Jason Flom

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Jason Flom
Born (1961-02-17) February 17, 1961 (age 58)
OccupationCEO, Lava Music

Jason Flom (born February 17, 1961) is an American entrepreneur, music industry executive, social justice activist, philanthropist, children's book author, and creator and podcast host.

Career[edit]

In 1979, while a college freshman at New York University,  Flom took an entry level job as a field merchandiser at Atlantic Records.  Within a year, while still enrolled at NYU, Flom was promoted by legendary Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun to the Artist & Repertoire (A & R) department responsible for signing artists and creative oversight of recordings.

At 20, Flom departed NYU to work full-time at Atlantic.  He soon had an avalanche of hit signings including Tori Amos, Twisted Sister, Skid Row, White Lion, and Stone Temple Pilots leading to his promotion to Head of A&R.[1] In this position, he would oversee the signings and launches of many artists who would become household names, including Jewel, Hootie & the Blowfish and Collective Soul.

In 1995, Flom launched Lava Records in partnership with Atlantic Records.[2] For the next decade, he continued to discover and champion artists under the Lava label who went on to sell over 100 million records globally, including Matchbox 20, Kid Rock, The Corrs, Simple Plan, The Blue Man Group, Edwin McCain, Sugar Ray and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

In 2004, Flom sold Lava Records to Atlantic Records Group, where he was named Chairman and CEO of the Atlantic Records Group.[3] In this role, he oversaw a resurgence of the storied label where he had once worked in the mailroom, and continued to sign and break major artists, including Hayley Williams’ band Paramore.[4]

After over 15 years of record-setting success at Atlantic and his label Lava, Flom was tapped in 2005 as Chairman and CEO of Virgin Records. In 2007, he led a merger with Capitol Records to create the Capitol Music Group, where he was named Chairman and CEO.[5] During Flom’s tenure, he oversaw successful releases from established superstars including Lenny Kravitz, Coldplay, and the Rolling Stones. In keeping with his track record of identifying and supporting new talent, under Flom’s leadership eleven new artists rose to gold, platinum and multi-platinum status, including Jared Leto’s band Thirty Seconds to Mars, and in 2007 he signed Katy Perry and personally A&R’d her international #1 smash hit debut album, One of the Boys.[6]

In 2008, Flom departed Capitol Music Group to re-launch his own Lava Records label, this time in partnership with Universal Music Group’s industry-leading Republic Records.[7] There he signed Jessie J, whose 2011 singles under the Lava banner "Do It Like a Dude" and "Price Tag" featuring B.o.B, topped the singles charts in the UK and 17 other countries.[8] Her multi-platinum debut album Who You Are sold over three million copies worldwide.[9]

In 2013, Flom identified Lorde, a then-unknown artist from New Zealand, and Lava released her ground-breaking debut single, "Royals," which reigned at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks,[10] becoming the biggest alternative radio hit by a female artist in history.[11] Lorde went on to win two Grammy Awards including Song of the Year for “Royals” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

Following successful Lava rock releases from Black Veil Brides and their frontman, Andy Black,  Flom signed breakthrough rock band Greta Van Fleet to Lava in 2017, who revitalized the global rock scene with multiple #1 rock hits and over 1 million albums sold, all while nonstop touring over the last several years. When Robert Plant was asked about Greta Van Fleet in an interview with Australia's Network Ten, he proclaimed, "They are Led Zeppelin I," and described 21-year-old Josh Kiszka as "...a beautiful little singer. I hate him.”[12] Elton John lauded the band in the LA Times: "Whoever says rock music is dead is completely wrong. When I first saw them, they knocked me out.... They are going to be one of the biggest bands of the year."[13] The band picked up four nominations at the 2018 Grammy Awards and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for their Lava debut “From the Fires.”[14][15]

Flom founded Lava Publishing in 2014, which includes among its roster of writers break-out alternative rocker Evan Konrad,[16] writer/performer Maty Noyes,[17] and all four members of Greta Van Fleet.

Philanthropy[edit]

In 1993, he joined the board of Families Against Mandatory Minimums and soon after became the founding board member of the Innocence Project.[18] The many other organizations that Flom advises and supports include The Legal Action Center,  Drug Policy Alliance, and the NYU Prison Education Program.[19] Flom is renowned  as a leading civilian expert and advocate on clemency and is personally responsible for successfully lobbying for dozens of clemencies, including 17 granted by President Clinton. As part of his commitment to entrepreneurs and new initiatives in  criminal justice reform, Flom has provided seed funding and advisory support to numerous now-prominent institutions, including the initial funding for the Freedom Fund at the Bronx Defenders.[20]

Flom is an advocate for animal rights and conservation. He advises and supports a number of aligned organizations, including African Wildlife Foundation and VetPaw (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife).[21]

Flom has been celebrated by numerous music industry and social justice organizations, including being honored by the UJA Federation as their first "Music Visionary of the Year" in 2000[22] and by the TJ Martell Foundation in 2005.[23] He was awarded 1999's "Torch of Liberty" by the American Civil Liberties Union[24] and was the honoree at the 2009 Innocence Project Gala. In 2017, the NYU Prison Education Program awarded Flom with their "NYU PEP service award" to recognize his significant contribution to the field of re-entry for prisoners, and in 2018, he was awarded the "Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award" by the Southern Center for Human Rights.[25]

Podcast[edit]

Flom launched the podcast Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom in 2016, based on the files of the lawyers who freed them.[26] The podcast features interviews with men and women who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit, many on death row.[27] The podcast, which is available across all major podcast platforms, shot to #7 on the iTunes charts within its first 2 weeks of release, and has since been downloaded over 8 million times.[28] In addition to gripping first hand stories from exonerees, special guests to date include influential criminal justice reformers and advocates such as Kim Kardashian,[29] Meek Mill,[30] Amanda Knox,[31] John Grisham, Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, Damien Echols, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana.[32]

The Church of Rock & Roll[edit]

In 2018, Flom brought together his decades of dedication to music and social causes by launching the community organization The Church of Rock & Roll at the Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas.[33][34] The logo of the organization, which is committed to supporting “miracles,” was designed by Studio Number One in association with Shepard Fairey.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wild, David; Wild, David (19 September 1991). "Skid Row: Pretty Bad Boys". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  2. ^ "History of Elektra Entertainment Group – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  3. ^ Gallo, Phil; Gallo, Phil (1 April 2004). "Flom flows to Atlantic post". Variety. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  4. ^ "TAXI Transmitter November 2005 Industry News: music industry news, reviews and observations". www.taxi.com. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  5. ^ Leeds, Jeff (26 January 2007). "EMI Merging Record Labels and Ousting Capitol's President". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Katy Perry on the Cover of PAPER in 2009". PAPER. 30 March 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  7. ^ "LAVA Records Renews Partnership with Republic Records". www.businesswire.com. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  8. ^ "LAVA Records Renews Partnership with Republic Records". www.businesswire.com. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Jessie J Aims for Stadium Status with 'Who You Are'". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  10. ^ "From Lorde to Jessie J, the Hits Keep Coming for A & R Superstar Jason Flom". Observer. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Lorde Doesn't Have A Bentley, But The Charts Will Do". NPR.org. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  12. ^ Scott Alderman (31 March 2018), Robert Plant talks about Greta Van Fleet, retrieved 2 April 2019
  13. ^ Lewis, Randy. "Elton John's 26th Oscars viewing party raises $5.9 million for his AIDS Foundation". latimes.com. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  14. ^ Leimkuehler, Matthew. "Grammys 2019: Greta Van Fleet Scores First Rock Win". Forbes. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  15. ^ Staff, Loudwire. "Greta Van Fleet Win Best Rock Album at 2019 Grammys". Loudwire. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Evan Konrad Signs to Lava Records, Debuts New Song 'Long Way Out': Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Kobalt, Jason Flom Deal for Lava Music Publishing". Music Connection Magazine. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  18. ^ Petronzio, Matt. "Meet the millionaire music executive helping the wrongfully convicted". Mashable. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Jason Flom | NYU's Prison Education Program First Graduation Ceremony at Wallkill Correctional Facility". Jason Flom. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  20. ^ Justice, New Yorkers For (19 July 2018). "Jason Flom: "I just felt like I had to do something"". Medium. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  21. ^ "VETPAW Team". VETPAW. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  22. ^ Staff, Variety; Staff, Variety (12 June 2000). "Bizzers flow to Lava prez". Variety. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  23. ^ "30th Annual TJ Martell Humanitarian Award Gala: New York: October 6, 2005 | Calendar". BMI.com. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  24. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (17 July 1999). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  25. ^ "2018 Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner Honorees | Southern Center for Human Rights". www.schr.org. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom | reVolver Podcasts". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Board Member Jason Flom Premieres Podcast on Wrongful Convictions". Innocence Project. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  28. ^ Gell, Aaron. "How a Music Mogul Became a Powerful Voice for the Wrongfully Convicted". The Vindicated. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  29. ^ "S7E1: Kim Kardashian West & Jason Flom Join Forces to Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform and Clemency". ART19. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  30. ^ "S6E11: Meek Mill: an exclusive interview about his 12 year journey from his wrongful conviction to his righteous activism. With special guest Michael Rubin". ART19. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  31. ^ "S2E1: The Wrongful Conviction of Amanda Knox". ART19. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  32. ^ "Art19". www.iheart.com. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  33. ^ Baltin, Steve. "'The Most Magical Thing I've Ever Been A Part Of': How One Night In Vegas Can Change The World". Forbes. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  34. ^ Lefsetz, Bob (26 September 2018). "Greta Van Fleet At The Church Of Rock & Roll". CelebrityAccess. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  35. ^ "The Church of Rock & Roll is Now Open". STUDIO NUMBER ONE. Retrieved 2 April 2019.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
first
Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Lava Records
1995 to 2005, 2009 to present
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Val Azzoli
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Records Group
2004 to 2005
Succeeded by
Craig Kallman
Preceded by
Matt Serletic
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Records (later Capitol Music Group)
2005-2008
Succeeded by
none