AMG Panel Preview: Meet the Biggest Names in Entertainment

This Thursday in the Student Union Theatre from 6 to 8 p.m., Aztec Music Group is hosting an Entertainment Industry Panel. The “Campus Conversation” will include speakers Kevin Lyman, founder of Warped Tour, Deirdre McCready, SDSU alum and Senior VP of Sales & Special Events at Live Nation, Reza Sarrafieh, VP of Urban Production at Interscope Records and Dave Curtin, Executive Music Producer & Music Supervisor at Disney Music Group. This event will provide a detailed understanding of the music and entertainment industry from anecdotal experiences coming from the top of entertainment industry talent. These veterans and legends will give you the nitty-gritty inner secrets of the industry, lessons they’ve learned along the way, and leave you feeling prepared for your career in the music world. To truly understand the magnitude of what this event has to offer, let’s meet the panelists. 

Kevin Lyman, photo courtesy of Earshot Media.

Kevin Lyman, photo courtesy of Earshot Media.

Kevin Lyman got his first taste of the music industry working at Lollapalooza in the early 1990s. He took what he learned there and founded the Vans Warped Tour in 1995, which has gone on to be the longest-running North American festival, attracting 750,000 people annually. Lyman also won the Humanitarian of the Year Award just last year and was awarded the Humanitarian Award from Billboard in 2009 for his philanthropic work with Unite the United Foundation. The Warped Tour began as an eclectic alternative rock festival, but since 1996 it has swayed toward punk rock, gaining a variety of genres with each year. Last year’s Warped Tour hosted a lineup of Falling In Reverse, Less Than Jake, Good Charlotte, Sleeping With Sirens, New Found Glory as well as many others. Lyman has excelled in not only the music industry, but business, production, video and philanthropic efforts, too. 

Deirdre McCready, photo courtesy Deirdre McCready. 

Deirdre McCready, photo courtesy Deirdre McCready. 

An SDSU alumni, Deirdre McCready acts as the Senior Vice President of Sales & Special Events at Live Nation where she is responsible for spearheading sales growth at Live Nation's over 40 venues, clubs and theatres. McCready also worked as Vice President of Special Events at SBE Entertainment where she oversaw event sales, production, filming and catering. As a Special Event coordinator for The Key Marketing Group, she even planned premier and wrap parties for stars such as Jennifer Lopez and “Monster in Law,” “Meet the Fockers,” “Friends,” “Joey,” and more. Live Nation signs artists as a record label, taking on the role of artist promoter rather than music owner. Live Nation also acquired House of Blues in 2006, which means that they own the popular spot for concerts and food House of Blues right here in San Diego. Live Nation owns and operates 135 live entertainment venues, including 43 in Europe. They also produce Super Bowl halftime shows and represent many major artists. 

Dr. Dre and Interscope Cofounder Jimmy Iovine, photo courtesy of Michael Kovac, Getty Images. 

Dr. Dre and Interscope Cofounder Jimmy Iovine, photo courtesy of Michael Kovac, Getty Images. 

Founded in 1989, in 1992 Interscope financed and distributed Death Row Records Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. The next year they sold more than 800,000 copies of Snoop Dogg’s debut Doggystyle. In 1996 Interscope became the first label in 20 years to hold the top four positions on Billboard charts, with help from records by Tupac, No Doubt, Snoop Dogg and Bush. Cofounder Jimmy Iovine’s assistant saw Eminem perform at the Rap Olympics in L.A. in 1997 and passed his CD along to Dr. Dre. Iovine and Dre also established Beats Electronics in 2006. Interscope is an ingrained catalyst of the iconic ‘90s rap world, starting out numerous legends. Today a plethora of artists, including Lana Del Ray, Fergie, Imagine Dragons, Madonna, Kendrick Lamar, X Ambassadors and many more are signed to the label. Reza Sarrafieh specializes in promoting and getting exposure for such artists and negotiating on their behalf. 

Reza Sarrafieh, photo courtesy Reza Sarrafieh. 

Reza Sarrafieh, photo courtesy Reza Sarrafieh

Dave Curtin has been an integral part of the music business for over a decade. He specializes in connecting artist with brands, for instance LL Cool J with Gatorade, Kaskade and Budweiser, Diplo with Turkcell and more. He even created a new music initiative with Daphne’s—a Mediterranean restaurant chain in California and right here on our campus. Disney Music Group is comprised of Hollywood Records, Walt Disney Records, Disney Music Publishing, Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar, making it a music mogul. Curtin’s expertise lies in branding as well as recognizing emerging music trends. Disney Music group is the music production side of Walt Disney Studios, which is a division of The Walt Disney Company. Disney Music Group has a long span of artists, including Demi Lovato, Plain White T’s, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Zendaya and more. 

Dave Curtin, photo courtesy Dave Curtin.

Dave Curtin, photo courtesy Dave Curtin.

If you’re even slightly interested in the music industry or you’re already an avid member of it, each of these panelists have experiences, insight and guidance to offer. Learn from these great minds and get the inside scoop on these music companies that are dominating the industry. See you there!

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Written by Victoria Moorwood

Content Strategist at Aztec Music Group

@vic_land

Victoria Moorwood

Victoria Moorwood is a junior at San Diego State University majoring in journalism. She hopes to break into the field of Music Journalism after graduation, and write and connect with artists worldwide. Her favorite genres are hip hop and rap, but she appreciates all music and the way it brings people together. She also blogs about travel and lifestyle, hosts a radio news show, and enjoys surfing in her free time. Follow her on Twitter.