Tag Archives: Music

Conversations with Hilary: Robb McDaniels, Music Entrepreneur

robbandmaryann-england (2)Robb is one of the coolest people I know. I met Robb through YPO (Young Presidents Organization) nearly six years ago. At that time I had Maxwell and Sade on repeat in my CD player, and while I still love their music, Robb has shown me the light and expanded my playlist to include a varied mix of artists I would have never been exposed to if it weren’t for him.

He is the founder and former CEO of INgrooves Music Group, the leading global music distribution and marketing company, and recently he founded Faction, a technology-enabled talent management company that provides a suite of resources and infrastructure to help the creative community manage their artist’s businesses.

Not only is he a highly successful entrepreneur, but he is a terrific father, and a loyal friend who is  hilarious and always up for an adventure. I am honored to call him a dear friend!  Enjoy my conversations with Robb.

image1What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
I was going to ask whether you wanted to know my greatest personal or professional accomplishment, but quickly realized it all ties

back to the same thing. Early in my adult life, I decided that my goal in life was to positively impact as many people as possible through my work and relationships. My greatest accomplishment is my ongoing pursuit of this goal, which won’t end until this life comes to a close!


What qualities do you think others love about you?

I would like to think that the people around me in life love that I am generally happy, generous, dependable and willing to be unconventional and follow my own path. But maybe they just love that I can laugh at myself and the many jokes they all make at my expense.

If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
Have a large farm or country house with a dog rescue facility.

What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I am lucky enough to get to work in the music industry, so there are obvious perks of being able to see some of the most amazingly talented musicians up close and personal.  But it’s equally enjoyable to work with others who are so passionate about supporting the arts and the creative community.  It’s inspiring to me to see that passion at work every day.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Usually check my phone, although I am now trying to give myself a few moments to think about things I am grateful for and get myself in the right mindset for the day.

image3What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Given that I am out so much during the week for my job, I usually like to crack open a bottle of wine and cook a nice meal with my fiancée and/or two boys before watching a movie.

What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Sports, music and girls…and it took me a long time to grow up.

What are you passionate about now?
I am still growing up…but passionate just about one girl!  I also love my two boys, Declan and Owen, and am amazed at how fast they are growing up (much faster than me).

What’s your favorite season and why?
That’s a tough choice between winter (for skiing) and summer (for long days).  Skiing is my favorite activity to do in life; I live to ski.  But summer is just such a fun time of year, with the boys out of school and more available to do things and the long summer days leaving more time for outdoor fun.

If you were a cocktail or a drink what would it be?
A shot of really good tequila.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
U2’s “A Beautiful Day”

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
My family.  It doesn’t happen enough. But I would ask them to invite Thomas Jefferson so I could ask him if it was OK for us to clarify the whole thing about the right to bare arms.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
The Rules Not Followed

Do you have any regrets?
I tend to correct or change anything I may have regretted in the past and therefore don’t dwell on it.  This is all just a learning experience so onwards and upwards!

Define Freedom.
Freedom is being able to love without fear and live without persecution.

What are your personal core values?
I value personal integrity, honesty, respect for others and seeing the best in people around me.

What three things would you bring with you on a desert Island?
My family, my music and an endless supply of Plumpjack wine!

VERSO: Behind the Scenes

Get to know the man behind the music – Entertainment Director Jared Forkner. Find out what attracted him to the music industry, what he listens to and what to expect with VERSO in the upcoming months.

What inspired you to pursue a life long career in music?
I’ve always been a avid fan of music and took guitar/drum lessons as a child. I began DJing at 14 and in the late 90’s I started dabbling in music production. While I was in college, I started playing lots of the parties in Boulder, Colorado. After moving back to the Bay Area in 2003 I started playing at clubs and raves. My biggest break came while waiting tables at the Balboa Cafe San Francisco when I began to play weekly at MATRIXFILLMORE . I eventually linked up with Trevor Simpson, who was then on Energy 92.7 and began working with him in the studio which was when things really started moving. I got to remix loads of artists and held residences at Ruby Skye, 1015 Folsom and regularly playing at Vessel, The Endup, etc.
What do you love about VERSO as a music venue?
I had a moment recently that really hit home. Folks come to VERSO to hear new fresh music. It’s an amazing and refreshing difference from the normal Jukebox expectations from normal ‘clubs.’ I believe this is the biggest difference between a music venue and a normal club.

Who are some of your favorite artists?
So many great ones right now – Noisia, Chris Lorenzo, Skapes, Low Steppa, the entire Dirtybird Family, Shift K3y, Gorgon City, Icicle, Mat Zo, Calibre, Jakwob, MJ Cole, Taiki Nulight, Weiss, June Miller, Etherwood, Joe Ford, AC Slater & the entire Night Bass crew, My Nu Lengo!

What’s on tap with VERSO’s music lineup?
We’re going to be focusing more on curated events and also featuring some of the best talent in the world for House, Techno, Trance and more. In the fall we will continue to expand our programming to other genres of electronic music and eventually live music as well. View the calendar here

Why VERSO over other clubs in San Francisco?
Verso is special because we do things from the heart. Both Rico (Marketing Director) and myself are DJ’s and lovers of music. Having DJ’d for 20 years, as well as being a working musician and engineer, I know what the artists expect and what the guest wants. We genuinely want the artists and our guests to have an experience that makes them feel right at home and comfortable. It’s all about having a great relationship and meeting new like minded people in a great environment.
If you’ve never been to VERSO, what should you expect on your first visit?
It’s a gorgeous and expansive venue with great sound with a warehouse feel. What they don’t know is that the team behind it is devoted to creating the best venue we can. A refined selection of artists. We’re not the normal ‘club,’ but a venue by the people for the peopl

What has been the most memorable music night at VERSO since its opening?
March 25th with Chris Lorenzo (Dirtybird / Nightbass) & Shift K3y (Colombia Records). Two artists that I love and respect dearly got to play back to back and the night was truly magical. A close second would be Tiesto, when we had him out during Super Bowl 50 weekend. I used to play his records 15 years ago.
What about private events?
I can honestly say that VERSO is one of the best event venues in San Francisco for both social and corporate events. The venue is designed to be equally functional and comfortable with a smaller or larger group, and can accommodate up to 400+ guests. Our director of events, Ashley Guillory is passionate about making sure her clients have the best experience.

VERSO SF
1525 Mission St. at 11th
San Francisco, CA

Conversations with Hilary: Eoin Harrington, Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter

Eoin Harrington_Grammy's

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
Nothing is jumping out at me so I guess I’m still waiting for it to happen.

Do you have a prized possession?
The theme for a Halloween bash back in Ireland in 1995 was 70’s disco (at that point an era still pretty fresh being only two decades old). Lacking a “costume,” my friend donated his father’s brown leather jacket that was about 30 years old. I still cherish it to this day.

What do you love about yourself? What do you think others love about you?
1. Hilary! Don’t you know I’m Irish. We’re not allowed to give ourselves compliments.
2. When I stop talking.

If you could be anything other than what you currently are, what would it be?
I would like to be a professional hurler. Hurling is actually an ancient Irish sport that is 3,000 years old. I played up to the age of 17 or so, and had a short stint playing for the underage Dublin team. I love the game.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Kiss Kate (my girlfriend).

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Dinner at Sushi Ran in Sausalito.

What do you like most about what you do for a career?
I get to help the careers of incredible musicians at a time when making a living just playing music is a difficult thing to do.

What were you passionate about when you were a kid up until today?
When I was…
Four – Music
Eight – Music / hurling / Our family farm in Cork
15 – Music / applied math.. would you believe?/ Farm in Cork
18 – Cancer and a cure / Music / My family (5000 miles away)
25 –  Finding a cure for Cancer at Genentech / Still Music
33 – Starting my own business
36 – Launching the careers of incredible musicians
Eion Harrington_Farm

What are you passionate about now?
Striving to make a real, credible difference in the world – I have not figure that out, yet, but will not stop trying.

What’s your number one most played song on your iPod/iPhone?
Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

If you were a cocktail or drink, what would it be?
An Old Fashion

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?
A Guitar
A handy knife
Every episode of 24 (with the necessary equipment, please)

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Pop into the Oval Office and see what really goes on.

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Saint Patrick…I am curious what he thinks about how we celebrate his memory.

If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
Is This Thing On?

Do you have any regrets?
Not writing my bucket list, yet.

Define Freedom.
The ability to be with the people you love and pursue the dreams that drive you. If you get to do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.

What are your personal core values?
Be respectful, fair, honest and give 110% of yourself 150% of the time.