Meet the people behind the stories.

Matthew Billy has worked in broadcasting since 2003, first at 90.7 WFUV with iconic on-air personalities Vin Scelsa and Pete Fornatale, and then at Sirius XM Satellite Radio. He is also an accomplished record producer, having helmed projects for Pete Seeger, Aztec Two-Step, and Richard Barone. His Between the Liner Notes podcast series fuses his passion for great stories with a lifelong obsession with music and the people that make it.

Michael Cerda has a 20-year background in building products and services in music, video, social, and communications. Cerda spent three years leading the product team at Vevo, building its owned and operated properties and apps and expanding them internationally. Prior to Vevo, Cerda led product development at Myspace on Artists, Events, and Communications. Cerda founded and ultimately sold group messaging startup Threadbox to Myspace, after founding communications companies Ooma and Jangl. Cerda is also the musical director for Latin Jazz ensemble El Desayuno, and lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sam Chennault has shared tequila with Nas, bummed a smoke from El-P, and been scolded by Chuck D. He once saw P. Diddy land on a beach in Miami while wearing a jetpack. In between these major life accomplishments, he’s worked as the merchandising lead for Google Play Music, the managing editor for Rhapsody, and the music editor for Miami New Times. He’s currently living in San Francisco, engaged, and heading up the content marketing firm, Third Bridge Creative.

Jay Coyle is the founder and “Music Geek” at the digital marketing firm, Music Geek Services. His company provides artist services for the music industry. He is currently working with Sloan, Letters To Cleo, Blake Babies, and The Figgs. Jay’s core focus is to help further the careers of artists while partnering with them in a “D.I.Y. +” sort of way to make sure they have long-lasting and fan-focused careers.

Joey Flores is an entrepreneur and musician from Los Angeles, California. He writes political and social spoken word, as well as highly opinionated music industry commentary.

Julian Gijsen is the co-founder and CEO of, a growing community of curators who select the best music every day — for themselves as well as for brands they are connected to.

Bas Grasmayer is a Dutch serial expat who has previously lived in Bulgaria, Istanbul, and Moscow. He works as a music startup consultant, and is the former product lead of Zvooq, the leading music streaming service in Russia and CIS.

Katie Liestman is an artist manager and marketing strategist who lives in Dallas, Texas. Her previous music ventures include My New Release and Magnolia Red, which helped artists manage all aspects of their businesses.

Cortney Harding is a startup consultant and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of How We Listen Now: Essays and Conversations about Music and Technology, blogs weekly for Cuepoint, and co-hosts the Music Biz Podcast.

Shelly Hartman is a music industry executive who has specialized in digital marketing, sales, and technology for over 15 years. Shelly has created marketing campaigns for such storied record labels as Priority Records, Capitol, and Universal in addition to managing the digital music presence and artist relations for Sony and T-Mobile.

Darren Hemmings founded Motive Unknown, a strategic digital marketing agency, in September 2011. The company’s first client was Infectious Music and the first campaign was Alt-J’s platinum-selling “An Awesome Wave.” Since then, clients have included Sony RED, Domino Records, Brownswood, BMG Rights Management, Fabric, PIAS, and more, across campaigns for the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Moby, Faith No More, Jack Savoretti, Superdiscount, Drenge, and Villagers. In addition to artist campaigns, the company also handles all partnerships and marketing for the AIM Independent Music Awards and teaches digital marketing practice for Generator, AIM, and IMRO, among others.

Tony Hymes is an entrepreneur, writer, and international citizen. He is currently pursuing his MBA while working as a Digital Analyst at Disney. Obsessed with music, he helped to build Whyd, a social platform for music lovers. He speaks four languages and lives in Paris.

Laurie Jakobsen is the founder of Jaybird Communications, a PR firm specializing in digital businesses, especially startups, B2B, and music-related ventures. She lives in New York City with her husband Mac Randall and daughter, and has seen a lot of Duran Duran concerts since 1984.

Dane Johnson is a poet and lyricist who rambles all over the world, writing and exploring. When he’s not traveling, he retreats to the foothills of Northern California to run up and down canyons and dive into cold rivers. His website:

Mike King is a course author, instructor, and the Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Recruitment/Chief Marketing Officer at Berklee Online, the online continuing education division of Berklee College of Music. Prior to working at Berklee, Mike was the Marketing/Product Manager at Rykodisc, where he oversaw marketing efforts for label artists including Mickey Hart, Jeb Loy Nichols, Morphine, Jess Klein, Voices On The Verge, Bill Hicks, The Slip, Pork Tornado (Phish), and Kelly Joe Phelps, as well as Frank Zappa’s estate. Mike was the Director of Marketing and Managing Editor of Herb Alpert’s online musician’s resource,, for three years.

Sachi Kobayashi is an amateur transcendentalist and part-time culture vulture who has worked in the music industry for over a decade. She has her master’s in Communication Management from USC Annenberg, where her research focused on American ethnomusicology, digital media, and public radio.

Alex May is a musician and audio engineer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Having a keen interest in music technology and how it affects artists and listeners, he’s penned pieces for Hypebot, and worked on the Music Biz Podcast. He hopes to move to the United Kingdom in the not-so-distant future, and pursue music performance and recording in the country that produces his favorite media.

Alison McCarthy is a writer at eMarketer, where she spends her days thinking about how different groups of people use the Internet. She has been a contributor to a variety of online publications covering topics in digital media and technology, including PSFK, Hypebot, and gnovis, Georgetown University’s journal of communication, culture, and technology. She has a BA in Media Studies from Emerson College and an MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University.

Kara Murphy is a freelance marketing consultant with over 15 years of experience working for major brands in both music and technology, including Rdio, BitTorrent, Premiere Radio Networks, Warner Bros. Records, SF MusicTech, and Pearson Education. She writes for local Bay Area music and culture blog Spinning Platters and, as an avid live music photographer, works on the in-house teams for the likes of Outside Lands Music Festival and Noise Pop.

Brendan O’Connell is a musician based in Chicago. He is the songwriter and keyboardist for pop/soul band The Right Now and produces his own music as Sidepart. Follow him on twitter at @therightnow.

Jackie Otero is a music business educator and consultant in Orlando, Florida. She currently serves as the program director of the Entertainment Business and Music Business bachelor’s degree programs at Full Sail University.

Derek Pinnick is a lifelong North Dakotan, first from Minot, and then Fargo. He’s been playing in bands and going to basement shows pert’ near 15 years now, he reckons. He currently plays bass in a Fargo band called Boxcutter Kids, which you can hear on Spotify, Rhapsody, BandCamp, and other places.

Thomas Quillfeldt is a London-based writer and researcher who darts back and forth between PR and journalism. With a background in music and the music business, he also writes and manages projects about video games, technology, marketing, and ecommerce. If Twitter hasn’t imploded at the time of your reading this, he can likely be found tweeting complete nonsense at @tquillfeldt.

Marc Ruxin is the former COO and CMO of Rdio, where he oversaw marketing, business development, programming, and advertising. He joined Rdio through their acquisition of TastemakerX, the leading social music platform he founded and ran between 2011 and 2014. Marc has a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from Columbia Business School, and lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children. Marc blogs about music and film at and the Huffington Post.

Caitlin Teibloom loves pop, hip-hop, and rock ’n’ roll. She writes about this love all over the Internet from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her wonderful husband and nutball dog, Scooby.

Amanda Krieg Thomas is a music supervisor for film and TV. She is currently at Neophonic, working on TV shows such as “American Horror Story,” “Scream Queens,” and “American Crime Story.” Past projects include “Fake Off” (truTV), “Grace Stirs Up Success” (American Girl/Mattel), and “French Dirty” (Homegrown Pictures). She occasionally dispenses industry advice and music recommendations on

Emily White is the co-founder of the New York and Los Angeles management and consulting firm Whitesmith Entertainment. Through White’s varied background in the music industry, Whitesmith’s approach in their work with musicians, comedians, and athletes has always been to take the artists’ perspective while simultaneously taking care of the fans. In 2012, White began managing Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin due to her strong personal background in competitive swimming. Managing Anthony like the rock star he is led to a crowdfunding campaign, as White manages athletes in the same she works with musicians. Realizing that there was no vertical in the crowdfunding space that specifically serviced sports properly, White co-founded Dreamfuel recently with Justin Kalifowitz, bringing her modern music work to the sports industry and beyond.

Solveig Whittle is a musician, music marketer, and blogger who regularly contributes articles to indie and DIY music industry websites, blogs, and podcasts. She teaches social media to music students at the Art Institute of Seattle, and is an instructor at the University of Washington in their Professional and Continuing Education certificate program for social media. Solveig is an alt-pop vocalist and lyricist (BMI) who has released four DIY albums. She is a voting member of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of NARAS (The Grammys).

Jackie Yaeger is a Brooklyn-based twenty-something, obsessed with magazines, eavesdropping, Instagram, lipstick, and living every night like it’s Friday. Her first-ever live music experience was seeing the Backstreet Boys’ “Backstreet’s Back Tour” in 1998 in Philadelphia, where she donned snap-on pants and pigtail buns. Somewhere between a “Band-Aid” and “The Enemy,” Jackie interviews bands about where they’ve tasted the best pizza in the world, ghostwrites their bios, and concepts cool editorial features to help promote their tours.