We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Salibian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think of risk in entrepreneurship like salt in cooking. It’s necessary to embolden the natural flavor of what you are cooking up. Too much and you’ll spoil the whole thing. Too little and you’re make something mediocre and bland. Some dishes require more, some require less. So you better study the dish you’re creating and ask people who have made a similar dish before. Get a clear understanding of how much risk is necessary to take in order to create the best version of that product. Once you are sure of what you are making, and why you are making it, take the jump.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I co-founded Nvak Collective, a record label and incubator that super-serves women, non-binary & LGBTQ+ artists from emerging markets around the globe. Our mission is to give marginalized artists the education & infrastructure necessary to achieve commercial success in the music industry. We can then funnel resources back into their local communities, create more opportunities for the region, and ultimately change the ‘hardware’ of the recording industry to keep up with the globalization of culture. I got here after making a long and difficult transition from producing records for 8 years to creating a disruptive record label model . Making that transition felt like reversing the rotation of the planet. However, I am immensely proud of the network and supporters found along the way. Creating this network took persistence & grit. We kept our heads down and worked, ignored negativity, took constructive feedback, stuck to our mission, and focused on actionable steps. We trusted our guts, and looked tirelessly for people to collaborate with and learn from. It was, and continues to be immensely difficult, but with a great mission comes great purpose, and that will get one up every morning with a smile on their face ready to work.
I want people to understand that Nvak has been created out of thousands of tiny ‘collaborations’. It takes massive amounts of energy to create change and ‘manifest’ solutions to problems, but humans have limitless energy when working together. These collaborations, routed in positivity, form the infrastructure that allow for change in the industry that creates and delivers the songs we live by.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a west-sider. I crave the smell of the ocean, the breeze, and light on this side of town. If I’m been stuck inside on calls for 10 hours, one step outside and I feel rejuvenated. I’d start Monday out with a short drive from Santa Monica up to Malibu. That coastal drive is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen, and knowing the history of what it took to make that road, and preserve its nature, makes it that much more special. We’d go for a hike in Malibu Canyon and grab lunch at the pier. That evening we’d do dinner on a rooftop in Santa Monica to catch the sunset.
Tuesday, I’d start early and head east to Silver Lake for some of the best bagels & coffee before another hike (gotta stay active). We’d pick up wine and cheese after and head to a recording session in the hills. There are always great artists creating music up there. Afterwards, we’d check into the Ace downtown for the evening, catch a show in their amazing theatre, and drinks on the rooftop to cap the night.
Wednesday, bright and early we’d do the Historic Building Tour in Downtown LA. It’s remarkable and gives you such a cool perspective on what it took to build this city. At this point, I think we’d had to take the afternoon off for a calm afternoon at the Bel Air Hotel pool.
Thursday we’d get bikes in Venice, ride along the bike path, make pitstops for coffee and breakfast burritos, picnic on the beach, go for a swim and nap on the beach. We’d stay on the Westside for dinner with a large group of friends.
Friday would be great to do a West Hollywood brunch, check out a recording session in one of the iconic LA studios, and catch a show at one of the countless venues to choose from on that side of town.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents, wife, mentors, friends & colleagues. It takes a village, and I owe it all to the people I’ve been blessed to be around.
Mitchell Alcoser, Carly Sharp, Meg Meyer, Ellie Lauren,