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Larry Jackson Talks About gamma and The Demise of Gatekeepers in Music (Video)

I came across this video yesterday and dropped everything to watch it. While I haven’t met Larry Jackson personally, I know people in his circle, and his name has been popping up frequently lately. This interview confirms the positive things I’ve heard about him – that he’s not only a brilliant music executive, but even more so, an inspiring entrepreneur.

As someone who admires entrepreneurs, especially Black male entrepreneurs, I particularly appreciate his insights. We all know the challenges we face when forging our own paths. The fact that he’s keenly aware of the limitations gatekeepers have imposed on us, in an industry where Black music has been a driving force since the beginning, immediately earned my respect. It would be incredibly selfish of me to hoard such pertinent, educational, and inspirational information from our readers. So here it is! I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments. KUDOS Joe Budden

Kevin

Larry Jackson: A Story of Loss, Innovation, and Empowering Artists

Facing Duality: Personal Loss and Professional Triumph

Larry Jackson’s journey is a powerful mix of personal struggles and professional triumphs. Recently, he faced the immense loss of his younger brother, a profound low point in his life. Yet, amidst this personal tragedy, Larry has achieved significant professional highs, creating a complex mix of emotions.

Witnessing Change: The Reshaping of the Music Industry

This duality extends to his perspective on the music industry. The 1996 Telecommunications Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, ushered in an era of deregulation and consolidation. Companies like Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) gobbled up radio stations, homogenizing local programming. Similarly, mergers like PolyGram acquiring Def Jam led to the formation of giant conglomerates like Universal Music Group.

A Meteoric Rise: From Early Talent to Industry Success

Larry’s own career began early. By 11, he was winning radio contests and interning at KMEL in San Francisco. His talent blossomed, and by 16 he was a music director, making bold choices that caught the eye of industry legend Clive Davis. At 19, Larry found himself working at J Records, playing a key role in the success of artists like Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, and Luther Vandross.

The Power Shift: Democratization Through Technology

However, the music industry Larry knew was undergoing a dramatic shift. Label consolidation and the rise of streaming services like Spotify fundamentally altered the balance of power. Independent artists, once shut out, now have more opportunities to succeed without major label backing. Larry emphasizes the democratization of music distribution through technology. Artists can now maintain ownership of their work and receive fairer compensation.

Building gamma: Empowering a New Generation of Creators

This vision led Larry to co-found gamma, a technology company dedicated to serving music and media. gamma equips artists with innovative tools like real-time revenue calculation, weekly payouts, and independent distribution support. These services, once the exclusive domain of major labels, are now available to empower a new generation of creators.

Embracing Diversity and Reaching New Horizons

Diversity and global expansion are cornerstones of gamma’s mission. The company embraces a wide range of music genres and artists from all backgrounds. Their vision extends beyond borders, with upcoming projects in Nashville, Africa, and the Latin music market.

AI for the Artist: Streamlining Operations and Ensuring Fairness

But gamma isn’t just about money and access. The company leverages generative AI to provide artists with tools for creation, distribution, financial management, and even merchandise production. This technology streamlines operations, allowing artists to focus on their passion while ensuring they receive fair and timely payment.

Larry Jackson’s Legacy: A More Equitable Music Scene

Larry Jackson’s story, as shared in his conversation with Joe Budden, reflects the evolving music industry. Technology is democratizing distribution, while companies like gamma empower independent artists. Through his innovative approach, Larry is helping to create a more equitable and accessible music scene for all.

Kevin Ross
Kevin Ross
Kevin Ross is the CEO of Radio Facts. He is a music and radio industry vet who has been a programmer and a radio host in several markets like Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, and more. He started The Industry Dot Biz in 1995 as a voice for Black industry executives to have a voice in the industry. Ross is a musician, writer, voice talent, and author. The Industry Dot Biz is currently the largest urban industry trade and site.

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