Emmanuel “Manny” Adams started creating and producing songs as a freshman in high school. Now, a sophomore at Miami University, he’s built his love for music into the production company NBD Records, LLC.
“It was actually my dad’s [idea],” Adams said. “He would say, you know, ‘Manny you make a lot of these beats and produce a lot of music but no one hears it.’ So I was like, ‘You know what? I'm gonna make something of this.’”
He started by messaging artists from around the world and offering his services.
“I DMed artists from all over the world for about four weeks straight.” Adams said, “That led to my first client."
That client is an artist named Young Hippie, based in Florida. Since then, Adams has used that drive to expand his business to include clients in Chicago and Oxford. At Miami, he’s been able to use classes like “Finance for Entrepreneurs” to enhance his skills as a businessman.
He said he approaches his business with a work ethic and sense of professionalism that makes him a success with his clients.
“Sometimes the record label and the artists don't get along. But you know, that's just that's just how it is,” Adams said. “You gotta build rapport. At the end of the day, they’re still people. And sometimes they may not agree with you but you have to, you know, work through it and make sure everyone’s happy.”
Ty Little, one of Adams’ five current clients, bonded with Adams over their mutual love for music.
“He’s most helpful as a supporter,” Little said.
Adams runs his business almost single-handedly, recording music himself in his dorm. An RA in Hillcrest Hall, he has a synthesizer and an audio board in his dorm room that he uses for music production.
Adams’ main goal is to help his clients gain a footing in the music industry by polishing their sound. “I’ll make sure it sounds professional before it goes out,'' he said. “The music industry is very cutthroat, as everyone knows. It’s very tricky to get into — but it’s also a lot of fun.”
After production, he releases the music on Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify and advertises it on his Facebook page. Once established, he helps his clients manage their royalties and handle offers they receive.
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But his success hasn’t stopped with his production company.
In August, Adams received an invitation to the Forbes 30-under-30 Conference, and he credits the invite to his revolutionary two-pronged approach to music production. While other record labels simply produce their client’s music, NBD Records also advises clients on how to best present themselves and how to create a genuine sound.
“We kind of help them build them up,” he said.
All of this is relatively unheard of in the music industry.
“I take your average record label and turn it into something that nobody ever heard of before,” Adams said. “I want to be able to help people the best I can and use my love of music for that.”
The Forbes 30-under-30 conference brings together young innovators, public speakers, scientists and entrepreneurs to listen to speakers and discuss how they’ve changed their respective fields.
From October 27 to 30, Adams will travel to Detroit, Michigan with several other Miami students to meet well-known businessmen and women, political scientists and other experts from around the globe who are eager to share their knowledge with the next generation of leaders.
In the future, Adams plans to grow NBD Records even further by adding clients and releasing more music. In early October, he received an LLC designation for his company. This separates company and personal assets and allows him to hire additional employees without making them full members.
Adams even has plans to make NBD Records a club at Miami to give other students an easier avenue to connect with the label and get their music into the world.
“He’s always about advancing his company,” said Chase Wymer, a friend of Adams and fellow music producer. “He’s very professional.”
“People don’t buy what you do,” Adams offered as advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. “They buy why you do it.”