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NFL gives guidance to its music hopefuls

From The Wall Street Journal:

Even before Darren Howard entered the NFL, the defensive end had dreams of being in the music business. He was a DJ in high school and by the time he was in college, he’d created a “rag-tag” recording studio in the basement of his residence.

“It’s always been something I loved,” said Howard. “I knew one day that I would transform to that.”

So after Howard retired in 2009, the former New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles player jumped into making records. He started his own label, Empyre, and signed a pop and R&B singer that he’s confident about.

But Howard admits he hasn’t yet had what he’d call success, calling the music industry “fickle.”

“The music business is funny. Some artists go 10, 15 years of making records before they ever recoup and make any money,” said Howard. “The label can be the same, because they’re depending on the artist. Hopefully it won’t take that long.”

This week, the National Football League offered an assist to current and former players like Howard who are trying to find their footing in a business that can be just as unforgiving as football. Its player engagement division paired with New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, part of the Tisch School of the Arts, for the “Business of Music Boot Camp.” The camp had key music figures — from mogul Davis to record company executives and managers — offering their insights in intimate sessions with the players. Each player was then paired with a mentor, who will continue to coach him in the months to come.

“The music game, it’s not just finding the talent. It’s what you do with that talent that ultimately determines your level of success,” said Jeffrey Rabhan, the institute’s department chair and a mentor in the program.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal