The music industry is a big place with room for everyone who wants to find their own path. Passion and some hard work are the only true requirements to getting started. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Kyle Kane of 180 South Group to learn more about his journey. Dive into the interview here:
Let’s go back to the beginning. What first drew you to music?
Music has been the love of my life, for better or for worse. From growing up listening to Motown, being raised by a single mom and letting the record player do the babysitting, to some of the highest moments in my life all attributed to music. There something about the percussive rhythm of a heart beat and the syncopation of chord progressions that spark the synapses for me. Music is more than the soundtrack to my life; it makes my life worth living.
What prompted you to go towards the other side of music and start up 180 South Group?
When technology became cheaper and more accessible, the market was saturated with content, and the standard of quality plummeted. Like most things, it became gimmicks and trends, not content I could resonate with. The music industry just wasn’t the same game I fell in love with. And I was always taught to do what you love to do until it isn’t fun anymore; then go do something else. Lucky for me, that “something else” still offered me the opportunity to keep music at the forefront of my life. I’m very blessed in that way, for sure.
How did you get the ball rolling with the company?
Unlike most entrepreneurs, I dont have a gut-wrenching tale of rags to riches. In fact, it was pretty easy. We matched an electronics company (Samsung) that was getting crushed by a major brand (Beats) in the sales of a high-visibility product (headphones) with A-list talent campaigns directly responsible for lifting the company to a 300% increase in sales, and propelled them as a leader in the category. Word spreads very quickly after a case study like that.
What do you feel is the best way to meet people and make connections in the tight-knit music industry?
The best way to meet people is a combination of digital targeting and the old fashioned ground-and-pound. Once you know who you need to meet, connect with them, stay visible, and hit fhe streets. As with any tight-knit community, the movements are predictable. There are a handful of events everyone is guaranteed to attend each year. Get into VIP, press some flesh, and make the connection that you’re the person they corresponded with online. After that, set a meeting somewhere offsite where it’s quiet. The rest is all on you, your character, and the energy you exude.
Tell us about a deal that really meant something to you.
Every deal is special in its own way. Some deals are special because of how hard they were to close, or how much had to be sacrificed in order to close it. Some deals are special because of how easy they were, and how organically they came together. Picking one deal is like picking a favorite child. I just can’t do it. The deal that means the most to me is the one I will close today. And after that, the one tomorrow.
Give us some advice for other aspiring music industry professionals.
The term “music industry professional” is so vague. There are so many ways to contribute value. Find one. Don’t limit yourself. Know what you’re good at. Carve a lane. There’s room for everyone. Help each other. A candle loses none of its flame by igniting another. I could write a book about this.
What does the future hold for Kyle Kane and 180 South?
We are producing a major 3-day music festival and a monumental 2-day convention in New York City. The first is called “The Mothers Ball” which we will announce towards the end of July. It will take place on December 14th & 15th at the Jacob Javits Center In NYC, followed by May 8th & 9th in San Juan, with dates in Europe, Asia, and South America to follow. We are also working closely with our partners at Manchester Atlantic and Beyond Pacific to build entertainment companies that transcend music and entertainment into real social impact. Until my last breath, I hope to continue to craft memorable and rewarding experiences for my family, friends, and fans alike.
Keep up with more adventures of Kyle Kane and 180 South Group HERE.