I was going to have this "About" page be all "professional" and corporate-ish...but then that would be pretty boring, right?
First, Brill Building Music Publishing is the personal boutique publishing company of...well...me, Benjamin Groff. And to date the company has been self funded (talk to my accountant for additional stories and adventures).
This whole thing started when I was 13, bought my first guitar and was like, 100% sure I would be a rock star by the time I was out of high school. (Sound familiar?) By the time I was 18, and still not on the cover of Hit Parade, I attended Berklee College of Music where I was a Songwriting and Performance (guitar) dual major. Yes, I can read, write and compose music, run a Logic or Pro Tools session and most importantly play "On Green Dolphin Street."
From Berklee, I landed my first job (that paid!) in the music business, managing the publishing library for Rondor Music in New York City, where strange things like cassettes and DAT tapes existed. Ultimately, it led to another gig at PolyGram Music Publishing over on 8th Ave and 49th Street. (Don't worry, I'm ultimately getting to a point here.) In my everyday commute to PolyGram from Queens, NYC, I would exit the yellow N/R subway stop..and crossing over Broadway I'd look to the right...and there it was, the infamous Brill Building. It's there, especially in the 1960s, where scores of the best American songwriters gathered on a daily basis, crafting the back bone of American popular music. I mean if you're looking for the pinnacle of American Songwriting...look none thy further.
Fast forward about 20 something years and working senior positions for BMG Music Publishing (5 years), EMI Music Publishing (5 years) and Kobalt Music Publishing (Executive VP of Creative, 10 Years)...we've finally arrived at today.
I've taken what I've learned through the years, both as a publisher, a musician and a Billboard charting songwriter and created a company, whose roster I am immensely proud of. Everyone is so signature...I LOVE it.
So this is the About page. And so far I've done exactly that. Told you "about." But what separates Brill Building from all the other companies out there. And if you're a potential client reading this...Why Brill Building?
Brill Building's strength exists in (wait for it...) investing creatively and "getting in" on the early side developing talent. Wait. What?! This seems to be a lost art these days, where most of the companies wait on the sidelines for the artists and writers to do the hard work, or land on the charts first, before they all get their panties in a bunch and leap into a frenzied panic to sign someone.
My philosophy has been to always follow -the songs- and consequently, obviously the songwriter. So it doesn't matter to me an artist only has 100 Facebook fans or if you're a writer/producer just getting your first cut(s). If you're making great art...I want to be involved. And I'm proud to say many of my biggest successes were mostly unknown at the time. I mean, it's really about what they call "sweat equity." And it seems no one really wants to "work" anymore. Well, I do.
On that note, a few of the signings over the years that I'm immensely proud of range from: Ryan Tedder, The Lumineers, Grimes, Cirkut, Moby, SOPHIE, Kelly Clarkson, Peaches, Ariel Pink, Savan Kotecha, Tiesto, Cut Copy, Greg Kurstin, Lindy Robbins, OneRepublic, Chairlift, City and Colour, Ariel Rechtshaid, Delta Rae, SoKo, Jimmy Harry, Adam Lambert, The Crystal Method, Kid Cudi, Big Freedia, Active Child and more (check the roster here, yo!).
Another thing I'm proud of with Brill Building, is that at the end of the day, it's my own money I'm investing. This is quite different to the executive who can sign someone, and if that writer or artist doesn't work out...well, guess what? They'll probably still have a job on Monday and if that signing never recoups...strangely it doesn't come out of their paycheck. So the difference here is that when I sign someone to Brill Building, I'm literally and truly invested in making sure your career takes off.
Lastly and equally important is my relationship with Kobalt Music Publishing. Brill Building is "powered" by Kobalt, meaning that Kobalt looks after my collections and also is amazing on the creative pitching front (procuring synchs, cowrites and cuts). Being both a songwriting client and an executive at Kobalt for 10 years plus, I've seen time and time again how Kobalt delivers 20-30% more royalties in 1.5 years faster time than other publishing companies. There's a great story here on Kobalt and the technology that ultimately powers the collections behind Brill Building.
In closing, when it comes to signings and trends, people often ask "what are you looking for" or "what do you think the next BIG THING is?" My response is always the same. The next big thing is a hit song.
I hope to find that and more with you.