Drop The MIC: Music Industry Conversations

Drop The MIC

Drop The MIC: Music Industry Conversations is a podcast hosted by students at Stanford University looking to discover the ins and outs of the music business. Tune in each week to hear a new team of students learn about aspects of the industry ranging from Record Labels to Touring, Marketing to Songwriting, and so much more, straight from some of the most established individuals who have spent their careers making the music we all know and love.

All Episodes

From voice memo to release day, emerging artists Jereena Montemayor and Pretty Boy Aaron deep-dive into their creative process, sharing the songs and stories that have shaped their journey to date.

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May 14

44 min 44 sec

In addition to the obvious necessity of a repertoire of musical talents and skills, an artist will benefit from an arsenal of professionals. Through our conversations with Doug Mark, an entertainment attorney, Liv Seltzer, an artists and repertoire consultant, Miranda Martell, Chief Growth Officer at Quadio Records, and Abir Hossain, VP of Quadio Records we will reveal how these professionals support an artist. 

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May 11

31 min 31 sec

Success as a songwriter in the music industry requires collaboration. Our guests today will talk about what it looks like when you've found the right people to work with. We’ll be hearing from Gracie and Lawrence Clyde from Lawrence the band, Braxton Cook, Christian Kuria, Zach Fogarty, and Michael Uzowuru. Songs included in this episode: "Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me?" and "It's Not All About You" - Lawrence"Don't Wanna See You" - Braxton Cook"Too Good" - Christian Kuria"Power Freaks" - Jean Dawson"Drift" - ChokerTheme music composed by Charlie Kogen. 

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May 7

58 min 3 sec

What puts a tour into motion? In this podcast episode, we sat down with live music and touring experts Kaleb Herbel-Eisenmann (Artist Manager at Abstract MGMT), Darius Zelkha (Artist Manager/Marketing Partnerships at Brilliant Corners Artist Management), and Danielle Zucchini (National Marketing Manager for Live Nation) to discuss the mechanics of mid-cap, domestic tours in North America. Tune in to see how a tour is created, from initial planning and marketing, to being on the road, and everything in between.

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May 4

40 min

In this episode, we’re talking with Kyle Frenette, who previously was the long-time manager of the band Bon Iver. Throughout his successful and multi-faceted career in the music industry, Kyle has been involved in many different ventures including artist management, starting a record label to promote the local music scene, and political activism--even running for Congress. We’ll hear Kyle’s take on what the most important skills are for a successful artist manager and how he applied his skills managing Bon Iver to other parts of his career including his latest chapter on empowering musicians to use their platforms to promote impactful causes.

Apr 30

30 min 44 sec

In this episode, we chat with Stanford alum Jose Serrano who manages emerging artists like Emery Kelley and Sybyr and rising artist Heidi Rolph-Statt about the role of streaming platforms in artists' careers. We discuss imbalances in pay, streaming and gender. 

Apr 27

32 min 18 sec

Building a business is hard. Building a business in the music industry is even harder. Artists and managers put their blood, sweat, and tears into their businesses, spending as many as 200 days at a time on the road. On this episode we hear from music industry executives, founders, and innovators telling us how they found their niches, how they built their businesses, and what advice they have for aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to enter the space.

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Apr 23

35 min 19 sec

In this episode of Stanford’s Drop the MIC podcast, we hear from A&R professionals spanning over 20 years of music industry history. We have Daouda Leonard, a tried and true vet who was part of the generation that christened the internet age of brand building. Alongside him we have Bekah Flynn, an A&R rep at an indie record label who saw the rise of streaming platforms during her career and has learned when to leverage the numbers, and when to rely on her intuition. Finally, we speak to Sam Kolton, a millennial A&R rep who brings a fresh perspective to her rosters with her mastery of music data and analytics that she sees as the future of the industry. By putting these three perspectives in conversation, we view the artist development world from a vantage point that gives us all the insights into the lifespan and history of A&R. 

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Apr 20

32 min 46 sec

Through the anecdotes and experiences of musician Mike Rocha, pianist and coder Dan Tepfer, investor Mike McGinley, and Stanford professor Chris Chafe, we delve into the impact and development of music collaboration technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our guests give us valuable insight into the pandemic’s lasting impact on the music industry.

Apr 16

44 min 14 sec

In this episode, game-changers Roneil Rumburg (Co-Founder and CEO of Audius), Elomida Visviki (Co-Founder and CEO of Weav Music), and Matt Block (Head of Production at Splice and Co-Founder of La Reserve) discuss the new paths they’ve created for artists to interact with fans. From creating equitable platforms for bedroom producers to inventing new technology, they’re redefining the nature of artist and audience.

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Apr 13

38 min 48 sec

This episode dives into the world of music streaming with interviews from Jay Troop, who works in Artist & Industry Insights at Pandora, Lyric Rains-Bury, an artist, producer, and student, and Shun Hendrix, recording R&B artist and actor. These three interviews touch on our guests' experiences distributing their music, using music analytic tools, and dives into their overall experiences on music streaming platforms. This episode features music from Ace, the Storyteller. 

Apr 8

44 min 46 sec

From new artists selecting their target audience, to well-known stars switching up their style, building, maintaining, and even re-working their brand is a major aspect of an artist’s time in the spotlight. In this episode, we speak with the founder of Daemon, a company that offers modern music marketing by implementing a holistic marketing strategy across disciplines, and with executives at Harbor Park Media Company, which provides tailored media and management services to artists. Listen to this episode to hear about their time in the music industry working with artists and carefully curating the perfect image.

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Apr 6

48 min 12 sec

In our first episode of Season 2, we catch up with songwriters Jamie Hartman and Sam Dixon to talk about their creative process, artist collaborations, and how those play out in the studio. Jamie Hartman co-wrote Rag’n’Bone Man’s hit single, “Human,” and has worked with Ellie Goulding, James Bay, Celeste and many others. Sam Dixon is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and producer whose songwriting credits include songs from Adele, SIA, and Christina Aguilera. Whether you are an aspiring artist or an avid music listener, we hope that this podcast will give you a glimpse into the world of music making.

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Apr 2

44 min 29 sec

In our exclusive bonus episode, we dive into conversations with the creators of Apple Music’s renowned Up Next program and managers of up-and-coming artist Gracie Abrams. Chris Hovsepian and JJ Corsini, the Senior Vice Presidents of Artist Development at Universal Music Group, reveal how they innovate and stay ahead of the curve while the music landscape changes at lightning speed. They also dig into how they championed stars-in-the-making through the Up Next program at Apple Music (Billie Eilish, Conan Gray, BENEE, Khalid, Juice WRLD, and more) and how artists today are changing the game. That’s a wrap on Season One!

Dec 2020

22 min 23 sec

Marketing and Branding is at the foundation of launching and maintaining a successful career in the music business. Top marketing experts such as Jesse Coolbroth (VP of Fan Engagement and Digital Marketing at Warner Records), Jon Romero (Head of marketing at Vector Management), and Erin Cooney (Marketing Director at Interscope Records) discuss the importance of designing and promoting an artist's brand.

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Nov 2020

49 min 57 sec

Pop singer and producer Clarissa Carter as well as Jack Seigenthaler and Henry Ingram of rock band Sloan Woolly describe their involvement in music during their time at Stanford and recall what it was like to dive into careers as musicians after their time at The Farm came to an end.

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Nov 2020

42 min 23 sec

Want to meet the former Stanford undergrad who brought The Grateful Dead to Frost Amphitheater in 1982? Tune into this episode which features Vinnie Freda, the Chief Data Officer of Warner Music Group and a proud Stanford alum, among other industry professionals like VP of A&R at Warner Records, Kate LaBrel.

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Nov 2020

1 hr 6 min

You’re in for an exclusive look at the art of music making. Hear from recording artist, Sun Kuma, manager of Leon Bridges and Carly Rae Jepsen, Jonathan Eshak, and Oscar winning and Grammy nominated engineer and producer, Daniel Roland. They each share their unique perspective into creating music and offer invaluable advice to aspiring artists looking to break into the music industry.

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Oct 2020

46 min 11 sec

In this episode, a team of Stanford students meet with industry professionals who have managed big-time artists like Jai Wolf, Cody Simpson, and Sandro Cavazza. They reveal the different pathways to becoming a manager, the keys to success as an artist manager, and share their hopes for the music industry post-Coronavirus.

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Oct 2020

37 min 43 sec

Two of country music's best songwriters, GRAMMY-nominated Angaleena Presley and rising star Hailey Whitters, share how the songwriting process works. Additionally, Angaleena and Hailey share a glimpse of the sheer grit required to start a career in Nashville and explore some of the ins and outs of the country music industry.

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Oct 2020

1 hr 6 min

This episode sheds light on the new age of live performance featuring the Biasha Mitchell, owner of music festival Hog Farm Hangout, and producer, DJ, and investor John Acquaviva.

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Oct 2020

42 min 31 sec

We have the pleasure of sharing advice from some of the most accomplished executives in the music business, including Phylicia Fant, Head of Urban Music at Columbia Records, Adam Ruehmer, Director of Fan Engagement and Digital Marketing at Warner Records, Mayur Gupta, former VP of growth and marketing at the streaming giant Spotify, Cameron Strang, former CEO of Warner Records and Warner/Chappell, and more! Let’s dive in to this exciting buffet of priceless knowledge from the professionals that have made it big in the music industry through marketing and branding.

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Sep 2020

48 min 19 sec

Greg Patterson, chief strategist at livestream company Veeps (formerly at Eventbrite), returns to the Podcast to break down the numbers of the domestic touring business while Arthur Fogel of Live Nation explains the detail-oriented process of taking artists like Beyoncé, Madonna, and Justin Timberlake around the globe. Bob Moczyslowsky of Techstars Music details how innovative technologies can revolutionize the concert-going experience for fans.

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Sep 2020

37 min 2 sec

We talk to the wizzes who manage Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey, Hailee Steinfeld, Conan Gray, Lauv, and more artists we all love. So, how do some of the music industry’s most successful managers build their artists’ careers while also building their own? We give you the inside scoop on the indsutry and a behind-the-scenes look at how they got their start in the biz.

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Sep 2020

46 min 7 sec

Stanford students dive into the early careers of indie staples Mac DeMarco, Mt. Joy, and Omar Apollo, following their journey of indie success through chats with their managers Michelle Cable, Jack Gallagher, and Dylan Shanks. We also find out exactly what it takes to manage small acts and take them from up-and-comers to huge successes ft. some valuable first-hand anecdotes and advice. 

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Sep 2020

47 min 51 sec

With live performances at the heart of the music industry and artist livelihood, we take a look at how musicians and venues (both virtual and physical) are adapting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to innovate and stay afloat. We dive into interviews with Greg Patterson, chief strategist at livestream company Veeps, two bandmates from creative indie band Sure Sure, and Justin Kantor who is the founder of the venue Le Poisson Rouge in NYC and VP of the National Independent Venue Association.

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Aug 2020

36 min 11 sec