From Bad Boy to Young Music Executive

Aaron Arnold's leap of faith led to a dream realized

What was your involvement with the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) and the inspiration behind it?

In 2007, we took part in creating a public service announcement for the WFP. I brought five-time Grammy-winning songwriter Bryan Michael Cox to the table, and we scored the PSA which ran on news networks all over.

In 2008, the WFP launched the Red Cup campaign [to raise awareness on hunger], which they debuted on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Upon seeing that, I decided I wanted to do something for the kids and pitched the idea of doing an animated musical for the same campaign. They approved it, and we went to work. It took us 12 months as we conceptualized via our brand-management team, animated via our TV, film, and animation team, and scored via our music team’s producer and artist. We’re hoping to debut this on Oprah later this year.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in pursuing your success?

Of course, you have people who do not believe in you or aim to take advantage of you because of your youth and [your] being new to the business, but the main one for me is when I first started Music Is My Business, I had a team that was too large. So we weren’t efficient, and that was due to me not knowing what I was doing. In addition, I had a vision but not the know-how in which to execute that vision. I learned that things don’t happen overnight and that ideas are just ideas unless they are backed up by results.

How did you overcome those challenges?

I overcame those challenges by just knowing what I (and Music Is My Business) was destined to become. Eventually my team became a lot smaller, and I had to walk away from several situations that weren’t conducive to the long-term growth of Music Is My Business. I also had to figure out what would drive Music Is My Business revenue-wise, build that component first, and then integrate everything else from there. Most importantly, learning from my failures and mistakes really helped me and humbled me.

What would you say are the three keys to success that have directly been used in your life and business?

Keep dreaming, even when you are awake, and then act on that vision. Sometimes inspiration can come in the form of many things, but always have those outlets. It keeps you creative.

Find peers and mentors who have like energy, ambition, and visions. These are the people who you will grow with and who will support you on those bad days and who you will also make money with. I am only successful because of the wonderful team that supports me as I support them.

Keep your vision intact. As long as you stay the course regarding your vision, you will somehow get there. It’s not about being the smartest person; it’s about being the person who wants it most. Persevere.

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  • James

    Loved this story. Where can we hear more?

  • mr. musicismybusiness
  • Chiquita Woolfolk Banks

    This story is extremely inspirational. Mr. Arnold gave practical advice and motivated me to pursue my dreams. Not enough people have ambition today like this… I’m encouraged to know there are a few still out there. Kudos to MIMB! I look forward to hearing more from this company soon.

  • Thank you BE. We need these. he says `persevere` this is the message we need. Persevere

  • Neosho

    Mr. Arnold, I am in grad school (similar to your internship with Diddy) to pursue my passion in media relations. I appreciate the confirmation that I am not crazy like some of my family thinks I am…LOL. I hope you come to DC and share your story in person. I would love to pick your brain about stepping out on your own. Miracles and Blessings!

  • Aric Easterling

    Great interview BE! Aaron Arnold, congrats to you sir on all of your success and for the great future ahead! Continue to shine!

  • Great job Aaron! I knew you would do it…
    Keep rising to the top!

  • Maurice Lee

    Wow, you know music is my passion as well and like you in the past, I have no clue as to what I want to do with it. I don’t even know where to start. I was thinking about Audio Production but I’m not the best in math. Now I’m considering Video Production. I just need some direction please. Music is my passion, I can come up with millions of beats, hooks, and rythyms. However I don’t know how to apply that towards the music industry or what role to play. Please Help!

  • Messiah

    Everyone I’m happy to say Arnold is a friend of mine and this story is completely true! When he first told me what he was going to do I was stunned! But after he explained it to me thoroughly I agreed and advised him to follow his dream. He wasn’t from NY and I thought he may have been a little naive.I herd from different people Puff was a hard person to work with and for. Initially he was overwhelmed but his perseverance payed off! Do your thing Mr.!

  • Hey, nice tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a glass of beer to that person from that forum who told me to visit your site 🙂

  • Teddy Astin

    HI Aaron, I have over 30 years in the Music Industry,(Promotion & Marketing) I also live in the Atlanta area.

    If i can help you in any way , please dont hisitate to give me a call.

    Keep up the good work !

    Teddy Astin

  • Hello Sir,

    I have my cousin who made some great beats from scratch and I would like for him to do internship with someone with experience. How can that be possible?
    Thank you.

  • Sharita Clark

    I want to say that I admire you for pursuing your dreams because you can achieve them if its your destiny. I wish you and Mr. Combs continued success.

  • I really liked your blog post, I certainly think its essential to keep one self upto date with as much of information as possible, Thanks keep this blog updated, I am coming back for more.

  • Mark

    Great story! I just recently followed my passion and although I don’t know what the future holds I am not gonna give up on my dreams.


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