Ethan Diamond, Please Be My Mentor

If I’ve adopted a mission statement for my life, it’s to create a sustainable music industry. If music industry people are on the battlefield, our rallying cry is that “Music has value.” There are so many good people fighting for it. Maggie Vail at CASH music, Benji Rogers at dotBlockChain Media and Ethan Diamond at Bandcamp.

Bandcamp is one of the smartest, most useful and progressive music tech companies out there. The way they’ve scaled is brilliant. And Ethan Diamond is a funny, mind-mannered CEO with style and a vision.

Diamond has kept a low-profile over the past few years but built a ridiculously cool Bandcamp team. They’ve aligned themselves with the reputable indie labels too. He spoke at XOXO Festival when I attended in 2014. His talk was charming and inspiring. I felt a kindred spirit in him.

As I was walking to leave the conference, I spotted him sitting by himself. The introvert in me wanted to leave him alone, but the ambitious side of me said, “When are you going to get this opportunity again?” So I talked to him.

I told him that I liked what he said and introduced myself. He then pointed out that we both had similar Hershel laptop bags and he invited me to sit down next to him. So I told him my story — I’d been booking shows in Houston, recently moved to Austin and started grad school. I gushed about how Bandcamp is terrific and I believed it was contributing to creating the elusive sustainable music industry that we need in this post-Napster world. I asked him if he thought about the contributions Bandcamp could make to the live music industry. He didn’t have an answer but he listened to me kindly and respectfully as I babbled at him. I thanked him for his time and walked about because I had gotten so nervous that I felt like I was going to puke. I went outside and cried anxious tears afterward.

I’m being a bit cheeky by pleading Ethan Diamond, please be my mentor. Ethan Diamond took about 10 minutes out of his day to speak to me. This speaks volumes to his character and his company. I’m still learning about how I can contribute to music. As I’ve said before, it’s my passion, my religion, my truest love in life. It HAS value. It makes our lives so much better.

Really, I envy those that have someone successful that recognizes their passion, strengths, and commitment. I would love to be able to develop my ideas and thoughts not because I’m a genius but because I’m ambitious.  I never thought I’d get to work in music with artists that I love and admire but I have over the past 5 years. It’s my dream to get to his level and become a colleague rather than a mentee … maybe one day. I can dream. After all, dreaming is free.


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