Q&A with a future star: Courtney Eason (’05)

Courtney Eason

Courtney Eason

You work in publishing for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. How did you get started in the music industry, and what are some of your favorite aspects of your job?

I believe you can’t start in any industry unless you have the proper training. I’m proud to say that MTSU tremendously prepared me for the music industry and helped me get to the point where I am now by providing me with tons of knowledge about the music business. While attending MTSU, I made sure that I networked with every student and teacher possible and remained in good standing with all of my RIM relationships. Since I surrounded myself with people whom I could tell would go far in this industry … I knew if they were blessed with an opportunity, my blessing wouldn’t be far behind. And that’s exactly how I got the job at Sony/ATV. A classmate of mine received a position at Sony, and when another job opening became available, she read over the qualifications and immediately thought of me. Now I’m the U.S. administrator at Sony/ATV, involved in everything from royalties to managing writers’ accounts. The coolest thing about my job is seeing the longevity and residual income of a hit song. Great songs never die!

You were recognized by your peers and co-workers in 2011 on Billboard’s “30 Under 30” list. Congratulations! What’s been your motivation?

I would say the local urban musicians in the Nashville area put a great deal of motivation in my life, along with the stereotypes that the Middle Tennessee area receives when it comes to music. I was sick and tired of hearing everyone complain about the lack of support and success for hip-hop and R&B music, plus I didn’t care for the comments made by other cities that “Nashville is a country music city.” I’m a strong believer that if you want to see a change … you have to do something! So I used the complaints from my fellow musicians and the idle talk from others as motivation to make a difference. I started two events to help put Nashville on the map as far as urban music goes: The Soundtrack Beat Battle and The Strange Arrange.

What changes, positive or negative, have you observed in the music industry since you started?

I would say that the biggest change I’ve noticed over the years is the lack of development for new artists. Today it seems to be all about a hit song (that usually is a one-hit wonder) and not about molding artists to be legends. I would like to see more A&R’s searching for true and raw talent and helping that talent to grow. Then maybe we will see better album and ticket sales.

Many people might be surprised to hear that Nashville is becoming a hub for hip-hop musicYou founded Soundtrack Beat Battle in 2010. What is Soundtrack Beat Battle, and why did you create it? 

The Soundtrack Beat Battle is a hip-hop producer’s competition where contestants battle on stage with their instrumental beats in front of a live audience and a celebrity judges panel. The Grand Prize Winner receives gear, magazine features, a production deal and the opportunity to record a song and shoot a music video with a well-known hip-hop artist. The Soundtrack Beat Battle is the No.1 beat battle in the nation, and I’m so happy to say that many of our past contestants are now producing for major artists, TV shows and films. The last and final Soundtrack Beat Battle was Dec. 1, at Marathon Music Works. Our judges panel was filled with celebrity artists, A&R and music producers (Rich Boy, Sonny Digital, Charles C. and Drae Jackson). {www.soundtrackbeatbattle.com}

You also go by the name Coko Korinne. What other projects are you currently working on or involved with?

Coko Korinne is my stage name.  Before diving into events, I was tremendously involved in singing, songwriting and producing. I’m also a local personality, so I can often be found hosting and emceeing concerts, step shows, TV programs and other events across the South (www.cokokorinne.com). However, the projects that I’m currently working on are more involved with live entertainment for the Nashville area. I plan to bring back my live-arrangement competition, called the Strange Arrange (www.strangearrange.com), promoting major concerts in the downtown area and also tapping into venue management. This will all be happening under my new business: Soundtrack Entertainment, LLC. www.soundtrackent.com. TLE

By Aileen Wark Bennett

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Categories: Alumni, News

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