Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Josh Messer, and I’m a publicist, manager, and occasional music writer from Iowa. These days, I live in Chicago. I wear many hats, but I think the unifying theme of ‘what I do’ is furthering music professionals who seek to build long-term careers in the industry, both in the sense of those who want to ‘make it’ and get momentum behind their popularity, but also in the sense of empowering those who want to work behind the scenes towards something that lasts the entirety of their adult life.
Can you tell me a little about your company and what motivated you to work in the music industry?
Subvert started in late 2014 in my bedroom in Iowa, and today we’re in a big fancy office in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. The initial idea came about when my business partner Brent Tactic and I were left with big holes in our day-to-day schedules when Do Androids Dance, the Complex-operated electronic music blog, abruptly closed shop. From our time there, under the impeccable editorial direction of Khal, we’d developed this really keen sense of what makes good internet content when it comes to music. We were seeing each day the pitches that did and didn’t end up being stories on the site, and reverse engineering that mindset into providing PR solutions for artists that get them quality media placements seemed like such an obvious opening that not many others were taking advantage of.