Nick Maiale of on Eminem, Jimmie Allen, and Three Can't-Miss Music Podcasts

Also, the importance of musicians protecting their image, likeness, fans and values

Nick Maiale is the founder and CEO of, a company that works with music businesses on B2B strategy and industry relations; entertainment execs on managing their careers and professional development; and music conferences on curating panels, programming and partnerships. His career spans more than 10 years with the Music Business Association, where he still works as the business development lead for the organization and its annual global conference, Music Biz.

Nick received his M.A. in live entertainment management from the University of Miami and B.A. in public relations from Temple University in Philadelphia. He's currently based in Nashville.

We caught up with Nick for our Liner Notes series to learn more about his musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work he's proud of and admired.

Nick, tell us...

Your earliest musical memory.

My earliest musical memories include my mom playing Céline Dion on repeat as well as the Fugees' version of "Killing Me Softly."

Your first concert.

My first concert was NSYNC in 1999 at the First Union Center (now Wells Fargo Center) in Philadelphia. I was 8 years old and remember being more excited than I had ever been in my life. I didn't find out I was going until the day of when my aunt surprised me with tickets.

Your favorite band/musician.

I love Fall Out Boy for many different reasons—mostly because they were the first concert I went to with just friends (no parents) and because they really were the catalyst for my love of shows, emo bands, mosh pits, etc. I think they've done an amazing job at staying relevant for 20+ years.

How you get your music these days.

I get my music on Spotify. If we're talking about discovery, surprisingly I get a lot of artist recommendations from Twitter or Instagram when I see industry friends tag the artists, new releases and campaigns they have worked on.

Your favorite place to see a concert.

My favorite place to see a concert is easily the TLA (Theatre of Living Arts) in Philly. It brings back so many teen memories for me when I used to wait in line for hours in the alley outside just to be at the barricade for the show. I love when I get to go back. That said, since I live in Nashville now, I enjoy going to the Ryman for a show (balcony only, though).

Your favorite music video.

I grew up in the primetime of MTV's Making the Video era and I remember heavily obsessing over music videos. That said, I have to say Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" always held a special place in my heart.

Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.

It's probably a three-way podcast tie between Where Are All My Friends with Andrew Cramb; the Music Business Podcast with Sam Hysell and Jordan Williams; and Ross Golan's And The Writer Is... I'd also be a terrible person if I didn't mention that I was a religious watcher of Glee.

A recent project you're proud of.

I'm very lucky that I get to work on dozens of projects with incredible music companies and executives at any given time, so it's very difficult to pick just one. That said, if I'm being 100 percent honest, I'm simply most proud of recently launching my company— I've never thought of myself as an entrepreneur or someone who would take risks—in fact, I was the exact opposite.

I love this question because I think people in the music business need to start normalizing saying how proud they are of themselves—something I rarely see done. My job is now to focus on helping music business executives achieve their personal and professional goals, and I can't think of anything more fulfilling than that. I'm proud of all my clients (and friends) and their incredible work.

Someone else's project that you admired recently.

I was just saying the other day how excited I am for Jimmie Allen. I'm a big country music fan and to watch all his success this year after years of struggle has been really cool and heartwarming. From competing on Dancing with the Stars and recording with Elton John, to winning Best New Artist at the CMAs, he's becoming a household (tour headlining) name.

How musicians should approach working with brands.

Musicians should approach working with brands only if it makes sense for their own brand. At the end of the day, artists should be incredibly protective of their image, likeness, values and fans. Bringing a brand into their creative world should be a big deal, and adding value to their career and audience should always be top of mind.  

How brands should approach working with musicians.

I think brands should approach working with musicians with an exact understanding of who the person is, what they stand for, what their reach is and maybe most importantly—who their fans are. Fan engagement is quite possibly the most important aspect of an artist's career. Brands should be asking themselves how the fans will be impacted by the deal.

What music can do that nothing else can.

I think music can create stories and memories unlike anything else can. Yeah, birthday parties and holidays are cool, but moments shared at a concert hit differently. I'm not sure there are many feelings that can be recreated quite like Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" tour...

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.

That's a scary thought, but probably lifestyle PR or something related to the hospitality or food industry. My friends all know I have a joke that one day I want to quit everything in life and just be a bartender. Never say never!

Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.

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