Musician Adam Hamilton- From L.A. Guns to Vanilla Ice to William Shatner

Adam Hamilton is an accomplished, well-rounded musician who was discovered by C.C. Deville from Poison, and was the former bass guitarist for L.A. Guns.  He’s worked with everyone from Angie Stone to Vanilla Ice to William Shatner, who he continues to work with on a regular basis.  Hamilton also owns and operates Palm Ranch Studios in LA.

Additionally, Adam has an endless list of film and TV credits, as his music has appeared everywhere from The Bourne Identity to Saturday Night Live to The Simpsons. We delve deep into publishing and Adam breaks down the pay structure and benefits of placing your music in film, TV, commercials, and more.  This is a great episode for any aspiring musicians or artists, and especially anyone interested in publishing (which should be all musicians and artists).

Show Notes:

1:53 Having to fight for your credits
8:36 The only musician to work with William Shatner and Vanilla Ice
9:26 The importance of moving to LA
12:53 C.C. DeVille from Poison gave Adam his first big shot
13:34 Taking advantage of opportunities immediately
19:49 The positive effects of getting sober
22:48 Breaking down the business of publishing and TV/ Film placements
32:53 Don’t ever sign a contract without having a lawyer reviewing it
35:02 Being kind pays
36:58 William Shatner’s motto is “say yes to everything”
42:53 You are the company you keep
43:29 Adam never had a backup plan
45:00 You can turn a number of tools into multiple income streams
48:00 Putting stressful situations into perspective and solving them one step at a time

Check out this episode!

Music Entrepreneur Dame Ritter- Always Focus on Your Fans

Dame Ritter is best known as the co-founder of the successful Indie Hip-Hop label Funk Volume (Hopsin, Dizzy Wright, Jerren Benton).  After the dissolution of the label, Dame founded the Music Entrepreneur Club, a music business educational platform. Dame also continues to work with a select group of artists, including Dizzy Wright and their Still Movin’ Movement.

After all of his accomplishments, Dame continues to keep striving for more success, and both his persistence and business acumen are on display throughout the interview. This is a great episode for anyone interested in building their own label, brand, or business.  Take notes.

Show Notes:
5:07 Funk Volume focused on the fans
5:51 You don’t have to take huge risks
7:15 Put out content and tell your story before you waste money putting out an album
8:50 Focus on visuals
10:01 You might have to become your own team until you can attract a team
17:52 The transition from Funk Volume to the Music Entrepreneur Club
22:00 How Dame got into music education
23:45 Dame’s side hustles while building Funk Volume included substitute teaching
26:27 How to be a true leader
28:14 Dame finds out about the dopest artists from the fans, not directly from the artist
30:32 Early conversations with Russ
33:05 Sometimes artists overlook the uniqueness of their own talent when they give advice to others
34:22 Your branding has to be consistent
35:06 Giving back to your community
40:52 Starting the day with small wins
43:32 Building the Music Entrepreneur Club
48:56  At some point you’ve got to jump!
53:49 Figure out what your passion is before you can follow it
58:35 Donald Passman’s book All You Need to Know About the Music Business is only relevant for artists who have achieved at least limited success

 

Check out this episode!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a short snippet.

Tastemaker Jen Deleon- Sacrificing Money for Your Own Happiness

Jen Deleon is a perfect example of the Indie Playbook lifestyle. She has proven her willingness to sacrifice money for her happiness in order to follow her dreams.  She inspires a number of people daily through video content that allows her fans honest access into her personal and professional life. Jen has also accomplished a great deal in the music industry, as an interviewer, personality, publicist, consultant, agent, and tastemaker, and it’s obvious that she is only beginning.

When Jen says she will have her own TV show one day, you know it’s going to happen.  Her self-awareness and growth mindset are exemplary, and I hope her confidence and willingness to sacrifice for her vision inspires everyone who takes the time to listen to her story.

Show Notes:
The importance of speaking things into existence
13:29 Jen had to fall back from her professional goals to do work on herself
15:40 Jen’s biggest lesson learned from Oprah
21:33 You don’t always need to respond to everything immediately
24:41 Jen’s parents gave her the freedom to figure out her own path
29:57 God makes things happen for you when they’re supposed to
35:30 Jen doesn’t ask artists things that can be googled in her interviews
40:50 Jen is open about all of her mistakes in order to inspire others 
43:41 Jen tricks people in order to inspire them
49:44 It can be a lonely world when you’re working to accomplish your goals
53:15 Follow your own path instead of trying to do things the traditional way
57:10 How to connect with brands
57:36 How Jen created her own campaign for Postmates while driving for the company
1:01:58 Going from driving for Lyft to partnering with Lyft
1:06:39 The challenges of being a booking agent
1:14:05 Utilizing a planner and goal setting
1:16:58 Why Jen would turn down a $5 Million salary if it meant working a corporate job
1:23:23 Embracing failure and learning from it
1:28:38 Be yourself
1:37:26 Why the move to LA was crucial

 

Check out this episode!

Agent Jamie Adler- The Importance of Taking Risks and Helping Others

Jamie Adler has become a powerful force in the Hip-Hop world, but it wasn’t always that way. Born into a rock n’ roll family as the younger brother of Guns n’ Roses co-founder and original drummer Steven Adler, Jamie initially utilized his family connections to secure a position as a rock agent. Jamie went onto work with rockers Flock of Seagulls, Wang Chung, Motorhead, and Danzig, and eventually R&B and Hip-Hop artists Tyrese, Bobby Brown, Ol Dirty Bastard, and Guru from Gangstarr. Adler is perhaps best known for his long running position as agent/manager for the legendary Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and DJ Quik, and agent for Dennis Quaid & The Sharks.

In this episode, Jamie balances unbelievable stories with the expert advice of an agent who has been around the music business since he can remember. We discuss everything from working with stars to career advancement to drug addiction to taking risks to being the person your friends can rely on. Jamie has a great heart and it really shines through in this episode. He’s helped me tremendously in my career, and he offers advice that is invaluable to anyone searching for happiness, success, and life balance. I HIGHLY recommend this one!

Show Notes:

2:09 The time Jamie was kidnapped by a man he thought was the manager of The Rolling Stones
16:09 Adler always told his friends growing up that he was going to manager Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (which he ended up doing)
23:33 Motorhead’s manager concocted a brilliant plan to get Jamie a job at the Agency Group
29:33 How to find that perfect balance between being persistent and not annoying
37:49 If you’re the smartest person in the room, run!
38:38 How Jamie recovered from a rock bottom moment
44:53 The moment Jamie stopped relying on friends and became the person his friends could rely on
47:36 How soliciting Bone Thugs-n-Harmony without permission led to our great working relationship
50:43 Agents should be working together instead of being selfish
Health is wealth
56:53 Jamie prides himself on telling people what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear
59:18 The importance of taking risks
1:00:28 Some of the richest people are the most miserable
1:01:47 Build your own identity and find your own success
1:02:01 Don’t judge yourself against others

Check out this episode!

Artist Slimkid3 (Part 1)- How Clarity and Creativity can Help you go the Distance

Tre Hardson AKA Slimkid3 is an MC, DJ, and Producer, best known for his work as a founding member of the groundbreaking Hip-Hop group The Pharcyde (Passin’ Me By, Drop, Runnin).  Tre is also a black belt in Taekwondo, and teacher of meditation and hip-hop. Tre discusses the legacy of The Pharcyde, and the important role of creativity in establishing their identity.

 

  • 12:35 Why The Pharcyde signed with Delicious Vinyl
  • 24:07 How The Pharcyde linked with J Dilla
  • 28:40 Why creativity and a budget are both crucial in making a great music video
  • 38:26 Tre explains the importance of clarity in making music
  • 51:20 Tre discusses staying humble as a celebrity
  • 56:18 Slimkid3 explains why he can’t listen to any other artist’s music when he’s in writing mode
  • 1:00:44 The one piece of advice Tre gives young artists
  • 1:01:22 Tre talks about building a team and making sure everyone around him is taken care of
  • 1:07:29 One important lesson Tre learned from De La Soul

 

Check out this episode!

Promoter Sean Healy- Can Artists Benefit from Paying to Play Shows?

Episode 2 features special guest Sean Healy, owner of Sean Healy Presents, one of the largest independent concert promotions companies in the country. SHP operates out of Los Angeles, and the company promotes shows all over the west coast, as well as Chicago, NYC, and more. Healy has also been a controversial figure, due to his use of the pay to play method, or as he prefers to call it “pre-sale tickets”.

We discuss why Sean’s business model works for him, and he names 5 superstar artists that have sold tickets as part of a Sean Healy Presents show. Sean also tells us about the times he passed on Kanye West’s release party and a Lady Gaga show early in her career. This is a beneficial episode for any entrepreneur, artist, promoter, or anyone looking to build a successful company. Healy doesn’t duck any questions, and answers each question with honesty and thoughtfulness. Enjoy.

Show Notes:

  • 21:19 How George Clinton got Sean Healy into booking hip-hop
  • 24:31 How honesty helped set Sean apart as a promoter
  • 26:59 When Sean passed on Kanye’s College Dropout release party and Lady Gaga early in her
  • career
  • 33:56 The importance of being professional as a young artist
  • 34:45 How Sean’s Pay to Play Model has evolved
  • 42:19 Five artists who sold their own tickets on Sean Healy Presents shows and went on to become superstars
  • 46:02 Routines that Help Sean Begin Each Day
  • 1:02:51 If Sean had a $1000 promotional budget for a show, this is what he would spend it on

Manager Steve Lobel – Part 2 – How loyalty, integrity and hard work leads to longevity in the music business

Steve Lobel is a legend in the hip-hop game. After getting introduced to the music business by the late great Jam Master Jay from Run-DMC, Steve went on to become one of hip-hop’s most recognizable managers. Currently, Lobel manages the legendary group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and super producer Scott Storch, who has worked with The Roots, Dr. Dre, Fat Joe, and many more.

Steve blesses us with a ton of great stories and advice, including lessons learned from Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, and others. He prides himself on honesty, and he does not back down from any questions, sharing very personal details and great business guidance. This is a great episode for any aspiring artist, producer, or future executive looking for more insight on advancing his or her career.

Part 2 Highlights:

  • 1:10 Why 50 Cent is a perfect example of success
  • 7:18 Steve started every day out with a Mountain Dew and Snickers bar for decades
  • 10:17 Steve makes a “Things not to do” list instead of a “To do” list
  • 17:14 Steve shares his thoughts about the rappers he knew who passed away
  • 23:35 Why Steve now takes pictures with celebrities
  • 36:11 Do emerging artists need to move to LA or NY to make it?
Episode 1 Guest Steve Lobel
Episode 1 Guest Steve Lobel

Manager Steve Lobel – Part 1 – How loyalty, integrity and hard work leads to longevity in the music business


Steve Lobel is a legend in the hip-hop game. After getting introduced to the music business by the late great Jam Master Jay from Run-DMC, Steve went on to become one of hip-hop’s most recognizable managers. Currently, Lobel manages the legendary group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and super producer Scott Storch, who has worked with The Roots, Dr. Dre, Fat Joe, and many more.

Steve blesses us with a ton of great stories and advice, including lessons learned from Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, and others. He prides himself on honesty, and he does not back down from any questions, sharing very personal details and great business guidance. This is a great episode for any aspiring artist, producer, or future executive looking for more insight on advancing his or her career.

Part 1 Highlights:

  • 9:22 Steve talks about starting in the music business with Run DMC
  • 12:40 Why people call Steve “The white Russell Simmons”
  • 18:00 Steve talks about finding happiness for the first time in years.
  • 23:14 The worst things about being a manager
  • 33:24 Find out what types of people Steve likes to surround himself with
  • 42:10 What Steve would do if he only had a $5,000 budget to promote an artist
  • 45:10 Steve’s advice to younger artists who would like to approach him
Steve Lobel Joins The Indie Playbook