EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Leslie x Future Music Biz Scholars Roundtable

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Authors:Rhonda Elnaggar, Clark Kennedy 

Editor: Danny Quick

Ryan Leslie - the Grammy nominated artist, producer and business mogul is practicing philanthropy to the highest extent. He’s giving back to the millions of independent music entrepreneurs, aspiring to make their entry into the industry. How, you’d might ask? Through his newly launched Future Music Biz Scholars Roundtables (#FMBS), hosted by the man himself - in the flesh.

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HYPEFRESH staff had the exclusive opportunity to attend the 4th event on February 22nd, which took place in the heart of Manhattan at Alley NYC, NY. A select group of artists, musicians, songwriters, managers and label owners, were in attendance, for their personal opportunity to engage Leslie with questions and challenges they face.

When Leslie walked in the building, he introduced himself politely, and opened the floor to the class to do the same. When all introductions were finished, he immediately kickstarted the conversation by sharing his personal testimonial about the keys to making it in the beast called the music buisness. The discussion covered a vast array of topics, from the concepts of building a business, to ideas ranging from finance, down to execution and strategy.

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And to be perfectly honest, Mr. Leslie did a remarkable job in educating the class on a number of effective tactics and strategies. Heck, even HYPEFRESH staff learned a few pointers, which were highly applicable between various industries.

Consistency is the most valuable piece to your success in any industry,” says Leslie, who casually sat in front of the class. “If you are not consistent in delivering new material and content daily, or even weekly, your businesses will not thrive in the way you want it to do so.” Leslie proceeded further - “Quality, especially of content is extremely important as well, if not THE most vital aspect to any company.”

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As the event progressed, Leslie opened the floor to the attendees. Many hands were raised, and a number of discussion ensued. Leslie navigated through a flurry of questions from the class, which all seemed to point towards the application of the newfound knowledge to their businesses.

It was at this point, and with appropriate timing, that Leslie unveiled his secret weapon. "Let me introduce everyone to DMM, which is short for Disruptive Multimedia." The classroom froze still, silenced and amazed at what their eyes we’re seeing.

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Mr. Leslie explained that this platform, is the ultimate investment for any independent music venture. By taking the middle man out of the equation, which in this case, is the record label, each artist has full control over their destiny. This is only possible when given the appropriate tools for success.

After Leslie left his major record deal, he wanted to create a way to help independent artists around the world, starting with himself.

When the Roundtable ended, many handshakes, pictures and farewells took place. Everyone left satisfied and enlightened to their newfound options. But the big question still remained for HYPEFRESH - what was the inspiration behind the direction of this platform?

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“I’m not only the client, I’m the player president,” said Leslie in an exclusive interview with HYPEFRESH. “I’m living everything that I’m teaching, I’m living everything that I’m expressing.”

“At the end of the day, this is just for artists that want to win, who actually want to make a career out of their music, without sacrificing a major portion of their upside by signing to a traditional record deal,” said Director of Growth Marketing for DMM, Danny Quick.

Through the technology platform that is DMM, artists can directly communicate with fans, ask them to buy their album or simply say “thank you.” They can also track where they have the most fans, by seeing the regions and cities where customers are supporting them the most.

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A lot of artists think that they win when they get a major record deal. And in many cases, maybe they do. However, time and time again, we’ve heard of artists sacrificing artistic integrity because of what a label believes they should be. Or often losing a significant amount of their proceeds due to the contract they have signed with that label. TLC would have made a lot more money if DMM was around during their time.

Artists are currently catching on to the wave. To date, DMM has worked with multiple artists including CEO Ryan Leslie (of course), 50 Cent, Nipsey Hussle, Jasmine Villegas and more.

As the platform grows it will continue to innovate the way fans and artists interact, and recreate the face of the ever evolving music business.

All thanks to a Roundtable discussion.


* You can find all information about the next Roundtable at http://bit.ly/FMBSNYC or email Danny@dmm.fm for all inquiries

* You can learn more about Disruptive Multimedia at www.app.dmm.fm