10 years ago I was on a trajectory to enter the C-suite of a company that was operating in an industry that I’ve long since lost interest in.
In 2012, I was abruptly laid off of my job after the company I worked for acquired another company and let go of employees in duplicate/similar roles.
In that moment I was devastated. I loved the work that I did and enjoyed my co-workers.
I used the opportunity of becoming unemployed to attend graduate school at CSUN Music Industry Administration to earn a Masters Degree in Music Industry Administration. Simultaneously, I bet on myself by investing $1,000 into developing my first tech startup. Yes, I racked up over $50k in student loan debt, but partially due to my education, I was able to get my company acquired and paid off all of my debt, including the student loans.
Since then, I’ve earned industry-wide recognition for my work and research, I became an educator at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music teaching a class on a topic that I’m deeply passionate about (music industry entrepreneurship), I’ve built and sold 3 tech startups in the music industry, and I’ve championed initiatives for and advocated on behalf of music creators’ rights.
There were definitely some setbacks, but I bounced back and charged forward into my purpose.
When I was derailed from my journey in 2012, just a few weeks shy of being unable to pay my rent or my car lease, I leaned into my passion and bet that my ambition was greater than failure.
Whatever you’re going through in your professional life right now, know that it is not your end. It may very well be the exit or pivot you need to a better future.
Here’s an interview that I did in September 2012 about my transition from being laid off to becoming a music tech founder.
DJs, You’re next! 😊
After 10+ years of building software to help recording artists, songwriters, composers, lyricists, background vocalists, session musicians, independent labels, and music publishers with their music copyrights and royalties; and on the back of helping thousands of the aforementioned administer thousands of copyrights while unlocking tens of millions of dollars in royalties, it’s time to turn my attention to another group of underserved music creators: DJs
There are over 13,000 DJs in the United States and over 56,000 DJs around the world.
There are more DJ/Producers collaborating with independent music creators and influencers than ever before, and DJ/Producers creating new expressions of original music and derivative works for which they often undervalue and underrepresent their own rights and entitlements (that’s if they’re even aware of their entitlements).
I entered the music industry in 2008, while a senior at UCLA, when I formed Renaissance Artist Management (RAM Artist) and began representing DJs, DJ/Producers, and DJ/Remixers. From local up-and-coming DJs to GRAMMY-nominated festival DJs, I’ve had the pleasure of advising, representing, educating, and collaborating with DJs of all walks of life.
Over the past few years, I’ve been privately advising a number of DJ/Producers on their business and careers. From helping to clear samples, to advising remix negotiations, to pitching mix sets to DJ playlists, to web3 experiences (metaverse and NFTs), to setting the music rights administration plan for collaborations on original songs I’ve been having fun guiding and advising a small group of DJ friends.
Now, I’m looking to my next side project: DJ Music Rights
If you’re a DJ/Producer or represent a DJ/Producer, sign up to be the first to know about my forthcoming side project at http://www.djmusicrights.com
I am extremely proud 😁 to announce the launch of a game-changing program that I’ve been championing and developing at The Mechanical Licensing Collective for over 2 years:
The MLC’s Distributor Unmatched Recordings Portal (DURP) is a first-of-its-kind portal that enables independent music distributors to, for the first time, view the recordings they’ve distributed to digital music services (e.g. Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google, Pandora, Tidal) that may be accruing unclaimed digital audio mechanical royalties for artists and songwriters.
After 12+ years of representing and advising music creators, advocating for music creators, and empowering music creators with education and resources to protect their copyrights and unlock royalties, I am thrilled to offer independent music distributors a tool to help music creators claim millions of dollars in unclaimed royalties from over 2 million unmatched recordings at The MLC.
I would like to thank DURP beta users Believe, TuneCore, CD Baby, Symphonic Distribution, EMPIRE, Vydia, and Repost by SoundCloud for their support and early feedback.
Music distributors can learn more, register for our upcoming info webinar, and request access to DURP at http://www.durp.themlc.com.