Steve Stoute Quotes

  1. Look at music like gaming. You monetize the game to all the people who are most engaged. I wanted to bring that theory and thinking to music.
  2. You don’t want to have any disagreements with a friend, you know? Not disagreements that become public record and that you still have to answer questions about 10 years later.
  3. The ad business has some of the great artists, but because there are so many, its hard to determine the true gems.
  4. At the root of any societal issue is human truth, especially those truths we find hard to confront.
  5. I look at the artists as mini media companies, like if Beyonce is ESPN and Lady Gaga is Discovery.
  6. As a firm believer in the power of songwriting, I feel privileged to be part of a team that continues to help us all understand the true force and impact of lyrics and music around the world. Genius is special – it’s remixing the digital playbook and owning a new space in music and tech.
  7. Translation and UnitedMasters, which is all one company, is my vision and my dream, and I think it’s today’s reality of the convergence between storytelling, technology, and culture.
  8. I realized how far-reaching the effect of hip hop was when I walked by a jewelry store named Bling in a small, rural town in France. Hip hop has made a huge impact on urban culture. Yet many brands still don’t speak to young people in a tone and manner that’s representative of them.
  9. I never want to predict the relationship between music and advertising.
  10. Nas is an artist who writes from his heart.
  11. Does the Grammys intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity, and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation? Meanwhile, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hides behind the ‘peer’ voting system to escape culpability for not even rethinking its approach.
  12. Brands are spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get to young people by using music as the vehicle. Being able to use music data and making it actionable so they can target and speak to these fans, that’s super important.
  13. I felt like I could take the responsibility and make the Nas movement bigger and not keep it confined to the Tri-State area, so to speak. He allowed me to do that. When we were together, we made a lot of noise, and I made him an international star.
  14. If only love can drive out hate, we have to remember that love is a verb. It requires action.
  15. The diversity of America is a strength of the country, and I don’t think that we use that. We don’t talk about our strengths. I mean, having so many diverse people in this country from all aspects of all over the world, and we don’t use that. I think we should talk about who we are – that melting pot that we’ve become.
  16. The advertising industry needs to keep evolving.
  17. Music has always been and will always be a strong gateway to connect with consumers in an emotional hot state.
  18. What’s successful is when you are good at what you aim to do. And I don’t think that Nas has aimed to do anything that he hasn’t done. So he is a good businessman.
  19. You think Jay-Z is going broke? LeBron is going broke? These guys have figured it out. They came from poor backgrounds, broken homes, and they figured out how to be businessmen. They become new aspirations.
  20. Nas has always been uncomfortable with being famous and accessible. Nas makes music because he loves music, not because he wants the trappings of music, such as fame.
  21. Over the course of my 20-year history as an executive in the music business and as the owner of a firm that specializes in in-culture advertising, I have come to the conclusion that the Grammy Awards have clearly lost touch with contemporary popular culture.
  22. I tell young entrepreneurs to use the leader in their industry and as a benchmark as they work to create their own brand. Don’t look at what your competition is doing – if you emulate the leader in your industry, you will achieve a higher level of engagement with consumers and make their buying experience richer.
  23. To all of the artists that attend the Grammys: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves. Demand that they change this system and truly reflect and truly acknowledge your art.
  24. When I was working with Reebok, Paul Fineman sent me to see David Stern to try to explain to him, basically, the tanning of America: That all rappers wanted to be basketball players and basketball players wanted to be rappers.
  25. At Translation, we pride ourselves on being one of the most diverse agencies in the industry – and with that diversity comes a wealth of different talents and perspectives. The onus is on us to empower our employees to use those considerable talents to create real systemic change.
  26. I used to run record companies, and I went to the advertising business at 29 years old.
  27. I’ve heard it said that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. To that end, I think it’s worth noting that the very first police force in America was created as a ‘patrol’ to keep slave populations under control.
  28. Artists and the traditional record company model are at odds. The music business has notoriously taken from the artist. That shouldn’t be the narrative.
  29. It’s very important that an artist’s job is to be a great artist.
  30. There’s much more money being brought into the advertising and communications business than in the music industry.
  31. I always felt like the Academy was very late in acknowledging things. I’ve seen them do it with hip hop when it should have been acknowledged. It was already penetrating mass levels of culture and radio, and yet they wouldn’t give it a proper category.
  32. I’ve started to believe that the agency business is a great ingredient of a much bigger business – more than just what typical advertising agencies have done.
  33. The American dream is Chance the Rapper, or ‘little Chano from 79th’ who hails from Chicago’s Southside and became the first artist to win a Grammy without selling one physical copy of his album.
  34. Hip-hop started as this niche moment, and the values of it, the cultures that it carried on its back; language, clothes, the way you wear your clothes, the items that you consume, all came with the music as an art form. And those things helped transform how people buy, shop, speak, engage.
  35. When you grow up in life and you’re poor, and because you’re an athlete or you got rich overnight in music, unless you have access to financial advice or for the transition or matriculation of that process, then of course, you’re going to go broke.
  36. ‘Rapper’s Delight’ came from the TV entertainment show ‘Good Times,’ but when the times called for a shift in the narrative, artists answered, covering brutal truths in their rhymes that were uncomfortable for society to confront.

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