10 Questions with ... Mike DePippa
March 29, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
EMI Records 1995-96, Elektra Records 1996-2004, Sony Music (Epic/Columbia) 2004- 2015
1. After 11 years at Sony Music with Epic and Columbia Records, what made you decide to move to Republic as SVP/Promotion & Artist Development, Rock Formats last summer?
In a word Opportunity. Opportunity to grow my career. Opportunity to work at the #1 label in the #1 music group. Opportunity to work with the most forward thinking and smartest executives in the business including, Monte Lipman, Avery Lipman, Charlie Walk, and David Massey. Opportunity to reunite with Amanda Dobbins. Opportunity to work with some incredible artists and help reshape the department.
2. Your 2015 ended with some big changes -- a new job and twins. Tell us how that changed your life.
I don't think anything can prepare you for twins, but having 3 boys is a blast. That plus a new job caused complete chaos, but I really don't know any other way. I'm not satisfied unless I have a dozen balls in the air.
3. What was your biggest takeaway from working at Sony Music?
I look back at my time at Sony as nothing but positive. I got to work with some amazing artists and made some great relationships.
4. What is it liking working again with Charlie Walk and Amanda Dobbins?
CW is fearless, he's not afraid to take chances. That inspires me daily. Amanda can complete my sentences. It's weird. I missed her a lot.
5. How different are the cultures at the two labels?
There is a vast difference between the two labels, but I'd rather only focus on the future at this point. I love the open vibe and transparency here.
6. What has been your biggest challenge in your new role overseeing Republic's Alternative, Rock, and Triple A roster?
Time management and expectation management are always difficult.
7. How would you describe your promotion style?
I try to be strategic, focused and not waste anyone's time.
8. You just launched the new Jake Bugg single, "Gimme The Love" and have some nice early airplay. Give us your pitch for Alternative Radio and what's coming up.
Jake made a completely different record. Lesley at WWCD said it sounds like he's been listening to a lot of Stone Roses and Arctic Monkeys. I like that description. I'm fired up about Phantogram coming, and I think Grace Mitchell and Oh Wonder are going to surprise some people.
9. It seems like several Alternative stations are adding fewer songs in 2016. What are your thoughts on the state of Alternative Radio?
While there are definitely bright spots, I don't believe it's in the best state at the moment. The radio show thing has become a drag; there are days where I feel like a booking agent. I'd like to see it get back to the days of partnering to break bands and the radio shows being a reflection of that.
10. What is your typical routine like each day?
While no day is the same, when I'm home it starts with checking Mediabase, a cup of green tea, making the family breakfast, and dropping my oldest son at school. Once I get to the office its multitasking for the next 10 hours.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time on the weekends with your wife and three kids?
I'm just happy to get to spend as much time with them as possible. It's usually a juggling act. Maybe a kids Birthday party, some park time, a visit to something cultural.
What music are you listening to when your whole family is in the car? What about when you have control of the car radio?
We listen to SiriusXM in the car. Mostly Alt Nation, but some Spectrum and XMU as well. It's the same when I have control.