Get to Know: Breaking Into The Music Business and the Recorded Industry and Staying There


Breaking into the Music Business can be intimidating, that's why we're bringing this panel to Music Expo Nashville! Music Row’s Sherod Robertson will moderate a Q&A with Grammy Award-winning Recording Engineer Zach Allen to discuss how to prepare for a recording session, how to speed up workflow in the studio, the Do’s and Don'ts in the recording studio, and how to use technical problems as opportunities.


Sherod Robertson

Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises, the parent company of MusicRow magazine, which in its 37th year, serves as the Nashville music industry trade publication.

He acquired the company in October 2010 and oversees operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow Magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout Chart. In 2012, he created the annual Rising Women on the Row honors, to recognize women who are making significant contributions in the Nashville music industry.

During the ‘90s, Sherod served as Director of Finance of Arista Records, reporting to Tim DuBois and Mike Dungan. Earlier, he launched his career in the music industry in 1991 and served as VP of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records, Inc. and its publishing company, Reunion Music Group, Inc., then led by Terry Hemmings. Sherod is also a CPA.

As a Mississippi native, he is a member of CMA, ACM, The Recording Academy, and a Leadership Music alum. He attended the University of Alabama where he obtained his Bachelors of Science degree and had the privilege of witnessing Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s final year as coach.

Q&A with Sherod

MUSIC EXPO: What advice do you have for artists trying to break into the music industry?SHEROD: I often get asked this question. No one "breaks" into the music business anymore. You have to "build into" it. Build your craft, build your talent, build your fan base, build your social media engagement, build your integrity and relationships. The role of the music industry is not to build these things for you. It's purpose is to take what you've built and magnify it. 

MUSIC EXPO: What has been your most memorable experience in music so far?
SHEROD: I'm a business man at heart. So as a non-creative who doesn't sing or write music, my most memorable experiences are those amazing opportunities I have had to immerse myself into the creative segment of our business. Whether it's hanging backstage with an artist at a concert or interviewing an Oscar winning actress-songwriter, the people I've met along the way constantly remind me that my job is cool as shit. And I never take that for granted.

Zach Profile.jpg

Zach Allen

Zach Allen is a Grammy Winning Recording Engineer, Music Producer, and Mixer. Currently, he is working with various artists, singers, songwriters, and fellow producers from all over the Nashville area in some of the best studios the region has to offer. His relationship with Blues Artist Keb’ Mo’ has proven to be essentially vital over the last couple of years as Zach recorded the album “TajMo,” a collaborative effort from both Mo’ and fellow Blues Legend Taj Mahal. The album spent 4 weeks atop the Billboard Blues Chart and won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

In 2006, Zach relocated to Winter Park from his hometown of Myrtle Beach to attend Full Sail
University. Upon graduation, Zach chose Nashville to embark on what would become a successful
career in music production. Six months into his residence there, he landed an internship at the
world-renowned studio The Tracking Room. Zach began taking responsibility over as many tasks
as he could find, and before he knew it was named the Studio Manager and Head Engineer.
During his 6 years at The Tracking Room, he worked with a wide variety of artists ranging from
Taylor Swift to Deep Purple. In 2014, Zach broke out on his own and began working as a fulltime
Freelance Producer and Engineer. Since then he has worked with numerous artists including
Buddy Guy, Joe Walsh, and Maren Morris.

MUSIC EXPOWhat advice do you have for artists trying to break into the music industry?
ZACH: Be relentless. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Find the perfect middle ground between putting yourself out there enough without being overbearing. Research the record labels and publishing companies your favorite artists and songwriters are on. Find out everything you can about them and the people that work there. That way you can get a better since of what they are looking for and what they are not looking for.

MUSIC EXPOWhat can we expect to hear from you at Music Expo Nashville?
ZACH: A lot of what is listed above. While skill set is very important, handling your business the right way is far more important. I’ve seen plenty of super talented people go nowhere and plenty of not as talented people make it all the way. Getting a feel of how to navigate this is vital.

MUSIC EXPOWhat has been your most memorable experience in music so far?
ZACH: Opening the package that contained my Grammy will always be pretty hard to top. I was working alone from my home studio that day and when the package arrived, I was able to reflect on everything that I had been through (good and bad) to get to that exact moment. 

You can catch this panel at Music Expo Nashville on September 22nd at SAE Institute Nashville! Early bird tickets are available until August 31st so snag yours now!

Shae BeaudoinComment