Article written by Rebecca Groom
In our latest Industry Voices series, we talked with Cory Pedalino, owner of Harrison Promotions and Management. Offering services in management, tour booking and routing, and PR campaigns, Harrison Promotions and Management is a one-stop shop for artists. Being only 2 years in existence with 22 nominations in the Asbury Park Music Awards in 2013, Harrison Promotions is becoming a fixture in the Jersey Shore music scene.
With his background so varied, it’s no surprise Cory Pedalino has found success in the music industry. A Monmouth University Alumni, a musician, and the cofounder of an entire music festival, he is nothing if not driven. We talked to Corey about the difficulties of starting your own company, how to an artist gets chosen for management, and what Harrison Promotions and Management has their sights on for the future.
1.) To start, please state your name and position with Harrison Promotions, and give us a little background about the company.
Cory Pedalino - Owner of Harrison Promotions and Management. The company was created in November of 2011 when I filed for an LLC tax EIN and all that good stuff. Since then the business has been part time for me but I've made some interesting contacts and impressions. In two years, I've been able to solidify contacts with Live Nation, HUKA Entertainment, some of the major agencies in the country and some of the independent agencies in the country.
2.) You have a very extensive and diverse background in the music business, starting in 2007. What made you decide to get into the business?
I've always been a musician. Drummer since the age of 11 and I started playing bass about 6 years ago. I went to Monmouth University and got a bachelors degree in music industry.
3.) Do you feel like this background provided you with the skills necessary to start your own promotion and management company?
The most important skills I learned about the music industry wasn't from within the music industry it was from another profession. I counseled and taught special needs inmates for close to 4 years in Newark and Kearny before diving back into the music industry. By counseling and performing intakes it became easy for me to be able to trust, be honest and keep certain things close to the chest.
4.) You were a drummer for 17 years. Has working on both sides of the industry, as an artist and a businessman, allowed you to understand it better?
Yes, I do come from a musician's background. Touring, performing and being the manager of the different projects I've played in from an early age helped to give me insight on the industry. I was able to see that there are a ton of sharks looking to feast on prey, I learned about the evil and negative parts of the industry and the wonderful and positive parts of the industry at a young age. As a musician, and many musicians will also make this claim: There is no spiritual, sexual, or substance feeling that can even come close to playing in front of a few hundred/thousand people. It is why you see so many individuals chasing the dream their entire lives.
5.) What are some of the difficulties you had with starting your own company?
Starting my own company has been difficult but it has been challenging enough to keep me interested. The biggest challenges I faced were making a reputation/name for myself, learning who to work with and who not to work with and being able to support myself through the company part time. In the beginning, I was lucky enough to have the guidance of Justin Hoy from Halogen Media Works who mentored me through a lot of negotiations and dealings from his own experiences.
6.) What goes into the decision to become the management for an artist? Do you typically approach them or do they approach you with the position?
The decision to work with a specific project as a manager is based on a couple things. Touring history, live performance, cohesiveness within the project, how long has the project been playing together, songwriting skills, playing potential and most importantly professionalism and maturity. I've kind of prided myself on working with some of the best local talent around. I have exclusive and non exclusive deals with several artists and I serve as a tour manager, booking agent and consultant to others. Some of these projects include: Empire Escorts, Audio Insight, Toothgrinder, Monterey, The Howler Weary, Cranston Dean and just recently Slim Chance and The Gamblers.
7.) You are also the cofounder of the Jersey Shore Music Festival, which had a lot of success in 2013. How did the idea for a festival in the shore area come about?
My partner and the investor Joe Ciano came to me about 14 months prior to the actually festival through an introduction with a common friend and asked if he thought it could be pulled off. At first, it was a pipe dream but eventually we got to the point where the team actually said to ourselves "F*ck this is actually going to happen". We had our problems, arguments and issues but overall it was a success and an excellent learning process which has led us to bigger things.
8.) You also do tour routing and booking for artists. Are there any cities or smaller music scenes that you believe deserve some more recognition?
Unfortunately, I have to say this and I know some people take offense to it but everywhere else in the country besides the Tri State area original artists are treated like actual people. The tour routing that I've done for several artists have been successful on different levels. Canton, Ohio has a great little scene going on and Buzzbin has treated my acts touring through there very well. When Toothgrinder and I were out in California, we were in San Jose two nights in a row. Not only did we get pampered with two great shows and venues back to back nights, the bands were nice enough to give us the entire door for travel.
9.) Do you have any big plans for Harrison Promotions within the next year?
I am going to continue to work with the projects that are close to my heart because I love what I do. Harrison P and M is partnering up with Dark Horse Percussion for a national marketing campaign within the next couple months. I recently celebrated my year anniversary talent buying two weekend dates a month at 10th Street Live in Kenilworth, NJ and I can't say enough about the staff and love over there.
I am currently gearing up for some serious branding, expansion and molding. I'm also inquiring to Monmouth University for an intern or two this summer. I have a bunch of different projects brewing with a few partners of mine. Christine Feola has been kicking ass at The Wonder Bar for a while now and her and I have a few things up our sleeves. Joe Ciano and I may have a possible location change for a new festival in Summer of 2015 and a possible partnership with a very respected national entertainment company.
10.) Do you have any advice for anyone trying to break into the music industry?
Advice for people trying to break into the music industry? Hmmm. Find another profession if you're looking to make steady/provable income!! haha My advice would be: Be yourself and be honest with yourself, learn from your mistakes and don't ever let anything or anyone discourage you from pursuing what you love. I've shoveled shit since I was a young kid playing at a lot of the venues around our area and never said a word or disrespected anyone. I've had a ton of side jobs to fuel my passion part time but I love what I do and I wouldn't trade it for anything. The money, the excitement and the love in this industry are absolutely endless but make sure you find your niche and make sure you find Blue Ocean Markets!!