What drove you to establish your own management company, and what continues to motivate you in this endeavor?
Sean: I chose to start my own management company after years working as a producer. I began producing and over time started getting more and more placements. While getting these placements, I realized I needed to know how to collect on them. I realized that Songtrust was a great platform and began using it. I also began teaching other producers how to collect their royalties and even began sending other producers beats out for opportunities that I had. I realized that I really enjoyed helping others get placements and decided to begin the journey of doing it professionally with my company. 
Kaine: I started my publishing company after years of being a producer and producing records for many big artists. I started assisting my friends that were producers with their paperwork and clearing records, and people just started coming to me to place records with artists & needing help clearing songs. I saw a demand in the marketplace for producers needing managers and took the plunge a year and a half ago.

With the dynamic shifts in the music landscape, particularly in hip-hop, how do you foresee the trajectory of management roles? Are there potential challenges or opportunities on the horizon?
Sean: The dynamic shifts in the industry definitely keep us on our toes. However, we are prepared to assist our team in whatever endeavor they feel would be beneficial to them. Like Kaine said, there will always be songs that need clearing and contracts that need examining. Also, the personal relationships that managers strive to build with others through countless hours of networking are unmatched. It can be hard to do all these things while focusing on producing. It is for this reason that I believe managers will never be “going out of style” so to speak. 
Kaine: I think managers will always be needed especially in the current economy of the industry. You can’t replace the need with tech because every situation is different. There’s always going to be songs that need to get cleared which require knowing the needs of your client personally, & there will always be songs getting placed which require human connection. There’s many opportunities in the field as well. The industry goes by and evolves  so fast that if you’re in the right spot, know the right people & have the right skills, you'll grow & evolve fast alongside the industry. 

Can you elaborate on the factors or signals you use to identify talented hip-hop producers? Additionally, how do you approach fostering their growth, both in terms of their personal development and musical skills?
Sean: Some of the qualities I look for include hard work and coachability. These are two very important qualities because they show us that a producer is ready to be part of a team. Since we are very team oriented we like to work with others who are willing to collaborate and even get out of their shell and make different genres of beats if need be. 
Kaine: There’s many factors to identify talented producers in any genre of music. One that’s big right now is someone that is doing something that the masses of producers aren’t doing, whether that’s them having a signature sound, or using sounds that aren’t commonly used to identify that producer. Another one is who they’ve been working with and how fast their growth curve regarding caliber of work has been. But if I’m being frank, if you have a great team behind you, any producer can be a billboard charting, award winning powerhouse.

What level of interaction do you maintain with major labels, and how does this collaboration typically function?
Kaine: We maintain contact with all major labels currently. Since we work with a large number of artists across labels, we keep in contact with the a&rs, engineers, managers, booking agents since we clear songs with multiple labels & multiple people at these labels multiple times a month. 

How do your individual qualities align with the responsibilities associated with the role of an artist manager?
Kaine and I have been successful thus far due to our similarities but also our differences. One of the best things about our partnership is our shared vision. When I mentioned starting a pub company, Kaine’s response was, “Let’s do it!” When we communicate we rarely discuss boundaries or limitations. In other words, the sky's the limit. This type of attitude is extremely important to have because there are lots of risks in business. Also, Kaine and I each focus on networking. We understand the value of relationships and are continually reaching out to other managers, A&R’s  and music executives. 

Would you be open to sharing the specifics of your typical daily schedule to provide a clearer understanding of the demands of your workload?
Kaine: Our day to day consists of:
Having our assistant check & respond emails and takedown requests for songs unpaid
Go through placement and networking opportunities for our teams and distribute accordingly
Multiple meetings with labels, lawyers, songwriters to network & establish a working relationship or follow up on things already in the works
Maintain contact with labels daily to make sure work is being compensated for & follow up on any projects we are apart of / working on
Send out our producers work to artists, engineers, managers for opportunities through our network  

All this leads to daily 12-16 hour days for us and our employees since our client base is worldwide across countries & time zones.

Could you explore the emotions and experiences involved in introducing a young producer to the industry, both from the producer's perspective and your role as a manager?
It is very overwhelming for a new producer who just got a big break/song and oftentimes these producers need guidance on how to navigate the industry. That’s where we come in. We handle the business on behalf of the producer, get them in certain rooms, and get their music out to a network they don’t necessarily have access to whether that’s certain artists, a&rs, engineers, etc.

Based on your experience, how does managerial support impact a producer's career trajectory?
Kaine: A manager is essential to a producer’s growth in the industry. Giving business direction & an established network that the producer can utilize is a big advantage over those who are without or doing everything by themselves. For example, we signed a producer from Russia, who needed help clearing songs and securing placements. A month into us working together & us guiding and helping him with the business side & networking the producer got a song with Lil Durk, Future, & Lil Baby. It’s all about who knows you in this industry, and having a manager is one way to fast track your success.

Can you shed light on the factors that contributed to the establishment of your relationships with major artists and labels?
Kaine: It’s all about being genuine with people especially with how the industry is today. Everyone’s just looking to feed off one another and not necessarily add value, if you just be a genuine person & add value to these artists & labels etc you can have a lasting career and create yourself a huge network pool of people. 

What are your aspirations for your managerial pursuits and the Academy? Additionally, could you outline any personal goals you've set for 2024?
Our goals for the management venture is to get as many plaques and #1s as possible. Some goals we have for the year are at least 4 #1 albums under management, & clear a grammy nominated album/song. Another big goal we are working towards would be to collect a million dollars in publishing payouts a quarter.

For those unfamiliar with the music industry, could you provide a concise explanation of the functions of a publishing company and its significance?
The significance of publishing companies lies in their ability to protect the rights of songwriters, manage the complex business aspects of music rights, and generate income streams from the commercial use of music. We play a crucial role in ensuring that songwriters are fairly compensated for their creative work and in facilitating the widespread distribution and use of music across various platforms and media.

How does the collaboration between management and the publishing company operate?
Our process is like a pipeline. Most of the producers we manage we bring on to publishing as well, so essentially everything is inhouse and a full stop service.

Are there artists and producers associated with the new company?
Yes, we have producers that have worked with Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Durk, Tory Lanez, Future, Lil Baby, NBA Youngboy, and many more associated as well as engineers for  major artists signed to us as well.

Do you engage with larger publishing houses or maintain independence in your collaborations?
Yes we do engage with larger publishing companies and have a working relationship with them.

What critical considerations did you have in mind when founding your company?
The main critical considerations were if we were going to go the independent route or partner with an already established record label. We had a lot of offers for joint ventures and partnerships from many labels of all sizes, and we ended up going with Missing Link Music as a partner on the publishing side. Their terms and what they offered was just steller compared to the rest of our options, and it just made sense.

Do you have specific individuals in mind that you plan to include in your future publishing endeavors, or have you already secured agreements with the initial roster of artists?
Things are moving very fast for us, we already have around 20-30 producers in negotiations for publishing.
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