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Interview With Vision Music USA President Josh Epstein
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2004-04-13
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Vision Music USA is a proactive and progressive music service firm with the interest of their clients the driving force that makes them successful. President Josh Epstein and CEO Nick Stamoulis are focused on helping the Independent artists to maintain control of their career by saving them time and their hard-earned dollars. Josh took some time from his busy day to talk to me about their growing company.

[MuzikMan] How did you and Nick meet? What interest and goals did you share that brought you together? What are your backgrounds and what qualifies you to provide all of these services to Independent artists?

Josh Epstein Nick and I met in Boston. I was working as the Publicist at the Mama Kin Music Hall, co-owned by Aerosmith. Nick and I care very much about music and musicians. Both Nick and I have always wanted to work in music. Specifically, we want to work on our own terms. Individually, we have worked with people who care more about money then actually helping artists. We have seen hard working musicians be deceived by manipulators posing as true professionals. Our goal is to own and run a company that is a true resource for independent musicians.

We both bring very specific talents to our company. Vision Music USA is Nick and Josh. A major prerequisite to gaining employment with Vision is to share not only our beliefs, but our work ethic. What qualifies Nick and I to assist others with their careers is our ability to relate to the artist. We have both spent several years in the trenches, similar to hard working musicians. Nick and I have worked in several key aspects of the music industry (booking, radio, marketing, artist development, promotions, management, etc). As the Showcase Coordinator for the NEMO Music Showcase and Conference, I evaluated over 2,000 bands and musicians. I credit my ear for music and my eye for critiquing press kits to that conference.

We chose to work with independent musicians for many reasons. One, with our assistance they might not be independent for long. Two, we have always wanted to provide the resources independent bands need to take their career's to the next level. This is what is so exciting. This is what makes going to work a pleasure. It's knowing that you are making an immediate impact in someone's career.

[MuzikMan] Where did you get the name Vision Music USA? How long have you been in business, and how does an artist know that you are the real deal and really a "No Bullshit Firm" that you profess to be? Do you have actual testimony from customers that supports that statement?

Josh Epstein Vision is simply the artists own vision. It is where they perceive their career is headed. This is all before we start with them. Once we start with an artist we take their vision to the next level. Vision Music USA has been in business for about two years. "No bullshit firm" is Nick's idea. It is very true. It means that we don't give the artist the runaround. We know how important their time is. We see it as a privilege to be working with the people we do. An artist sees this when the two owners of the company are constantly involved or supervising their project. We are very proud of our testimonials. When our customers take the time to express their happiness with our work it truly makes our day. All of our customer testimonials are on our website.

[MuzikMan] What happens if a particular artist is not satisfied with something you have done, what is your recourse?

Josh Epstein The customer is always right. I learned that at an early age from my father, who owned a clothing store. We make our clients feel like family. If there is a problem with a portion of a service, we do our best to appease the situation. Nick and I will always find an amicable solution for both parties.

[MuzikMan] Are you both available to communicate with on the phone or by e-mail during normal business hours? How long does it take you to respond to a clients query?

Josh Epstein We are very busy. However, we are very accessible. Nick and both give our email addresses out freely. If we are busy, our procedure is to return all calls in 24 hours. For the most part, most people contact us and our employees via email.

[MuzikMan] What made you decide to take the chance, quit your day jobs, and make this a full time gig? Most people are not willing to take that chance, what makes you different?

Josh Epstein We both knew it was going to work. We have put countless hours of time into Vision Music USA. We feel that we have an innovative idea. We provide services to those who need it. Additionally, our services are very cost effective. This isn't a get rich quick scheme. Nick and I are interested in making money long term while helping musician's attain their individual goals.

[MuzikMan] What can an artist expect to get in return for all of your services? What is the goal for each specific client?

Josh Epstein First and foremost, we are consultants. It is our job to customize a client's service to fit their needs. With our assistance, the artist will have a far greater understanding of where they stand and where they need to go. For example, if an artist purchases a Press Kit Development package, we completely critique their original work. After this critique we give them the recommend suggestions they need. We point the artist in a direction they are comfortable with. The goal is to bring them more recognition and make the press kit more effective for the artist. Each client's goals are assessed on a customized basis. This is our philosophy.

[MuzikMan] Where does Vision Music USA want to go from here?

Josh Epstein We would like to maintain our growth. We will be developing more products and services for our customers. It is important to Vision Music USA to maintain and continually develop relationships with other companies. We have a few other ideas, but that's another interview.

[MuzikMan] Do you both feel that eventually labels will not exist and all artists will have complete control of their work in the aspects of production, distribution and promotion? A lot of that is happening on the Internet right now, do you think it's a good thing? Are there some drawbacks to this radical departure from the status quo?

Josh Epstein If people can do things on their own that was never possible, then go for it. Artists should have more control over their own work, in general. I think the Internet is amazing. Considering what I do for a living, I feel there are too may artists who don't fully understand what a record deal is. Too many artists think getting signed is the goal. I think it should be the start.

Take your Career to YOUR next level with Vision Music USA! Vision Music USA is a TRUE independent musician's resource! Some services include: Artist Development, Booking, Merchandise, Graphic Design, Website Design, CD Duplication and much more!


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