Study Your Passion, Love What You Do & More Wisdom from Greenhouse Management's Ian Burke

If you are into documentaries and music like I am I highly recommend watching The Art of Organized Noize. Let me just say this has got to be one of the best documentaries I have watched in a long time! It was awesome to finally get to hear the backstory behind one of the most influential music production powerhouses Organized Noize. In watching The Art of Organized Noize I noticed a face I had seen before. A name and face I had known years earlier from my days in pursuing a professional music career of my own. At that moment I couldn’t put the name with the face and I waited patiently for the name to come up on the screen to this one guy in particular, and there it was – Ian Burke! I knew it!

Years ago I had the opportunity to work with Matthew Knowles, yes that Matthew Knowles, Beyonce and Solange’s dad! When I worked with Matthew I was a sponge and absorbed every bit of wisdom I could about the business and one thing I was always interested in was artist development and management. I never wanted to be in the public eye or the lead singer of a group quite frankly.

I always wanted to be the guy behind the scenes making things happen. Being interested in things like songwriting, production, publishing, artist development and management; I was always on the lookout for who other artists were working with in these areas. Long story short, one evening I was reading an article, in some magazine I can’t remember at this time, and I came across Ian’s name in that article. He was attached to working with some amazing artists and here it was watching The Art of Organized Noize years later his name comes up again. Coincidence or nah? NAH!

After watching The Art of Organized Noize I told myself I had to reach out to Ian. I had to take the chance on talking to a guy who had long been successful at something that I once was so passionate about doing. Just to get to talk with someone with his resume and wisdom, it would be an honor to have him represent the Dirty South here at the club. I reached out, Ian responded and agreed to let me interview him for Dirty South Club.

I called Ian and he was deep in meetings and politely asked if I could let him finish up and call him back later. I waited, but Lord knows I was eager to get on the phone again. I couldn’t chance losing the opportunity to interview him although that was highly likely. I call him back and he’s out to lunch and I held my breath praying he would allow me to call him back, but being the cool and supportive cat he is, he stepped away from his lunch and gave me a few moments of his time. (Thanks Bruh, I owe you lunch!)

Being Ian Burke comes with a great deal of responsibility and wisdom. There are his responsibilities as VP of Live Music for entertainment company You42. His responsibilities for his companies Launchpad Records and GreenHouse Management which include helping move the careers of clients like Navia Robinson of Being Mary Jane and Latino recording artist Gabriel Orengo. If we’re talking wisdom we can date back to the days of his working with artists like Outkast, TLC, and production powerhouse Organized Noize. I could go on and on here, but I think we get the picture. But one thing I know for sure is even with the great deal of responsibilities he has, he wouldn’t have it any other way because they are a part of what he does and he loves what he does!

Read on to see what Ian had to say about getting off your butt and not waiting for things to come to you, the best advice he’s ever gotten and being passionate enough about something that you would do it for free if you could.

C. Huey for Dirty South Club:
What’s your name and where are you from? Are you originally from New York or no?

Ian Burke:
Yes. Born and raised in Mt. Vernon New York. I left New York when I was 18.

Alright, so have you been in Atlanta since then:
Yes! Uh huh, Atlanta is my second home away from New York.

I’ll tell you what, as far as I’m concerned you are an honorary Dirty South member:[Laughs] 
That’s the way I look at it too!

I know you manage artists, but man there’s so much to you. What inspired you to do what you’re doing:
I guess, you know what, my love for the business really. It’s just being around it it’s something that I feel I’m strongly catered to. I’m good at what I do and I just love being in entertainment and all the perks that it brings. You know?

Yea, I totally get that man. Considering your business and your experience in the business, what’s the best business or personal advice you’ve ever received: 
That I’ve ever received? Oh wow, oh my goodness there’s been so many! I guess, I don’t want to sound cliché’ you know don’t give up, keep your head up – all of that. All of that stuff is true, but you know what, the best advice that I’ve gotten for me was to study the 48 laws of power. That has to be, because I actually live my life and run my business by those laws.

Man that’s good. What’s your favorite thing to do for fun? I believe you have a daughter is it or do you have more than one daughter:
No, you know what I don’t have any kids. If you see me on social media with kids you see me with well right now one main one. Normally the kids are my clients’. I represent a young actor her name is Navia Robinson currently you can see her on Being Mary Jane. She’s ten years old, well she just turned eleven.

But I love going to movies. I’m a movie buff. I try to go to the movies every week. I love fishing. I haven’t done that in a while and I just bought a drone. That’s going to be my new passion. I haven’t flown it yet. It’s still sitting there looking at me saying yo I’m ready to take off here let’s go. I’m a little nervous. You spend that kind of money on a real drone. You don’t want it to go up one time and come crashing down.
[Sharing laughs]

Especially at your own hands, you’re like man I spent this kind of money and then I broke this thing: 
Right, right I broke it instantaneously. But that is, I’m looking for that to be my new passion.

The last one I have, I don’t want to keep you any longer. Any words of advice or encouragement that you would have for those who wish to follow in your footsteps:
It has to be a passion. Like at the end of the day you have to study this like you would study anything like you’d study being a doctor or being a lawyer. You know what I’m saying? You have to have passion for what it is that you do. You just don’t do it just to be doing it. Or do it for whatever type of industry perks that you’re looking at. I mean the perks are great don’t get it wrong; don’t get it twisted. But I love what I do and I would do it for free! That’s my thing – do something in life that you would do for free if you could.

Wow, man that’s good. You’ve given even me some nuggets here man! [Laughs] I really appreciate it. I saw the Art of Organized Noize and I knew the name and the face, but it’s like when I saw you in that movie and I thought about what I’m doing for the Dirty South; I thought I have to get in touch with this guy. I don’t know how it’s going to happen and I’m one of those that believes in a higher power and just to find you on Instagram I was like I’ve got to reach out to this guy:
Well let me tell you something, that’s why I do what I do. I believe in the same thing dude. I believe that you make your fate, you know what I’m saying, and if you believe in God all the things that you’re looking to do will come to you. You know but you can’t sit on your butt and wait for those things to come to you. You’ve got to go out and get them.


© 2016 Carlos Huey for Dirty South Club

Photo Credit: You42