episode 13: The Founders of Rap Genius

Tom Lehman (left) Mahbod Moghadam (center)   Ilan Zechory (right)

Tom Lehman (left) Mahbod Moghadam (center)
Ilan Zechory (right)

One October night in 2009 Mahbod Moghadam, Tom Lehman, & Ilan Zechory found themselves deep in an analytical discussion about some verses by rapper Cam’ron. That night they brainstormed an idea to widen the conversation beyond the living room to the internet and created RapGenius.com, a unique website that allows users to annotate specific lines of lyrics with explanations, graphics and videos. 

Filling the void left by the swarm of inferior, pop-up ad-riddled lyric sites and creating a new model, Rap Genius surged in popularity and soon caught the eye of superangel venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, investors of Twitter. Discover how Rap Genius plans to use their fifteen million dollar underwriting to grow the company beyond rap lyrics to include other genres and disciplines such as art, poetry, law, religious studies, and politics —  turning Rap Genius into the world’s primary repository for information and the net’s most heavily trafficked website. They’ve got 99 problems but lack of ambition ain’t one. Listen to the exclusive interview, only on Between the Liner Notes.

episode 12: Larry Mills

Although Larry Mills has worn many hats in the music industry, his career has always focused on the success of independent artists. At age 22 he founded Atlanta based Steam Records which issued early releases by Lisa Loeb and Rusted Root. He then expanded his reach by founding Autonomous Records, helping bands like Sister Hazel and Creed penetrate markets throughout the southeastern United States. Next, he entered into music licensing as VP of Marketing and Partnerships for the trailblazing music licensing company Pump Audio and later becoming the first-ever VP of Strategic Marketing for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Mills' current company Music Media Advisors works with We Are the Hits to monetize user-generated content on YouTube.

Listen to this exclusive interview as Larry discusses his experiences in the industry trenches and shares the valuable insights he has gleaned from running two indie labels, empowering indie artists to license their music, and helping YouTube teen stars earn an income from singing cover songs in their living room. Only on Between The Liner Notes.

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episode 11: Mantis Evar

From his humble beginnings of working in the mailroom of Capitol Records to hanging with Willie Nelson in the back of his tour bus, Mantis Evar’s career in the music industry could be a movie script. Hear Mantis describe how his knowledge and love of music, musicians, studio gear, and marketing took him from the mail room to co-founding the innovative online musician’s community Indaba Music.

Evar tells of singing songs with Kenny Loggins and Arif Mardin in the Blue Note offices, of how leaving an anonymous note on label head Bruce Lundvall’s chair turned the company around, of introducing Willie Nelson to a then new and unknown artist named Norah Jones, and much more. Exclusively on Between the Liner Notes.

episode 10: Stephen O’ Regan – Balcony TV

In 2006, on a rare sunny day in Dublin IrelandBalconyTV co-founder Stephen O’ Regan and his flatmates cleaned off their under-used balcony to begin staging live music performances there, sharing them via their website. The clips went viral and soon emails arrived from all around the world with requests to produce balcony performance videos in their home cities.

6 years, 7,600 videos, and over 30 million views later BalconyTV has spread to 35 cities across the globe, with artists ranging from Mumford & Sons to regional phenomena-gone-platinum like Dublin’s The Script. Listen to this exclusive interview as Stephen O’ Regan tells the story of how BalconyTV itself became a phenomenon, and what he sees for its future. Only on Between the Liner Notes.

episode 9: Moses Avalon

After witnessing many artists get scammed by the music industry, Moses Avalon withdrew from his lucrative career as a music producer to reinvent himself as an artists’ rights advocate. Skipping the often vague legalese, he penned the groundbreaking book Confessions of a Record Producer explaining the intricacies and pitfalls of the music business in language musicians could understand. Moses is now one of the leading industry experts in the world.

Listen to this exclusive interview as he shares his outspoken opinions about the state of the record business, the longevity of the compact disc360 degree record contracts, the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills, and more.  Only on Between the Liner Notes.

Moses Avalon website
Confessions of a Record Producer
Other books by Moses Avalon
MyRecord Deal: iPhone app for calculating recording contract royalty rates