10 Questions with ... Scott Maness
May 1, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I was always passionate about music, and I was very fortunate to make a career out of it! During my senior year in college, I convinced an old acquaintance to make me the college rep for Rawkus Records. This opportunity gave me a taste of the business, and that small glimpse made me realize that I would stop at nothing to get in. After graduating, I moved back home to NYC and landed an assistant gig at Arista Records. After a year, I started doing College Promotion, and then a year later I left to become the DC Regional for Elektra Records. When Elektra and Atlantic merged, I took the next flight to Miami to become the Atlantic Southeast Rep. After a quick stint on the beach; I headed out to Los Angeles to be the West Coast Regional for Atlantic. Then after several years of the Left Coast, and my many moves, I relocated back home to NYC as the Rhythm National for Atlantic/Special Ops. Soon after that, I joined the Island Def Jam team as the Senior Director of Rhythm Promotion.
1. What was your first music industry gig?
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, and to my parent's skepticism, my first gig in the industry was as a part-time receptionist at Arista Records. Fortunately, I was making a little extra money on the side from being a club promoter, so I was still able to survive in NYC. From the parttime receptionist, I was able to aggressively network and move up to a temp, and then I finally landed a fulltime gig as the assistant to the head of rock promotion.
2. What was most exciting part of moving from Los Angeles to New York?
Besides for moving back home and closer to my family, I was extremely excited to grow and learn more in this next step of my career. This move signified my transition from Regional to National. I was eager to be in the main office of Atlantic Records and get a better understanding of how the whole machine worked. I was thrilled to be closer to the action! And, on top of that, I was now able to get a real slice of pizza, 24/7!
3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Veterinarian, but once my hamster prematurely died on me, I realized I needed to reassess. But truth be told, music was always around me....I played the trumpet in elementary school, and then in junior high school I played the saxophone. I even played in Carnegie Hall.
4. At Island Def Jam, you have a tremendous artist roster. Any new artists that have really impressed you recently?
Justin Bieber has been one of the most exciting projects of my career. At the start, radio stations didn't even want to waste their time to record an interview with him. Then, approximately nine months later, JB was headlining shows and selling out Madison Square Garden! I'm also a big fan (professionally and personally) of Big Sean. After several years of growing and developing, we found the right time to hit radio and the masses. After basically three Top 5's at Rhythm Radio (off of his 1st major label release), he is still one of the most humble, positive, nicest and professional people I have ever had the privilege of working with. Also...watch out for 2 CHAINZ (also known as Tity Boi of Playaz Circle)! He has successfully re-branded, re-named and re-invented himself, and is hitting the world by storm! Not only is he working with all of the hottest artists out right now (Kanye, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Jeezy, The Weeknd, etc.), but he has strategically set himself up to transition to superstar status. The street buzz on him is unbelievable and he is primed and ready to take over!
5. When you have visitors to New York what's your "go to" restaurant for dinner?
I tend to go for convenience and location, and I love trying new places. And to be honest, having a visitor in town gives me the opportunity and excuse to explore. Secretly though, I have to admit that I love Houston's/Hillstone's. They have some tasty-ass ribs!
6. What's your favorite non Island Def Jam record on the radio? (don't want to put you on the spot with any of the Island Def Jam roster.)
I plead the fifth.
7. Knicks or Nets, Jets or Giants, Yankees or Mets?
Knicks, Big Blue and although I'm not a big baseball fan, the Yankees.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm active. I'd rather wake up at 7am on a Saturday and be able to enjoy the day, than sleep in. I definitely enjoy discovering new artists and going to shows. I try to stay up to date on current news and contemporary trends. I enjoy running, snowboarding, biking, restauranting (my own word), hitting the gym, movies, a little chess...and my latest craze that won't go away, Words With Friends.
9. If you were going to be on CBS' Amazing Race and you had to pick one programmer to be your race partner, who would you pick and why?
Jason Kidd, Program Director of WPGC/DC. Jason grew up listening to a station his whole life, and dreamed about working there. Then, after many years of paying dues, relocating around the country and moving up the ranks, his dreams came true! Jason is the type of guy that would never give up!
10. Hypothetical question...If you were getting married in two months and you could have any group or singer perform at your reception, who would you choose?
Present - Frank Ocean.
Past - Michael Jackson
Got a favorite vacation spot?
As much as I love chilling on a beach with a drink in my hand, I love being on snowy mountains. I actually feel more rested after a snowboarding trip then a beach vacation. Besides for the exercise and natural adrenalin boost I get from it, it also allows me to feel further away from civilization and appreciate the beauty of mother-nature. Park City and Vail are great!