Ultra Successful Musician Explains How to Beat Anyone At Their Own Game | Randy Jackson | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Ultra Successful Musician Explains How to Beat Anyone At Their Own Game | Randy Jackson".

1970-01-02T12:08:09.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

What implodes people that they have the talent? Maybe they even have the IT factor, and they just, they don't make it. - There's a thing, three real pillars. Do you actually have the talent? Are you a star? A star's gonna make it by hook or crook. If they have to sell their last dirty pair of underwear, they're gonna make it. They're getting it no matter what, no matter how. Where do I gotta go? Where do I have to move? Who do I have to see? What do I gotta do? I'm getting it. You ain't gonna stop me. Nobody's stopping me. Stars have that ego. And that perseverance, that's what it really takes to make it. Do you really have what it takes to go through the, and look, I see the people all the time, one of the things that helped me the most, all the nose and the rejections that I got, 'cause it made me get back up and go, "Okay, what I gotta do." - Hey everybody, welcome to Impact Theory. Today's guest is one of the most accomplished music industry professionals in history. He has produced four, worked with, and/or helped shape the music and careers of some of the most legendary figures in the business, including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, and countless others. He's also an extraordinarily accomplished musician who's played with such worldwide phenomenons as Journey, Herbie Hancock, and the era defining icon Bob Dylan. That insane string of bonafides, however, was just his warmup. The thing that took him from being famous and well respected in the music industry, to being a global brand and household name, was his 12 year run as a judge on the ratings juggernaut, American Idol. Showing the true depths of his versatility, his accomplishments extend behind the camera as well, and even reach deeply into business. He was an executive producer on American Idol. He helped MTV develop and produce their own hit show, America's Best Dance Crew, and he even launched his own line of eyewear, which has continued to win in a very competitive marketplace over half a dozen years. He's also an active philanthropist who served as the spokesperson for the American Heart Association's Heart of Diabetes campaign, and he even founded his own charity to help combat childhood obesity. So please, help me in welcoming the man who went from playing music in local clubs to becoming one of the most influential creators of our time, the big dog himself, Randy Jackson. What's up brother? - Tell him. - How you doing, man? - Yeah, that was quite an intro, man. Dude, your life is crazy. - Dude, that was quite an intro. I love that I was sitting back like, "Is he talking about me or something?" Who is this guy? This guy's in school. - Man, looking at your bio, it's nuts. Like if you only know you from American Idol, you really have only scratched the surface of what you've done. You've been at this game for a while, man. - Well, it's funny you say that because, you know, Idol was such a juggernaut, 'cause it was on twice a week, right? So in the height of the show, it was seen by 60 million eyeballs a week. So people would talk to you and they had no idea, they didn't even care what you did before. They just only cared that you were on their screen in their home twice a week. And they would talk to me like they knew me. - Yeah. - And I'd be somewhere like, "Yeah, man, but what are you guys gonna do with..." I was like, "How's this?" 'Cause my dusting-- - Speaking of people, man, that is like, those are crazy numbers, crazy numbers twice a week. Like that really begins to shape people. It's super fascinating. And the interesting thing for me, because I've gotten to know you a little bit personally, is that when you walk in, you walk in as Randy Jackson. And then you really get to know you and you're like, "Well, when I leave, who do I leave us?" As like a real dude. But here's what I find is super fucking interesting, man. You talk a lot about this, and this is like the real thrust of today's interview, I think. You talk a lot about the IT factor. You have that same thing. Like there's something about you, your ability to see talent for sure, but also to be engaging to like, you're easy to be around. I don't know, there's just, there's an IT factor. It's really fucking fascinating to see. And I wonder how much of that is to see it, like you have to have a bit of it? - Well, I think it's a bit that Tom, honestly. And I think, look, the funny thing about me with Idol about this kind of a show, I was an A&R guy. Colin and I were A&R guys. So exactly what this show was about, that's what I were likely. That's what we did for like 20 years. So we would find Discover, Shape, Developed Talent. Duh, this shows about finding, shaping, discovering, selling, you know, figuring out how to make talent work. But for me, it was even fivefold because I was that kid before I became the guy doing that. I was the kid in Louisiana, Baton Rouge trying to make it. Playing in bars, I must have played a million bars for I ever made $4. So I was that kid struggling, trying to figure out how to make it. How do I get people to pay attention to me? I remember we were on a tour, we're playing like holiday ends. And people would not even give us any attention in the bar. And we'd be like, okay, so what do we gotta do? Get people even turn around and look at us and notice that we're here. So all of that really helps to shape you and helps to show you that, okay, wait a minute. I need to do something compelling, interesting, and great for them to notice me. How do I get noticed? Yeah, it's really interesting. One of the most fascinating music industry stories, and you probably know a lot more about this than I do, but the Beatles and the German years. And it's like how you never hear about that, but it was like, they were there for like a year or 18 months or something, five shows a week. I was like, that's an insane amount of rest. - Well cut to that, that's where first and second Backstreet broke. A band from America put together in Florida, that's where they broke. First was in Germany. So Germany is a very interesting marketplace. It's like probably the second largest market in Europe. - Wow. - Yeah, which most people don't realize.


Achieving Greatness And Personal Branding

The grind (06:19)

- What I like about the Beatles story is the grind of just like clocking the hours, putting in the time you've talked about the Beatles really interestingly saying, hey look, they didn't blow up because they were the cutest guys around. They didn't blow up because they were super charismatic. They weren't even the best musicians, but hot damn did they write good songs. - Well that's the key. I mean, you know, I talk to people all the time. There are new artists out there every day trying to make it, trying to figure it out. There are people still on the charts. People say to me, well why didn't so and so fall from grace? What happened to them? I guess they didn't have compelling great songs. So when you look at the Beatles in Motown, probably two of the most prolific writing catalogs ever in the history of recorded music, I mean, why did the Beatles have like 70 number ones? Is that me? I mean, yeah, this is unfathomable. So I mean, most people are trying to have one in their lifetime. It's 70 and they just keep coming, keep coming.


What's the price of greatness (07:15)

So that in itself is what keeps you there. - I wanna go back to Baton Rouge. You're 13, you're sneaking out of the house, you're playing in local clubs. What is the price of greatness? I have the chills. What's the price of greatness, man? Because what you've built in your own life, I'm no doubt I'm sure that some percentage of it is, you just have an eye for talent. You were born with it, you can hear it, whatever. But there's way more than that. And I wanna know the way more part. - Well, the way more part for me then was you kind of young dumb and stupid, right? You have a desire, you have a passion, you want to be in music. The only way to play music is for me, I wanted to learn from all the people that were older than me and better than me. Because people my age were doing the same thing I was doing. So for me, early on it was about who's the best in town? Who's doing this? Where do people listen to music? Where do they consume music? How do they consume the music? Let me go to the bars and the churches. I wanna see that spirit take hold, take shape. And the bars were interesting for me because I wasn't supposed to be there. It's where all the older people played. And these people, the eagle flies on Friday, they get their check and they got the money and so they live in high that Friday night. Spine drinks, oh, partying, my God. So what was that about? So as a kid, being able to have that advantage, and you know, the hood is very creative. So growing up in the hood is very creative. Playing bars in the hood is very creative. I mean, it's probably not that many cops checking in on the bar in the hood to see how old are the people in here, you know what I mean? So it was just, and I didn't really know any better. I thought probably every kid did that. But the fact that I was chosen to play with the adults in the bar, I was like, wow, this is so cool. - How much were you practicing at the time? - I was practicing a lot, at least a couple hours a day, but I was playing sports, I was in bands in school, I was playing in a church band, I was doing everything I could. I was trying to immerse myself in it.


The magic cocktail (09:23)

- You were once asked, like, what's the secret to success? How do you end up doing this? And you said that people had to learn everything they could. They had to show up at the right time, knowing the right things, and they had to persevere and stay humble. Why is that the magic cocktail? - Because you're gonna learn everything you can't even stuff you don't think you need. The average kid that goes to college is saying to me, my own kids will say to me, dad, why am I learning this? I don't need this. My kid just said to me recently, I'm going to Berkeley School of Music, but I wanna be in a Stones band. The Stones like four chords, man, like a bluesy rock band, why am I in Berkeley? So listen, you never know when you're gonna need that, because you're now getting high level information. So maybe you can't repeat the Stones, 'cause nothing repeats, but maybe with all the learning and all the knowledge you're gonna get, you can become a new version of the Stones. Ah, so now you've built your own brand. So this is how you become unique and different. But you need that information sometimes, 'cause you never know what an idea is gonna come from. So a carpenter doesn't come to the house with just one nail and one hammer. They come with a bunch of tools. So when you learn all of these tools, you bring these tools with you and you say, for this job, you know what I'm gonna need? I mean, it is so, I know I'm a carpenter, but. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that's what that's like. It's like apprenticeship is like becoming the best at what you say you're trying to do. - So walk me through your young, you're playing with the adults, how do you push that ability?


Keep up the best (10:49)

How do you start? Like, do you think, all right, this guy is the best and I'm gonna try to keep up with him. Did you set insane challenges for yourself? - I said this guy is the best. I wanna take lessons from this guy. I'm gonna beg him to see if you'll show me. I'm a young kid playing with all the older guys, much, much older guys that are the best in town. I'm trying to keep up. I'm just happy that they're allowing me in the room and they're also giving me drops and fruits of wisdom along the way, you know. You know, one of the greatest tidbits was, and I still use it every day to day. One of these days, you're gonna learn to want what you need as opposed to need what you want. So that applies to everything in life. Relationships, music, I mean, work, jobs, everything. What do I need to survive? What do I absolutely need? Because the want changes every hour. We want pizza today, the maras pasta, the next week at sushi, next day it's like we want onions with tomatoes. I mean, you know, you're driving yourself crazy with this one thing, the average person buys a car and six months later, I should've gotten a blue one. Oh man, I get a different color next time. Yeah, I feel the same, I mean now in my life, I feel the same thing with houses. You get a house, you got, I'm gonna have a school, maybe a couple years, I'm gonna move. So that want is never quite satisfied because it's a fleeting thought that's going on in your head and you just, you know, it's also attached to sensationalism, which is King and Queen of America. There's 80 million ads everywhere you turn on TV radio, whatever. So you gotta be able to turn that noise off to get to what do I need? Talk to me about that as a process.


Turn Off The Noise (12:44)

How do people actually do that, especially now as it's escalating, it's getting worse. And this is- So on media is the king of it. Yeah. It's everywhere. It's telling you who you should date, who you should marry. It tells you everything you should do. Tom needs a girl like this. So how do we turn it down? Well, I think you have to be able to turn off the noise. You have to be in a quiet place and you just gotta really get into yourself. One of my big things in life now, people actually have no idea who they are. So if you don't know who you are, and I mean, I know people 80 years old that don't know who they are, I know some 80 year old boys that still haven't turned the corner to man. So if you don't know who you are, how can you know how to navigate your life? So one of my other phrases in life that I love now, this is your mission, Tom. Should you choose, you, Tom, nobody else, you choose not your parents, I didn't- You choose to accept it. Do you know who you are and have you accepted that this is who I am, this is what I need? Most people don't even think about that. I mean, I see people getting married early and doing all this stuff. And I see the relationships don't work, I see the music thing doesn't work 'cause they have no idea what they should be doing. People would come into idol auditions and they would Radloff. Well, I do kind of blues opera gospel country with little bluegrass, but R&B. Wow, we go, wow. Okay, great. Sing for us, we go, of course. Right, you're not building a brand. So how do I find what my brand is and how do I go about marketing? Because so what, you know, as an A&R person or as a producer, the great ones do, they'll meet you, Tom, and they'll go, Tom tells me he wants to sing R&B. Do you know what Tom does best? Tom's a polka singer. So I'm gonna produce some polka on Tom. Like magic, it happens. 'Cause you have to put the best foot forward, you have to find out what you do best 'cause everyone thinks they do everything right. Well, I could do this, I could do that, I could do anything. And then you get the whole parental thing with most kids, you can be anything you wanna be. No, you can't. I wanna be Bill Gates, I'm not. I don't think it ever will be. I wanna be him, no, bad. That's so interesting, go deeper in that. So what do you tell your kids?


Can I Be Anything I Want (15:10)

Like legitimate, dad, can I be anything I want? No, no, no, no, no. Find out what you're passionate about and live it like there's no tomorrow. Learn everything you can about, study. I don't care what it is. I don't care what you want to do, but do the hell out of that? What is doing the hell out of it? Like, and this is learning everything you can, going to conferences, listening to people, immersing yourself in, I wanna be a nutritionist, immersing yourself in nutrition. Go all the way in. Yeah, that to me is when I look at your life and I think back to the kid who's on the stoop in Baton Rouge, listening to people play, drinking it in, finding the people that are good, taking the lessons, your whole thing about humility and ego being the big problem that really fucks people up, it's really interesting. And it begins to put in my head this image of you as this person who one has the clarity, you know what you want. Two, you have the drive to actually learn the things that you wanna learn.


1. Be the change (16:09)

And then three, you consistency, man. And Tom, I didn't always know. I mean, I was a young dumb, stupid kid, but I had a passion and a desire, but I made a promise to myself, I'm gonna find out. And smart people do something very interesting in life. If you don't know, ask someone that knows. Don't just ask somebody else that probably doesn't know that you're age and whatever. Ask somebody who knows, find somebody successful and say, how did you do it? Really listen to them and take that in because they're where you want to be. So playing with the older guys, they were where I wanted to be. So I was aspiring looking to them, it's like, what's the my angel who quote, be the change you seek? I want change. Yeah, well, I don't wanna change. Well, wait a minute, what are we doing? So you can talk yourself and tell yourself a bunch of things. That's why the Kendrick thing was so poignant to sit down and be humble. The record was so amazing. It's a great record, he's an unbelievable talent. But just him saying that to a woke community in the hood and elsewhere and further out was just amazing. You know what I mean? I think all the knowledge is out there for people to grasp and get. I don't think they go and get it. I think their ego catches up with them. They wake up and tell themselves, I'm incredible. Are you really? Compared to what? Ahh. And most people are afraid of reality. And most people I feel live in this movable reality. I'm standing over here, this is real over here. No, no, no, no, no, no. What was real there is same here, same there, same there.


2. Perseverance (18:01)

Are you that good or you as good as you think you are? So one of the things about music and about the entertainment business that I talk to people about is that you're in a competition, whether you believe it or like it or not. And the competition's what's gonna make you greater. What I love about big cities LA and New York specifically. Right. Guess what? All the leaders are here. Around the corner from here. Max Martin, every producer writer, hit boy, mustard, everybody's here trying to write it. I'm right around the corner from the heat. Well, it's gonna force me to really try and get it together and stay on it. If I go to the small pond, it's not gonna push me. I'm gonna be big in the small pond, but it won't mean anything. I'm not in the suit. So I would say to people that when these shows weren't idle to voice any of these shows, you've just got a ticket into the brass circle. Guess what? Kelly Clarkson. You love Mariah Whitney. You just got into the circle, battle 'em out. Here we go. May the best one with the best song win. That's my friend, how you achieve greatness. You don't achieve greatness by saying, "I'm out here on this island by myself. I'm great." And everybody's telling you, "Oh, you're great. "Are you really compared to what?" When you came up with your quest bars, was it good compared to what? You know what I'm saying? Was it because you had to sit there and show them the shelf at all the other bars? So may the best one win and whether people think they're in a competition or not, they are. So that alone is to drive you like mad. I wanna be the best. I don't wanna just be in a game. I wanna be the best. Get all the lessons. I mean, I don't understand. For me, I didn't know any other way. So I guess I was kind of born with that sort of, you know, thing in my system and my get up. - I gotta strive for the top. Yeah, I gotta strive for the top. What am I doing? Why am I in this if I just wanna be in the game?


Stars (20:19)

What? - What implodes people that they have the talent? Maybe they even have the IT factor and they just, they don't make it. - There's a thing. There's three real pillars. Do you actually have the talent? Are you a star? Do you actually have the perseverance? Everyone needs the song. Whether you write it or somebody else writes it, it doesn't matter. Or you're a star. A star is no stopping them. A star is gonna make it by hook or crook. If they have to sell their last dirty pair of underwear, they're gonna make it. They're getting it no matter what, no matter how. Where do I gotta go? Where do I have to move? Who do I have to see? What do I gotta do? I'm getting it. You ain't gonna stop me. Nobody stopping me. Stars have that ego. And that perseverance, that's what it really takes to make it. Do you really have what it takes to go through the, and look, I say to people all the time, one of the things that helped me the most, all the nose and the rejections that I got, 'cause it made me get back up and go, okay, what I gotta do? I gotta play better, I gotta figure out what are these notes? What are so and so doing? Who do they love? Why are they loving them? When I decided I wanted to be a producer, I was working with a guy who became a mentor of mine, a great, late great Tom Dowd, who was part of the Atlantic years that had done all the Ray Charles records, all the Aretha records, all of the rods, Stewart records. This guy was a genius, genius. So he said to me, he said, "So you have musician guy, "you went to music school, graduated, "and I just played a session for him "with a band called Taxi from England, "and I was doing a session up in the Bay Area "where I was living." He says, "Yeah, you music school kid, man. "You play great, man. You're amazing." So what do you wanna do? You just wanna keep doing session, you wanna go on the road, what do you wanna do? He says, "I said, man, I'd love to be a producer, man. "I've been writing something up, "I really wanna be a producer." He says, "Ah, okay." I said, "Well, look, man, listen, I admire you. "I mean, all the records. "I mean, Maggie Mae, Rod Stewart. "I mean, all the, until you come back to me and read the, "Oh my God, I'm just this guy with armored Erdogan. "These, oh my God, right?" All the Ray Charles. I mean, these guys are like legendary, right? I say, "Well, what's one thing you can give me right away "that you think will help me?" I think somebody for a second, he says, "You know what? "Pick up the Billboard magazine. "Pick it up." I said, "MUSITION kid, right? "MUSIC school, right?" Yeah. Look at the top 10. Look at the top 30. Anything in there you like that you think is great? I say, "Hey, you know, yeah, this stuff is cool, "but it's not really, you know, it's all all right, you know, "it's cool, but I'm not really crazy about much of it." He says, "That's what I thought you would say." See, the first rule for you, look at the top 20 or 30 or 10. Figure out why those songs are working with the public. How do you get those things, those traits to work for your music? 'Cause you are in a competition and you need to be on this chart. Number one, why did they love it? And I said, "I don't care what kind of music it is, "why is that working?" And how can you apply that to yours? 'Cause yours is not working yet. So how are you gonna get there?


No Hacks (24:00)

- Dude, I love that so much. And I said to myself, I left there and I was like, "You know what? "He's absolutely correct." So that's what I like it and not, people are buying it. People say to me all the time, "I was listening to a bunch of music stories "and somebody said to me, "Yeah, I don't like that new Katy Perry song. "I don't like that other song." I don't like it. So why don't you like it? Oh, no, I just don't like it. Well, okay, cool. So I immediately discount them because they don't even know what they're doing and what's going on. But they have a valid opinion, but you needed to resonate with people that are gonna download it or stream it. Who am I to say that the public's wrong? - You have to tell the story about playing with Journey on stage for the first time or at least the first time in front of the huge fucking crowd. - We were at Calaveras County Fairgrounds and it was the first big gig we landed by Chopper.


Connecting With the Audience (24:49)

This is like, you know, it's like a dream come true, right? I think there were 75,000 people. - Whoa. - And there were a bunch of other bands on the show, "Fauna," "Lover Boy." I mean, all these great, amazing bands that I grew up loving. And man, it was just, it was like, it was like "The Ultimate Dream." You're like, you know, I remember I still get chills thinking about it. The last song in the set was "Faithfully." I remember standing on stage playing and thinking to myself, wow, this is what it's really about. Because 75,000 people were singing every word to that song. You hold the mic out. Hi, where are you running? They were all saying all the lyrics. And I was standing there and there were tears. I get choked up still thinking about it now. Tears running down my face because I'm thinking, this is it. It's not money. It's not fame. It's the true connection with the human spirit. This is what it's all about. Whoa, music, the soothe, the savageness. This takes you back to the beginning of time, the beginning of music. This is it. People loved it so much that they learned every word and every melody. Now you've made it. Forget the money, the private will forget whatever. Now, finding a true connection. 75,000 people, bro. And the audience is singing every lyric. That's the real true connection for an artist. That is really it. The money, all that goes and comes, all this kind of stuff that houses, all that stuff is cool. But that real connection, 'cause you know somebody loved your stuff so much, they're living on every word. Wow. You could stand on stage and they're singing it to you. You don't even need to sing. You go like, God, thank you Jesus, this is it. This is the holy Mecca. I mean, you literally just explained why I do what I do. Like the ability to connect, like you said, to connect with the human spirit, to tap into something. This, that story is why I love you so much. Like your approach about get fucking good, learn everything you can. And the public doesn't lie, I think is a direct quote from you. I thought that's so interesting. And when you think about this notion of the public doesn't lie, and like what's the organizing factor? I wanna be famous, I think. And like I'm some upstart musician, I think I have it and I'm chasing something. And your whole message is your job is to get so good that you can create something so beautiful that it connects with that many people at such a deep level, that it starts to become a part of the fabric of who they are. And that's like, God man, we all have those songs that are like, they're a part of us. Great music is timeless.


Find Your Brand (28:17)

The Beatles, timeless, Motown, timeless, Journey, timeless, Zeppelin, timeless. This music from 50 years ago still sounds fresh and new today. The other thing that what happens that I think prepares you when you learn everything you can Tom, you're able to start to concoct your own brand. Nobody wants another one of anything else. Who are you? What are you giving me that I don't get from somewhere else? So I say to every artist, people say, why are you inside the managed people? What do you do? Say, I meet artists and I go, why do I care? Why will anyone care about you? I'm great. Oh, okay. I can dance. Oh, okay. I'm beautiful. Oh, there's none of that in the planet. Oh, okay, great. That's not gonna do it. What are you giving me that nobody else has given me? What's special about you? We each have something. Spiritually God has given us all something to get through this life differently from the other that's better than the other. It's up to you to find it. How? Exactly. You gotta do a lot of self exploration. You gotta do a lot of digging, soul searching and try and find it. And I think you have to do a lot of listening and being able to turn the noise down. Social media and otherwise, all of the sensationalism that just begets America, turn it off. Just try and dig deep and find out what makes you special. Also, what makes you happy? Maybe start there. What kind of song when you sing that you go, I would say to singers this trick. You have one song left to sing. What would you sing? One, for the rest of your life. What is that song that rocks you at your core? If you don't know what that is, you don't know who you are.


Understanding Needs And Being An Artist In Music Industry

Knowing What You NEED (vs. What You Want) (30:15)

Ah. So what are we talking about? We're just wasting time. 'Cause until you know who you are, we should not move forward. So remember, I gotta learn to want what I need as opposed to need what I want. What do I need? I don't know if I don't know who I am. I don't even know what I like if I don't know who I am. You can tell yourself, I like this, I like that. Oh, I like 20 things. Yeah. There's something, there's one thing in there that you cannot live without. What is that? What I like about your advice is that it applies to anything. 'Cause everything in life is relative.


The Importance of Being an Artist in Music (30:57)

It's life. Yeah, when I think about, even like as I was describing the, you know, having that connection and getting so good at something that you can really have a deep connection, I thought there is a correlate to this in accounting, where it's like, and I love that Seth Goden calls, what he calls linchpins, somebody who's just so extraordinary at their job. He said, I think of them as artists. And I'm like, yes. Like when you tell people that they need to learn everything they can, and you know, I just wanna be, you know, the next Zeppelin or whatever, the Stones, and so do I really need to learn more than these four cards? Yes, motherfucker, because if you wanna discover who you are, you've gotta have access to everything so that your creation isn't limited by your ability to articulate. That's why people usually write the same song over and over. They don't know anything else. Yeah, I think the notion of all of this is born out of knowing what you want, knowing who you are. And then, most importantly, building the skills to be able to get that out. Knowing what you need, and knowing who you are.


What makes a star (32:09)

'Cause what you want is often, I'm saying, I don't think you're ever gonna meet a music person that I wanna be famous. And people now, today, you know, with the whole millennial Gen Z thing, is I wanna be famous now. Somebody said to me, "Yeah, I wanna be signed in three months." Great. Just don't wait. Just sign today. Just go to our label and say, "Sign me now." Let's see what happens. Yeah. But, you know, even thinking about that, they're signing you on what basis? What do you have to show? What's your collateral? It's a bank. What do you have to show me? Well, I got a bunch of songs. I soon, you know, people walking my office, I got 10,000 songs. I go, "Great." I got 10 billion, so you know, you haven't heard any of them? They all crap. Like, you know, if we all write crap, we write good stuff, we write crap stuff. We're all a work in progress. I mean, if you do, if I had had these songs, and all of them would've been hits, we'd probably be sitting in this office. You know, so it's, it's, and it's also getting honest and real with yourself. Dig and deep. How good am I, really? Let me look in the mirror. I know I'm hot, but am I really that cute? I mean, I just really be an honest with yourself. But the star is my friend. They are the equalizers. So when I was doing A&R, I only looked for stars today. People say, "Why is rock music not prevalent, "and why is R&B not prevalent?" They're no stars. The stars that they are in hip hop, because these are guys that give zero fucks. Kanye doesn't care what anyone thinks, but Kanye. That's the mark of a star. Do you think Mick Jagger cared what people were saying about him? Hell no, this is what I'm doing. You think Bowie cared? No, you think Prince cared? Oh my God, I'm gonna wear this G string with the sire boots, with the fish-heads and this cross, and I'm gonna rock it on. I know what they must be saying. I don't care. You had a really awesome quote. You were talking about these people that wanna be stars, but they don't even love themselves. You were like Megan, Shrainer, Adele, Ruben Studdard. People that, the outside world was like, you're too big for this, like no way. Colin and I would say to people that would come in on Idol, and somebody would go like, well, I really gotta lose weight. No, no, no, no, no, no. Don't let that become you. Don't let that shockle you in a weird place. A star is not about the weight. Meatloaf was heavy. It was a star. You see what I'm saying. So it's less about how you look, and it's what do they say that said, "Hudspa," said "Jene Se Qua," it's that special something sauce that you got. - Yeah. - Hey man, you know, we know people that can sell sand to the beach. That's a star. The beach already's got enough sand. I got some more sand, it's blue. Well, we don't have blue. Let me take some. Yeah, these are the stars. 'Cause there's an artist which you're out there doing is selling your wares, aren't you? So people think I'm on Instagram and I've taken everything off. I mean, I used to be on two. I had 100 million followers 'cause I was just posing in my speedo. And guys, these are speedos that Tom made for me. Tom, before anything else was a speedo maker. - The best of the best. - Loud orange and electric green. But no, I mean, listen, that'll only get you so far. That'll get you people wanting your body. This does nothing for your talent. Doesn't mean anything, doesn't translate into sales or anything else. Just translating people wanting you. Got your clothes off. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I got 10 million followers. Yay. - Give people that. - Give people the breakdown between a pop star and like just raw and adulterated star performer. - The best star in the world is the star that has commerce. That's what I like. Meaning that your star, you give zero Fox. You beat by your own drum. You look to be unique. You don't care what people are thinking and you strive to be the best. And you persevere.


The star that has constant movement (36:29)

You never give up. That's a real star. And if that star is commerce, then it's all the better. So when you look at the legendary people of our time, the Marlies, the Jackson's, the Prince's, the Boies, the Jaggers, the Steven Tyler's, the Axel Roses, I mean, just Zeppelin, Hendrix, just go down. I mean, there's trillions of them. The Beatles, Motown, James Brown, just keep going. But whatever, the Eagles, just whatever. These are these artists that also have commerce. Now, there are a lot of pop stars around today. And there always has been since the beginning of time. The pop star, somebody tells where to stand, what color to wear, what to do. It's almost programmed almost as if it's a robot. Successful, because success is really more about the song, but a career is about the song and the artist. The longevity is about the artist. Anybody, listen, everybody in this room, we're gonna find a song and put it out under each kind of name, the Truggles. And it could maybe become ahead if the song is great. 'Cause the public doesn't really care who's doing it. You just give it the song. But the real public cares about the song and the person. Hence, YouTube doesn't have to put out another record and they could play stadiums. Wow, wow. And their career's been going 25 years in county. That's a career. That's a real star with commerce. So, you know, you can become a pop star and you've just programmed to death, but that's only gonna lead you so far. - Yeah, one thing I heard you say one time and I thought it was so on the money and it was so revealing in it. Like, it was one of those, I'd never thought of it before.


Too Many Songwriters, Not Enough Artists (38:31)

And then as soon as you said it, I was like, oh my God, is that the star is somebody who can reveal the depths of their emotions. Like, they're not the robot. They are almost peeling themselves bare before you in their performance. And so there's that connection that you talked about earlier. - As a singer, as a musician on a stage, you could be wearing 18 bare rugs, you're nude. The public is picking you apart to shreds. His eyes are too close together. Her knees, she's not nude. She's goofy and tall. Her teeth are crooked. I mean, I don't like his ears. They're too big for his body. I mean, they're ripping you to literal shreds. So you better have some stamina and you better be able to take the heat or get out the kitchen. 'Cause they're coming for you. Guns blazing as hard as they can. I don't like him. I don't know what something's weird about it. He's got a colic hair. I don't know, his nose is weird. I know he says five nose jobs and he's another one. Whatever, they hate you before they're gonna love you. The pop star can't take that. The artist can take that because you know what they're doing. They're saying, "You know what? I'm gonna sing my song. You're gonna listen. You could hate me. I'm not going away. I'm gonna pour my lyrics out. I'm gonna pour my heart out. I don't care what you see. Take all of me or nothing. That's the artist. How's your career lasted so long? I think, you know, I try and reinvent all the time. I keep my mind open and my eyes open and I got, became more of a philanthropist. I got into managing chefs. I got into managing writer producers and artists. I got into doing more TV, developing TV shows, developing film, got into selling products on my own with other people. I became interested in other things because when you're an artist, the great artist, Tony Bennett, one of the real greats, who's still to this day at 90, whatever years only is, well, out seeing almost every pop star on the planet, he still gets up into this two and a half hours singing at the top of his lungs. Brilliant. Every once you'd always go and see him. He's also a magnificent painter. So when you're an artist, artist's not limited to one thing usually. That may be the thing you're best at, but there's other interests, you know. So I think it's about furthering that and I grew up really loving evolution of the man. What do you mean? I did that. Now I'm gonna be like, Tom, Tom, what do you wanna do next? Did that conquer that? Did what I wanted to do and what's my next challenge? How do you stay hungry enough to pursue that? Something new is so difficult. It's always difficult, but that's what drives you, right? That's what drives, I love building. So if you were gonna ask me what my real sort of secret passion is, building is the core of it. Yeah. But if I were gonna answer a question around drive, I'd probably give you a different answer. What would you say? In truth, I have built a value system and part of that value system is impact. So I have decided that it is important to have positive impact in the world and I've built that up with such importance and fervor in my mind that when we exited Quest, my wife and I, we just never needed to work again, absurdly, right? By an island, that kind of never needed to work again. And that wasn't even a real consideration. It was, what do I know about myself? You talk about know thyself. I know for me, whether this is good or bad is somewhat irrelevant. I, it is critical to me to matter. I don't need to be famous. I don't need to be visible. I need to be doing something that matters. That is so crushing important to me that it borders on pathological. Well, I think that's the same thing for all of us, right? And for me also, it's also paying it forward. It's seeing a diamond in a rough and going, that, nobody's seeing it. That could be amazing. But, that's what I say to every artist. Are you willing to listen and do you know everything already? If you know everything already, good luck. Hopefully you have a good life. If you're willing to listen and do the work, possibly I can help you. You have to be open and humble. Still very compassionate.


Do What You Love Even After You Succeed (43:24)

But being able to grow, somebody's born with the whole thing. A ton of people help me along the way. Sure, a ton of people help you along the way. So now you're doing that through your impact theory. I'm doing that through everything that I do. It's what we do. It's like not working is not an option. It's what I do. It's what I love. I love learning. I love exploring. I love teaching. It's what I do. Why are you so focused on helping kids? Because I think they have no real barrier of entry. When you adult, you have a bunch of options. You're an adult, you can work various jobs. You can do a ton of things. You can move cities, whatever. Kids don't have that option. If their parents had loved them, they want to see them do well, but they don't really know the business usually. So you need to, you know, somebody needs to help. So it's one of those things. As I say, a lot of people help me, man. They didn't have to. They saw something in me. I'm not even sure at the time I saw it myself. But the fact that they could see it. I mean, look, playing in those bars with the older guys, like, what in the hell I do? I'm like, what? What was I doing in there, man? I don't even know, man. I don't even know what that was. You know what I'm saying? I mean, you feel me? Like, I mean, what am I? I'm like 13, these guys, like 40 some. They're great. I mean, I thought I was pretty good, but I didn't know. But yeah, I mean, but seeing how they connected with the music and just sitting there first hand with them is just so golden. Seeing how people would get up and dance how the music makes them move. And you feel like an example to me of when somebody really finds what they wanna do, what makes them come alive, and they just went all in. And that's like my real secret hope for people, is that they can create that in their life, that they can build into their life, something that they love, the way that you love music. But I love that your message always comes back to learning hard work perseverance, get after it.


Dealing With Success And Failure

Kanyes Biggest Business Failure (45:22)

It's not like, oh, I was born with this and that was that. - Not enough. It's not enough. And you're in a competition whether you wanna believe in or not, you are. You being judged. People judge you, we say as an artist is climbing to the top, everyone's cheering them along like it's the rocky story but you're just gonna beat the champ.


Feelings About Success (45:43)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, go, go, go. Once you get to the top, oh yeah, he sucks. I'm over him, you know what I mean? That's when you know you've made it. Yeah, they've fallen off, dude. And not even witted anymore, man. You know, it's kinda funny. I have to ask, what's the one song if you could only ever play one song again? What would it be? For me? Yeah. What's the one song? Finally enough, one of my favorite songs in life. I have about four or five favorites 'cause "Let It Be" just popped in my head. That's one of my favorites too, but. I'm sorry. Pure imagination. I'm Willy Walk in the Chocolate Factory. Whoa. The melody in the chords just so next level. The theory of it and the joy and the happiness that it brings though. Pure imagination, the melody so, so every time I hear it, it makes me feel happy. I love that. Yeah. It's just an amazing piece of music. I mean, you'd have to, those guys are so accomplished even write that and make it work. It's just, I mean, beautiful, just beautiful, just gorgeous.


Tom's Big Announcement! (47:19)

Your world is beyond interesting to me. Tell these people where they can dive into your world. Where's the best place to follow you? To dive into my world, you can echo me on my socials. And everywhere you see me, I'm there everywhere. I try and fly under the radar a lot lately, but Tom's making me come back out. Watch impact theory and you can find me. That's good advice. All right. What is the impact that you wanna have on the world? I wanna help be the change. I wanna help push people to their greater, highest good. I respect it. Randy Jackson, thank you so much for that. Thank you, brother. That was absolutely incredible. Guys, do yourselves a favor. Dive into his world. See the way that he responds to music, the way that it moves him, the way that it is him. You wanna build something like that in your life. It will change you forever. Go hard, y'all. Go harder, go home. If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. Randy, motherfucker, that was awesome.


Acknowledgements

Shout Outs (48:27)

Dude, thank you so much for that. Definition of success too often is whoever has the most toys wins. Whoever is the most popping wins, whoever has the most likes on Instagram wins. And I think we have to change our definition of success. For me, success is doing what you love for a living.


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