Backtalk with Antonio “L.A. Reid

What steps should an aspiring music executive take to get to that level?
Start with music—whether you’re learning music, working around music, working in recording studios, or being a DJ. While what we sell and what our passion may be is music, executives have a great general education and a great general knowledge of the industry.

What are you passionate about outside of music?
I love my family. When I’m not with my family, I’m working. So I don’t have hobbies. I’m fascinated by successful people or people who I see on that course. I’m inspired by what’s in the DNA of a successful person. I want to do movies, biopics, on people that motivate me. I’d love to do Miles Davis. I’m inspired by him. I’d love to do the Mariah Carey story. I think she’s a fascinating woman. People who come from very trying backgrounds. I wish I could do the Jay-Z movie. I think he’s one of the most charismatic men on the planet.
You mentioned Mariah Carey, and she’s somebody you’ve worked with. One would think that she would say you inspire or motivate her.

I can’t work with artists unless they inspire me. I don’t even know what my effect on them may be; it doesn’t even matter to me. But I have to find something particularly compelling about them.

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