We had the good fortune of connecting with Danny Barros and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danny, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
If you aren’t willing to take risks, you’re only limiting yourself from growth. I think taking risks, experimenting and just getting out of your comfort zone, is important to become the best possible version of yourself. As an entrepreneur, starting my company was a huge risk. One that several friends and family members tried to talk me out of. I told everyone that I was going to move from Boston to Los Angeles and start my Artist Management company, Hitskope Music Group, and the general response I got was “What if it doesn’t work out?”. The funny thing is, I never even took that into consideration. I had a plan and I had determination – there was no need for a backup plan!
I think people have such an immense fear of failing that they let it kill their dreams before they even chase them. The thought of taking a risk and failing is scary, but the reward can be life changing. For me, taking a risk and starting my company was the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. I experienced some failures, for sure, but I like to say that I “failed my way to success”. I took every mistake that I made as an entrepreneur and I turned it into a learning experience where I could grow. I never looked those failures as set backs.
Today, Hitskope Music Group is much more than just an artist management company. It’s also a Record Label, partnered with Sony Music, and a Sync Licensing company, partnered with Big Noise Music. None of this would have ever been possible if I listened to everyone who told me not to take the risk. I’d still be stuck in a dead end job, struggling to find daily motivation. So overall, I’m a firm believer in taking risks!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Hitskope Music Group is a music services company composed of four divisions: an artist management agency; a record label in partnership with Sony Music / The Orchard; a sync licensing company that is a joint venture with Big Noise Music Group; and a music marketing agency providing services to several artists and record labels. We represent 16 musicians, including multi-platinum, Grammy and Emmy nominated artists.
What sets us apart from other companies is that we offer artists flexible deal terms and allow them to maintain ownership and creative control over their music. Our goal is to showcase rare talent to the world while never losing sight of the creative visions and core values of the artists we represent. We create a level playing field for independents artists by offering major record label services at a fraction of the cost that major labels offer.
Hitskope was formed in 2017, but none of us were strangers to the music industry. I got my start as a concert promoter and had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists like Ed Sheeran, LMFAO, T-Pain and many others. My business partner Richard Nash was the Senior Vice President of Promotion for Sony Music, where he was instrumental in the careers of Missy Elliot, Snoop Dogg and Katy Perry (to name a few). We shared a similar vision and launched our record label back in 2020.
It definitely wasn’t easy launching a record label weeks before a global pandemic! Concerts were gone and some of our artists couldn’t even record music so it was certainly a challenge. We had to pivot our strategy solely to digital and come up with new ways marketing music and breaking through the noise of everything going on. We helped our artists produce successful live stream concerts, sell digital downloads and NFT’s, and really build a connection with their fans from all over the world. By taking this fan-focused approach, we were able to not only overcome the challenges, but succeed far beyond we ever expected.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love playing tour guide whenever my friends come to LA from out-of-state. Here’s my list of must-see places that I always take my friends to.
– Hollywood Boulevard is almost always the first stop so they can take their pictures on the Walk of Fame “for the Gram”.
– The Santa Monica Pier is one of my favorite places in LA. When I first moved here, I would just go and sit on the steps at the Pier and watch the dolphins jump around in the distance. Being from Boston, I had never seen dolphins until I came here so it was mesmerizing for me. Plus there’s always a great musician busking and some fun shops to visit at the Pier.
– We’d have to hit up Pacific Coast Highway and spend a day at the beach in Malibu. Zuma is one of my favorite beaches so that’s definitely on the list. Maybe we’ll cap the day off with a wine tasting at Malibu Wine & Safari.
– Another must-go place is The Grove. They have the best shops around and there’s an amazing Brazilian Churrascaria called Pampas Grill that I frequent for incredible, pay by the pound, Brazilian food.
– Beauty and Essex is one of my go-to spots that you can find me at nearly every week. It’s right near my office and they have a great atmosphere. The restaurant is a bit of a speakeasy and you have to walk through a rock-n-roll, music themed pawn shop in order to get inside.
– Of course, I’ll have to take them to a rooftop bar while they’re here. Either The Highlight Room in Hollywood or Broken Shaker in DTLA.
– Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks will definitely be on the list as well. It’s a great hike with a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the trail.
– Since I’m a huge fan of comedy and the scene is so alive here in LA, I’d have to take them to The Comedy Store. It’s such a historic place and home to the best comedians. Everytime I go there, I leave with my cheeks hurting from laughing so much.
– Lastly, I’d have to take them to Black Rabbit Rose, which is a speakeasy in Hollywood. It’s one of those “You have to know about it” places. It’s a small, intimate, magic-themed bar with a tiny backroom that has an awesome live music program. You never know who’s going to show up to perform. I’ve seen Fred Durst and even Lady Gaga show up and do a performance there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As an entrepreneur, I think it’s imperative that you surround yourself with people that push you to do better. People that expand your mind, share similar goals and give you a higher sense of motivation. In order for a business to be successful, I really believe you need partners that challenge and inspire you. With that said, I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my business partners at Hitskope. Richard, Neil, Mark and Vida have been so much more than just colleagues – they’ve been true friends, advisors and mentors. Hitskope would not be where it is today without them.