Takeover Thursday: Smart is Sexy
Join us every Thursday as Erin Lyons takes a closer look at young entrepreneurs on the rise.
DC native, Arash Shirazi, recently named a leading entrepreneur by Fast Company magazine, is the Founding President of The Bullitt Agency, a boutique music agency representing top international DJs and producers across the globe. The agency – with offices in DC, New York, and Barcelona – works with the top nightclubs and festivals and has extended its services to fashion and auto brands. A far cry from the days of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, music management is serious business requiring business savvy, forward-thinking, and that strong sense of personal style that lets you roll off the plane, have a business meeting, and then waltz into a cutting-edge underground Milan club without batting an eye.
The music industry has changed dramatically over the past twenty years and staying ahead of the curve with a deep-rooted understanding of an appropriate online presence and alternative financing models are just some of the requirements that entrepreneurial managers such as Arash embody.
Arash was kind enough to offer a peek inside of his jet-setting life and what makes him tick:
Tell us about your business and what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I always did internships in college and worked part time jobs and so from those experiences, I subsequently set out a path forward so that I could eventually work for myself. I also knew that if I wanted to become an entrepreneur, I would have to do it in my 20s, as it was lower risk and you are more malleable at that age. So, in 2000, I left a job at a speaker’s bureau to start The Bullitt Agency — a full service boutique agency that represents Grammy award-winning music producers and DJs.
My aspiration was not to grow the company quickly, our growth was organic, which in retrospect, I find pretty important, rather than pursuing a strategy of rapid growth. Fast forward 14 years later and we have offices in Georgetown, Los Angeles, and Barcelona, represent 50 artists, and work with clients around the globe. We work with world’s top nightclubs, festivals, and have extended our services to fashion and auto brands and hotels.
Where do you see your business in ten years?
On the cover of the Wall Street Journal.
What was your first job?
I was always entrepreneurial, so I did a newspaper route and had a neighborhood carwash business. After college, my first “real” job was at the Discovery Channel.
Favorite local spot for power networking?
The first class cabin on the US Airways shuttle to New York.
Where is your favorite place to travel for business?
Italy. The food, culture, history, and the way of life always makes it a fantastic place to travel for work. And it is one of the few places where you can have wine with lunch.
What will be your first splurge if you make it big?
Carbohydrates and a new Porsche 911.
… if I were a mixtape, some of the tracks would be…
Good question! “Home” (Michael Buble), “Return of the Mack” (Mark Morrison), “Nightswimming” (R.E.M), “Bad Dream” (Keane), “Wicked Games” (The Weekend), “Where the Streets Have No Name” (U2), “Numb” (Usher), “Just Can’t Get Enough” (Depeche Mode), “Human Nature” (Michael Jackson), “Fake Plastic Trees” (Radiohead).
Is there something (product, service, person, etc.) you cannot live without in your everyday work life?
A charger, as I’m in a perpetual state of running out of battery life. Also, my iPhone, Global Entry Travel Card, and a dose of humility.
Please do not relegate Arash to being a mere audiophile, he also has a passion for cars and freelance writes on the side. Check out this amazing interview with General Colin L. Powell on his classic car collection from Capital File (http://capitolfile-magazine.com/personalities/articles/colin-powell-favorite-cars).To learn more about The Bullitt Agency, check out www.thebullittagency.com. Are you digging Arash’s style? Follow the jump to check out some of his top style picks from an interview with Men’s Health (http://www.menshealth.com/style/arash-shirazi).
RELATED TOPIC: Erin’s Takeover Thursday with Iman Huschmand
RELATED TOPIC: Erin’s Takeover Thursday with Jaime Torreblanca
RELATED TOPIC: Erin’s Takeover Thursday with Nicholas Karnaze
RELATED TOPIC: Erin’s Takeover Thursday with Sim Khan