T H E   M A N I F E S T O








Title: Of Counsel

Company: Serling Rooks Hunter McKoy & Worob, LLP


Website: srfllp.com


Photography by Isaac Rosenthal

We featured you in Book Two and we are so honored to be able to call you an alumnus of The Manifesto. What can you tell me about the past year personally and professionally?

This last year I experienced a major personal loss when my sister Alexa died of cancer in the spring. She was 46 years old and it was one of those events that had me take stock in my life and it’s direction. When I took that time to reflect, I had an overall sense of gratitude and with respect to work, once again I realized and appreciated that I have a career that I truly love. My sister was a massive music fan, in the days after her death her family and friends all reminisced about her life and time and time again what came up were all the great shows we saw with her when we were younger at classic NYC venues like the 11th Street Ritz (now Webster Hall). Thinking back to those days I realize now that I have the dream job that I wanted in high school but I didn't know existed. I work with so many talented musicians in a capacity that enables me to provide a really valuable service to their lives and careers. 

What can you tell me about the culture of where you live in Brooklyn?

I live in Fort Greene Brooklyn which has always been such a great area for culture and music. When I first moved here you had your classic institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Mark Morris Dance Studios and Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Film works. Recently there has been the addition of new venues such as the Barclays Center and BRIC Arts Media center. All of these cultural institutions are within walking distance of my house. I recently read that the Brooklyn Paramount is being renovated to be used as a live venue again. A couple of years ago my kids went to a camp that was housed in the Brooklyn Paramount’s building. When I mentioned this fact to my father he referred to The Paramount as a home to rock n' roll since Alan Freed has his holiday music shows there. 

My dad went to high school in Fort Greene - a fact he relayed to my kids as we celebrated my daughter’s birthday at Juniors which is right across the street from The Paramount. He told us he had gone to Juniors after his high school prom and we talked about the fact that the music playing at Juniors that day was the same music that was popular when he went to his prom. I love that type of continuity and tradition. I am really excited to see such a classic venue being converted into a performance space again. I am hoping that the renovation will be as good as the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. I am curious to see what type of musicians will play there and I suspect that the artists that will play in such a historic room will inevitably be inspired to great performances. Everything old is new again. 

There is a growing focus toward the importance of mindfulness in business, especially in thinking about how to navigate a fundamentally creative business. What are your thoughts on this? 

I think given the volume of agreements and related details in the music business today an attorney can lose the ability to have big picture perspective during the negotiation of their deals. I have found that personally I need to create structures and routines in my life that help me maintain a greater perspective. Currently, I have a morning meditation practice that consists of twenty minutes where I sit and focus on my breath and otherwise attempt to not think about anything in particular. It is a very basic practice, nothing too advanced and always seems counter intuitive to take that time in the morning because my waking thoughts are on all the things I need to do that day. But time and time again, it is after that quiet time when I have that “oh yeah” moment regarding what I need to do in a particular transaction. 

Regarding the navigation of a fundamentally creative business, that is a tricky one as the personalities that are drawn to the creative can inherently be chaotic. I had mentioned in my last interview that I surf. What I love about surfing is that it is an activity where wisdom and knowledge can absolutely help the participant to excel. There are so many variables that go into actually catching a wave – the size and direction of the wave, wind conditions, tide, the type of surf board you are riding, when to start paddling, how hard you paddle, when to stand up... and unlike other sports the surfer who catches the most waves is not necessary the best athlete nor the one with best equipment. In my local spot there are so many old timers that consistently know where to sit and amazingly catch wave after wave regardless of the conditions. It is that experience gained from a lifetime of observation that helps them pull together all the different variables when selecting a wave and makes them successful surfers. I think that process of wave selection from surfing is the perfect example of mindfulness where you can create consistency in a business of constantly changing conditions. 

Tell me about a dialogue we need to have more of within our industry?

We need to talk more about transparency in agreements. I mentioned this in my last interview as well but it remains on my mind. Just today I was looking at an agreement for a basic definition which was the “term” of exclusivity. Well I had to go back and forth between four different pages and refer to multiple defined terms and in my opinion that type of drafting is completely unnecessary and purposely deceptive. 

Tell me about an idea that you would like to seed?

I guess as a continuing thought to transparency in dealings it is the plain English in drafting. Say what you mean and say it concisely. Draft provisions that anyone can understand what is being agreed to. 




Title: President

Company: Imagem Music USA


Website: us.imagem-music.com


Photography by Isaac Rosenthal

Tell me about a dialogue we need to have more of within our industry?

We need to talk more about kindness. Why? It is like a currency in real life and a vital pulse to contribute to the world on a daily basis.

In what ways can people be more socially responsible for the health of our music industry community?

Instead of complaints about what could and should be done, try to effect change by joining fellow friends on committees or organisations working towards common goals. It's too easy to be negative and this requires actual work.

What insight have you found in the past 12 months that you can share with our community?

I love learning and have so much desire to know, and I am always seeking answers. So, I ask questions all the time, as I am surrounded by experts in their own individual ways. I learn something new, fascinating and important everyday from someone both in and out of the office or music business.
I am for collaboration.



Title: Entrepreneur and Connector

Company: Apple Music

HQ: Los Angeles


Photography by George Byrne

Tell me about a dialogue we need to have more of within our industry?

Changing the conversation. Changing the culture. Simply put: if everyone pays a little bit, the music industry will deliver a much, much, much better product and experience.

What lesson have you learnt in the past twelve months?

This year, particularly since Apple Music launched, it has become abundantly clear that the old ways of indie and rock bands who don't want to bow to the internet are finished. The only artists who have competed in that space have been Mumford & Sons. Otherwise the artists dominating streaming (and Billboard charts), are all multifaceted, socialized and ever present.
The concept of the "campaign" has completely changed, with hashtags #StraightOutta or #BackToBack being much more impactful than most major album releases. Kanye in fashion, with #YeezySeason2 made more impact than any album this year besides Taylor Swift and Drake. This is exciting because it means musicians drive culture as multi-format creators, rather than artists subsidized by brands. Artists need to be thinking this way or they will go away.

In what ways can people be more socially responsible for the health of our music industry community?

Startups should not be talking about "disruption" anymore. Instead "sustain." We spent ten years trying to figure out the answers to 1999's problems. We did. Now contribute to the cause, rather than distract.
I am for Disco. Disco is great. Never left. Will always be here.



Title: Music Industry Professional



Photography by Peter Plozza

Tell me about a dialogue we need to have more of within our industry?

We need to talk more about taking risks. Ours is an industry which has resisted change every step of the way, and yet it’s the most disruptive of ideas that shape our culture, keep us moving forward and are currently having the most profound impact on sustainability.

In what ways can people be more socially responsible for the health of our music industry community?

By going back to basics to create great brands that have strong social presence and an authentic, ethical personality. History has shown that great brands can achieve sales growth regardless of the economic or cultural times. 

What personal lesson have you learned from the past twelve months?

Earlier this year I relocated from Sydney to New York, and in the process took almost four months away from working to determine what I wanted to do next. I last lived overseas ten years ago, so I knew what to do when I arrived: put myself out there, make new, genuine connections and develop relationships. What I hadn’t anticipated though was the strong sense of identity loss that would come from closing the chapter on a role I’d been passionately committed to for a decade. It’s rare that we are truly able to hit reset on our life, and it’s been liberating to realize that I’m not defined by what I do, but who I am, the choices I make and the actions I take.