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Interview with Music Industry Executive: Jeff Rabhan

By Steven Kraushaar
On February 7, 2013


I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the accomplished music industry executive, Jeffrey Rabhan. The NYU graduate shared his experiences in this industry and even exposed some of the tactics in getting a leg up in "the business". 

He explained the pull factors that dispatched him from his childhood town of Richmond, VA to the city that never sleeps. As an ambitious teenager Rabhan recognized that NYC, being the cultural and musical hub for the US in the 1980's, was the right place to start his career. He characterized New York as a diverse city with much European influence. It is a city where one can be a "real citizen" and get the benefits of a proper education and take advantage of a wide network of music industry connections. 

I was impressed with his activity and determination in the music industry, so naturally I assumed that he was a musician himself. When I asked he humorously remarked, "I have failed miserably in all areas of music." Musical talent aside, he experienced success with is company, "Three Rings Project". The goal of the company was to connect Nashville to Los Angeles. When I asked Rabhan about his business background, I was befuddled that the extent of his background was undergrad management courses. 

Jeff is currently a professor at NYU and I was curious what led him back there. "NYU has a great program with a holistic approach." He informed me that talent alone does not ensure an artist's prosperity. The savviest artists are those who have a good balance between talent and business skills. 

Is NYC the "place to be" for up and coming artists? He assured me that it is cyclical. LA currently has a real estate advantage over New York. There is more space and more clubs in LA, however NYC is a much more diverse town with a larger array of options. 

There have been a lot of issues with illegally downloaded music since the technology era began. I asked Jeff what he foresees for the future of the music industry based on this factor and he believes that we are at the end of the fallout. There are new ways to make money with music nowadays other than selling albums. 

As an experienced executive in the business, I inquire as to how up and coming artists may get a leg up in their careers. "There is no ONE thing; there are several puzzle pieces that add up to success." The first step is to immerse oneself into the music industry, which means internships and every other opportunity possible. Productivity is the key to success in the music industry. No opportunity is too meager.

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