John Frazier

Principal. Pure Creative Group + Youngstar MBC

N E W   Y O R K   C I T Y 

What is your morning ritual?
I’ve been told that we can’t be outworked, company-wise, it’s our upmost redeeming quality - So the likelihood of me still being up from the previous day when the rest of the world is out for the count is pretty high. Most people are of the belief that the early bird gets the worm; we on the other hand are positioning ourselves and plotting at night to get the damn bird.

What is art to you?
Art is a way of life for me and the reason I’m no longer an investment banker. Not sure anyone has said it any better than T. Merton said it  - Art is the thing that allows me to “find myself and lose myself at the same time”.

What lesson did you learn the hard way?
There are two…

# Practice “Business Bikram” and stay flexible. As a company, we now make it our business to be purposefully ambiguous when defining what we do. When people ask me what I do, I care only that they take away that we can, no matter the task.

# Get invited to dinner and confirm your reservation - Cause if you're not at the table, you are probably on the menu. Basically, you gotta be in it to win it!

What advice would you give yourself 12 months ago?
I would tell me to slow the fuck down and not be too far ahead of the curve. Cause when you are too far ahead of the curve, no one can tell it was you who finished first, because you are already around the damn corner and out of view. Right behind you is someone, still visible to all those watching, who is happy to take credit for your innovation or the path you just blazed. With music, it’s important to push the boundaries, but push them at a pace that allows people to stay in touch with what you are doing.

Tell me, what do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
Realizing that despite all my achievements, I haven’t achieved shit yet. When we produce a song that cures cancer or splits an atom, or when I create a marketing campaign that inspires world peace, then I’ll be the first to say - “Look, Mama, I made it.” Until then, I’m on my grind…

Who do you consider a mentor or inspirational person in your life?
I’ve got a ton of mentors, from my business partner Mike Cohen to the late Murray Barbash, but if we are talking about inspirational people in my life then I’m rocking with my Mom! … She’s a fighter who’s been defying the odds her entire life.

What music do you listen to at home? (honestly)
The music I listen to at home is rarely my call, that honor goes to DJ Wifey. So if music is on at home you can bet its either Latin, Jazz, Classical, EDM, not necessarily in that order.

If you could provoke change in any area of the music business, what would it be?
I’d like to go back in time and meet the asshole who taught a generation of executives that it was OK to be an asshole and knock some sense into him. Let me be clear, we are not all assholes! Some of us return calls and take the time to advise burgeoning artists and people trying to break into the game. What I would love to see is a kinder gentler industry, devoid of the arrogance that currently inflicts it.

In your life right now, what is one thing that baffles you?
That San Diego was voted as having the #1 Pizza in America and NYC came in 4th ... Come on, Man. Really? Fuck outta here…

Describe which are your favourite shoes from your wardrobe?
Balmain Side Zipped Laced Calfskin Ranger Boots - Stylishly Rugged Shit
Dior Homme Hedi Slimane Wide Sole Zipper Boots - Classically Fly Shit
Gucci Lace-Up Brown Leather Cap Toe Shoes - Timeless Shit

Art Direction: Beatrice Hurst

Photography: Phil Knott