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Meet Shayan Behboodi of Merk It Mgmt in Westwood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shayan Behboodi.

Shayan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I had just graduated college with no clue what I wanted to do in life. I always loved music as well as going to festivals, and I found that working in music would bring me the most satisfaction long term. However, I did not have any industry connections, knowledge about the business, and I absolutely was not musically creative by any means. I had good grades, a great interview, but I did not have much work experience nor a bachelor’s degree remotely close to anything music-related. I applied to get my masters in music business anyways and to my surprise I got in.

From there, I met some amazing mentors, got some work experience at Capitol Records, Live Nation, and did some work with music Copyrights and Licensing. It wasn’t until August 2018 that I decided I wanted to start managing dance/electronic artists. I signed my first artist a month later and it’s been nothing but rapid growth since. I now manage five different acts and I couldn’t be happier helping them develop and achieve their goals and dreams.

Has it been a smooth road?
I think what frustrates me the most is how promoters, and certain distribution labels, will try to leverage their status over smaller artists. I think it’s a big problem within the industry as a whole, especially in today’s world as we live in a “DIY” era. I think streaming has become a problem as well. Of course the general population loves this new technology of streaming, but it’s really a disadvantage to artists. The payouts are too low, and now they have to rely on touring heavily to make a living. This is what causes physical and mental fatigue to artists when they are away from their homes and families, sleeping on tour buses and probably not getting the proper nutrients they need. Musicians used to tour to promote the album, now they have to put out the album to promote the tour.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Merk It Mgmt – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Like I mentioned earlier, I currently manage five artists. To do what I do, you need to have a selfless personality. Every day I wake up and ask myself, “how am I going to help these five artists get to the next step in their careers?” It is nonstop planning and coming up with different alternatives for every strategy. While your artists are creating the A,B,C you are strategically planning for X,Y,Z so that you’re always ready for the next move. The day to day work is always something different which keeps me on my toes and always having a plan for any possible outcome. When one door closes, I need to be the guy who finds another door to open.

What I’m most proud of is how far we’ve come in just a year! A year ago, the people we idolized are now people we get to talk with and do business with on a daily basis. It almost seems unreal until you’re actually in the process of working towards your dreams and seeing the results. I’m also proud of how close we all are. Typically you hear stories of jealousy and resentment between artists that are represented under the same management, but that’s not the case with us. We’ve all grown to be one family. All my guys talk with each other every day and push each other to do better. Whether it’s giving feedback or collaborating on a track, they all respect each other, and it’s awesome to be working in that kind of environment. I feel like that’s what separates us from some other companies.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Los Angeles. I can easily say this is the best city in the entire world. It’s where I grew up. It’s where I’ve had the best and worst times of my life, but it’s made me who I am today. I love the weather, the food, and the constant entertainment. It doesn’t matter what night of the week it is, there is always something to do in this city. Of course, there are some cons as I’m sure 99% of locals will tell you they hate the traffic, and how expensive everything is. However, I love this city with all my heart, and I don’t see myself living anywhere else for the rest of my life.

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