Ep#87 Be Strong and Rise Up Again to Success

September 12, 2022

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About the Guest

From the inception of my career, I have fine-tuned a process to excel in client engagements. My approach is simple: understanding my client’s needs and goals drives mutual success. I have replicated this formula throughout my career, which has resulted in a strong track record of achieving revenue and profitability goals, creating synergy with my team, and developing business solutions across several industries.

Episode Summary

#jonmyerpodcast #jonmyer #myermedia #podcast #podcasting

From an early age of 10, our next guest is no stranger to music. Music has always been a part of his life and passion. Anthony Cole created the song and inspired music video around Amazonian culture called Bar Raiser. Including supporting Amazon internally during the pandemic with "Amazon Be Strong" and while you may never see it publicly, take a look at his latest song called "Rise Up".

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Episode Show Notes & Transcript

Host: Jon

Our next guess is no. Stranger to music is a senior program manager for Amazon music, Anthony Cole, Anthony. Thanks so much for joining the show.

Guest: Anthony

Oh, so happy to be here, Jon. Thank you for having me,

Host: Jon

Anthony, back in 2019 as an Amazonian, I listened to bar raiser and I was so inspired by this. I reached out to you and I was like, oh my God, we gotta do something. We gotta collaborate, but I can't sing. So I was like, all right, baby, you do this singing and I'll do the discussion around it. Let's talk about how'd you get into music.

Guest: Anthony

Wow. Uh, well that takes me back. I think from, from childhood, I had an affinity for music essentially. Like, uh, I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago. So that's the accent you hear? And, um, I think early on, uh, I saw my dad being able to play piano by air. And then I had, um, some uncles who were parent arrows and I was always like really intrigued by their ability to perform and just bring so much joy to folks. Uh, and I remember entering like a talent show competition and my, my primary school actually, uh, I was probably about 10 years old and it was something called an exemple competition, which is essentially like a short, um, uh, lyrical content that talks about a specific topic. And you do it in a specific rhyming phrasing. And I think I can feed in that competition and it really planted DEC seed for me to like, you know, let's lead into performing more.

Guest: Anthony

So then I joined the school choir and I became a soloist. And then when I moved to the states, one of my best friends, he actually, um, was a producer and also had an affinity for music and wanted to be an artist. And we really collaborated a lot. And from there I in college, um, did mu much more shows, started to open up for big names like beanie man and Mr. Vegas, these are, um, legendary Caribbean artists that I had the chance to, to open for a along the way and then started to come, you know, create my own songs and put them out into the interwebs, as you would say, <laugh>

Host: Jon

So Anthony, I gotta ask you, how did it go for the one that you created when you were 10 years old? So you entered this show. What was the outcome? I'm just curious.

Guest: Anthony

Yeah. Yeah. You saw, I, I think I placed third in that, in that show and um, I just, it, it really has planted to see that this is something I enjoy. It kind of gave me the confidence early on that, you know, it's okay to sh be yourself in front of the large audience and, and give them and share your art. And, uh, I think that just continued to, to scale as I, I got older.

Host: Jon

So music as a part of your life growing up and you're into the states, did you go into a career as music or how did it actually get started? I mean, I don't think you always order in Amazon music, is there something to do with banking?

Guest: Anthony

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So <laugh>, so I think for, for me, my music has always been a big part of me and I try to integrate it into my corporate world as well as my personal life and as a passion. And, um, early on, uh, in my career, I, my first, I guess, uh, introduction into the working world was banking. I started off as a, um, a banker and then, uh, got promoted to be a private banker for JP Morgan, um, where I worked with ultra high net with and high net with clients. Um, and even then, you know, in that role, I think it's a much more conservative, right. In a suit and tie and, um, you know, rules about how you write emails and you can't say certain things in emails, unlike the tech role, but, um, get into banking. Uh, I under decide I continue to do music whenever I could.

Guest: Anthony

So, um, I would, uh, if you go on any of my socials from way back when you would see, I always do like these freestyles and, um, and as be create online and sometimes folks would just reach out randomly to give me gigs. So I never did it proactively, but I did it, uh, on the side as a hobby. And then sometimes there would be commercial opportunities that came out of it while I was working in banking. Um, and, uh, I think, uh, you know, my journey to Amazon was really my, what my wife and I got recruited by them. It really wasn't, uh, a vision at the time. Uh, I was doing really well in the previous company. I was at, it was ultra high net with market research firm. I was lead in the client success team and, um, you know, my wife got the opportunity to lead the business intelligence program for crime.

Guest: Anthony

Uh, and it was too good of an opportunity to turn down. This was in 2017. Um, my firm said, Hey, you can work remotely before working remote was such a thing as it is today. And, um, middle my wife said, Hey, well, my husband is moving to, is there any opportunities for him? And they actually looked at the Amazon business, um, account management space and thought I would be a good fit I interviewed. And I, I joined Amazon. Um, so fast forward to present day. Uh, I, you know, just looking at how the, I guess pandemic has affected folks and, and in a really wanting to be introspective of what are the things I'm really passionate about that I wanna align myself with. Uh, I had an opportunity to join Amazon music, to lead the employee and trust program management, um, opportunity. And I thought that would just be such a nice intersection of things I'm already passionate about. Um, as you know, and we probably will touch on, I do a lot of affinity group work, um, with, uh, the black employee network. This would be me being able to channel that same interest, that same passion into developing opportunities for employees to have the best experience while they work for Amazon music, being integrated into that whole streaming industry and learning about it while also being an artist and, um, coaching in to, you know, grow my passion organically there. So that's, that's the transition, uh, that I did, uh, early this year.

Host: Jon

And then I got a lot to unpack from that JP Morgan in a traditional banking sense where it's not the culture it is today where you could be outspoken and you really grow and be your, your personal self outside of a company and do your music, you know, you're going in suit and tie, but transitioning over to Amazon. And I remember your post on social media when you went to Amazon music. And I was like, yeah, I knew that was gonna happen. That was exactly just knowing you from talking to you a few times, listening to your music, Amazon music is a natural progression for you. So congratulations to that path and all the things that you're working on, how do you have free time to work on all this stuff and collaborate? I mean, you're an artist, Amazon music, the black employee network. And I know there's a bunch more stuff that I didn't even list.

Guest: Anthony

Yeah, I get, I get asked that question often. And I think for me, it's all about balance and prioritization and I think life is all about ebbs and flows. You know, I'm married, I have a beautiful whole wife. Who's also an Amazonian, so she's also busy, but I think, you know, as you go throughout your day, um, really take a, a litmus test of what's most important that has to be done. And, um, you know, attack that as the first thing in the morning that, that, that what, that's what I do. Um, and I work backwards for working backwards, Amazon

Host: Jon

Concept. I love how you threw that true Amazon.

Guest: Anthony

Exactly. What, what, what are the, what are the prior priorities, um, from, for that lens, that mental model. And I, I balance it out that way. So, you know, if I have a gig coming up okay, that means, you know, I need to leave work a little early, so I can practice and, and make sure that I'm ready. Um, P one, you know, operations planning time is coming up. Okay. I have to dedicate more time to that doc. So I, I really just do a good gauging of what's going on and prioritize and try to make it work. Um, and it, and it ha you know, that the method to my mind, this has worked so far, so I, I continue to do it,

Host: Jon

Uh, keep staying the course. Let's talk about bar Razr. That was my first, uh, introduction into you and your music. I've probably played it about 20 times, shared it so many times on social media, because, you know, I, I'm an Amazon, I'm an ex Amazonian, but I still know what a bar raiser is. And when I was look there, the inspiration behind it, if you ever needed a pickup, you know, you're, you're just having a little bit of a down and you're, you know, bar raiser was actually perfect. Just the whole sound of the music. Just get you into the group. How'd you come up with that?

Guest: Anthony

Yeah. So, uh, ball Razr is interesting because it wasn't something that I was looking per se to develop. I think, uh, the way it has scaled was basically focusing the opportunity to, um, uh, I guess, celebrate this concept. So I entered, Amazon's got talent, and the song that I entered with was called barer, and I wanted a way to celebrate a barer program because it was so inspirational to me joining the company. I do. I remember even, uh, in this, uh, um, discussion, I had saying, you know what, because of the bar raiser, and because I know how rigorous the interview was, and I was actually, I made it through, I feel confident that I actually belong because I was able to meet the expectations of this very rigorous interview process with this bar, as well as the leadership principles. So, you know, uh, I've always felt inspired by, by that coming in.

Guest: Anthony

And I said, Hmm, it'd be really cool if for this competition, I do a sound anchored at Amazon's culture. And what is one of the main things all Amazonians relate to is that bar is a, um, you know, interview process in de loop. And I wanted to celebrate the program and I wanted to celebrate our leadership principles. So I did it, and it went viral internally. It was shared all over. I started getting request perform at all hands and team Canada asked me to come and perform. And I think you were AWS, right? AWS business team reached out and said, Hey, we love this song. Would you a music for reached out? My sign was

Host: Jon

So you made the song and then the music video followed short probably a little bit afterwards for anybody that doesn't understand what a bar raiser is. Do you wanna educate the audience and give them an example insight into Amazon and what a bar raiser is?

Guest: Anthony

Yeah. So what makes you Amazon unique is a several different things, including our leadership Princip. We are 14 leadership principles, 16 actually now. Um, and, um, the, uh, bar raiser is essentially somewhat on that interview panel. That's an expert in our leadership principle and our culture aligned to that role. And they really do a deep dive inspection of, is this person meeting the bar? Are they going to be, you know, uh, raising the standard of, of the, of, for that specific role that they're coming into. And, um, they are part of that interview process and really have a lot of weight into, you know, whether you are get a yes or no. Um, and that's standard across, uh, any of the, the businesses, uh, with the company. So, um, we have, uh, folks like, you know, Amazonians that would go through the process of learning, um, what the, how to inspect properly and, um, you know, understanding how to deep dive those, uh, leadership questions so that they are able to be borrowers on those panels.

Host: Jon

Did you ever think that this video, this music, uh, would go so viral?

Guest: Anthony

<laugh> had no clue had no clue, actually, just yesterday. I got, uh, I dunno if you remember the accolades too, but it's like every day I continue to get accolades from folks coming in with the company sharing how much they've loved it. And I think it really has it's, it's, it's interesting because, you know, I did this really selflessly. I just did it outta my heart and joy of being in Amazon and celebrating us, but it has meant so much for folks externally as well, um, as a recruiting opportunity. So folks have reached out to me and said they applied to Amazon because of that video. It's insane. I have people that have joined and said, Anthony, I listened to a million times while I was practicing and prepping to pull my interview loop. So it, it really is amazing. I feel really proud about it.

Host: Jon

It is a very inspirational song. If you haven't heard it yet, I'll put a link in the description below folks. You gotta listen to it. It's not long, but it will definitely inspire you, even if you don't know what a bar Razr is, or you're not trying to become a bar Razr, but it will give you an insight into the culture. I love that you mixed your personality with it. Uh, you were like maybe, uh, working out and then you were singing. You had the banana cart added in there and people were enjoyed it. I, I love the entire culture that you, that was included in the music video, but also into the song because I can feel the energy and the vibe from it.

Guest: Anthony

Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. Thank you. Yep.

Host: Jon

So after bar Razr, what was next? What song was next that it inspired you? Was it a collaboration with AWS, Amazon, or did they reach out to you for something or did you come up with something?

Guest: Anthony

Yeah, so after bar is, uh, the next, uh, I guess iconic <laugh>, you know, signature, Amazon song would be one called Amazon, be strong. Now this one is not public, but it was used internally, um, at the height of the pandemic. And, um, it came about because, uh, Beth TTI, our global head of HR, um, who sits on our, um, S team reach out to me personally and said, hi, Anthony. Um, we are rolling out a, um, return to the office opportunity. Um, but we want to ensure that our employees are safe and we wanna create a song that will actually be able to capture, um, that message and, and capture the embody, um, those opportunities in a really fun Amazonian way. Um, and I said, sure, happy to help. Um, let me go, uh, you know, get my creative juices going. And I wrote a song called Amazon be strong.

Guest: Anthony

Um, and I actually really like it. I, I will be biased and say, I like it more than bar, is it <laugh> because, because I had much more time to, to work on it this time. Like when I did bars, it was really quick, um, to turnaround with the working with the team. But for, for this time, I did get to, uh, work with, uh, a Trinidad and producer. That's where I'm Trinidad and Tobago, who, who is my producer today that I work with all the time. Um, and he he's, uh, excellent one of the best in the industry. Um, and, um, we came up with the, the melody. I gave him some ideas on how I wanted the instrumental to be constructed. Um, and, uh, the song is really about how to stay inspired and how to kind of manage, um, having like, you know, mental fortitude doing such a dark time.

Guest: Anthony

Um, and that the message was to continue to hold on, you know, we will get through this together. Um, so, uh, the lyrics are, we got to keep holding on, we got to keep moving on, Amazon, be strong. That was the, the hook. Um, and then I went into lyrics about, you know, washing your hands and, you know, at the time staying six feet apart, which is, you know, kind of, uh, dated at this point. But, um, it was really well received and shared internally. And as you did the, the training, um, at the end of it, you would be come actually in, in the beginning, you would have to hear the music and then the end of the training, um, you'll be able to hear the song that is an entirety. So, yeah, that was a, another, uh, contribution I did for Amazon, I guess, musically and culturally

Host: Jon

Now, obviously that was internal, but walk us through a little bit more of the process as an artist on coming up with not only the music, the lyrics, and maybe even the recorded process. And this one, did it also include a music video or was it just the songs?

Guest: Anthony

This one, we did a, a lyric video. Yep. So, uh, lyric video and we used, um, the Amazon PEY, uh, as one of the graphics, if you remember PEY. Yep. Uh, but yeah, I think so walking through the process, I think first you, you anchor and what, what would be the, the message you wanna, uh, to have, you know, what would, what would be the message and what is the impact you wanna have? Um, and, and then working backwards from that, what would be the lyrical content that would be able to, you know, uh, essentially give that impact? Um, I was able to use the, some folks don't know this, but Amazon has a studio. Um, it's in the meeting center and I was able to work with the, um, uh, studio team to record the session. Um, same thing, similar barriers. I use the same studio and, um, uh, it, it also included of course me iterating with the producer, so going back and forth, okay, this is V1 of the instrumental.

Guest: Anthony

Nope. Take more base here. You know, um, this melody will sound good, send it in a voice note, really scrappy, but that's the, the creative piece. Um, and then once we land on, uh, the, the music, the instrumental piece, the instrumentation, um, then of course the lyrics, um, I know the melody for the hook. Um, and I think, uh, you know, really strong songs have a certain format. So you will have an intro. You would have a pre-course, you'll have the chorus and then the verses, and then that would repeat itself accordingly, depending on how long the song is. So that was an actual creation process. Um, then, uh, of course the recording session, uh, I did it in, I think, uh, like an hour, wasn't a long session at all. Uh, that's bang it out, sing the hook, sing the verses. And after that, there's a mixing and mastering process as well.

Guest: Anthony

Um, mixing and mastering is what makes the song sound good on radio, on any of the streaming platforms to maintain the fidelity. So if this song is not mixed, well, it's not gonna sound good. Um, so, so mixing with separate, because there's several different, I guess, vocals or layers of vocals, like you were hear here, one voicing in high, one voicing in low. When I, when I record, cause I'm doing it in layers and if the mixing is not done well, it's gonna, it's gonna sound noisy. It's gonna create some dissonance. So the mixing process was the coming to the end of it. Then mastering, mastering allows the music to not get distorted if you loud. So you in a car and you have a loud speaker, it'll sound really sucky if it's not nice at all. Um, and then yeah, from there, uh, shared it with Beth and the leadership team and got this sign off and then it was approved.

Host: Jon

So the mixer mastering is when I hear on the radio, this song is really great. It, it, it just really vibes with it, but then when you go hear them in concert, some of that's not there because it's live. Right.

Guest: Anthony

Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And if, if it's live, if it's a live band, um, the sound engineers there in the room, they have to try their best to recreate that clarity. Yep. Cause you, especially if there's several different, if there is a bass player drummer, it could get crazy. So, you know, at a concert venue, really good venues, they do a good job of being able to manage that.

Host: Jon

I felt that Amazon be strong when we talked about it offline and that I, I saw your next music video that you just released on July 18th, rise up. I'm, I'm feeling a little bit of like the inspiration and empowering folks in rise up probably from be strong. It seems that rise up, had that be strong type of feeling and vibe in it.

Guest: Anthony

Yeah. So rise up is a really powerful song because I think it really, um, sets anyone up for success in their life as they go through challenge. I think every day, you know, from the moment we wake up, there's some form of friction we're gonna experience during that day, whether it's significant or, you know, um, mundane, but it's gonna be there. And I think a lot of times, you know, uh, we could give up on our dreams, we could give up on that goal. Um, uh, but what is success it's actually being able to, um, you know, experience failure and rise above it. It hence rise up. Um, and, uh, the, the hook of this song is rise up again, believe in your dreams and never give up, um, rising up, you know, I think is, you know, for me, I would say it's also a, a, a bit of a spiritual aspect of it.

Guest: Anthony

I think I have a mantra for my like healthy mind, body spirit. So it's, you know, as you get challenging experiences, believe in yourself, don't give up, pick up and try again. And, um, uh, you know, I think I, I even in the, the pre chorus, I say, we gotta work harder, higher living our lives without regrets. We gotta be smarter, stay in order rice. Um, you know, it's really, it's common concept, but I think sometimes in the moment of weakness, we forget them. And this song is just reminding you. You could rise again, don't give up, you can do it. And that's how I live my life. You know, I've had so many experiences where I fail, um, but picked up myself and try it again and rose and I was able to, to achieve it.

Host: Jon

Anthony, I enjoy your music videos along with just the music itself, because when I watched the video, however, you guys come up with it, it's very inspirational. I'm watching your rise up. I, I played it a number of times, so I can kind of get the empowering from it. And, you know, I saw you like roof tabs. I saw you on the subway, dancing in the subway. I gotta ask you a question. I, but <laugh>, uh, you know, and then you're on the plane. And by the way, I love the black shades and some of the areas that you do, it, it, it felt that you gotta keep powering through it through it. You will have failures, but it's what you do and what you learn from those failures that will ultimately, you will rise up above it. You have to keep going through it and, and just don't let it keep you down.

Guest: Anthony

Indeed, indeed. I think, um, if you would, if you, if you notice, which I think you, you did, there were certain scenes in the video where it, it kind of represented that struggle, you know, being on the subway and you know, that journey through life. I start up the song by saying, um, living in a world of anger and sometimes you want to give up undone. Um, it's, uh, it's the everyday, um, reality that we all live in that journey towards goals that sometimes we fall short and the train was anchoring around. This is the, the journey. And then the plane was, um, I arose above it. I, I achieved that success. Um, but if you notice it, it ended with me being on the train. Again, success is not permanent. You have to keep going

Host: Jon

<laugh> yeah. You just not giving it. And you gotta keep, when you say, keep going, what I think of is grinded out, keep going, keep working at it. You know, day after day, you didn't get to where you're at by just one video at 10 years old, or one song at 10 years old, what happened was you progressed, you kept doing it. You know, when you were in banking, you didn't stop making music, you kept doing it. And then you did something that you're passionate about that ultimately progressed not only within Amazon, but you're working on some other stuff I wanna talk about in a couple minutes, but within Amazon, you're actually a part of a network of folks. Do you wanna talk about the Amazon BN network?

Guest: Anthony

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, um, uh, Amazon black employee network, we call 'em Ben. Uh, uh, we have, uh, it was funded in 2005. So I lead the, um, age group chapter here in Seattle. Um, our mission is to champion inclusion, diversity equity, and to create a support structure for our black employees and our black community. Um, and, uh, we go about execution of that mission to a couple different focus areas. Uh, so we focus on, uh, retention and pro professional development, uh, recruitment, uh, culture networking, and, um, of course Amazon business growth. Um, and, uh, so Ben is one of, I believe 14, uh, affinity groups, um, at Amazon. So we have women at, we have, um, in indigenous at we have, um, uh, I think warriors at, for our veterans. So all of these, uh, different underrepresented groups have, uh, affinity groups, um, as well.

Guest: Anthony

Um, but with Ben, I, I think, you know, there is, uh, uh, you know, some, some amazing opportunities that I think we kind of have led for the company. Uh, so if most recently last year we launched something called the black business accelerator and Tiffany Johnson, one of my previous board members is a founder of that. And we actually had the chance to, um, present a PR FAQ PR FAQ for those that aren't familiar, it's a press release, frequently asked questions, document that's one of the mechanisms we use to present bold, new think, big ideas at Amazon. And, um, yeah, we presented it to Dave Clark and it was funded. So, um, the, and it came from Ben. Um, another thing that we have launched is a Provo called rise for executive leadership development for our black L seven population at the company. Um, you've launched a band scholarship. So these are all the types of things that we do in which we align to the business. And we really inspect how could we impact Amazon and our community with us having a seat at the table. And we advocate for things like that.

Host: Jon

When you go into a session or collaboration for Amazon, Ben, do you come in there as Anthony, the musician, or do you come in there as, uh, first of all, I'm imagining, I, I swear I'm imagining the boom box coming in there and doing bar raiser and everybody's like hyped up, ready to go and tackle the next big thing.

Guest: Anthony

<laugh> that, that, that's a really funny question. No, I think I really have one by AB I hat in thoses, right. Because it's all about reading the doc. <laugh> giving feedback, I, that feedback and, uh, you know, adjusted a quarterly. But, um, no, I think, uh, I really have on the hat of, uh, of our, of our band members. Cause, you know, as a leader, you are the voice of your, um, you know, your team and, um, it's all about really advocating and understanding their needs and understanding the needs of the community, that communities that we're trying to impact in those rooms.

Host: Jon

Anthony, I know you're working on, so congratulations, not only on the music, uh, the career that you're on and being part of Amazon, Ben it's inspirational by the way. So keep it up, whatever you're doing. Thank you. I know you're working on a six pack release of something. You wanna talk about that?

Guest: Anthony

Yes, yes, yes, of course, of course. Uh, so, so you guys have heard, uh, if you haven't go check it out, it's called, um, uh, rise up, um, just type it in any of the streaming platforms by Anthony Cole. Um, but following that, I'm gonna have, uh, five other songs as part of an EP. Um, and it's called good vibe only. And I'm gonna really anchor, I guess, some of the things that are important to me in my life, through those songs and the messages that you would hear. Um, so there are songs about love there. Songs are also, uh, about, you know, um, you know, believing in your dreams, but not really caring what the naysay you say, there's always gonna be doubts and, you know, people are pessimistic about your opportunities and dreams and it is addresses that. Um, and it goes through what I really love about it, that it anchors a diverse set of Caribbean songs.

Guest: Anthony

So in the Caribbean, we have reg we have dance hall, we have soccer music, um, and the different songs, um, would actually tap into those different genres in the body of work. So really excited about it. It's I partnered with, uh, again, uh, Casey Phillips, who I worked on am Amazon B strong with, he is one of the best, uh, if not number one, producer from my home country of Trinidad Tobago, um, definitely check out his work. He's worked with the best of the, in the industry. Um, so it was really an honor to work on his body of work with him and yeah, really happy for the world to see it. I'm gonna be released in a, a music video for my second single in September, um, as part of the buddy of work. So really excited about it.

Host: Jon

So is the six pack EP out yet? Did you really, or when is it gonna be?

Guest: Anthony

No, no, no. So we, we are, we are gonna decide on the date pending our release date for the, the single. So, um, it's gonna go hand in hand kind of like, uh, fast follow, um, but September one, one of the dates in September, we're gonna, um, announce it pretty soon. So actually gonna be speaking with him, uh, this week, coming to confirm what our game plan would be for the release.

Host: Jon

Nice. Anthony, what advice would you give somebody that wants to get into not only creating music, music, videos, or getting involved?

Guest: Anthony

So I would say just dive into it, like if you are somebody that's a creative and you know, I think I'm a perfect example. I'm somebody that has a full time corporate job, a very demanding role with Amazon, but I still find time to lean into my creative self and a lot of the, the gigs that I've had. I, I think I kind of touch that earlier. They have always come out from organic engagement, so I will post on my IG or post on my Facebook post on my YouTube and folks might reach out like one of my coolest gigs I've had, I performed at a gala at, um, the museum of flight here in Seattle, um, for the woman on the rice conference. And it was because the founder was so inspired by my post of my time of the song that she wanted me to perform it.

Guest: Anthony

Um, so, uh, so just do it. If you have creative passions, you know, lean into that, whether it's singing, whether it's your art painting, whatever it is. Um, and then to, in terms of getting into the music industry, like as an artist, um, that requires if you, if you truly want pursue commercial success, it does require a lot of work. Um, for that to materialize, you could always do it as a passion, as a hobby as side project, but if you want commercial success, definitely, uh, I would say immerse yourself in understanding the business and that industry. Um, you know, you're gonna have to ensure that you, um, are with one of the, um, songwriting agency, so ASCAP or BMI, these are organizations that you're gonna need to be able to get your, um, uh, I P I number, which would then allow you to, um, release your songs and Spotify and Amazon music.

Guest: Anthony

So all the basic stuff that when you take for granted, lean in, learn about it, get into that. So you don't get into issues down the road, if you're trying to, you know, make money from your music, um, uh, study other artists, uh, your favorite artists, follow them, learn about it and learn about their journey and how he got into this, uh, as well. Um, definitely, um, uh, you know, if you're serious about it, show that your social media has strong branding, you know, uh, so much now that you have to kind of align to the branding of your, your artistry. So YouTube IG, a TikTok, your Twitter, make sure those things are set up set, set up so that you could, you know, folks could follow you and find your music when, when they, when they interact with you,

Host: Jon

A lot of hard work behind the scenes that folks don't see or realize they see your success one day and think it was like an overnight thing, but you've been working steady and hard at it. Is this the same advice that you would give your 10 year old self who was writing the lyrics and the songs for the competition?

Guest: Anthony

<laugh> wow. I think 10 year old self would be so proud of me to be honest. And I, I think, um, yeah, I would say to 10 year old self, um, you know, believe more in yourself than you did at that, that time, you know? Cause, um, I think it's my belief, hence rise up is why I've had success to date in both, uh, kind of corporate profession as well as music. Uh, uh, like I said, you know, I'm working with one of the best producers in the Caribbean and that's not a small feat, there are many people who would love that opportunity, but I think it's because of that persistence, that consistency and that belief that I was able to materialize that connection.

Host: Jon

And then you were talking about all the social media stuff out there. I know you mentioned tic tech, are you on it or do you see yourself being on it?

Guest: Anthony

<laugh> I, I have to be on it. Um, so I, I it's, I'm not very active at this time, but with the, uh, release of the EP, I'm definitely gonna have content, um, on there to, um, socialize on market. So, uh, yeah, every you have to be <laugh>

Host: Jon

I will give you a little insight real quick before we, uh, move on. What is your TikTok handle?

Guest: Anthony

Uh, Anthony call music.

Host: Jon

All right. Just to, okay. The reason I wanted to say and ask TikTok is because I was not against it. I was avoiding going on it. I actually just released this past week. ONAC I've got four going I've already. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Trust me as an older generation, it's hard to get into that, but you realize that everybody that's listening or finding you wants short form and wants to hit that. So when they hear that music, they hear that thing. They're gonna stay on it because they're gonna start grooving it. The sound says it all, every single thing you see on TikTok they're if it's sound or, you know, has a voice or whatever it is, that's, what's attracting you to it.

Guest: Anthony

Indeed, indeed. Uh, and I, as just noticed, it's very short form now, and I think if, you know, you were in, in the space, so you would notice that the shorter form videos actually get tons, more views because folks have such little attention span now, you know, so it is just quick, especially the younger generation and TikTok really is, you know, that infrastructure of short form, little quick videos. Um, and yeah, I think, you know, again, in terms of being more commercial with my talent, uh, you have to tap on, on each of these platforms, um, for folks, you know, that are, you know, subed, subed groups of your fans would prefer to hear your voice on Twitter. Some will prefer IG some will prefer Facebook, maybe older TikTok will be the youngest. So you wanna capture all these audiences. So you have to be involved and engage on all of them.

Host: Jon

How are you managing all these social platforms? Are you doing 'em individually or are you using a tool? Because I'm probably doing both myself and spending a lot of time. I don't have a social media manager to get this work done. So I'm a one, hold on, let me put on that hat type person.

Guest: Anthony

Yeah, good question. So I had in the past, I used to do like, um, events planning with, uh, with some business partners and I was very much more hands on. Um, I think at this stage I'm too busy to do it myself. So I have outsourced it. I, I do have a good friend from Trinidad and that's managing my social media now for, on my IG and Facebook and TikTok. So I have outsourced it, but if you're going to do it, um, you know, again, work backwards from what is a priority and building that time. <laugh>

Host: Jon

Exactly Anthony. Let's talk about Amazon and the culture there and joining Amazon, what does it take to go through Amazon and go through the interview process?

Guest: Anthony

Sure. So, uh, definitely you want to, I I'm gonna flag pre-interview because it's also important. I think, uh, Amazon is a very data driven company and therefore your resume should speak to your ability to be comfortable with data and metrics in being able to articulate your success. So even from the inception of application, your resume, it should be able to tell that story of how do you quantify your impact in that job? What made you successful with the things you were doing? And, um, you know, I would recommend spending some time being able to quantify success where possible. So that's one, similarly in the interview process you want to, um, leverage, uh, a very, uh, known concept called, um, uh, uh, was it when you, uh, do the situation tax as star action results? Yeah. The star methodology. Yep. You, you wanna become very familiar with that process because, uh, that's the expectation in how you are interview effectively and you want to also integrate that star methodology with our leadership principal culture.

Guest: Anthony

So what other things that you were doing that really highlighted your ability to have our leadership, um, principles, um, um, you know, demonstrated and what are your, uh, stories, um, uh, and the impact that you had and, and as best you can use, speak to this metrics, uh, and quantify that success. So folks who know that, Hey, you, you be a great fit for XYZ reasons. Um, uh, I would say there's really no tons of resources online. If you go on YouTube, go on Glassdoor, you'll get examples of the questions out there. It's, you know, I think it's, it's been going for so long, a lot of the, the secret sources out. Um, and I think for me, I have become a really strong interviewer. Uh, I have leveraged or resourced in the past called big interview.com. It was when I used it. I think it's a little bit more pricey now, but for folks that you only have struggled and realize, you know, you, you were finalist and you were, you know, not getting that, that, that offer.

Guest: Anthony

Maybe you have to take it to the next level and you need to invest in yourself. So I would recommend big interview.com. Um, but practice, practice, practice, your interviews, learn, uh, how to answer using the summit ology, um, and yeah, set yourself for success. And, you know, I, a simple thing like somebody tell, tell me about yourself, Jon, a lot of times, folks may start to go through a Chron chronological order of their resume. That's really not a strong effectively of answering. You should start with, this is the most impact I've had. This is the project I was working on recently. This is the impact I've had. This is how I see myself impacting you. Tell that story, be very bold and confident. Um, you know, in, in that interview and you get that, you get that confidence, you get that muscle, you develop that muscle by practice.

Host: Jon

What worked for me when I went through the interview process and the loop. All right. So everybody knows in hers of the Amazon loop where you're there for 45 minutes back to back things, what worked was the preparation leading into it? Not only the pre-interview right? So you checked a recruiter, you talked to a hiring manager. Okay. Works out. Now, you're going to, into a loop. I took all, and these were 14 leadership principles at the time, but I took each one and I put a listing. Now you're still allowed to use a piece of paper, right? With just slight notes, like maybe an indicator. They still allow that correct?

Guest: Anthony

I did. When I looped, I didn't use any paper, so

Host: Jon

I, I didn't use any, but I think they, I think they say or allow it, uh, either way, if they don't, what it did is I'd lay on out the leadership principles. And I put two stories next to each one. And when I say stories, they were one word. And that story was ingrained into my head. Yeah. To outline what it was. And you, you have to have multiple stories per leadership principle, because some will overlap and those leadership ones and you'll use it and you'll be like, oh crap. I can't talk about that in that principle. And keep in mind that those who go behind the scenes and type up their notes, they're they have a leadership principle tied to them. So they're going to be focusing on that. But Anthony, you touched on it on being comfortable with your metrics. An example I always give is, you know, I increased the views for this company.

Host: Jon

So what if it doesn't pass is so what test it doesn't pass. Tell me how you re increased it. Well, in the six months I was there, we went from a thousand views to 300,000 views because I did X, Y, and Z. Now you gave me hard data on. Now I can kind of articulate that on what you did and what you accomplished. And the other thing I'm gonna touch on is people are usually uncomfortable with talking about themselves in an interview process, but you have to differentiate what you did and your team did. So if you say we allot, we don't know if it was a, you did, this was your role in the we aspect

Guest: Anthony

Hundred percent spot on spot on. Uh, I, I think, uh, yeah, it's really critical. The, um, you are able to speak to exactly what your contribution was. Um, and then back that up with the dates and the impact as you articulated with it, it'll increased by X and I did X, Y, Z not we, I <laugh>.

Host: Jon

All right. So can you share us anything? We have the loop process, right? Does everybody have to be yes. Within the loop process and there's always one bar razor, you don't know who these folks are, by the way, going into it, there is just one in there that need, you need to set the bar higher, like 50% or higher than the group. Is it what happens during the loop and then afterwards?

Guest: Anthony

Yeah. So, um, the bar raiser, you usually would know, and the reason you would know is because you would sense that that person is a little bit more, a set of aggressive in, in their questioning. I remember they asked me, uh, uh, like five questions, almost like doing the five whys. Some of you may be familiar, but that concept up and doing like a corrections of error opportunity, but they asked the, they just kept going deeper. Every time I answer the question, they ask me a question about the question. So more than likely, you'll be able to figure out who this person is. Uh, who's the bar racer. So just the, uh, uh, best practice. If you're, if you're interviewing with us, who is, if somebody is really, really diving in, you can figure it it's it's them. Um, and then in the interview process, not every, not every single person in the loop has to say yes, but the majority has to, the bar bar is going to have a lot of waiting in that decision making process. So you, you do want to ensure that the bar is believes that you are a good fit, um, in the process.

Host: Jon

Should I get discouraged if I don't pass my first loop, should I even bother applying again,

Guest: Anthony

A hundred percent, you should continue to interview <laugh>.

Guest: Anthony

So, you know, I think sometimes too, you may be a great fit for Amazon, not for, but not for that role. And, um, uh, you know, and I think a best practice might be to, you know, just kind of set the expectation with the recruiter. Hey, you know, I didn't know, I didn't get this opportunity, but is there anything else I may be a good fit for? You know, I knew I did interview well, um, but I maybe didn't have this experience, but, you know, could you refer me somewhere else or even in your follow up, make sure you capture the information from that hiring manager. Cause they may like you just not for their team or not, at that time, maybe in the future, they may have a role that fits your skillset and you wanna kind of develop that relationship. So ensure you plant that seed. Um, and regardless of what, keep applying, because there's so much opportunities here, there's gonna be something for you. If you, um, you know, have the competencies, have the leadership principles really ingrained,

Host: Jon

And then you give us a lot of great information, not only about yourself, about Amazon, about the music, I've got two last questions so we can wrap things up. The last one is, you're a senior program manager for Amazon music. What is that? What do you do?

Guest: Anthony

<laugh> so, so for me, uh, in my role specifically, I am looking to enhance employee experience and trust. And the way I go about that is really inspecting the mechanisms and the resources we have to tell the employee sentiment. So looking, we have connection scores, uh, for employees, I'm looking at the connection scores, I'm looking at service that they have done. Uh, most recently, for example, I did a tour, uh, in Europe. So I went to our London office or Paris or brewing or Milan and met with, um, different Amazon music employees, um, to really learn about and really capture that voice of employee. Um, what are the, what, what are the areas of opportunity? What are the friction points? What are the pain points? What makes Amazon music an awesome place to work? And I'm taking all of that data, taking all that feedback and then synthesizing it with recommendations to leadership, for new programs that will continue to, you know, make Amazon music that it's best employer.

Host: Jon

Okay. So you're taking all this data for Amazon music in internally for employees or externally. Okay.

Guest: Anthony

Internally. Yeah. Internally. So I'm internal focused, correct.

Host: Jon

Uh, I imagine the role, like you were the guy that was deciding what music's play and in the programs and how it works out. And it was just like, oh, I, and maybe you were singing in the role. I, I just imagine your personality doing that, but you're actually right down within the folks who are not only part of the program, but you're looking to learn internally, cuz I always find that if your employees are happy and the things that are going on, everybody else will be con continuously be happy around like Amazon's one leadership principle, number one, customer obsessed. It starts.

Guest: Anthony

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I think, you know, you've heard of the phrase, uh, happy wife, happy life. Right. <laugh>

Host: Jon

More often than you think

Guest: Anthony

<laugh> so I, I would say happy employees, happy Amazon happy Amazon customers, right? Yeah. At the end of the day, uh, you know, the, the boots on the ground are the employees and, um, you know, the it's best employees, our newest leadership principal. Like we like you, like, you know, we have 14 or we have 16, which include, um, our sustainability brings broad responsibility, um, up, uh, and then the its best employer. And, um, the, those opportunities are, are kind of what anchor my new role, um, around, you know, what, what, how can we enhance the, the employee experience, um, and really be committed to that process and progress.

Host: Jon

And the last question for you, what's next? What advice do you wanna give to listeners?

Guest: Anthony

Uh, so anybody listening, uh, I, I would say in terms of your career, uh, really, uh, develop an idea from jump, especially if you're a younger person younger in your career of where you want to go. Uh, but don't be afraid to experiment. Um, I think in your journey, especially if you're unsure, um, your journey through life, you are gonna capture experiences and learnings that you can then apply, um, to make that next decision and leap. So, um, don't be afraid to experiment, but as you do these different things, different jobs, different, uh, uh, you know, studies, um, learn about what you like and what you don't like and leverage that, keep that as a, uh, in the back of your head. Um, when folks say no, say, okay, thank you. But figure out the next step in, in pursuit of what you, you do, you do want and what you believe, um, you deserve. Um, I think that's one of the things that has really anchored my success is I have gotten to know I have failed, but I picked up and tried again in different ways and, um, success manifested in the future. Um, and, uh, I would say lastly, um, you know, just, uh, just really, really think big believe in your dreams. You know, I think thinking small as a leadership principle really limit you and, and what you do in your life. So think big believe in your dreams and don't give up

Host: Jon

Think big, learn and be curious, a true Amazonian for quoting some of the leadership principles. I love it. I still use them today. Anthony, thank you so much for joining me.

Guest: Anthony

Of course. Thank you so much, Jon. This was awesome.

Host: Jon

Yeah. I agree with you senior program manager for Amazon music, Anthony Cole, I've been your host, Jon Myer. Don't forget to hit that, like subscribe and notified because guess what folks as always we're outta here.

 

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