Starter Stories: Johnny Minardi, Founder of Self Titled Management

Johnny Minardi

Hello, my name is Johnny Minardi. I run Self Titled Management and A&R for Equal Vision Records. I got my start in music as an avid fan and wanted to be more involved. I signed up for many street teams of the bands I was listening to so I could promote the music I loved. I was going to a lot of shows and befriended a bunch of local bands that I thought were incredible. They were always putting out their own music so I decided why not start a record label and get them all grouped together to make more noise.

I started Little League Records (which turned into LLR Recordings) when I was 18 and ran it for 4 years. I knew absolutely no one in the music industry and made countless mistakes along the way, but it was a great way to learn every detail about finding bands, making records, marketing records, selling records, touring, etc. Some very costly and expensive lessons but lessons nonetheless. A few of the bands I released on LLR went on to sign to bigger labels (The Academy Is…/Fueled By Ramen, Hidden In Plain View/Drive Thru, Gatsbys American Dream/Fearless, August Premier/Fueled By Ramen) so I would meet more and more people at labels each time. I eventually closed up shop and began working at Fueled By Ramen. I spent 8 years there from 2004-2012.

After FBR, I started Self Titled Management to represent producers and mixers that I loved working with over the past 10 years. I now work with 11 producers/mixers/mastering engineers and help them with every aspect of their careers. I recently started working with the incredible Equal Vision Records as well as doing A&R/Marketing.

My advice for others would be to prove your worth. If you apply for jobs and no one is willing to hire you, create your own space and prove you’re a valuable asset to their company. There is no blue print for success in the music industry so learn as much as you can, network, don’t be an asshole, and work harder than anyone else in order to achieve whatever your goal may be.

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