Press Lives Matter: Quinn Goydish // A&R, Streamcut
Written by Greg Harris
Gearing up the new year with more content on the pages of Modern Life Mag, the growth and love we've from the industry on our interview series, "Press Lives Matters', and how it's given a new insight on the professionals and hustlers behind the scenes making plays. Intertwining between the creases and crevices of what the music industry shifting forward to, we land on the front door of the innovative methods of delivering material with Quinn, a vital player as A&R in the role of monetization projects with rising company, Streamcut.
Streamcut has offered a new alternative for indie artists to earn money on their streams, not owning the rights and publishing to their material, and delivering a more flexible partnership with artists to be able to obtain independent success with an affordable foundation that can help artists grow. With the representation of Young Nudy, Yung Bans, and Gunna and more, Streamcut has been on the road of reeling in 795K - 2 Million monthly listeners on Spotify amongst the three mentioned above. The growth in something like this may be what's to come not only in the Atlanta but across the country with other independent companies providing a foundation similar to this in their region.
We recently had a chance to speak to Quinn about his upbringing, how does he feel about the Atlanta infrastructure, the logistics of business and music, and more.
How’s Your Modern Life?
My life is great! I am surrounded by good genuine people, working on something I love every day. I couldn't ask for more.
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up?
Unfortunately, the first thing I do every morning is check my phone (texts, emails, IG, etc), I am working on breaking myself of that habit. Next, I try to mentally outline my day and the very next step is a toss-up between coffee and shower lol.
Coming up how was your upbringing?
There is so much in a question like this, but to keep it short and simple, we weren't rich, we weren't poor. My parents worked very hard to provide for us. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend school in several different districts all which had their own identity and culture, it allowed me to collect a variety of perspectives and friends.
Living in Atlanta, it’s very different from other cities in the 3rd Coast. How would you compare the nature of Atlanta to other cities in the South?
Atlanta is the best city in the world (if you ask me). I think the culture (or lack of cohesive culture) of Atlanta is a double-edged sword. I don't think the people, music, food, or style from "Atlanta" is as easily identifiable as it is from New Orleans, Houston or Miami. Those cities have strong local cultures which tend to affect everything. However, I think this is what keeps Atlanta on the forefront of everything new from the South. We are not married to a defined "culture" so, in music terms, the sound is always different. We push the culture forward because we are not stuck in it.
Another thing to consider is the nature of the music business in Atlanta as well. How would you describe the environment when it comes to music business affairs in Atlanta? What are the pros and cons?
Like I mentioned above, we are not stuck in a way of how our music is supposed to sound. Atlanta is a hotbed of creativity and boundary-pushing. We are the only city that can spring Young Thug, 21 Savage, Donald Glover and JID with none of it feeling like a gimmick. None of those artists sound anything alike but are all very successful. I also think the opportunity for all 4 of them to be on the same song is something that can only happen in Atlanta. As far as cons, IDK, I mean if there were more industry constructs down here it would make it easier for us to move forward faster (artists hate having to go to LA or NYC to get stuff done), but other than that.. Atlanta is great!
Being someone who has spent some time in the city in this industry, Atlanta is known for his collaborative efforts amongst each other but people are not very familiar with the beef that does go down there as well. How would you say Atlanta is not immune to the certain roadblocks that other cities face when it comes “beef” and “stagnant bullshit”?
Atlanta is run by the streets. Its why you can have an artist who has never rapped before, turn into a star in a year because they have a strong support locally in the streets. When it comes to "beef" I feel a majority of it stems from peoples not too distant past life. Aside from that, you have a whole lot of very young very competitive people working hard to be successful, any time you put a lot of those personalities in the same space there is an opportunity for static.
Before you were working exclusively with StreamCut, you worked alongside Kei Henderson and her involvement with 21 Savage. How did you and Kei first meet and how was it working with her on 21 Savage and other artists?
I have known Kei for over a decade. We became friends through a mutual friend I had in college and remained friends for years before I got to work with her. Kei is one of the most beautiful and genuine people in any industry, and I can not tell her I love and appreciate her enough. I have learned and continue to learn so much from her. As far as Savage, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Now, it wasn't easy, it was hard, stressful, dangerous (sometimes) and an incredible grind, but I would not be where I am today without that. I was fortunate to enter the industry later in life and get very swiftly aligned with a brand new artist with a quick and high trajectory. I learned a lot and built a lot of relationships in a very short time.
Another great moment in your career is when you were doing marketing for Cinematic Music Group, who has housed artists such as Joey Bada$$, G Herbo, Smoke DZA, Big KRIT, and more over the years. How would you describe your experience over there and what were some things you learned while you were over there?
Again all praises to Kei. She brought me into Cinematic with her in 2015 to work on the digital marketing side of the independent label. It really helped me understand the structure of a label and how the process works. I met several people while working at Cinematic that I still talk to often today and consider great friends. I also got to meet Va$htie so that was super dope lol.
Streamlining into what you have going on at Streamcut, what’s the basis of the company and how do you feel like it’s going to make waves in the music industry?
StreamCut is the new music industry. We are an incredibly flexible company that does everything from Distribution, YouTube Monetization, Publishing admin to sync licenses. We are incredibly flexible with what we do with artists and producers. We are artist and producer-friendly, we don't own masters or publishing, we also take a hands-on approach to our clients. My right-hand man Dave Melhado is instrumental in the digital marketing component of our company and the president, Phil Stein, is one of the best people in the industry.
Seeing that you are representing the likes of Yung Bans, Gunna, and Young Nudy, you all are investing into careers of three different styles coming from the same city. What do you all look for when it comes to working with different artists?
I can only speak for myself, but is important to me are 3 things.
1. Authenticity. Are you being yourself? Because if I can see through it, you better believe everyone else can, and it won't work.
2. Effort. How serious are you about this? I am very serious about this and I can't work with someone who half-asses their career.
3. Identity. Have you figured out who you are as an artist yet? You need to understand where your core fans are and need to have something going on for us to be able to really come in and provide value.
We are the most successful working with artists who already have started something and helping them grow that to higher levels. We prefer to take artists from the 4th floor to the penthouse as opposed to from the sidewalk to the elevator you know what I mean?
"I want to help to continue to create an industry where artists have the power. Making the industry very flat and even the playing field. I am very pro-artist and showing them there is a way to be extremely successful making music without giving up ownership is important to me."
Playing the role of someone who looks into the logistics of music, what assets do you think play a vital role in the branding and marketing of an artist in today’s time?
I mean if we are looking at it from a numbers standpoint I think engagement and vitality. If you are engaging consistently with your fans online you grow your opportunities to have viral moments. Aside from that, I think it all goes back to authenticity and the artist being themselves and developing marketing plans with that knowledge. A lot of times marketing is super corny, and every artist has a limit of how much corny shit they can do.
The name of the game in music is streaming, and knowing how effective hip-hop has been with its success of artists receiving Gold and Platinum certification at a faster rate, how do you think things like this is going to play in the future for how artists are receiving monetization and how credible their singles/albums will be?
I mean, it is still more than streaming when it comes to plaques. Off of just streams, you would have to get like 1.5 Billion on-demand streams to achieve Platinum. However, it is clear that streaming has definitely helped more artists in rap achieve plaques. I think we are still very much at the beginning of streaming, and we have no clue how large it can actually get, so I can't tell you how things will play in the future. I think it is too early to tell.
Being in an age where it’s a lot of change happening in the music industry, do you feel as if this is going to be another golden era of hip-hop on the verge of happening?
I mean I have been a fan of the genre the whole time. I think a lot of times when people refer to "The Golden Era" they mean a lot of the early 90s artists because they were the true pioneers of the genre.
In the midst of the large changes happening in music, how do you want to revolutionize music?
I want to help to continue to create an industry where artists have the power. Making the industry very flat and even the playing field. I am very pro-artist and showing them there is a way to be extremely successful making music without giving up ownership is important to me.
What three things you want to accomplish this year?
I want to work a Top 10 Billboard release.
I want to make an artist a million dollars.
I want a S550.
When it’s all said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who genuinely cared for the well-being of everyone I have worked with. It’s important that I am remembered as someone with high integrity who fought for artist rights and cared immensely.