Tomorrow, the entirety of the Global Entertainment & Music Business crew get the privilege of attending a talk with Sony Music Entertainment’s president, Jose Maria Barbat. What an honor really; especially for the folks here at Berklee who are aspiring to either work for, or, build their own record label and entertainment company in the future. We can expect the best from this man, and we should and take every opportunity we can to learn from him. Especially since some neophytes like ourselves are attempting to build the first functioning record label within Berklee’s newest campus in Valencia, Spain.
This is, in every definition of the word, challenging.
We have some great individuals in our class, and all of us have something great to offer. But even with the right ingredients, you can’t bake a great cake if you don’t follow the recipe. Do you follow? We all have that one family member, who, for the love of all that is good and true, cannot cook good food. And well, you don’t mean to be rude, but you would rather not eat their food.
I certainly do not want to be that.
Rocafella Records, at its apex, was one of the greatest hip hop labels of its time. Man, would I have loved to be apart of their team when Kanye West dropped his groundbreaking debut, “The College Dropout” 10 years ago this month.
…and now, time for an interlude:
wow. What more can I say? Roc was the (pronounced with an “e” emphasis) label. One can only dream to build a label so great… or even have that opportunity… but wait! I do have that opportunity!
But it takes work, hours and hours sacrificing your free time and social life, and putting in the extra mile EVERYTIME to even have a shot at greatness. As far as my dreams for building a label so grand, is it possible to achieve that here? At Berklee? Yup. Will we apply ourselves to that caliber? Probably not. and thats OKAY. We shouldn’t expect this label to become great just yet, but we should take lessons from the creation of other, already established labels, and apply it to our own.
We need a recipe for success, and although this (the record label) is completely experimental, it wouldn’t hurt to apply some a priori structure to the process. Regardless of what difficulties lie ahead, I’m optimistic and hopeful that, while not quite Rocafella status, we will form a working foundation for future students to build upon.
Now go listen to some Kanye.