Born and raised in Bedford, Indiana, known as "The
Limestone Capital of the World", Brian Black seemed
predestined for a career in the entertainment industry,
given the fact that he was named after Hollywood actor
Brian's musical odyssey started at an early age with
exposure to his older sister's record collection (Beatles,
Carpenters, Cat Stevens, Chicago) which would lay the
foundation for his passion for popular music.
Brian's mother would prove to be the most important
catalyst in shaping his musical future. In sixth grade, he
wanted to play drums but his mother wanted him to learn
the flute. In an odd compromise, he chose the clarinet.
Brian remarked, "I have an overbite which makes it easier
to play reeded instruments so I guess it was a somewhat
obvious choice". He would continue to play the instrument
in concert bands throughout junior high and high school.
Two years later, Margaret made him an offer. If he did not
attend a summer sports camp, she would buy him a guitar,
amplifier, and lessons. He chose the guitar which would
end up being his main musical focus during the 1980's. He
played it in the high school's Jazz/Rock Band and also in
Pep Band during basketball games.
Later in the decade, as a student at Indiana University in
Bloomington Brian was exposed to many musical
opportunities. As a freshman, he joined three of his former
high school classmates (who were still in high school) to
form the band Oxford Scholar, one of the first alternative
rock bands in town. The group disbanded then reformed
as Dreams of Reason which recorded two self-produced
albums (the self-titled debut and Hammer & Tongs).
In 1987, he made two important decisions. He chose to
focus on the music business as a career and to become
involved with student organizations ("I really felt the urge to
give something back'" Brian remarked). He joined the
Concerts Committee at Union Board, IU's largest student
programming organization for which he served as
Marketing/Research Director for two years, promoting
artists such as Sting, UB40, REO Speedwagon, Ladysmith
Black Mambazo, Al Dimeola, and Chick Corea. During his
Union Board days, he also became an MTV College
Marketing Representative coordinating on-campus events
for two years. Brian said, "Union Board was such a vital
part of my growth as a person. It was a tremendous
opportunity for me to build leadership skills."
After Dreams of Reason disbanded in 1990, Brian decided
to prepare to move to Los Angeles to pursue his music biz
dream. In 1992, 6 months after his arrival, he got his first
real taste of the record business doing college radio
promotions as an intern for Morgan Creek Records.
After a 2 year diversion working for Western Federal
Savings Bank, he worked in the A&R and Marketing
Departments at Geffen Records. While at Geffen, Brian
became the artist manager for the Los Angeles pop group
Spanish Kitchen (later known as Mystery Pop).
After Geffen, during his time at a financial software
company, Brian made an assessment that would start him
on his most important vocational journey to date. "If I were
to continue in the music business, stability was a key issue.
So, I came to the conclusion that there would always be a
demand for music to be used in film and TV." A little while
later, Brian seized an opportunity. He worked in the film
and television department at PolyGram (and later at
Universal Music Enterprises after the PolyGram merger).
Brian found his calling. "I discovered that I had a true
passion for what was involved in this field. The research,
the wheeling and dealing, the opportunity to apply my
musical knowledge. The excitement was definitely there."
The experience provided Brian with the licensing knowledge
and the desire. The question is: What to do with both?
The answer came a couple of years later. While attending
a music marketing class at UCLA Extension, a fellow student
who owned a record company spoke to Brian about his own
licensing experiences. "David told me that someone had
used his music without his permission and didn't
compensate for the use. David asked me if I would
represent his catalog for licensing. That was the light bulb
moment when all the wheels started turning." In 2001, with
the untapped entrepreneurial spirit that he had possessed
throughout most of his life, Brian launched Zoophoria Music.
In his personal life, Brian is a passionate volunteer who
believes in being a vital part of the Los Angeles community.
From 1998 to 2011, Brian was a mentor at Big Brothers of
Greater Los Angeles and was named Big Brother of the
Year in 2001 for his work in the High 5 Sports Mentoring
Program. He was also involved in the School Based
Mentoring Program where he met his Little Brother Levin
Funes who graduated high school in June 2011 and will be
attending college in this fall. Brian has also volunteered
preparing and serving food to the homeless at the Salvation
Army, Los Angeles Mission, Union Rescue Mission, Fred
Jordan Mission and Venice's St. Joseph Center.
|A b o u t T h e F o u n d e r
|Z o o p h o r i a M u s i c