Who are you and what do you do?
My Name is Matthew Classens and I am talent buyer and Co founder at Closed Sessions.
Can you tell me a little about your company and what motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
Studying entertainment production and management in school, and afterwards working in sports marketing & management gave me the skills to build a business around something I find inspiration in every day and inspires genuine passion. Closed Sessions is the culmination of two paths in my life, professional and personal. No matter how you view entrepreneurship, until you view it through the prism of your own passion it has the potential to appear intangible. Closed Sessions allows me to love what I do every day while also facilitating my own entrepreneurial growth.
How has your business grown over the past year and what have you done to help push that growth?
Everyone we work with at Closed Sessions have been partners in our journey more so than clients. It has been a humbling experience over the past few years to see our brand grow and our fans and people who come to our shows express sincere interest in what we are doing. The scene in the DMV is at the beginning of what could be a renaissance period for local music and whatever we can do to facilitate that in terms of supporting artists and local brands is, in our opinion, an investment in our community overall. We have been lucky to see the areas of the music industry we love catch fire in the last few years. Between the labels, collectives, individual artists we have worked with many have carved out a strong and growing market share in public interest towards new music. The industry is evolving constantly, from soundcloud to independent labels, increase in access to music and how that shapes the industry is something every growing business needs to be aware of. We believe in the power of our partnerships and growing with a niche that has resonated with the broader music community.
What are you business goals for 2016?
We really want to strengthen our outreach and presence in NYC, I'm from NY and all our experiences there so far have been amazing. We really want to get out to the west coast soon, we have had a lot of talented DMV friends move out to LA and we miss them. Until we can get them back to DC we will have to make do with some kick ass shows with our homies in LA. We really enjoy the work we do with our service industry nights here in DC. It is a critical component of our business and its a community we all come from at Closed Sessions. We look forward to growing that and continuing to work with the awesome bartenders and service industry people we are lucky to know in the DMV.
What is one tip you would give to young professionals starting out in this industry?
In the end your most valuable assets are the investments you make in people you can grow with. Believe in what you're doing, without passion its just another job you're doing for someone else, not something you're building for yourself. So yeah, love what you do and surround yourself with people you can grow with and who share your vision.
Check out Closed Sessions' latest Midweek Medley playlist below and visit their website for information on their upcoming events.