M I K E   S Y M O N D S


Digital Business Development

Warner Chappell

New York City


Photography by Robert Nethery

Photography by Robert Nethery

I. From my time in the music business I have learned that when it comes to a project it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. I’ve learned that plans need to be flexible because nothing ever goes to plan, something will always come up unexpectedly and you need to be able to adapt rapidly to changes as needed.

II. Creativity can strike at any time, anywhere and usually when you least expect it, or just when you feel you are at a low ebb. I’ve been lucky to see several ideas of mine come to life. It’s such a thrill when something makes the jump from thought to reality. It’s hard to pick one but right now I am thinking of The Titanic, my tiny involvement in the successful search for the vessel in 1985 and then twelve years later, working on a project with the World Ice Dance Champions to choreograph and perform a routine to the theme song to the movie of the same name. Watching the first ever performance of that routine was an unforgettable experience. I have a deep admiration for many execs I worked with who pulled off so many more amazing projects over the years.

III. Disappointment is part and parcel of the business I am in. If everything I ever worked on actually yielded the desired result, if every promise made to me had been kept, if every star stayed in perfect alignment, then I think things for me would be very dull indeed and I would have learned little. Disappointment teaches us about circumstances, expectations and people’s limitations. It teaches you to appreciate your success, but not crow about it and enjoy it too much. You deal with disappointment, learn from it, then move on.

IV. I am very pro-artist. I am concerned about the ability of performers, as well as writers, producers, mixers, engineers and everyone else passionate about working in music to be able to make a living in this rapidly evolving industry.

V. Local music is vital to the well-being of the industry as a whole. We need to continue to harness new ways of helping artists thrive and find their audience. We need to remind tech innovators and the government of the importance of a thriving creative community. Fortunately, we have many terrific industry organizations who work tirelessly on behalf of our industry to promote this message. There is always more that can be done.

VI. There is great value in music, something which I think is often forgotten. Folks need to remember that a huge amount of toil goes into making a record. I know of no other industry where outright theft is allowed. What if people started driving cars off the lots of auto dealerships en-masse without paying? Can you imagine how the manufacturers would react to that? They would not tolerate it. The most obvious way for people to be responsible when it comes to the health of our music industry community is to not use pirate music sites and to at least consider paying for music. I wish they would support great local music venues and the artists who play them.

VII. We need to talk more about helping those in our industry community to make a living. We must never lose sight of the value that all parts play. From the bottom to the top.

VIII. I am for artists. I am for all of us who choose to work in this incredible industry.