Interview Series: Ron Perry

Illustration by Nimisha Gupta

Everyone is adapting right now. Today, Shazam is basically the new tool that every label uses in identifying future hits. Now all these tools are used to identify artists, but none of these tools can actually break artists.On a worldwide basis, Terrestrial radio still rules.

Music publishing is one of the lesser-known aspects of the music industry. Could you break down publishing for our readers?

RP: Well, publishers represent the songwriters. Sometimes artists write their own songs, and other times they cover songs by other writers. Publishers collect revenue on behalf of the songwriters from sales (digital & physical), streams (although the royalty rate is absurdly low), airplay and any time a song is placed in conjunction with a TV show, movie, commercial, video game etc. Mostly, publishers do their best to bring in the right creative opportunities for their songwriters.

We noticed that you call yourself a connoisseur of naps and sweatpantS—is it safe to presume that you’re not traveling in a blazer unless you need to?

RP: One time I actually did wear a blazer. Don’t think anyone recognized me…

You’re on the road almost every week, sometimes multiple times a week. Do you have any travel routines that help you adjust to life on the go?

RP: I always sit in the same exact seat on the same exact airplane. Never check any bags, and of course TSA Pre-check is a must!

What are some of your necessary travel essentials?

RP: The Vianel wallet, of course. Otherwise my wallet would looks something like George Costanza’s wallet on Seinfeld.

With such a hectic lifestyle, you probably need a break more often than your schedule permits. Where do you go in NY to escape?

RP: You Gotta love Soho House in NY and LA!

 

New York in the 80s and 90s and London in the 60s and 70s, these were both geographical hotbeds of pop culture in their respective eras. Do you think that the Internet has affected trends and pop culture today?  Do you think the digital era has helped trends launch without being geographically bIased?

RP: Great point. I think the digital era has essentially made the world flat. I’m not sure that we’ll see an early 90s Seattle type trend again. It’s actually great for artists as it’s easier for them to put their music on a grand scale.

With digital and social media platforms, the internet has arguably changed the music industry more so then any other industry, especially from an A&R perspective. What do you think is next for the digital music era? Who are using these new tools best in developing, breaking and marketing music and artists?

RP: Everyone is adapting right now. Today, Shazam is basically the new tool that every label uses in identifying future hits. Now all these tools are used to identify artists, but none of these tools can actually break artists. On a worldwide basis, Terrestrial radio still rules.