Mentor Spotlight With Parker Cohen
Written by Jason Euler | December 3, 2020
Meet artist manager Parker Cohen. Parker is one of our awesome mentors here on Kinekt. We had the honor of catching up with him this week to chat about everything from his background, the music industry, and what being a mentor means to him!
1 – Tell us a bit about yourself, and what unique insights your bring to the Kinekt team.
I started working in music on the events side of the industry doing marketing, promotions, and talent buying, while simultaneously working for a house label based in Dallas. This gave me really unique insight into 2 very different aspects of the music business that were seemingly unrelated. It wasn’t until leaving events to start my own talent management agency that I realized how lucky I was to gain experience in those 2 areas. Fast forward 5 years later and I am still utilizing skills and connections gained from my early days in music to help develop the artists that I represent.
2 – How has what you were doing when you first started in the industry changed over the past year?
Really not much has changed since day 1. Connect and grow with as many like-minded individuals as possible and be a sponge. This is the business of relationships and, now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected.
3 – What are the pros and the cons of the modern music industry in this snapshot of time?
I think the biggest con of today’s music industry is obviously the lack of touring and the cloud that has been put over all our heads from COVID. But oddly enough, that cloud has also the biggest pro of today’s industry. It’s allowed artists, promoters, agents, mgmt teams, etc to hit the reset button and re-evaluate how everyone is doing business. I think people that innovate and take matters into their own hands are coming out of this successful, while people who worry too much about things out of their control are being left by the wayside.
4 – How has this all affected your plans for next year? What are you doing now to prepare for your long-term visions/goals?
This is a tough question to answer because a lot of what my business partner and I are doing right now is capitalizing on the recent success of one of our artists who arguably released the biggest house record of the year right in the middle of the pandemic. Not only are we working to set him up for an even bigger year next year, but also utilizing his success and all the relationships we’ve gained from it to help elevate the other artists on our roster. Everyone is firing on all cylinders right now and it’s only a matter of time before things open back up and we hit the ground running.
5 – What mistakes are you seeing people in the industry make right now?
I think too many people, especially those just getting started in the industry, focus on the wrong things. Because this industry is so heavily reliant on relationships and getting your name out there, I think with that also comes a lot of ego and fake intentions. I see more and more people doing things for “clout” or just to be able to say they “work” in the industry and much less of actual substance or longevity being created. Especially right now when all there really is to do is brainstorm, work, and grow, you still see people clout chasing. And with that, I’ll also say, the longer someone has been working in the industry the easier it is to smell out the clout chasers. So if you’re a newbie reading this, put the ego aside, and look to work on something meaningful.
6 – What roles have mentors played in your life leading up to this point?
Mentors have been everything for me. It’s always important to find people that you can look up to, lean on for advice, and ask for honest feedback from. Some of my biggest mentors in the industry have also led to really good business relationships as well. It’s also important to note that people like to be asked for help. It’s a good feeling to give back and to be helpful as long as you’re doing it for someone with genuine intentions.
7 – Tell us about the most important piece of advice a mentor has ever passed on to you.
Never be the smartest person in the room. Even if you genuinely think you are, you’re not. There’s always something to learn and that’s the beautiful thing about this industry being so built upon relationships. If you are a good person and are in this for the right reasons, that will shine through to everyone you come in contact with. And as I said in my previous answer, people like to feel helpful and important. If you’re always curious and eager to learn, good things will come your way.
8 – What is your philosophy on teaching, and what can students expect when they book a session with you?
My philosophy when it comes to teaching is you get out what you put in. I think the biggest thing people can expect from me is an open mind and a willingness to think outside the box to help create a new perspective. Whether you’re an up-and-coming artist or just someone who wants to get their foot in the door of the industry, I’m confident I can teach you how to move the needle to get closer to where you ultimately want to be.
9 – How can students best prepare for a mentorship session with you? What mindsets, practices, and questions are important for them to come to the table with?
I think the most important thing to be prepared for a session with me is a clear and defined path. It’s incredibly important to know exactly where you want to go. Once you know where you want to go, we can dissect goals and targets that need to be hit in order to get there. All of my artist’s successes have come from being so deadset on what they want to achieve that it’s almost not even a surprise when we reach our goals and we seamlessly move onto the next thing.
10 – What does it mean to you to be apart of the Kinekt team?
It means being able to give back and help anyone that wants to move their needle in the right direction. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times now, it feels good to help and I think that’s the whole purpose of this industry to begin with. To grow and to help progress the scene as far as possible. It’s amazing what people can accomplish together when collective minds work towards a common goal.