RESPECT. Interview: Music Executive Julius “J” Erving Discusses New Business Venture And More

Photo Credit – Julius “J” Erving

Music Executive Julius “J” Erving has a name you might recognize because he is the son of retired NBA Legend Dr. J, but do not let his famous last name fool you. Julius has made a name for himself in the music industry just like his father has in the sporting industry. He began his career in the music business as an artist management right out of college, as a way to learn the industry landscape.

Julius has worked with some the industries most talented individuals such as “See You Again” artist Charlie Puth, Nelly, JeremihJohn LegendMeghan TrainorNico & Vinz and Miguel. He has also worked with the likes of Atom Factory CEO Troy Carter and co-president Ty Stiklorius.  Since moving on from Atom Factory, Erving has had the opportunity to work with Gee Roberson, Cortez Bryant, and Shawn Gee at Maverick. Maverick represents clients such as Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Jill Scott and G-Eazy.

RESPECT. recently, had an opportunity to speak with the Music Executive Julius “J” Erving about his new business venture entitled “Human -Re-Sources.” Human-Re-Sources is a competitive digital distribution company for artists that want to take back control of their music careers, mainly from a financial perspective.

Human -Re-Sources will represent a fair distribution for a plethora of projects through the year, and will also identify 3/4 priority acts a quarter within the company’s budget. As a company, their deals are competitive with other distribution companies, such as Kobalt or Empire, taking a small distribution fee. So, artists can maintain ownership of their masters and they will be very flexible in structuring clients’ deals. This venture gives artists an opportunity to take control back, and change the rules. 

Since it launched Human-Re-Sources have partnered with Portland Trailblazer’s Point Guard Damian Dame D.O.L.L.A. Lillard ‘Confirmed’ album, Spencer Barnett – ‘Whatever,’ Charlotte Lawrence – ‘Sleep Talking,’ and YBN – ‘Rubbin Off Paint’ & ’Glizzy Hella Geekin’. 

RESPECT.: How did you get your start in the entertainment business?

An executive friend of mine that worked at Universal Music Group as the Senior A&R peeked my interest in the music industry. We were discussing the music industry, and I asked which would the best position for me to get my foot in the door. He suggested that I seek out a management position because as a manager I could learn every aspect of the business and I could figure out which area I liked the most. He would later help me secure my first artist on the management side of things.  More than anything I knew I did not want to work a traditional nine to five I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and I have always had a passion for music.

RESPECT.: Who did you consider some of your mentors as you worked your way up in the industry?

That is a good question because I feel like when I entered the music industry, I did not have a lot of senior-level mentors. I think the person that has always pushed me the most is Troy Carter and still is to this day. He is one of the most forward-thinking individuals that I know, and I think he acted as a mentor, even though we are the same age. Also, I am blessed to have parents who have given me guidance and great direction throughout the years. Not very much in the music industry, but more about life and having values. Being able to conduct business,  honesty, and work hard for what you want. They instilled that in me at a young age. So, I would have to say Troy and my parents have been the most significant mentors as I have worked my way up in the industry.

RESPECT.:  You had the opportunity to work with some of the top talents in the game. For example, Charlie Puth, Nelly, and Jeremih. How do you stay motivated as a music executive? 

The beauty of the music industry is that it is always changing and that is a good thing because you are never waking up to same scenarios. There is contently new music that is released every day, and there are always new artists that keep things fresh.

RESPECT.: You recently started your business venture”Human-Re-Sources” Can tell the public what the purpose of the company? 

We are looking to give artists the control back. By providing them with another option for releasing their music, that is favorable to them. We are changing the rules!

RESPECT.: Is there a backstory on why you decided to use the name “Human-Re-Sources“?

The reason for the name has I started my company right out of college; I never had a “Real Job.” So, the concept of a Human Resources Department was a foreign language to me. I thought it was in place to protect the owners of the business. I recently, learned that it was in place to protect the employees, and that’s what we want to do, protect the artists by giving them fair deals.

RESPECT.: What is the difference between your platform and other such as Kobalt or Empire?

We are similar in our offerings, but we feel like we have a leg up, because of our relationships with the DSP’s for Playlisting, on Platform Promotion. Also, our background in Artist Management, which makes “label Services” A natural part of our offerings, without artists having to give up ownership of Masters, and their 360 rights.

RESPECT.: Since you have launched “Human-Re-Sources” you have partnered with Dame D.O.L.L.A ‘Confirmed,’ Spencer Barnett ‘Whatever’ and Charlotte Lawrence ‘Sleep Talking.’ Can you talk about how those partnerships presented themselves?

Also, add YBN Nahmir ‘Rubbin Off Paint’ & ’Glizzy Hella Geekin’ to this list the project is 44 on the Billboard Hot #100 this week. Also,  YBN Almighty Jay. Deals are coming from all over these days. The deal flow has been Amazing; it’s an exciting time in music. Also, TY is the manager for Sonder and Brent Faiyaz is giving us his next CPL records to distribute. Good Times!! We were never looking to “Announce” this business, it’s far less about how much money we raised, or who our partners are, we just wanted to get to work, and it’s starting to pay off.

RESPECT.: Can you share some of the life lessons that you took away from your time at “Atom Factory”?

More than anything it gave me the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with Troy Carter. He is one of my best friends and partner for almost 19 years now in this business. So, has allowed me to work closely with him and create great memories.

RESPECT.: During your time at Atom Factory, you had the opportunity to work with Ty Stiklorius. Both you and Ty now own your businesses was there any discussion of entrepreneurship while working at Atom Factory?

Ty and I were entrepreneurs when we worked at Atom Factory. We were Co-Presidents at the management company and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. While working at the company, it did not feel like we were employees the task was to build a workspace of extremely forward thinkers.

RESPECT.: What is some advice that you would like to with aspiring entrepreneurs?

I have a son that is interested in the music industry more as an artist in comparison to a music executive. As a father of a seventeen-year-old son, I try to instill him at an early age, the value of ownership, and this is something that I had learned at a younger age. I have taken the responsibility of teaching him this now because it was not as prominent when I was his age. I want to inspire the next generation to mentor someone to help create more opportunities.

RESPECT.: Why did you decide to pursue a career in the music industry instead of sports like your father?

I’m not as tall, and my hands are smaller than my father’. If I could jump out of the gym, had his height and hands, I would probably be a retired NBA Superstar right now.

 

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About Landon Buford

Washington State Graduate Past Interviews include Grammy Award Winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, Whats Trendings CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's Chicago PD LaRoyce Hawkins, Family Matters Darius McCrary, En Vogues Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field Member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA Great Lauren Jackson, and more.