2 Minutes With … Matt Ferrigno and Diana Dotel of MTW

On how musicians should focus on the bigger picture

Matt and Diana are co-founders of the entertainment marketing agency MTW (More Than Words). The duo are entrepreneurs, music executives and branding experts.

We spent two minutes with Matt and Diana to learn more about their backgrounds, their creative inspirations and recent work they've admired.

Matt and Diana, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.
  • Matt: I grew up in Lincroft, N.J. After college, I moved to NYC for 10 years, and have lived in L.A. now for eight.  
  • Diana: I was born in NYC, and raised in Washington Heights, but have also lived in L.A. for the past eight years. 
Your earliest musical memory.
  • Matt: My dad played guitar at home non-stop. He exposed me to a vast array of music—The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and more. 
  • Diana: My parents would throw house parties and salsa or Bachata music would blast through the speakers. My mother also loved Madonna and Prince. I remember her having them on repeat.
Your favorite bands/musicians today.
  • Matt: Hip-hop will always be my favorite. I love Kid Cudi.
  • Diana: There are so many genres that it's difficult to choose just one. But I am a part of the BeyHive
One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on. 
  • Matt: In 2016, I brokered Lil Wayne's deal with Samsung. We created four TV commercials for the Galaxy S7. They ran non-stop and ultimately boosted sales past iPhone for that quarter. 
  • Diana: One of my favorites was the Bad Bunny and Adidas partnership. When I pitched this idea, Benito (Bad Bunny) was a burgeoning global talent. By the time the deal was finished, he was the No.1 streamed artist. The partnership is still active. It is a highlight for me because it was the first time the brand had partnered with a Latin artist for a global sneaker release.
 One thing about how the music world is evolving that you're excited about.
  • Matt: It's exciting to see artists gaining more power in the industry, and not being so reliant on record labels for their success.
  • Diana: I'm excited to see greater representation from female artists, especially in Latin music.
Someone else's work, in music or beyond, that you admired lately. 
  • Matt: I have a lot of respect for the Kardashians and Jenners, and how they've created and scaled multiple brands that have become massive. 
  • Diana: Emma Grede. She is a true inspiration. 
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
  • Matt: Diana and I really loved the film Air, which tells the origin story of Nike's Air Jordan
  • Diana: As someone in the marketing and branding space, I admire everything about the Nike and Air Jordan story. 
An artist you admire outside the world of music.
  • Matt: Kaws. I'm a big fan of his work, hustle and how he came to prominence. And I love that he's from New Jersey. 
  • Diana: Parris Goebel
Your favorite fictional character.
How musicians should approach working with brands.
  • Matt: Focus on the bigger picture. Don't get lost in the details. When an artist over-delivers, brands repeat business nine out of 10 times. 
  • Diana: Don't do things purely for money. Say yes to a partnership because it's a brand you're passionate about and aligns with your vision. 
How brands should approach working with musicians. 
  • Matt: Artists are humans, and things won't always go according to plan. So, it's important that brands understand there must be room for fluidity.
  • Diana: Let things happen collaboratively and organically. The more polished and scripted, the less consumers want to engage with content. 
A mentor that helped you navigate the industry.
  • Matt: I was lucky to work for amazing executives such as Steve Stoute and Guy Oseary.
  • Diana: Unfortunately for me, I didn't have a mentor. 
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music business.
  • Matt: Working at a golf brand. Or I'd be a teaching pro. 
  • Diana: I would be an FBI agent. I am obsessed with true crime stories. Even as a young girl, I loved to investigate and solve problems.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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