work (1:04:40)
Crowdfunding done differently (1:07:55)
 Shannon’s creative process (1:09:00)
Rapid Fire Questions (1:10:00)
Making It (1:15:40)

Quotes from Shannon Curtis
“We intentionally sound artful. They aren’t intended to sound like anything you’d hear on the radio.”
“You make decent money playing in colleges.”
“I don’t equate success success with money.”
“If you allow yourself to engage with those people as a human then maybe people will respond.”
“Once you give yourself the permission to step outside that and be brave, and you let yourself be seen a little more nakedly; honestly I feel like that is the moment people start responding.”
“The minute I stepped outside was the minute I started experiencing more connection.”
“They’re not people who host house concerts. They are people who know me.”
“We’re reaching new markets of people because we see new people.”
“They are other ways to do so much better for yourself.”
“If you can plan out the way you see the event happening, you can maximize you income.”
“The more you can make a connection. The more they will give in donations.”
“The people who love you the most want to see you achieve”
“You call them fans, I call them community.”
“They are likely to say yes if they have the ability to.”
“What I want to do is bring value into this world.”
“I’m make the conversation about getting to know them.”
“We learned that we needed to be a lot more specific.”
“You and I are made in the same life.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Amy Grant

Places & Things
No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender
I Am Not Your Negro

Get in Touch with Shannon Curtis

Support Shannon and Jamie’s Patreon Campaign:

Shannon Curtis’ Definition of Making It
“I’m making it. I’m making music and I can pay my bills.”

Shannon Curtis at TEXxArlington

After Shannon shared the link of her official bio, I noticed she did this beautiful TED Talk on her experience of house concerts, and the deep connections she's built with her community. Inspiring!!

Ari Nisman - College Booking Agent & Entrepreneur Discussing the College Circuit, Booking for Corporate Gigs, Military, & more

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

Ari Nisman is the President and CEO of Degy Entertainment. The company is most known for its success in booking talent for Colleges and University. He got his start in the industry working for record labels, after which he started his Artist Management Company, Degy Management. Very quickly he established a skill for getting artists signed to record labels and publishing companies. After some difficulty of getting his artists a booking agent, he decided to transform his company into a booking agency initially focusing on the clubs and theatres circuit. Today, Degy Entertainment is one of the most reputable College Booking Agencies. The company also books artists for the United States Military and many Corporate Events. He also works with the major booking agencies and boutique agencies, to help broker deals for the US Military and Corporate events for artists on their rosters.

In this conversation we talk about the two big college conferences, NACA and APCA. The differences between the two, how to prepare and what to expect from a showcase, the purpose of showcasing, putting together your showcasing video, the types of shows an artist will get booked for, and much more. We also dive into his story and how he got started, and touch a little on how he got started booking talent for the US Military and Corporate Events. It’s always an inspiration to find really good people like Ari, that are doing great things in the music business, are successful entrepreneurs, and pour good into the world. Get your pens and paper ready for this conversation with, Ari Nisman of Degy Entertainment.

Highlights from this Episode
What brought Ari to Florida (04:40)
What Ari is most excited about (06:00)
Experience at University of Michigan (06:30)
Ari’s entrepreneurial experience (11:45)
How the industry worked in the past (13:00)
Motivation for Ari’s company (16:30)
Process of getting an artist signed to a label (18:00)
How to develop the artist’s story (21:30)
Transition into booking artist (22:45)
How to deal with the challenges of being a small agency (25:38)
Struggles of booking clubs and the difference between colleges (27:25)
Advice to the struggling agent (29:10)
Difference in agency organizations (32:20)
How Ari works in the organization (35:20)
Misconceptions of college circuits (39:05)
Breakdown of “Nooner” shows (41:55)
Genres for the college circuit (43:40)
What Ari looks for when signing an artist (45:30)
What a band should put into their video (47:20)
What do smaller agencies do in comparison to big agencies in the college circuit (48:58)
Events that Ari’s agency works with (51:15)
Ari’s favorite media (54:43)
Advice for the young person wanting to be an agent (55:35)
Making it to Ari (59:10)

Quotes from Ari Nisman
“Everybody who you can meet could be an important contact for you to get forward with.”
“I always said please and thank you.”
“Back then I think we did a good job of just creating relationships.”
“Build that entire plan, it has to be more than the music.”
“When you have a younger act, they have to get out on the road. They have to get road legs.”
“Go ahead and do some internships and read some books.”
“If the music isn’t there I’m not going to sign it.”
“The best time to get a band signed is end of April, beginning of May.”
“I want to sign them when I have time to work with them.”
“Internships, building relationships, getting know anyone you can and shake their hands.”
“Nothing is handed to us.”
“You have to go out and stay hungry.”
“You should never meet your goal. Always be just short of that goal and work harder to get there.”
“you have to find enjoyment in what you’re doing.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Jimmy Eat World
Rusted Root
Face Plant

Places & Things
Radio Disney
Cool Whip
Perpetual Groove
Moonshine Still

Get in Touch with Ari Nisman

Ari Nisman’s Definition of Making It
“I’m never going to make it because I’m never going to make that goal. Making it is happiness in life, some people don’t need to make 50 million dollars to make it.”

“If that’s what works for you and that makes you happy, that’s making it.”

Inside the Life of a Talent Buyer - Lessons to Becoming a Talent Buyer & Concert Promoter

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

Inside the life of a Talent Buyer. In this episode we feature lessons and insight to becoming a Talent Buyer and Concert Promoter. How to get started, how to succeed, and how to grow with companies such as Live Nation and AEG Live. In this episode, I answer questions about my experience as a Talent Buyer with House of Blues in New Orleans, as well as answer some previous unanswered Facebook questions. This episode also features 5 Lessons from highlights of previous episodes from our Talent Buyer series with Kevin Stone, Wayne Lee, Dan Larson, Allen Anders, and Michael Yerke. Be ready to learn all about what it takes to succeed as a Talent Buyer. 

1.   Kevin Stone
2.   Wayne Lee
3.   Dan Larson
4.   Allen Anders
5.   Michael Yerke  

Highlights from this Episode
What are the 3 criteria Chris looks for to book a band (06:00)
How to make a judgment call on under age crowds (07:50)
What to offer to performers to appeal them to your venue besides money (08:45)
Making great music or having a social media following. (11:05)
 Segment 1: Kevin Stone (13:25)
In a Time of crisis who are the Talent Buyer go to people (22:00)
What is the Golden rule to negotiating (23:40)
What to do if you have to put the number out first (26:15)
How Chris’ stays up to date on his markets the best he can (27:30)
How to remain in the smaller local scene as you grow in your career (29:00)
Segment 2: Wayne Lee (30:05)
How often to give a marketer a raise (38:00)
Important characteristics of a Talent Buyer (40:30)
How Chris stays organized (42:41)
How to stay in the loop with music industry and talent buyer buzz (44:10)
Segment 3: Dan Larson (46:35)
Daily Activities of a Talent Buyer (54:10)
How Chris stayed personable with performers (58:15)
Why local support isn’t regularly featured on tours (59:58)
Best way to get in touch with a talent buyer if you haven’t played at the venue (1:02:50)
Who led Chris on his journey to becoming a talent buyer (1:04:10)
Segment 4: Allen Anders (1:06:45)
Biggest yes and no that a Talent Buyer can do (1:17:10)
How to attract the attention of an entertainer or performer (1:19:50)
It is important to grasp a charity or cause early on in careers (1:22:45)
How to get into this line of work and how to get an internship with Live Nation (1:24:00)
Segment 5: Michael Yerke (1:29:30) 

Quotes from Chris Goyzueta
“Try to purposely sell out. It creates buzz.”
“If they aren’t willing to promote themselves, why should I promote them?”
“Having history, and having a good venue.”
“When they are at your house, you’re inviting a guest into your ‘house’. “
“Go the extra mile. A lot of promoters don’t do that.”
“The music comes first.”
“Social media matters, but it’s not the only thing that matters.”
“Playing the long game is always going to win.”
“Don’t be the first to put out a number.”
“Be involved in the scene. Go to shows.”
“Pick up the phone and call people.”
“As soon as you get lost in organization, you fail.”
“Make sure you say hi to everyone.”
“Find a way to build common ground.”
“Every show you play take it serious and like something you care about.”
“Whether it’s a charity or a cause, you should find a community to pour in to.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned
Kevin Stone
John Legend
Sonny Schneidau
Wayne Lee
Childish Gambino
The Civil Wars
Dan Larson
Allen Anders
Ari Herstand
Michael Yerke

Places & Things
Live Nation
Full Sail
Florida Theater
The Social
CID Entertainment
House of Blues
Hype Machine
Sound Cloud
Spotify Viral 50
Billboard Heatseekers
The Plaza Live
Okeechobee Festival
Drunken Monkey
Rock for Hunger

Brandon T. Adams - Reaching Your Crowdfunding Goals, the Power of Content Marketing, and Podcasting with Industry Leaders

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

Brandon T. Adams is a serial entrepreneur and crowdfunding expert. One of Brandon’s first ventures was starting a podcast where he travelled the country learning from some of the leading experts and entrepreneurs. He owns a stake in several businesses such as The Accelerant Media Group, Live to Grind,  Young Entrepreneur Convention, Arctic Stick, Keys to the Crowd, and many more. Also, he is a co-Host and co-executive producer of the Entrepreneur TV Show Ambitious Adventures with one of my best friends and former podcast guests Greg Rollett. Currently Brandon is also working with the Napoleon Hill Foundation to create the film Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy, and is the youngest entrepreneur featured in the film. In this conversation we talk about entrepreneurship, his passion for creating content and adding value to relationships, how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, podcasting, and so much more.

I was first introduced to Brandon through our good mutual friend and two time podcast guest, Greg Rollett. We actually went to see Atmosphere in concert (go see shows). A few weeks later Brandon asked me for a videographer, and I recommended my guy Herb Gonzalez to him. I told him that he doesn’t really do much video, but I believe in Herb so much that I know he can do it. His first gig with Brandon was at the Ambitious Adventures premiere party, and now the two of them are working together full time cranking out content like champions.

This was a really fun conversation and very inspiring to me. After the podcast we discussed starting your own business and the challenges that come with that. From the very first episode with Greg Rollett, we talked about “Ready, Fire, Aim” and how a lot of people get stuck in Aim. If you want to live your dream, you have to start doing. Start firing, and aim and fine tune as you go. Greg worked on his business in between breaks, on his way to his day job, and when he got home. However, it wasn’t till he ripped the bandaid off and went all in when things started happening. Brandon couldn’t agree more with that. You’ll never reach your full potential until you go all in on your dream. In this episode, Brandon really lays down a solid foundation of adding value to others and marketing yourself through creating content. Regardless of what industry you’re in, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and creator of music, film, video, art, books, comics, blogs, or any other intellectual property this is for you. Be ready to be motivated to get one step closer to making it.  

Text “Brandon” to 313131 to receive a daily motivational text from Brandon T. Adams.

Highlights from this Episode
Brandon’s start with podcasting [4:41]
Where things are at with Greg Rollett and Ambitious Adventures [7:14]
Key lessons learned from creating a TV Show experience [11:00]
How Brandon got started with his entrepreneurial journey [15:39]
How Brandon got into Crowdfunding [17:52]
Where should people start building a brand [22:39]
How does someone start creating content [25:04]
What kind of videos can musicians creates besides covers [28:39]
How do you choose business partners [31:42]
How do you choose your topics and guests for the podcast [34:46]
Who Brandon really wants to interview for his show [35:55]
A situation that didn’t go your way, and the lesson learned [40:37]
Who is crowdfunding for and who should consider it [44:43]
Tips to starting a crowdfunding campaign [47:33]
Facebook Questions [54:01]
- How to crowdfund for a nonprofit outside of your community by Brad Mason
Closing Questions [56:54]
Brandon’s Warrior Chant [59:32]

Quotes from Brandon T. Adams
“If you’re an entrepreneur or anybody, you need to create your own audience.”
“I just press play and hit the record button.”
“Go into a conversation knowing what you want to learn.”
“Just keep going and eventually you’ll find your groove.”
“Just be you. Authenticity is what people want.”
“To become an influencer you have to do TV, Books, and create content.”
“Always find a way to offer value.”
“If you get an opportunity, jump on it.”
“When people see you, what do you want them to remember you as.”
“One person can change your life.”
“Create content and be consistent.”
“Video is the most powerful thing you can use.”
“The best way to get to the top is creating consistent video content, and start doing Facebook Live.”
“If you can get people wondering what you’re going to do next, they will keep watching.”
“Everything I do for my business, you should do for your band.”
“Go inspire people”
“You can tell a lot about a person by their Facebook page.”
“Usually within 5 minutes you can tell what kind of person they are.”
“Music is powerful. It moves people and changes their lives.”
“What influencers do good or bad, it influences people.”
“Trust your gut.”
“When I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it.”
“When you hit your lowest moments, you’re closest to one of your biggest moments.”
“If you keep going, you can’t lose. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Sometimes failure in disguise, is a good thing.”
“If you just keep going, you’ll see your true potential.”
“Stories sell”
“At the end of the day, you have to add value to your audience.”
“Success is about the people I surround myself with.”
“Once you can convince your mind you can do it, you can achieve it.”
“If you don’t set your goals, you don’t know where you’re going.”
“If you’re a person of value and you’re driven, you can achieve anything.”    

Links to people, places & things Mentioned
Greg Rollett
Lewis Howes
Jack Canfield
Jake Paul
Kevin Harrington
Herb Gonzalez
Will Smith
Oprah Winfrey
John Lee Dumas
Gary Vaynerchuck (Gary Vee)
Lady Gaga
Aspyn Ovard
Mark Zuckerberg
Kevin Lyman
Cactus Jack Barringer
Napoleon Hill

Places & Things
Arctic Stick
Live to Grind Podcast
Ambitious Adventures
Young Entrepreneur Convention
Native Culture
[BOOK] Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich Movie
Keys to the Crowd
EOFire Business Podcast
The Freedom Journal
[BOOK] Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck
[BOOK] How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Pledge Music
Fall Out Boy
Limp Bizkit
Taylor Swift
Headspace Guided Meditation App

Get in Touch with Brandon T. Adams
Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Brandon T. Adam’s Definition of Making It
“It’s a motherfucking grind.”

Kevin Lyman - A Journey of Serial Entrepreneurship, Longevity, Creating Powerful Brands, Philanthropy, and Passion for the Next Generation with the Founder of Vans Warped Tour

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You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

Kevin Lyman is the founder of Vans Warped Tour and 4Fini. From his days in college he got involved in helping with and organizing events and live concerts. He’s built such a name for himself in the late 80’s and early 90’s that got him to a point where he was working over 300 shows per year. That eventually led to him working the first four years of Lollapalooza.

Throughout his journey he’s met and bonded with several artists, and after working Lollapalooza, he was inspired to start a festival that does it in a different way. That was when he started Vans Warped Tour in 1995. It actually wasn’t till he was 33 years old when he started his business, but he brought 13 years worth of experience and relationships along with him. Today in 2017, Vans Warped Tour is the longest running music festival and tour in the world.

Kevin Lyman has put on many other successful festivals and events such as Taste of Chaos. He’s also a serial entrepreneur from having run and sold a Brewery, Hair Dye Company with Hayley Williams from Paramore, a coconut water company, and much more. He’s someone that’s passionate about giving back to the community and empowering young people. We talk about branding, longevity, entrepreneurship, the future of our next generation, and much more.

Meeting Kevin Lyman was very inspiring. He’s been traveling and doing promotion for this upcoming Vans Warped Tour for several weeks now. During this campaign, he’s visited several universities, festivals, and many other press opportunities. It was a huge honor for him to take the time for this conversation for our show. Not only did he take the time for this podcast, but also afterwards he had a meeting with a student from UCF that wanted to talk to him about the music industry. He’s not only someone who preaches philanthropy and giving back, but he lives it every day. It’s the things we do behind closed doors that really define us. If I hadn’t asked the student what she was meeting him for, I would’ve thought it was another press interview.

Not only has he done many inspiring things, and build the longest running festival in the country, but he’s also just a really good person. It’s a breath of fresh air to see people with such success to be so down to earth and giving back to others. As promised, below are not only the show notes, but also a list of research I conducted for this conversation. My goal was to ask Kevin Lyman some new questions and try to get him to talk about things I haven’t heard him talk about before. Hopefully I’ve done him justice, and have delivered all of our listeners, Warped Tour fans, and Kevin Lyman supporters a great interview. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Kevin Lyman.

Highlights from this Episode
Kevin’s time at Florida Music Fest (09:50)
Kevin’s future aspirations (10:30)
First album and concert (11:25)
Warped’s collaboration with Vans (12:35)
How Warped Tour decides partnerships (13:50)
How to cater to the festival’s market (14:55)
How Kevin provided Longevity to Warped Tour (17:25)
Top 5 branding rules from Kevin (19:45)
How a band gets on Warped tour (20:45)
How Kevin would produce a club show (23:00)
Lessons learned from Warped applied in new endeavors (23:40)
How Kevin manages his time (26:05)
Booking shows without the internet (29:05)
How Kevin overcomes being discouraged (30:15)
What should a band look for in a manager (33:35)
Bad Advice given to young artist (34:25)
Lessons learned from mistakes (35:40)
Warped’s new program (37:25)
Impact of VR (38:29)
Entrepreneur Bucket List (40:10)
Philanthropy and Warped Tour’s experience (42:35)
Changes Kevin would like to see in the education system (46:00)
Music Business and Entertainment Business Improvements (48:50)
Generation Z’s wants and needs (50:00)
Influencer recommendation (52:10)
3 Values of Life (54:15)
Facebook Questions (54:55)
-Country Throwdown
-Warped Expansions
-Side 1 Dummie
Rapid Fire Questions (59:35)

Quotes from Kevin Lyman
“No one should be disrespecting each other but it’s life and we have to talk through it. “
“They’re a shoe company and I produce music festivals.”
“Sponsorship has always been a thing of if it’s cool or not, but you really don’t survive without it.”
“Coachella is driven by more than music. It’s driven by the location and the celebrities.” 
“We tweak things inside for where the market has gone.”
“Musically it tweaks each year. Some of it is dictated by the environment, the other is by what is available.”
“Consistency, A more designable image, Do what you say you’re going to do, Fulfill your requirements, Stay true.”
“I try to find someone who has a plan.”
“A lot of thought went into the Full Sail Stage.”
“Create more of an atmosphere around the show.”
“Bring a thread to all the brands so they can compliment each other.”
“You have to have people who are driving the company for you.”
“I try to be an active investor. You don’t want to be a passive investor.”
“I don’t want to disappoint them but I gotta look out for myself.”
“When you’re starting out and someone reaches out to you, you should grab on to their arm and let them pull you up.”
“When I’m demotivated now I go plant more plants in my backyard.”
“Do research, it’s so each to research people now a day’s.”
“Don’t get sucked in at the bar, take their card and do your research.”
“Don’t sign something with your first manager. Have a trail period with goals.”
“I try to focus on things that have personal potential.”
“I don’t like bucket lists.”
“I’ve been saving a little bit since I was 20.”
“I had experience that allowed me to fail and people supported me a second time.”
“Be nice to people.”
“If you have something, share something.”
“When you have nothing it’s easy to give.”
“When you have a little, give a little.”
“When everyone gives a little it adds up to 460,000 pounds of food that we did last year, and that fed a lot of people.”
“It takes a village to raise a child, and I think that village has been depleted. Kid’s need help.”
“You have to be on your brand each and everyday to stay current.”
“If you start questioning things at an early age that’s okay.”
“Try to put yourself in the other people shoes.”
“Don’t date a guitar player.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Van Morrison
Diana Ross
Beebs and Her Money Makers
Hayley Williams
Rob Zombie
Matt Halper

Places & Things
Florida Music Fest
Van’s Warped Tour
Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits
Urban Outfitters
Skull Candy
Good Dye Young
Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival
Live Nation
Modern Baseball
13 Reasons Why
[BOOK] Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
A Colony in a Nation
Country Throwdown
Florida Georgia Line
Sixth Man Cruise

Get in Touch with Kevin Lyman

Kevin Lyman’s Definition of Making It
“Sometimes having the time to have a great BBQ with your friends.”

These are some resources I used to help me come up with the questions for this interview. If you want to learn more about Kevin Lyman and his backstory, and all the cool things he's doing, check these out. 

1. Forbes Magazine Article: Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman on the Business of Punk Rock
2. The Jasta Show (Podcast Interview) - Episode 237 Kevin Lyman (Warped Tour) 
3. Promoter 101 (Podcast Interview) - #20 - The Van's Warped Tour's Kevin Lyman
4. RAD Parenting (Podcast Interview) - Episode 42: Inside the World of Teens on Vans Warped Tour (with Kevin Lyman)
5. TED Talk: The Walmartization of Music Festivals | Kevin Lyman | TEDxCPP
6.TED Talk: When You Music Festival is Older Than Your Customers | Kevin Lyman | TEDxBroadway
7. Interview at Full Sail University: Full Sail On Air Welcomes: Kevin Lyman Founder, Vans Warped Tour and President 4Fini, Inc.

Samantha Jennings - A True Road Warrior Blazing Through Arenas Across the World. A Sleepless, and Badass Road Manager Extraordinaire.

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

Samantha Jennings is a Road Manager and true Road Warrior having toured in tour buses and arena shows such as Luke Bryan, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Florida Georgia Line, Hillsong UNITED, and many more. In this conversation, Samantha shares her stories, wisdom, and insight in a very raw and honest way. She shares her story on how she got started in the business, and people that inspired her during her time at Full Sail University. Also, you’ll learn how a great work ethic and positive attitude has helped work her way up very quickly in the business. Sometimes it’s about knowing the right people, sometimes it’s about being at the right place at the right time, it’s always about having a great work ethic and attitude, and sometimes you’ll need to get all the cards to stack in your favor. Samantha is well on a journey to an amazing career in this crazy entertainment industry.

I first met Samantha Jennings at a show at House of Blues in Orlando, FL through Ana Reina, who has been a mentor to both of us. Shortly afterwards, Sam interned for me at The Plaza Live in Orlando. Through her work ethic and great attitude she quickly became a runner, which lead to the path that she is on now. She has gotten to where she is today through her work ethic and doing everything with a smile on her face. The craziest thing is that she has only been out of school for less than five years. She is on a path of doing many amazing things in life.

After we recorded the podcast, she came and guest spoke in one of my classes and was completely nervous. Not only did she deliver that same badass and raw honesty, but also the students totally loved Sam. They really appreciated hearing the truth on what really happens out on the road and the challenges of being a female on the road. However, regardless of all the challenges she continues to take down one obstacle after another like a true road warrior on a mission. Before this podcast, I haven’t seen Sam in five years, and it was really cool to catch up and inspiring to see how far she has come so quickly. We’ll definitely have to make her a regular on the show, and can’t wait to share more stories and lessons with the “Making It” listeners. Thank you Samantha Jennings, and thank you for listening!

Highlights from this Episode
Samantha’s first experience into the music industry (05:20)
What lit the spark for the business (05:55)
Bands that inspired Samantha (06:50)
Why Full Sail? (08:20)
Experience at Full Sail (10:30)
Lessons learned while working at The Plaza (12:40)
Responsibilities at the Plaza (14:26)
Runner job descriptions (14:55)
Reminiscing on events at The Plaza (15:35)
How to do a good job as a Runner (17:05)
How Samantha got the gob at Live Nation (18:20)
Differences between The Plaza shows and arena shows (19:45)
Preview of Tours worked (21:50)
Experience on Luke Bryan’s tour (23:20)
Difference between Luke Bryan’s tour and Macklemore (28:30)
First tour manager job (29:43)
Responsibilities as a road manager (30:30)
Advice to get started as a tour manager (36:05)
How to find the next job (38:10)
Challenges Samantha didn’t expect as a tour manager (40:50)
Touring Survival Kit (45:00)
Favorite moments on the road (47:00)
Samantha’s wishes for promoters (50:00)
Best way to manage a large team (53:50)
Local crew experiences (56:00)
How do the groupies get in (57:35)
First person who comes to mind when ‘successful’ is mentioned. (1:00:30)
First Concert / First Album (1:00:50)
Daily routine (1:01:40)
T-Shirt Message (1:04:22)
Making it to Samantha (1:07:00)

Quotes from Samantha Jennings
“I met the best people ever in Orlando.”
“Being at The Plaza gave me the tools to really know what goes on.”
“It’s important to work on every scale.”
“Attitude is everything.”
“If you have a bad attitude it makes it hard on everybody.”
“Just Smile!”
“It’s 18 hour days.”
“It has a lot to do with the artist and what to expect.”
“A lot of walking, super long hours, no sleep.”
“A road manager is just a glorified babysitter, and there is no time you’re not working.”
“If you’re not removing worry, you’re creating it.”
“I think there’s a difference between a road manager and a tour manager”
“You don’t walk in to being a tour manager.”
“You have to be willing to do any role.”
“It’s networking.”
“It really is who you know and who you meet.”
“I hate to say this because it bothered me so much because you want there to be a rhythm and reason but there isn’t. The opportunities just come up.”
“As soon as you wake up, you hit the ground running.”
“It’s about your attitude, you have to be cool.”
“You have bad days but you can never show it.”
“A good black zip up hoodie is a staple.”
“The people out there don’t realize what we put in to make this happen”
“It’s not all about money, its really about the experience.”
“We’re all out there because we’re responsible, we’re good at our job, we have our shit together.”
“If you can’t do your job right with a smile on your face, you’re gone. There’s tons of people who want your job.”
“The good news is nothing last forever, the bad news is nothing last forever.”
“It’s life, just roll with it.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Childish Gambino
Trailer Park Boys
Kevin Stone
Adam Taylor

Rod Stewart
Stevie Nicks
Luke Bryan
Brit Nicole
Toby Mac
Colton Dixon
Thomas Rhett
Kevin Lyman
Shep Gordon
Scooter Braun

Places & Things
The Ramones
Warped Tour
Avenged Sevenfold
Foo Fighters
Blink 182
Full Sail University
Indiana University
The Plaza Live
House of Blues
Florida Theatre
Live Nation
Amway Center Orlando
Jimmy Johns
Hillsong United
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki [BOOK] 

Get in Touch with Samantha Jennings
Facebook: Samantha Jennings
Instagram: TheSamanthaJennings 

Samantha Jennings Definition of Making It
“I think it’s always changing, especially in the industry that we’re in. Then again Scooter Braun, he made it.”
“Having an artist that I manage that is doing arenas and stadiums.”

Isabella Acker - Curator of Culture, Collaboration, Community, and Entrepreneur of the Miami Entertainment Scene

This episode features Isabella Acker, Curator of Culture and Founder of Prism Creative Group in Miami, FL. Isbella is a serial entrepreneur that truly believes in the power of collaboration and community, and it’s her mission to create culture and events people love in Miami, FL. She’s a former Marketing Director for Live Nation at the Fillmore Miami, and has had many great ventures in the world of entertainment prior to Live Nation and her entrepreneurial journey. In 2016, she was named as one of eight women who are changing Miami for the better by Ocean Drive Magazine. Isabella is a true inspiration to her city and for all those around her, and always leads by example to create culture and community through collaboration.

I first met Isabella in 2010 or 2011 during my time at The Plaza Live in Orlando, FL. She came with a former business partner just to meet me, see the Plaza Live, and learn about what I do. From the first time we met, she has been someone that was hungry for knowledge and learning all things about the business. Isabella always believed in creating genuine relationships, and finding ways to add value to those relationships. It was really cool crossing paths again during both of our time at Live Nation, and having a familiar face within the company. We both had a similar journey prior to Live Nation, and similar reasons for eventually leaving the industry powerhouse. In this episode, she shares her mission and passion for Miami with Prism Creative Group, her time with Live Nation, and all the things she did prior to becoming an entrepreneur and working for the worlds biggest promoter. You’ll learn what she did to help her stand out during her time in college, her philosophies on creating community, and her passion behind her mission.

Highlights from this Episode
Why Isabella chose to move to Miami (07:30)
Thoughts on Miami’s entertainment industry (08:55)
Highlights of time spent at FIU (14:55)
Isabella’s time spent working with previous companies (16:30)
Latin Billboard Awards (22:20)
The reason for working at Live Nation (29:00)
Effective marketing tips (36:19)
Inspirations at Live Nation (38:38)
Prism Creative Group (44:10)
Pillars at Prism Creative Group (46:10)
What Prism Creative Group looks for in partners (48:20)
Advice for young artists’ (52:25)
Isabella’s year goals (54:00)
Advice for those getting into Isabella’s line of work (56:50)
First and last 90 minutes (59:39)
Isabella Acker’s definition of making it (1:03:10)

Quotes from Isabella Acker
“Really it’s not about who you are, but who you know that gets you into places.”
“You have to get really creative with how you get the word out.”
“We assume 50% of the people don’t know who the band are when we market.”
“Marketing can get really stale, so what are you doing to really move the needle.”
“You should want to know how effective your campaign is, and then take pride in that. “
“If you can find peoples motivation, its really interesting. “
“You have to find the one thing you’re good at.”
“Building up the hype is super important.”
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I celebrate all of the little wins.”
“It takes years to build a market into what it is.”
“Don’t let money or the lack of money derail you.”
“It is really about being very mission aligned”
“My metrics are impact.”
“They think they know what we do, but they don’t really know what we do.”
“Everything has gravitated towards experiences.”
“It’s important to develop an experience so you speak to new audiences.”
“Concerts are an experience, it’s not just about the music.”
“You can always continue to grow your impact.”
“when you can create something really special with an employee there is value to that.”
“It’s important to get out of the routine.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Susan Gladstone - Event Planning Professor
Scooter Braun
Jacob Jeffries
Gary Vaynerchuk

Places & Things
Prism Creative Group
Black Key Group
Culture Crusaders
Live Nation
Florida International University
Wine and Food Festival
Cameo Theater
Orpheum Theatre
IMS Consulting
Latin Billboards
The Fillmore

Get in Touch with Isabella Acker 
Instagram for Prism Creative Group
Prisim Creative Group on Twitter
Instagram for Isabella

Isabella Acker Definition of Making It
“That’s a really easy answer for me, it’s being happy.”

Dickerman of WJRR 101.1 - A Journey of Creating Longevity in Traditional Radio, Overcoming Challenges of Technology, and Creating Opportunities and Community

This episode features our first guest from the world of radio, which is still one of the most important platforms to break new talent into the main stream. Dickerman is a radio personality, content manager, and social media manager for WJRR 101.1 in Orlando, FL. In this conversation we talk about Dickerman’s journey in radio, how his role has changed, opportunities and challenges with radio, and how he’s been able to not only build a 21 year long career in radio, but with the same station. He shares stories from when he used to work with Larry the Cable Guy, his favorite Earthday Birthday moments, and much more. 

Highlights from Episode
Our first Meeting (5:30)
Stories of Larry the Cable Guy (7:55)
First time Dickerman called into Radio (13:15)
Journey of how Dickerman got started in Radio (15:15)
How would someone get into radio today? (18:42)
What the day to day in the life of Dickerman, and all the roles he takes on (22:22)
How have things changed from the rebranding from Clear Channel to iHeart Media (26:25)
His role in the Earthday Birthday Music Festival and Band Selection Process (29:56)  
Favorite Earthday Birthday Music Festival moments (33:29)
The Future of Radio (36:21)
How do you build longevity as a radio personality? (39:49)
How to improve your skills as a radio host / personality, and interviewing people (41:18)
Pros/Cons working for a major radio station versus an independent station (46:44)
How does music get selected for radio? (50:18)
How can a band that’s not on a major label or big indie get their music on radio? (52:51)
Opportunities that radio can create for a career in the music business (58:05)
Facebook Question by Leslie Heindel – Do you have a go to question when an interview is going poorly? (1:01:15)
Facebook Question by Sergio Lugo – Do you feel you (or any radio personality) have an influence on the music industry? (1:02:12)
Why do radio stations play the same songs so often? (1:04:07)
Habits and Routines for Dickerman (1:05:55)
Dickerman’s Mentors (1:15:14)
What message would he put on a shirt that he could give out to every person at Earthday Birthday? (1:16:38) 

Quotes from Dickerman
“Have a backup plan, have something else you can do”
“The key in this business is to get up and move around”
“It’s important that radio remembers the local element”
“The thing with radio is that community is real”
“Keep it local, topical, and like you’re talking to a friend”
“The best critic is you, as long as you’re honest with yourself”
“The pros of working for radio is that I get to talk for a living”
“Radio is a cool business to work in”
“You have to stay relevant, but also age yourself as your audience ages”
“The labels and your representation helps”
“This business is all about who you know, and who’s going to open that door for you”
“You got to get to know people, and not doing it in an annoying way”
“It’s about finding that breakthrough for your artist”
“Stay on top of things, and don’t fall behind”
“You have to be able to communicate”
“Keep Rock Music Alive” 

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Larry the Cable Guy
Jeff Foxworthy
Randy Myers
 Jim Ross
Mick Foley / Cactus Jack
Kerry Von Erich
Sarah McLachlan
Pat Lynch
Taco Bob
Mel Taylor
Scott Weiland
Rob Zombie
Lars Ulrich
Lajon Witherspoon
Jake the Snake Roberts
Ultimat Warrior
Missy Hyatt 

Places and Things
The Ron and Ron Show
WJRR 101.1
iHeart Media
Lilith Fair
Full Sail University
WJRR Earthday Birthday Music Festival
Red, Hot and Boom Festival
Velvet Revolver
The Offspring
Hard Rock Live Orlando
Led Zeppelin
Motley Crue
Royal Rumble 1990
Von Erich Family
World Class Championship Wrestling
Fabulous Freebirds
Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW)
Seven Mary Three
Barstool Sports
Pride Fighting Championships 
98 Rock in Tampa Rock Station 

Dickerman’s Definition of Making It
“Getting to your dream job, and being compensated for it too.” 

Keep in Touch with Dickerman of WJRR 101.1: 

My first time in Radio and Meeting Dickerman, Larry the Cable Guy, and Crash

My first time in Radio and Meeting Dickerman, Larry the Cable Guy, and Crash

Dickerman and Mel Taylor at Earthday Birthday

Dickerman and Mel Taylor at Earthday Birthday

Jason Hunnicutt - Owner of 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL on Running and Opening Your Own Venue

Jason Hunnicutt is the owner of 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL. The venue was founded in 20011 with the goal to bring live music to Downtown Jacksonville. The bar itself was first built in 1904, from which they got their name. 1904 Music Hall is a 300 capacity venue that books national touring artists in all genres. Prior to opening 1904 Music Hall, Jason was a touring musician himself, and has always been entrepreneurial spirited.

I first had the opportunity to work with Jason Hunnicutt in March of 2016, when I brought Bonerama from New Orleans, LA to Jacksonville. From the first day, working with Jason wasbreath of fresh air. Unfortunately it’s always a toss up when working with venue owners. You never know what you’re going to get. Some owners are open minded and easy to work with, and are open to outside promoters, some have absolutely no clue what they’re doing, others are extremely disorganized, you have your control freaks, and also some with bigger egos than the artists themselves. It’s really nice when you have the opportunity to work with a venue owner that’s open minded, easy to work with, and someone that has a really great attitude. I saw that from day one with Jason, and since we’ve worked together on New Kingston, The Steppin Stones, and Zach Deputy. And I’m sure there will be many more names to add to that list down the road.

Highlights from this Episode
What made Jason want to open the venue in Jacksonville (06:18)
How Jacksonville is branded (08:50)
The bands who inspired Jason (12:35)
Cool venues Jason experienced while touring (18:20)
What lit Jason’s entrepreneurial spark (20:40)
Risks involved in opening Venue 1904 (25:00)
How Jason and partners found their venue location (27:00)
The work put into remodeling 1904 (29:30)
Big surprises and learning experiences (35:37)
Aspiring venue owner advice. (37:39)
How Jason knew Venue 1904 was in a good place. (40:10)
Making it to Jason Hunnicutt (42:15)

Quotes from Jason Hunnicutt
“The band is your own business.”
“Once you get one going, the second one is easier.”
“Three is a good number for partners.”
“Keeping the consistency, it’s hard starting a business and the first few months are always the hardest. “
“Say ‘yes’, man!”
“Commit to it.”
“Say yes and be open, kind of to everything.”
“As much as you think your musical is taste great, and as much as you think you know what people want to hear and experience, it’s really up to community that is supporting you.”
“Seeing the positive reviews from the community and the bands too. I think when that started happening I was like ‘Cool!’ “

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Kevin Stone
Allman Brothers Band
Lynyrd Skynyrd

Places & Things
Florida Theatre
1904 Music Hall
One Spark Festival
The Elbow
Limp Bizkit
Pink Floyd
Led Zeppelin
Main Squeeze
The Imperial
Jack Rabbits
Suwanee Fest
The Engine Room
Urban Organics

Jason Hunnicutt’s Definition of Making It:
“The key to a business: Doing a hustle and then training someone to do that hustle; Being able to pay them to do that hustle and also being able to pay yourself. -Ian Ranne” – Jason Hunnicutt

Court Bauer - Former Creative Executive of WWE to Entrepreneur & Podcast Network owner and Producer of Live Events, MMA, and Pro Wrestling

Court Bauer is a former WWE Creative Executive turned to serial entrepreneur. His entrepreneurial journey actually began before his work with the WWE, running his own pro wrestling company Major League Wrestling (MLW), which featured wrestlers such as CM Punk, Brian Danielson, Shane Douglas, Terry Funk, and many more. Today MLW has become a major wrestling podcast network with shows by Bruce Prichard and Conrad, Jim Cornette, Eric Bishoff, and more. Court also produces live events during WrestleMania weekend such as WaleMania with rapper Wale, live podcasts, and live storytelling with Pro Wrestling legends.

I met Court Bauer during WrestleMania XXX weekend in New Orleans in 2013. At the time he was working PR and handling road management for Jim Ross, Good Ole JR. We had two phenomenal events with Jim Ross at House of Blues in New Orleans during that WrestleMania weekend. I always wanted to have some kind of role in the pro wrestling business. It wasn’t a big role, and it really was the smallest role possible. However, it was pretty awesome that my passion for the music business made it possible to experience two great events with the legendary Jim Ross at House of Blues. Most importantly, during that weekend I made a new friend in Court Bauer. We kept in touch throughout the years and have tried to work on some other events that unfortunately didn’t work out, but the friendship and attempt to do something never stopped.

This year, in 2017 (pending when you’re reading this), WrestleMania came back to Orlando, where I moved back to after my time in New Orleans. And this year we made it work again since for meeting in 2013. Court and I are co-hosting two more magical events with Jim Ross at The Plaza Live, my old home and stomping ground. Literally my old home! For four years I spent more time at the Plaza Live, than at my own house. That includes sleeping. Along with these two events at the Plaza Live, we are hosting Bruce Prichard and his podcast partner Conrad at BackBooth, another former home of mine. It’s amazing the doors that can open for you when you pursue a passion fiercely. For the second time in my life, the inner child in me gets to completely light up and has a tiny role with events during WrestleMania weekend that means a lot to people. I’m really excited to share this podcast conversation with the readers and listeners, with my friend, Court Bauer.

“Live the Life You Love” – Bob Marley 

Highlights from this Episode
Preview of WrestleMania (04:55)
Things Court is involved with (10:15)
The future of MLW Radio (13:53)
How aspiring podcasters can monetize money (15:10)
WaleMania (17:40)
Role with MMA (24:00)
Talent on MLW (30:00)
How Court decides matches and titles (33:43)
Creative team opportunity (35:40)
Advice for WWE career opportunities (36:20)
Questions for Court (40:05)
One step closer to a dreamer’s journey (41:20)
Court Bauer on Making It (44:30)

Quotes from Court Bauer
“You can’t prepare for these events. You just try to give the fans the best experience you can.”
“Keep it entertaining but real.”
“You have to have good production value”
“Some people are very nomadic, it’s hard to market that.”
“You have to have a defined vibe.”
“So many layers and challenges you face when you are monetizing a product.”
“Whatever it is, it’s about building anticipation.”
“Prepared for the best case scenario, prepare for the worst case scenario.”
“You gotta sell yourself, you gotta be a showman.”
“Either you sink or you swim.”
“You’re building you’re on reputation.”
“You might not bake a good cake the first time but you learn from that.”
“A 300 hitter is big, but think about how many times they strike out.”
“It’s all theoretical until you jump in the water.”
“Put yourself out there and network.”
“Be a hustler when it comes to networking.” 

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Jimmy Iovine
Jim Ross
Peter Rosenberg
Jerry Seinfeld 

Places & Things
The Plaza Live
MLW Radio
Hot 97. NY
Atlantic Records  

Get in Touch with Court Bauer


Court Bauer Definition of Making It
“Being able to live a quality of life that you enjoy, and being happy with what you’re doing.”

Court Bauer, Guest Speaking at Full Sail University in Fall 2016

Court Bauer, Guest Speaking at Full Sail University in Fall 2016

Davey Jay - Protecting Your Intellectual Property and Your Career in the Entertainment Business

Davey Jay is an Entertainment Business and Intellectual Properties Attorney. In this podcast Dave discusses how she became an Entertainment Attorney, how to get clients, how to protect your Intellectual Properties and your business, contracts, choosing your PRO, and much more. She got her law degree at Barry University in Orlando, FL, and has been practicing law in the Entertainment Industry since 2008. Davey Jay started her Entrepreneurial Journey when she became a partner at the law firm Meehle & Jay in Orlando, FL. Along with being a practicing Entertainment Attorney and Entrepreneur, Davey Jay is also an Instructor at Full sail University in the Film Production Masters of Fine Arts program, teaching Entertainment and Communications Law. Not that she needs more on her plate, but Dave is also the Chair Elect for the Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law section of the Florida Bar.

I first met Davey Jay at Full Sail University when she gave a law workshop for aspiring Entertainment Law students. She is really passionate about her craft, and finds ways to make it fun and has the ability to take a very complicated topic and make sense of it to the average person. In this conversation we talk about film, music, a day in the life of an entertainment attorney, things creative people should be aware of, and all things that make Davey Jay uniquely who she is. We also dive into how she got started in her partnership with Meehle and Jay and the types of clients she deals with, and some of the stories from her journey. We also discuss her routines, advice for aspiring students, and even the importance of content marketing for an attorney. Make sure to protect your creative career and Intellectual Property. As Matt Cottingham said in episode 008 of Making It with Chris G, whenever someone presents you something with words that you need to sign, you should consult with an attorney.

Highlights from this episode:
Jay describes role at Full Sail University (03:55)
What Jay does on the daily (08:30)
How Jay manages a busy schedule (12:25)
Jays first and last 90 minutes (14:20)
How Jay knew she wanted to do this (17:03)
Advice for those going into law (19:45)
Mentors in Jay’s life and career (22:50)
Journey to practicing Entertainment Law (24:30)
How Jay built her client list (26:20)
How Jay got her partnership (29:20)
Taking on new responsibilities (31:30)
Jay’s common deals (33:05)
Red flags in contracts (38:10)
Who Jay works with and what they do (41:00)
Right time to get an attorney (41:30)
How to choose royalty companies (49:45)
Advantages of living in Orlando (51:20)
Laws in films (56:30)
Advice for students (1:00:05)
Resources in Jay’s Career (1:03:00)
Rapid Fire Questions (1:04:55)
Content for M&J (1:13:15)
Making it (1:19:40)

Quotes from Davey Jay:
“Make yourself a valued member on the community”
“Law school teachers you the law, not how to think.”
“I’m the one who makes their house built out of brick and not straw.”
“You have to have a balance for family and yourself.”
“Got to a studio, go to more live shows.”
“It was who I knew that helped me get work.”
“You really have to dig in.”
“Success is different for every person.”

Links to People, Places, and Things mentioned

Susan Meehle
Meehle and Jay

Sandra Bullock
Aretha Franklin
Victoria Hernandez

Places and Things
Full Sail University
House of Cards
Game of Thrones
Silicon Valley
Game of Thrones Tour
The Doors
The Beach Boys
Sound Exchange
Plush Studios
Ybor City
Film FL
Print Now
Pocket Lawyers (BOOK) by Thomas Crowell
Content INC (BOOK) by Joe Pulizzi
Wills Pub

Get in Touch with Davey Jay
Davey Jay's Website

Making it to Davey Jay:
“It’s where do you want to be, and I don’t think that is a static thing. I think that you should have never made it and if you think you’ve made it you’ve gave up.”

Phil Pallen - Shut Up and Build a Powerful Brand

This is episode #027, and features Brand Strategist, Phil Pallen. With experience on over 200 different client projects, Phil has become a master practitioner in the art of branding. His clients have been featured on Shark Tank, Dancing with the Stars, and have even won a Noble Peace Prize. He’s also an author of the book “Shut Up And Tweet,” where he teaches about the skills of growing a following and engaging with your audience. Phil is a public speaker having held keynotes all over the world. This is a quick conversation full of value and insight in building a powerful brand.

To add some context for this conversation with Phil Pallen, I talked to him during Full Sail University Hall of Fame week. This was my second year at the Full Sail Hall of Fame, but really my first year where I really got to experience it. This is a really amazing event full of value for the students. Every year a group of graduates, I believe it’s 6, get inducted into the Full Sail Hall of Fame. To be eligible, they have to be a graduate of at least 10 years or more. Also, they have to give back to the school by sharing their time with the students; mentoring students, coming to guest speak at the school, and create opportunities for students outside of school. Along with the Full Sail University Hall of Fame induction, they host a week long full of events that include keynote speakers, panels on topics related to the schools degrees, workshops, live music, and much more. It’s Full Sail University’s version of SXSW. It’s one of my favorite events that I’ve attended.

Phil Pallen is a graduate from the Full Sail University Masters of Entertainment Business program. It hasn’t been quite 10 years yet, but Phil is a true ROCK STAR at this event. The entire week, he was part of several workshops, panels, keynotes, and mentoring sessions for the students during Full Sail University Hall of Fame week. He woke up extra early the day we recorded this podcast conversation, and it literally squeezed it in 30 minutes before a 90 minute keynote presentation he held that day. It’s a quick podcast episode full of great information on building a powerful brand. So in Phil’s words, I’ll “Shut Up,” and let’s listen to my conversation with Phil Pallen on building a powerful brand. Enjoy! 

Highlights from this Episode
What a brand and social media strategist is (7:15)
Phil’s most meaningful lesson to teach at Full Sail Hall of Fame 8 (9:55)
How to begin building your own brand (12:25)
What Phil looks for in a brand (14:20)
5 laws of Phil Pallen (16:15)
3 things you would never know about Phil (21:55)
Bad advice (24:45)
Thoughts on content creation (28:05)
Who comes to mind when Phil thinks of “successful” (30:25)
First and last 90 minutes of Phil’s day (31:00)
Making it to Phil (33:27) 

Quotes from Phil Pallen
“I had tangible skills when I left Full Sail.”
“Personal branding in 2011 is not what it is now.”
“I have a brain and a laptop that I got from Full Sail University.”
“I don’t care about your resume; I want to see your portfolio if you’re creative. I want to have a conversation with you.”
“I don’t care about your resume; I care about what you can do.”
“Resumes don’t get you hired, tangible skills do.”
“Why would I take on a project for a paycheck?”
“That’s the beauty of collaboration, the best ideas are born from the conversation and the dialog we share.”
“Photography is the biggest part in building your brand.”
“I’m a big fan of sub-branding.”
“Most advice on branding is ambiguous.”
“The worst advice comes from people who don’t know branding.”
“I’m not branding who I am now, I’m branding who I want to be.”
“Branding plus hard work will get you there.” 

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Chalene Johnson
Gary Jones
John Phelps  

Places & Things
Full Sail University
Book: Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi  

Get in Touch with Phil Pallen
Twitter | Instagram

Phil Pallen’s Definition of Making It
“Coming to the conclusion that freedom is more important than money.”

Michael Yerke - President of House of Blues and Live Nation Talent Discusses What Makes a Great Talent Buyer & Success in the Music Business

This episode is part 4 of our Talent Buyer series, and features President of House of Blues and Live Nation Talent, Michael Yerke. Our Talent Buyer series has featured many great conversations so far such as Wayne Lee former Talent Buyer for the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Dan Larson from Okeechobee Festival, and Allen Anders with AEG Live in Dallas, TX.

Michael Yerke got his start booking shows in Chicago, IL at a club called the Cubby Bear in Chicago, IL. His journey with Live Nation began with a pick up Basketball game with Kevin Morrow (CEO of Artist Management firm and label Steel Wool, and former Live Nation Executive). After a few years at House of Blues in Chicago, Michael’s journey took him to Los Angeles to work for Live Nation where he eventually became the President of House of Blues and Live Nation Talent. In this conversation, we discuss Michael Yerke’s journey in the music business, what makes a great Talent Buyer, his passion for Basketball, the incredible Ones to Watch program from Live Nation, and much more.

Highlights from this episode:
How Michael Yerke got started in the music industry (6:10)
First moment when Michael Yerke knew he wanted to work in this industry (9:45)
How to work your way up in a company like Live Nation (16:30)
A breakdown on the “Ones to Watch” (23:35)
How Michael Yerke manages his busy schedule (26:50)
Mentors and influential people thus far (33:35)
What “Making It” means to Yerke (39:50)

Quotes from Michael Yerke
“Our company is for someone who is hardworking, smart, and puts in the time and effort.”
“It comes down to hard work, putting in time and effort, and that isn’t just in the office. It’s going to shows and networking too”
“You choose your spots”
“If you’re someone people can’t get a response from, they’re going to find somebody else.”
“Responding quickly, being diligent, working hard, and trying to look at your time management and get better”
“You need balance too; you can’t always work.”
“I’m not gonna say everyday is a perfect job but 98% of the time it’s great.:
“The industry has never been boring.”
“If it’s not enjoyable, it’d be a drag.”

Links to People, Places, and Things mentioned:

Kevin Morrow
Smashing Pumpkins
A Tribe Called Quest
George Clinton
Anderson Paak
Twenty One Pilots
Imagine Dragons
Michael Rapino
Sonny Schneidau

Cubby Bear
Wrigley Field
DePaul University
China Club
Aces of Spades Venue

Live Nation
House of Blues
Chicago Bulls
Full Sail University
Shaky Knees Festival
Ones to Watch

Michael Yerke on Making It:
“Being successful in my position and being happy doing it.”

Allen Anders - Talent Buying for AEG Live from South Florida to Dallas, TX and Radio to Music Festivals

Allen Anders is a Talent Buyer for AEG Live in Dallas, TX. AEG Live is one of the largest concert promoters in the world, owns and manages sports teams, and owns and operates live entertainment venues. He is a graduate from Full Sail University, and started his journey working for radio in Orlando, FL. Eventually Allen Anders moved on to work for AEG Live in the Southeast office under the mentorship of John Valentino. In Dallas, Allen Anders started the Off the Rails Country Music Festival in the home of FC Dallas (the MLS Soccer Team). The inaugural festival included Blake Shelton, Erich Church, Sam Hunt, Eric Young, and many more.

This conversation is episode three of the Talent Buyer series which also includes podcasts with Dan Larson of Okeechobee Music Festival, and Wayne Lee from New Orleans, LA who booked for Tipitina’s and House of Blues. This episode is part one of two with Allen Anders.

I first met Allen Anders during my time at The Plaza Live in Orlando, FL. He was one of the Talent Buyers that booked shows for us from our partnership with the AEG Live Southeast office. Allen has been a mentor and friend for many years now. This is a really great conversation in which we talk about his story and journey through the music business, his role with AEG Live, about AEG Live, Dallas, TX, and much more.

Highlights from this episode
Allen’s journey from Philly (6:13)
Buyers in office (15:00)
What is AEG (15:45)
AEG’s culture (18:35)
Allen’s experience in Dallas (19:19)
Markets in Dallas (21:15)
The joys of booking shows (24:00)
Allen’s average week (26:10)
Advice for creating Artist Relations (29:50)
Allen’s daily routine (32:05)
Go to spots in Dallas (34:50)
Allen’s involvement in Off the Rails Country Music Festival (37:17)
First album bought and concert attended (49:10)
How the journey into country music began (51:31)
Mentors in Allen’s past (55:35)
Talent buyer boot camp (58:30)
What makes a good Talent Buyer (1:04:30)
Venues AEG looks to book (1:06:42)
How AEG makes the call on what locations to book in. (1:09:25) 

Quotes from Allen Anders
“You have to pick and choose, you have to take the higher risk.”
“At the end of the day we all have jobs to do.”
“You have to take it all seriously. You have to respect the industry.”
“Don’t talk to them (artist) about stuff they don’t want to talk to you about.”
“Be honest, be yourself.”
“I live and breath this industry.”
“Find what you’re good at and do it. It doesn’t have to be cool or hip.”
“You gotta be diverse, get an internship.”
“Take advantage of every opportunity.”
“Take the internship, nothing it too good for you.”
“Find the right people, get to know them, be yourself.”
“It’s very personality driven, we’re all fucking weirdos.” 

Links to people, places, and things mentioned:

Travis Barker
Tom Miserendino
 Jimmy Buffet
Ed Sheeran
Blake Shelton
Eric Church
Jason Aldean
Dirks Bentley
Bouncing Souls
Smashing Pumpkins
Pink Floyd
Luke Bryan
John Valentino
Air Supply

Places and Things:
Off the Rails Country Music Festival
The Plaza Live
Full Sail University
Star R&B
Live Nation
Staples Center
LA Lakers
Stagecoach Festival
Hangout Festival
Verizon Theater
Elm St. Tattoos
LockHeart BBQ
Billy Bob’s Texas  
Tortuga Festival
The Barn
Mavericks Live

Dan Larson - Traversing the Spectrum of Talent Buying and Promoting Shows from Okeechobee Festival, Performing Arts Centers, and Clubs

Get ready to go on the journey of many different worlds of a Talent Buyer. Dan Larson, Talent Buyer and Marketing Director for Okeeechobee Festival, covers several spectrums of promoting shows. He is an individual with big goals and big visions. His experience ranges from promoting concerts from small and mid-sized clubs to performing arts centers and to a major festival. His journey began with an angry letter to a performing arts center complaining about the talent they book (he shares this story in this podcast). Dan has built a career of giving back to local and independent artists, spreading positivity and seeing the best in people, and has truly made the music business a lifestyle.

To add a little context, we recorded this podcast at the Beacham in Downtown Orlando, FL. It was during sound check of a show Dan Larson was promoting there that day, Road to Okeechobee Fest, a Battle of the Bands for a slot at this major event. He covers the story behind this series of events in this conversation as well. You may hear a little bit or a lot of bass in the background from sound check. In this podcast, Dan Larson covers so many great stories from his journey, his philosophies and much more. This was the second time I met Dan, and him and his co-worker/friend, Carlos, were really great people to hang out with. The concert was a ton of fun; a band called Gary Lazer Eyes, won the round for Orlando, and will be representing my hometown at Okeechobee Fest in 2017.

About this Episode:
With this podcast conversation we feature episode 2 of our Talent Buyer series, and features Dan Larson. Dan is the Talent Buyer and Marketing Director for Okeechobee Festival located in Okeechobee, Florida. During the time of this interview in 2017, it was the second annual Okeechobee festival. A festival which they sold out in its inaugural year. The 2017 edition of the festival featured artists such as Kings of Leon, Usher with The Roots, Bassnectar, The Lumineers, Wiz Khalifa, and many more. Dan was the first Program Direct/Talent Buyer for Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando, FL. He has also owned and run his own venue in St. Augustine. In this conversation we talk about how he got started in the music business, his journey, what you can expect out of Okeechobee Fest, insight on promoting concerts, and much more.

Highlights from this episode:
Journey to Okeechobee Festival (8:50)
What Okeechobee Festival is all about (15:10)
Dan’s journey (18:35)
Mentors in Dan’s life (23:24)
Advice for starting a venue (25:00)
Learning how to negotiate (27:30)
Battle of the bands explained (29:37)
First person who comes to mind when successful is mentioned (35:00)
Advice for the starving promoter (37:25)
Recommended conferences (39:35)
Dan’s journey to Dr. Phillips (42:55)
Challenges Dan Faces (45:15)
Dan’s most absurd moments as a talent buyer (47:25)
Lessons learned from obstacles (49:05)
Most inspiring moments (50:20)
Facebook questions from followers (53:00)
Favorite and first album Dan bought (57:20)
Advice to the aspiring student (57:45)
Dan’s biggest needs right now (59:40)
Making it to Dan (1:02:00)

Quotes from Dan Larson:
“I’m not saying go write nasty emails, but it worked for me.”
 “If there was a place for like minded people in the industry, who know more than I do, I would go and I would meet them.”
 “Network with people who are doing similar things and talk about artist.”
“Mentors are training wheels to these things.”
 “Do what you say, say what you’re gonna do.”
“Rather than quantity when you’re an indie promoter make it about quality.”
“When you build that relationship with that band, that band wants you to succeed because you helped them.” 
“When you’re the go to guy, you get the acts.”
“When you partner with someone you’re fucking married.”
 “If you can find a way to love music you can find a way to love each other.

Links to people places and things mentioned: 

Cliff Rosen
Steve Sybesma
Bill Graham
Paul Peck
Hall and Oates
My Morning Jacket
Alabama Shakes
R Kelly
Billy Idol
Johnathon Mayers
Kings of Leon
George Clinton
 Smashing Pumpkins
Whoopi Goldberg
Bob Dylan
Death Cab For Cutie
Dave Chappelle
Vampire Weekend
Modest Mouse
Band of Horses
Steve Janicky
 Kevin Stone
 Lil Dicky

Places and Things:
Okeechobee Festival
Okeechobee Line-Up
Bonnaroo Festival
The Rolling Stones
Live Nation
Outside Lands
St Augustine Amphitheater
Dr.  Phillips Center
Burning Man
Eastern Florida State College
Maxwell C. King Center
Foundation Presents
The Fillmore East
The Social
Jax Live
House of Blues

930 Club
Celebrity Access
Reverb Nation
The Beacham
Hard Rock Live
Ruth Eckered Hall
Billions Agency 

Get in touch with Dan Larson:

Dan Larson on Making It:
“Making it is finding a dream, pursuing that dream, and staying persistent until that dream is a reality.”

Wayne Lee - Journey of a Legendary New Orleans Talent Buyer for Tipitina's and House of Blues

One series comes to a close, and another begins with my conversation with Wayne Lee. This is the final episode of the New Orleans series, but also the first episode of the Talent Buyer series. Yes, this one is a double header. Wayne Less is New Orleans native and one of its legendary Talent Buyers. He’s a true staple to the New Orleans music scene. His journey began in 1999 when he became the assistant under Sonny Schneidau at House of Blues in New Orleans. Throughout his journey, Wayne Lee has also worked at Live Nation in California after which he returned to House of Blues New Orleans for another year, prior to booking for the legendary Tipitina’s.

When I first moved to New Orleans to work at House of Blues, I actually saw more shows at Tipitina’s for the first two months of living there. It truly is a magical place with endless amounts of history, and a stage graced by many of the biggest stars in music. In this conversation, Wayne Lee shares stories from some of his favorite shows, lessons from his journey, advice to being a Talent Buyer, and many stories of some of the great artists from New Orleans. This was a really fun conversation, and a great way to merge two series’ in one. Enjoy episode #022 of Making It with Chris G.

Highlights from the Episode:
Lee describes what a Talent Buyer is (6:25)
Beginnings in the industry (7:30)
What makes talent buyers stand out (9:25)
Lessons learned from a corporate structure (10:30)
First and favorite bands Lee booked (12:15)
Lee’s experience working with Trombone Shorty (14:20)
Brief Jazz Festival description (15:15)
Lees favorite Jazz Festival lineup he has booked (15:35)
Favorite Jazz Festival moments (17:20)
Lessons Lee learned from his mentorship with Sonny S. (18:30)
What someone interested in talent buying should know (20:30)
Lee’s mentors (23:40)
Advantage of living where the industry is (25:15)
How Lee balances a busy life (27:00)
Stories about Mark from H.O.B (28:55)
Ideal Path for the aspiring Talent Buyer (30:00)
Places to visit in NOLA (32:00)
Story behind Longhair (35:25)
Lee’s influences (38:10)
Favorite Allen Toussaint stories (40:10)
First ‘Holy Shit’ moment (42:00)
Evolution of deals (45:40)
Ways to build relationships between promoters and agents (49:15)
Biggest challenge with agents (52:40)
Biggest misconception of a talent buyer (53:45)
Rapid fire questions (55:00)
Making it to Wayne Lee (1:02:05)

Quotes from Wayne Lee:
“Sometimes it’s not about what you like, it’s about what they like.”
“Be flexible and functional”
“Not every band is the same. Not every agent is the same. “
“Don’t just worry about the headliner, make sure the support act is taken care of.”
“Learn the players and who you’re dealing with. Don’t take the shortcut.”
“Establish good artist-management-agent relationships.”
“Try not to use your own money.”
“You’re never off when you have your phone.”
“You gotta do face time. Shake hands and kiss babies”
“It’s a fun gig if you love it, but you have to love it.”
“Be professional and be prepared”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned:
Sonny Schneidau  
Trombone Shorty
Rebirth Brass Band
Big Sams Funky Nation
Lenny Kravitz
JJ Grey & Mofro
Lettuce Funk
The Greyboy Allstars
Michael Jackson
The Soul Rebels
Dr.John the Night Tripper
Nora Jones
John Mayer
Linkin Park
Kevin Morrow
Mark Roberts
Neville Brothers
Kermit Ruffins
Louis Armstrong
Professor Longhair
James Andrews
Allen Toussaint
Stephen Marley
Stevie Wonder
Bob Marley
Fats Domino
Lil Wayne

Places & Things:
House of Blues  
Springhill University
Live Nation
Jazz Festival  
Civic NOLA
Preservation Hall
Maple Leaf Bar
Tipitina's Foundation   

“Making it” to Wayne Lee:
“Being able to survive. If you wake up and you’re happy Continue to build on your knowledge and at the end of the day you can look back and say ‘hey that’s pretty cool!’ “

Jeff B. - A Pioneer of the New Orleans Hip-Hop Scene, Venue Owners, Event Promoter, and Artist Manger

This is episode 4 of 5 in our New Orleans series featuring one of the New Orleans Hip-Hop scene pioneers, Jeff B. He first got his start in the music business working as a radio host at Tulane University college station being one of the first to host a weekly Hip-Hop show on radio. Jeff B has always been entrepreneurial spirited, and after hosting shows on radio, he quickly took the shows to the clubs from hosting parties and concerts. Eventually he opened his own venue in New Orleans called The Maison on the historic Frenchman Street. Now he also owns the venues Hi-Ho Lounge and Dragons Den in New Orleans. Jeff B is also the manager for the artist Mannie Fresh.

I first met Jeff B. during my time at House of Blues New Orleans from 2012 to 2015. I had the privilege of working many events with Jeff B. at House of Blues from weekly parties and concerts. In this conversation we talk about his start in the New Orleans hip-hop scene, to his entrepreneurial journey, owning venues, putting on events, management, and much more. When I arrived in New Orleans, I was surrounded by a ton of mentors not just within Live Nation, but also with some of the partners that we got to work with. Jeff B. was one of those partners, and has taught me a ton on entrepreneurship, negotiating, and building relationships. He’s one of the leaders in the New Orleans entertainment scene, and in this episodes he shares many awesome stories and wisdom with you to help you get one step closer to Making It.

Highlights from the episode:
Jeff’s experience in radio (6:30)
Preview of Jeff’s professional life (13:20)
The come up pf New Orleans hip-hop scene (18:35)
Experience with Cash Money Records (20:50)
Advice for someone getting into the music industry/promotion (22:15)
Journey to working with Mannie Fresh (24:00)
Details on Mannie Fresh’s live show (26:38)
Jeff’s future roster expansions (27:55)
Greatest challenges of an Artist Manager (28:15)
Best thing to do for artist managers in uncomfortable situations (30:00)
Jeff’s team (32:15)
Jeff’s journey into owning venues (33:30)
Details of Jeff’s venue the Maison (38:30)
Lessons from Sonny Schneidau (39:45)
Biggest challenge of venue owning in NOLA (44:00)

How Jeff makes his venues unique (45:32)
History of Frenchman St. (47:00)
How Jeff stays sane with a hectic schedule (49:25)
Good Elements for building a management team (50:10)
Advice for college students wanting to pursue the music industry (52:55)
Skills to look for in young industry professionals (54:33)
Favorite concert (57:00)
Starting all over again (1:01:22)
Making it to Jeff B. (1:01:50)

Quotes from Jeff B:
“Get many checks from many places”
“It’s not business most of the time. It’s tough. You have to have a real passion for it and you have to work at it”
“Operate under the assumption that you want to do long-term business”
“Karma is a motherfucker. Am I allowed to say motherfucker?”
“Sometimes you have to work a 9-5 job to get to the point that your art supports you.”
“It’s important to convince an artist that they have to understand what’s going on. They have to educate themselves.”
“Make sure the artist isn’t the asshole. You have to take that role.”
“Keep a level head, keep your cool, keep emotion out of it.”
If you’re in management you have to have a team around you.”
“You want to know all you can know.”
“Get out there and know your market. Get out there and network. Make connections.”
“If you don’t know how to delegate you can’t grow.”
“Go get internships. The doors are open for you.”
“Just because it’s your way doesn’t mean it’s the only way.”

Links to people and things mentioned:
Nothing but Jams - Q93
Tulane University
WTUL - 91.5  
Kid Capri  
Strech Armstrong  
Public Enemy  
Beastie Boys
Kool Moe D
Big Daddy Kane
Jungle Brothers  
Tribe Called Quest
Main Source  
Grandmaster Flash  
University of Pittsburg  
WPTS hip hop show
Gavin Reports
Hits Daily Double  
Leaders of the New School  
Jimmys Music Club
Elektra Records  
Busta Rhymes  
The Maison   
Dragons Den  
Hi-ho Lounge  
DJ Mannie Fresh  
Bigboy Records  
DJ Jubilee  
Cash Money Records  
Jive Records  
Russel Simmons  
Rick Ruben  
Snoop Dogg
Rebirth Brass Band  
Ballers Ball
Cheeky Blakk
Mia X
Voodoo Festival  
Gucci Mane
Dallas Davidson   
Rick Ross  
Lil Uzi Vert  
Big Sean  
Hard Festival  
Wax Motif  
House of Blues  
Sonny Schneidau  
Live Nation
Jazz Festival  
Bowery Group  
Essence Fest  
Mardi Gras  
Frenchmen Street  
Bourbon Street  
Stevie Wonder  
Jerry Seinfeld  
Hannibal Buress  

How to contact Jeff B.

Making It to Jeff B:
“If you’re happy, you have good friends and good family, and you can eat when you need to eat, It’s making it. “