Solving Problems with Art, VR, and Software . . . with Sasha Samochina

Solving Problems with Art, VR, and Software . . . with Sasha Samochina

Sasha Samochina

In this episode, Sasha Samochina shares her journey connecting art, VR, and science together — to her trio of roles at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  She illustrates why she is “thankful for [her] boldness” in interning and pushing into each new job and new technology.  The Field Museum in Chicago became an opportunity to connect art, science, computing, and social storytelling.  By the end, you’ll see the arc that returned to her desire as a young student to be a teacher and librarian but on an inter/planetary scale.   

Guest: Sasha Samochina, Deputy Manager of the Ops Lab, Project Lead for ProtoSpace, and the Technical Group Supervisor for the User Interface Development Group (397M) at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Sasha Samochina (sam-ocean-uh) is an Emmy award-winning creative technologist. She joined the team at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) after working in New York in the fields of video and web development and in Chicago, where she was a Media Producer at The Field Museum of Natural History. After dreaming up content for JPL’s Communications department, she began to explore the world of 360 videos and XR. Through Sasha’s visualization skills, she pioneered the very first 360° video release on social media for NASA. She is currently the Deputy Manager of the Ops Lab, Project Lead for ProtoSpace, and the Technical Group Supervisor for the User Interface Development Group (397M) at JPL. Sasha dedicated herself to helping create software that incorporates innovative forms of visualization that aid scientists, engineers, and astronauts in transforming their workflow, and she leverages that same experiential technology to educate and inspire the public to engage in STEAM. She loves all things digital, animal, sound-emitting, cosmic, and views the world through XR-colored glasses.

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Social Proof and Pushing Forward . . . with Ty Frankel

Social Proof and Pushing Forward . . . with Ty Frankel

Ty Frankel

In this episode, Ty Frankel shares how as a young music creator and entrepreneur he pushed to create relationships to build Shut Down Media. His multi-country company creates hip hop music for integration into film and television. He talks about how he overcame obstacles, how he got distracted, and how he returned to his core business.  He talked about being inspired by Rich Dad, Poor Dad and other books on how to build his career.  Ty shares how his company has pivoted with film and television during this crisis, and how it has spurred him to launch even more adventures.  

Guest: Ty Frankel, Founder and CEO, Shut Down Media

Ty Frankel started making rap beats from his home in Israel at just 14 years old. Since inception in 2017, Shut Down Media has grown with divisions like Shut Down Production Music, Shut Down Art, and Shut Down Sync. In only three years, Shut Down Media has worked with clients such as UMPG, Warner, NBA 2K, Fortnite, The Ellen Show, Mercedes-Benz, and many more. 

Ty is a writer for UPMG and Warner and has secured placements on shows like Saturday Night Live. Not only has he built multiple companies at the age of 22, but he’s also created new in-house record labels with the likes of FirstCom and No Sheet Music.

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That Moment of Mojo . . . with Zack Zalon

That Moment of Mojo . . . with Zack Zalon

Zack Zalon has shifted and grown along with a transforming music industry.  He began as (and still is) a musician, then blossomed at the Troubadour before launching into websites, marketing, Farm Club, Virgin, and through that Moment of Mojo into taking his background and the now-possible world of artificial intelligence into Super Hi-Fi.  We wrap up with advice to his younger self after this intriguing journey across music and digital transformation.

Guest: Zack Zalon, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer,
Super Hi-Fi

Zack Zalon is co-founder and CEO of Super Hi-Fi, a Los Angeles-based music technology company that is creating transformative listening experiences for the world’s largest music experience providers. Current partners include Peloton, iHeart, The Associated Press, Universal Music Group, Napster, and Target Spot.  Zack also is a musician, with a recent release in 2018 of “Into the Great Divide.”

Prior to Super Hi-Fi, Zalon served as co-founder and managing partner for We See Dragons, a “S.W.A.T.-style” digital agency that developed consumer platforms for brands including National Geographic, Johnson & Johnson, Ticketmaster, Comcast, Citibank, Experian, and Madison Square Garden.  Earlier, Zalon was Managing Partner at Wilshire Media Group; President of Virgin Digital, the global digital platform for the Virgin Group; President of The Factory Network;  and general manager of Doug Weston’s Troubadour.

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Slightly Against the Grain . . . with Carlo, Ben, and Josh from Indie-Pop

Slightly Against the Grain . . . with Carlo, Ben, and Josh from Indie-Pop

Enjoy the tales of Carlo Fox, Ben Willis, and Josh Andriano working together as the three-partner independent music management company leadership team running Indie-Pop.  After meeting when Josh and Ben married sisters (no longer in the picture), they formed Indie-Pop and have learned to work together making decisions about talent, investment, and growth . . . and now in starting a new independent music label, Independent.co.  They discuss future rights flow in building generational wealth for artists and their reasons for launching a new label in these streaming times.  They close with how their lockdown experiences have made them see their daily lives and spend their time in a new way — rethinking family, health, relationships, and travel.

Guests: Carlo Fox, Co-Founder and CEO; Ben Willis, Co-Founder and Strategic  Relations, and Joshua Andriano, Co-Founder and Head of New Talent, Indie-Pop and Independent.co

Carlo Fox: Carlo came into Indie-Pop as the social media whiz and now is CEO and co-lead of both companies.  

Ben Willis: An executive and entrepreneur with over two decades of music-business experience, Ben Willis is forging a new path for artists who defy the confines of pop convention. He’s devoted much of his career to identifying left-of-center talent with a potentially massive appeal, then incubating that talent in order to foster both artistic integrity and long-lasting success.

Joshua Andriano: Josh is a former DJ turned former entertainment attorney turned co-founder.  He is a New York Law School graduate who shifted into music in 2008 and is now Indie-Pop and Independent Co-Founder and Partner.

Indie-Pop: Founded in 2008, Indie-Pop had its first triumph with The Cataracs (a hip-hop duo they helped propel to multi-platinum status) and later helped build the career of rapper/singer/songwriter KYLE (whose Indie-Pop-released hit “iSpy” went six-times-platinum). With Indie-Pop’s roster including global artists like Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna, the team now co-launching Independent—a record-label solution offering all the creative benefits of autonomy while securing exceptionally fair and financially compelling deals for each artist.

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Innovation is Messy . . . with Jack Conte

Innovation is Messy . . . with Jack Conte

Jack Conte

Jack Conte blends the worlds of music creation (Pomplamoose and the funk band Scary Pockets) and solving creators’ problems with systems (crowdfunding and community with Patreon).  He shares how he balances (or doesn’t balance at times) creating music with running a large tech business.  He also shares what he has learned, how his companies have shifted with the work-from-home world shift, and how he has changed/staffed his own creative processes in this distributed era.  His career journey has been an interesting mingling of music and science/technology, all the way back to his science teacher who got him interested (who he still connected with monthly over Costco pizza). 

Guest: Jack Conte, CEO and Co-founder of Patreon; band member of Pomplamoose and Scary Pockets

Jack Conte is a musician, filmmaker, half of band Pomplamoose and Scary Pockets, and a co-founder at Patreon, a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to earn salaries directly from their biggest fans. Patreon was founded in 2013, and is on track to pay out more than $500 million to creators in 2019 alone.

As a musician and filmmaker, Jack spent his days in a converted dog kennel-turned-recording studio in Sonoma County, making YouTube videos that have amassed over 120 million views. Now, he’s in full-time CEO mode at Patreon HQ in San Francisco where the company is paying millions of dollars to creators every month around the world. Jack also loves working with robots.

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Everything Old is New Again . . . with Ted Cohen

Everything Old is New Again . . . with Ted Cohen

This week on the Creative Innovators with Gigi Johnson podcast, we are joined by Ted Cohen, who shared tales of doing things for the right reasons and seeing decades ago the dimensions of our current music streaming playlists and challenges.  He talks about genuineness of artists vs. overproduction in livestreaming and concerts, pricing the risks of new markets, scarcity, negotiations, how business challenges repeat, and how some people don’t see or know the past launches in their very own businesses.  He shares his search and joy for things that are “effing amazing” as a whole with elegant execution.  And he shares the joy of paying it forward from those who got him started as mentors. 

Guest: Ted Cohen, Head of Development, Mediatech Ventures; Managing Partner, TAG Strategic

Known as “part connector/part evangelist/always a futurist,” Ted Cohen is Managing Partner of TAG Strategic, an LA-based digital entertainment consultancy. Additionally, Ted is Head of Corporate Development for Mediatech Ventures, the Austin-based VC/incubator/accelerator. Previously, as SVP-Digital for EMI Music, Cohen led global digital business development. Prior to EMI, Ted led Consulting Adults, clients included Universal Studios, Amazon, Microsoft, and Napster. Cohen also held senior positions at both Warner Bros Records & Philips Electronics. A 40+ year digital entertainment industry veteran, Cohen created & chaired MidemNet and served on the Grammy National Trustee Board. Ted continually looks for the next innovative technology & his next challenge, he really loves his life.

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