Seth is a principal in New Amsterdam Media LLC, a two-time Emmy winner, and he's managed digital media initiatives with the Walt Disney Company, DIRECTV, Comcast, TiVo, Time Warner Cable, Showtime, HBO, STARZ, Sun Microsystems, Universal, Goldman Sachs and a variety startups, venture and private equity partners. That's what his resume says. What it doesn't say is that he's a real music man with a rich background in the business. Oh, and he's also a principle in the The A&R Channel, an on-demand music network on Comcast.
------------------1) How did you break into the business?
I guess there were three things:
One - I got to work on one of the first Synclaviers in college... would up pulling all-nighters learning how sampling and additive synthesis worked. At 18 that was mind-blowing.
Two - I went to NYU behind Rick Rubin and watched him and Russell Simmons build Def Jam in my dorm. That changed my life.
Three - My life job out of college, insane as this is, was for a startup doing something called "Interactive Television" in Port Washington NY. This is years before the browser or even AOL - at least five years before email as a consumer thing. So that was just an astounding window into the future, and opened my eyes to something that I would up moving into full-time about 13 years later.
2) What makes you unique?
I guess I have a pretty wide range of experiences – have lived way outside the system, and in the belly of the system. So I probably see things in a lot of layers: creativity, innovation, finance, politics etc. There are multiple sides to every story.
3) Who was your biggest influence?
Maybe Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto or David Bowie - the way they can take on different genres or media and bring who are they are to it- be true to the style- but somehow you always know it's them. Some writers like David Mamet or David Milch have that too - people who create from themselves. I really admire that.
4) What's the best thing about your job?
Being able to create something new.
5) When and where were you the happiest?
6) What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
When I was 15 - "Do not become a guitar player for a living" - from my teacher Dom Minasi, still the greatest guitarist I've ever met.
Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.