We had the good fortune of connecting with Isaac James Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Isaac James, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I feel in anything that has a high reward, there are always going to be some risks a person has to take in order for them to achieve what they’re aiming for. That being said, when risks are involved there always comes feelings of fear, self-doubt, disappointment, and insecurities. Over time I’m come to understand that when taking risks, there is going to be a possibility that things may not work out, but you must be willing to embrace your unsuccessful moments in life and learn from them. One of my favorites quotes has always been that that “failure is not the opposite of success, but it’s part of success”. I have taken many risks in my life and career from moving from Chicago to Los Angeles to opening a recording studio/event space, to even working for music video directors and record labels for free in hopes of a potential opportunity. Though not every risk I’ve taken has always worked out, many of them did. Looking back on those risks, I’ve been in LA for almost 7 years now and can’t see myself ever leaving, I made great music and many connections at my first recording studio, and those jobs I took for free eventually turned into paying gigs. I say to anyone that is pursuing a goal or dream, you must be willing to take risks. Life is all about making progress and you should look at it as the monkey bars at the park. You can’t move forward unless you’re willing to let go of the previous bar, and though you might fall when getting to the next bar, you can always get back up and start again and this time you have more experience to get to the end.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In addition to music production, my current career now is that I am an A&R executive consultant for music publishers and record labels. I previously worked as the General Manager of 153/Joombas Music Group (USA), one of Asia’s top music publishing companies, and have been responsible for some of K-Pop’s biggest hits over the past 10 years. Coming from a U.S music industry background, there were many lessons I’ve learned along the way when transitioning into a new foreign music market, ranging from the way business is conducted, cultural aspects, to even the way music is constructed, and although I went through feelings of uncertainty, vulnerability, and self-doubt, in the beginning, I knew those were only temporary emotions. You are always going to learn the most through your difficulties and I realized in those moments the key is to keep a positive attitude and keep on working and eventually, those difficult situations will change, and the things you thought you didn’t know, will soon become second nature.
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.
If a friend of mine was coming to LA, we would start the mornings off with a hike each day at places like Runyon Canyon, Fryman Canyon, or The Observatory. For lunch, we would go to places like &Waffels, Castaway, and Roscoes Chicken and Waffles. For dinner, we would check out restaurants like Perch, Mastro’s Ocean Club, Pink’s, and STK’s. We would take a trip down PCH and check out all the beaches from Malibu to Santa Monica. Other honorable mentions would be a stroll down Hollywood Blvd, The Grove, and Rodeo Drive.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother and father both played an important role in who I am as a person. They both had their own businesses and taught me to go for whatever I wanted and that there was always a way to get something done. From both of them, l learned negotiation, entrepreneurship, and how to treat, and take care of the people that work for you and with you.