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The Sound of Success with Nic Harcourt
31 minutes | Dec 2, 2021
David Solomon On Moonlighting as a DJ and the Wonder of the Musical "Hair"
When Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon isn't running Wall Street's biggest investment bank, he's scratching his itch to be an EDM DJ, spinning in clubs—and even appearing on the Billboard dance charts—as "DJ D-Sol." His hobby has inspired much head-turning from peers and the media, but as he tells Nic on this episode, it's simply a way for him to exercise the creative side of his brain. He also discusses the realities of "Succession," DJing for his daughters, his love for the Boss, the childhood joy he felt listening to "Hair," and getting the party started with new wave gem "Echo Beach."
28 minutes | Nov 11, 2021
Michael Imperioli on the Power of the Sopranos, Freddie Mercury, the Raincoats and More
Emmy-winning actor, screenwriter, author, and musician Michael Imperioli joins Nic on the Sound of Success this week to discuss his time on the Sopranos as tortured wiseguy Christopher Moltosanti, the new book he's publishing about the show, and the upcoming music he's recording with his band Zopa. Michael also discusses the power of Freddie Mercury, David Cassidy, De La Soul, the Raincoats, Hole, and more.
22 minutes | Oct 22, 2021
Writer Carrie Courogen's 'We Didn't Start the Fire' Litmus Test
Writer and video producer Carrie Courogen works for the seminal music website Pitchfork, and is also writing a much-anticipated book about the life of famously press-shy screenwriter and director Elaine May, due out in 2023 on St. Martin's Press. Carrie joins Nic to talk to him about the difficult art of writing a book about someone who makes it a point not to give interviews, the precision she puts into crafting sad playlists, and having the childhood musical taste of a boomer.
26 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
Singer-Songwriter Raye Zaragoza On Mariachi, Broadway and Roller Skating
L.A.-based singer songwriter Raye Zaragoza was named "one of the most politically relevant artists in her genre" by Paste magazine for good reason — her folk songs are powerful commentaries on feminism and race. As a Japanese-American, Mexican, and Indigenous woman, Zaragoza's lyrics and her songs like "The It Girl" lay bare the isolating realities of being a brown woman in a world rooted in white supremacy. Her 2020 album, "Woman in Color" is a must-listen, and here she talks about her upcoming tour with Delta Rae, launching October 11th, listening to Avril Lavigne on her Discman as a kid, the power of Bruno Mars while you're rollerskating, and more.
34 minutes | Oct 1, 2021
Twitch's Sunita Kaur On the 'Super Bon Bon' Bond She Has With Her Husband
Sunita Kaur, senior vice president of APAC at Twitch, talks to Nic about how the massive live-streaming platform has changed the internet (especially during the pandemic) and how it's influencing the music industry. Kaur, a former Spotify executive, also talks about the incredible power of K-Pop, her love for Soul Coughing and Carly Rae Jepsen, and the only band she's ever pulled strings to see.
26 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
Musician Pearl Charles On Neil Young, the Eagles and the Spice Girls
Pearl Charles' Magic Mirror came out last year to glowing press from NPR and Rolling Stone and just before she was out to go on tour....the pandemic struck. She talks to Nic about navigating quarantine, her big plans for an ABBA gym, the art of writing sad songs versus go F yourself songs, the Spice Girls and more.
26 minutes | Sep 17, 2021
Michael Musto Is Certain ABBA Is Holograms
Deeply influential Village Voice columnist and journalist Michael Musto joins Nic on the Sound of Success this week to talk about the recent return of his legendary Voice, column, his love for ABBA, Motown, and what it was actually like to stand in line at Studio 54.
24 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
Comedy Writer Alex Scordelis On the Funniest Music Video Of All Time
TV and film writer Alex Scordelis (Billy on the Street; Difficult People) joins Nic this week to talk about ACDC's hilariously stupid "Jailbreak" video, the Pasadena-based "top-secret dad's music club" he's a member of, and the unxepectedly good music of children's musician Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew, former frontman of The United States of America), who Scordelis finds himself listening to even when his two-year-old son isn't around.
24 minutes | Sep 3, 2021
Paper magazine Founder David Hershkovits On the Boogie Down Bronx
Paper magazine has been capturing everything cool in mainstream pop culture and underground counter-culture since 1984, and joining Nic today is the publications' co-founder and former editor-in-chief David Hershkovits. David and Nic talk about how Paper was one of the first magazines to cover the breakdancing and hip-hop worlds exploding out of the Bronx in the early 80s, as well as post-punk, no wave, new wave, the drag scene, and everything in between. Cut to 2014—with Kim Kardashian breaking the internet on the little independent magazine's instantly iconic and viral cover—and the publication is still, almost 40 years later, capturing what the kids are into these days. Listen as David talks about his musical roots and cutting his teeth on doo-wop girl groups and Motown before moving on to New Orleans jazz, the Beastie Boys, and the Carpenters.
56 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Nic Harcourt's Pleather New Romantic Era
Nic is switching things up with producer Elizabeth this week and letting her interview him. That's right, Nic is answering his own Sound of Success Proustian questionnaire about formative music moments in his life on this episode, and also reveals he was in a band in the early '80s in which he performed live wearing a billowy sheer top and skin-tight pleather pants. Listen as Nic talks about growing up on the Beatles, coming up with The O.C. soundtrack, and the band he really doesn't regret not featuring on his show.
23 minutes | Aug 20, 2021
Marco Caneva Is Headbanging His Way Through Life
Sound of Success is welcoming its first international guest this week with Marco Caneva, joins us from Italy where he lives. After over a decade of working for Goldman Sachs in their London, Paris, and Milan offices, Caneva went on to serve as the chief investment officer from multi-billion dollar family office in Italy is now serving as a mergers and acquisitions consultant to American and UK private equity firms looking to do business in Italy and vice versa. Caneva tells Nic about being in Lake Como during the pandemic lockdown, the music he cut his teeth on, and getting L.A. metal bands to call his house as a teen growing up in 1980s Italy.
22 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
Best Of! First Albums
The Sound of Success team is working on our tans this week, so we're bringing you a best-of episode featuring our favorite responses this season to the question: "What was the first album you bought with your own money?" From The Orchard VP and GigLife Pro CEO Priya Dewan buying a contraband Marilyn Manson album under the counter at a skate shop as a teenager to Barry Ritzholtz being thrifty as a 6-year old and taping "Brandy" by Looking Glass of the radio, listen as a range of guests tell Nic about the first music they owned that was all theirs.
24 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Elle Hawkins On Mozart's Missed Career as a DJ
Macroeconomist Elle Hawkins of Tematica Research spends her days figuring out what the economy is doing (or is not doing) and her nights dancing to everything from Dubstep to Tchaikovsky. Listen as Hawkins tells Nic about sneaking out to see bands on the Sunset Strip as a teenager and her belief that Mozart would have been a great dubstep DJ.
24 minutes | Jul 29, 2021
Jon Lukomnik's Nomination for Nastiest Song Is...
Jon Lukomnik was deemed "one of the pioneers of modern corporate governance” by Forbes, has overseen all five of the New York City pension funds, and is the author of the new book "Modern Portfolio Theory." Pretty impressive, right? He's also the first guest in Sound of Sucess history to add on questions to Nic's questionnaire. Find out what questions Jon wants to tack on, and hear him discuss his love for Motown, Lizzo, Jon Batiste, bandleader for 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," and his upcoming podcast for Spark Network.
31 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
TikTok's Tracy Gardner On Growing Up In the Miami Sound Machine
TikTok's influence on the music industry is undeniable. The addictive short-form video platform has bolstered the careers of reigning top 40 musicians like Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Meghan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, SZA, and more. (It even made Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” return to the charts in 2020.) As head of label licensing and partnerships at TikTok, Tracy Gardner has since helped the app lean even further into the music world, negotiating global licensing agreements with record labels. She's responsible for the music strategy and business development behind TikTok, and, in short, helps make the music you hear on this powerful app take off. Here, she talks to Nic about going to her first concert without a parent at the tender age of 6, and discovering New Order.
31 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Reggie Browne: Forever Funkadelic
Before GTS Principal Reggie Browne became known as the "Godfather of ETFs" and one of the most influential people in the exchange-traded funds space, he was listening to George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Prince in his room. And then there was the formative Public Enemy/Beastie Boys concert he went to wearing work clothes after a day on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and left drenched in beer. From Yo-Yo Ma to James Brown to Jorja Smith, Reggie tells Nic about the music he loves and what he's listening to now.
37 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Best-Of! First Concerts ....
We're on a break this weke and bringing you a greatest hits episode, featuring all of our favorite responses to a question Nic asks all of his guests: What was your first concert? Their answers are far-ranging, from Kendrick Lamar at Governor’s Ball, to David Bowie at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia to a Pearl Jam concert that Malaysian police kept interrupting. We’re hearing about first-time shows finance and business titans went to as wee lads and lasses, including tales from Barry Ritholtz, Bob Pisani, Eric Balchunas, Priya Dewan, Bethany McLean, Drew Voros and Tyrone Ross. Consider this your ticket in.
43 minutes | Jul 2, 2021
Priya Dewan: Rollerblading Goth, Tiffany Fan
Priya Dewan made a name for herself as a label manager for the esteemed UK label Warp Records during the early aughts, working with bands like Grizzly Bear, Beach House, and Flying Lotus. Raised in Singapore, Dewan has returned to Asia where she is now a VP of South Korea & Southeast Asia at music distribution company the Orchard, and founder and CEO of Gig Life Pro, which helps the music industry community navigate the APAC festival circuit and wider music industry. Here, Dewan talks to Nic about a childhood spent singing along to '80s sensation Tiffany, buying her first album under the table in a Singapore skate shop (where it was banned), seeing Pearl Jam despite the attempts of the police to shut the show down, and what she's listening to and loving now.
24 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Jim Wiandt Will Always Be a Deadhead at Heart
Spark CEO and ETF.com founder Jim Wiandt (that's our boss) joins Nic this week to talk about a childhood spent listening to country music and the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, before graduating to E.L.O. and, later, the Grateful Dead. Listen as Wiandt talks about discovering music in Boston attending Tufts after a childhood in "bible-belt" Ohio and his scary experience with a serious case of Covid.
34 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Jon Fee's Thrasher Magazine Childhood
For Salesforce's Jon Fee, who also owns the record label Parks and Records, it all started with memorizing Van Halen's "Jump" as a kid. From there, it was California skate-punk bands, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Mike Watt's Firehose. Listen as Fee tells Nic about his first concert in Humboldt County, CA, his love for Yacht Rock, and what his guiltiest pleasures are.
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