Five tips to ruin your reputation in almost any field!

1. Talk, but don’t walk.

-Your word is all you have, its weight is always felt, or not.

2. Appear, but not be.

-Make no mistake, in the end, matters always come to light.

3. Slander, not praise.

-People listen, people remember.

4. Act, but never think.

-The ability to deny or suppress an impulse is what separates beast from man.

5. Practice dishonesty, not virtue.

-Karma is the way the universe serves justice.



Follow on Twitter: @Avrelivs_

The Process of Making a Record… This is the boy Marcus.

…is multifarious, convoluted, sprawled, and disorganized among many other things. But it is not boring, it is not tedium, and it is not monotonous. We are in the last stages of the recording process for Miranda Inzunza’s upcoming EP, “Mercury in Retrograde”.

Its Crunchtime.

This is the boy Marcus.

My biggest task was to find an able and willing bassist, an experienced engineer, a drummer, and a place and time where all these individuals could agree to meet to help Miranda out. Please trust me when I say this, it is much easier said than done. Especially being a full time grad student, working on a business plan, producing my own EP, working on a social media plan, keeping my self sane…. yadayadayada… you get it.


Here’s a picture I took at the end of the session which lasted until 2AM.

Look at her, she’s a champ! Not one complaint or pout!  You can tell by these faces that the session went extremely well and we made a ton of progression.

Oh, by the way, that dude on the left goes by Jimmy and the guy in the right is the A69’s very own Daniel Toledo!  You could count on these people to give the people at Berklee Valencia a great record. Jimmy engineered the entire session incredibly and Daniel played the electric bass.

We also had our very own Carl Pires on drums, check him out after the drop.

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Ladies and gentlemen, Carl Pires. #Drummer #AandR #work

A post shared by Marcus (@est.mcmxci) on

I actually shot that video with a Nikon T3I, don’t ask me how I got it on Instagram. SHOUTOUTTHEHOMIEJAD for reminding me of the name of the camera. 

All in all, the A&R team here at A-side is doing the very best job we can to bring you THE PEOPLE some quality music. Rest assured,  we got this.


Follow me on Twitter: @Avrelivs_ 

Last Night in The Studio


a picture of me (Marcus) & Stephen, one of our Artists.

After a couple of hours in the studio, Stephen finished up recording for his fourth track off his yet untitled EP. Along with him were friends and members of the MTI program who assisted with engineering the session. Piotr, Daniel, and an undergrad who (unfortunately) I could not meet, were jamming out to Stephen’s latest song.

promise ill re-edit this post when i find out your name buddy!

There was no bs in the studio. It was straight to work. I knew as I walked into the Anne Kreis Scoring Stage that I was walking into a professional environment. The mood was light yet serious, I knew that I was among friends and peers. Ryan Renteria & Nick Ziegler from the MTI program were on the boards making the band sound crispy clean while I, the fly on the wall, recorded every movement on film.

I felt very invisible. But it was okay, I was glad that I was a ghost in the room because it allowed me to capture the artists in their most natural state. Totally infused and into their own music, expressing various facial features for each chord change and each drum hit. True artists. It is a rare position for me, an individual who has never been around great talent to be basking in their essence and filming them just doing their thing.

I see it that Berklee Valencia’s first batch of EPs are going to be great. Not only am I hearing great things from Stephen, but from our other artists as well. Just be sure that when this music drops that you will be proud to be a part of this community, if you are not already.



Behind The Scenes at The (still untitled) Berklee Record Label at Valencia


One day, I want to look back at this picture, smile wide and say, “We made it”. (Que Drake’s latest hit)

My name is Marcus, and I’m part of the A&R department here at Berklee in Valencia. A pictures worth a thousand words, however cliche that is, so I’ll keep this post brief and to the point.  Today, we held the first A&R meeting and discussed roles and how we would be conducting the interviews for our potential “signees” (technically, they don’t get signed but for lack of a better word…)  SURPRISINGLY. the meeting went exceptionally well, was structured and formalized, and flowed from beginning to end. I’m a big fan of surprises, especially good ones. Needless to say, it was a very constructive meet and I feel much more at home with my fellow A&R’s. I think we will be ready to handle the work load for the remaining of the semester, and I’m looking forward to being in the studio with the artists, pushing them beyond their limits.

Cause thats what I do, I push. 

Now here’s some music I was listening to while I wrote this,



Dreams of The Roc…

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.



What’s Midem? An Opportunity? Or a Broken Record?

Well, it all depends. Are you looking for a job? Or are you looking for the answers or insights into the future of the music industry?

What are you in it for? We all know the music industry is on a decline, but so what? As with any other industry, there are periods of growth and periods of decline. We just happen to be at the nadir of what once was a prosperous and fruitful business. Despite the fact that album sales have plummeted since the start of the new millennium, music and music technology has never been so awesome (minus the garbage on the pop stations). We are at the very beginning of what will be the greatest revolution art and business has ever seen. Thanks to, of course, the interwebs.

YES. We have heard it time and time again, but it’s really true and I don’t think the general public really has an idea of what it means…yet. That’s why Midem was such an awe inspiring experience for me because, before seeing first hand what the cleverest of geeks and freaks are developing, I really had no idea the potential social media content had. Take for instance a new app developed for sharing media content directly to fans: LISNR (http://www.lisnr.com). This past summer, LISNR teamed up with Jay Z’s new label venture, Roc Nation, to engage J Cole Fans into a private listening parties at special locations, to which its coordinates could only be revealed upon download (see http://bit.ly/1byxCM3 for more info). What this app allows is for the artist to directly engage with their fans in the real world. CEO/Co-Founder, Rodney Williams (no relation to the NFL punter of the same name), pitched his business model to the panel at the Innovation Factory. You could tell his idea was too far ahead of its time by the panel’s perplexed looks and their continued scrutiny on LISNR’s concept. It’s a simple concept, actually. Nonetheless, the young CEO was given a very hard time. He wore a heavy and exasperated expression when I met him, yet, still delighted to hear someone believed in his idea.

All that said, I can understand why others experience at Midem may not have been shaped up to be what they expected. Businesses represented at the conference were one of the following: either too big a player to be approached, or to small a contender to be considered seriously. Not much in between. The atmosphere was especially competitive for the young and hopefuls of tomorrow. Well…what did you expect? Let me tell you that I did not go to Cannes to just party, although I did much of that. What I went was for connections, and connections I made! Here is my take on the atmosphere of the music business: its play or be played, conquer or be conquered, hunt or be hunted. I don’t understand why we just can’t be open about this… we all know it to be true, and if you deny this then you’re just a lie. So I met the challenge of Midem with a bold confidence, though I was nervous nearly every day there.

What I got out of it wasn’t a job or internship, but a chance and chance is something most people take for granted in this world. I came to Midem and took a shot at the stars, the big players. My approach is fast and unyielding, deft and secure. That makes impressions, what gets you the job you want is your grit and audacity. Who am I? A lowly student, to approach executives and tell them to their face that I can do just as good a job as them if given the chance. Yeah, that’s me. I won’t get into detail here of who I met and what happened, but I can tell you that I capitalized in all my interactions.

Tomorrow’s leaders are made today. Opportunity is what you make of it, its all just your perspective. Sure, many of the panels discussed the same crisis and the same solution. But read between the lines, and you can see that much more was at work and what you got from it was based upon your ability to understand the personality of the music business, not its mechanics. I had a great time at Midem, and I think I’ve made a great impression because of my attitude, I hope that the people reading can relate. Thank you.