Magazine article Ebony

Big Jon Platt: EMI Music Publishing's New West Coast President, Big Jon Platt, Gives Us the Scoop on What's Hot and Who to Look for in 2008

Magazine article Ebony

Big Jon Platt: EMI Music Publishing's New West Coast President, Big Jon Platt, Gives Us the Scoop on What's Hot and Who to Look for in 2008

Article excerpt

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"There was a time when music publishing was looked at as the corny job, but now music publishers are turning into the stars of the business," says music guru Big Jon Platt, via phone from California. "We're some of the only creators left."

Platt would know. As the new president of EMI Music Publishing West Coast and also the head of EMI's urban music division, Platt is ultimately responsible for many songwriters and the music they churn out. That music, in turn, is sung by the artists who are blowing up the nation's airwaves with hits written by people who are the real stars of the show.

And it's those people--the songwriters--who also make the big bucks, says Platt. It's not unusual for a songwriter to make 9.1 cents for every song that is sold and more than that when the song is played on the radio, featured in a movie or downloaded as a ringtone.

Platt's rise to the top is unusual. For starters, he never attended college. He got into the business as a disc jockey in Denver before moving into management in Los Angeles, where he's been with EMI for the last seven years. He has signed well known songwriters, including Jay-Z, Usher, Kanyd West, Beyonce, Ludacris and Young Jeezy.

"I went to high school but didn't go to college or anything," says Platt, who spent last New Year's Eve in Las Vegas, celebrating the opening of Jay-Z's new 40-40 Club. "If you look at everything on paper, I'm not supposed to be sitting where I'm sitting. A Black dude sitting as president of a British company? Please."

Here's what else he had to say:

* Big Jon on the club scene: "I still go to concerts, I still go to the club. …

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