Don’t recognize this smiling face? It belongs to Josh. At Indaba, he oversees the launch of all our Opportunities & Contests and is responsible for turning the idea of an Indaba Licensing Catalog into reality.
He’s a busy guy, but I managed to pull him away from his work for a hot minute to talk about how he got started at Indaba and get the scoop on the licensing program.
IRIS: How did you get started at Indaba?
JOSH: My life at Indaba started about four years ago, in 2007. At the time, I was living in New York and working various jobs trying to support a music career – composing music for independent films, touring as a rock keyboard player, and other production gigs.
I was looking for a more permanent gig, and was introduced to Mantis, one of Indaba’s co-founders, from a mutual friend and one of Indaba’s first interns – Seth Kallen. Mantis was in the process of building a five-room project studio in Queens, New York, and I came on as a studio intern to help him finish it up. Mantis took me under his wing, and together we finished up the Indaba studio and recorded a number of acts, including several jazz artists under Greg Osby’s label, Inner Circle Music.
At this point, the Indaba Music website had just launched to the public and had a team of just six people. Through Mantis, I got to know the other founders (Dan, Matt, Jesse, and Chris) and amazing supporters. I quickly grasped the excitement and vision, and wanted to get more involved.
IRIS: What happened next?
JOSH: As Indaba started to gain momentum, they needed help around the office, so I came on board part time in early 2008 as an office manager. As the company quickly grew, there was more and more work that needed to be done, and I became involved full-time in many different areas of the business. I did everything from QuickBooks accounting, to running a podcast, to working with major artists to run large promotional campaigns.
As more people joined the team, I found myself becoming increasingly focused on the areas of content and licensing. It became clear that there was amazing talent emerging in the community, and I started to focus my attention on ways that Indaba members could get their music out into the world. As someone who has experience creating music for film, TV, and other projects, and with some background in the copyright and legal fields, this was an area where I felt I could help make a difference.
IRIS: What do you do at Indaba now?
JOSH: In my current role, I work closely with Nate, Eric, Rick, Colin and others in running Indaba’s Opportunity Marketplace, which connects major labels, brands, music licensors, and other clients looking for music with Indaba’s community of creators. I also work closely with Indaba’s lawyers (Bruce and Bobby) to navigate the increasingly complex area of music rights associated with music copyrights and licenses.
Recently, I have also been leading Indaba’s latest initiative into the area of rights management and licensing. There is so much great music being created every day by Indaba members from all over the world, and through licensing, we feel we are in a good position to find exposure for this music. I’ve been working closely with the Indaba team, including CEO JJ Rosen to create an exciting licensing and publishing strategy.
IRIS: What can we expect from the licensing program in the next few months?
JOSH: The licensing program on Indaba has only been live for several weeks, but already we’re getting excited about the potential of this new area. One early example of the potential: We’ve partnered with Grooveshark to showcase music from the licensing library on an emerging artists channel called Breakthrough Radio. Since it launched last week there have been over 40,000 spins of Indaba songs from the licensing program, generating significant new exposure. We’ve also made some initial synch placements with a major hotel chain, a national public service announcement, and others.
We are building out an experienced internal licensing team that will make this program a big success. The catalog that we are putting together will soon be featured heavily across several major outlets (including TV/film/radio), generating exposure and income for participants in Indaba’s Licensing Program. We’re at the cusp of something special, and I’m excited about where we can go from here.
double rainbows all the way,