They say it takes a village to raise a child, but that proverb can be used when it comes to breaking a multi-Platinum or GRAMMY-award winning artist to international stardom. We sat down with music executive Christopher Steven Brown (CB) to chat the magic behind the music and being part of a successful village within the music industry.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you get into music?
All my life I’ve been very social in sales and relationship-based business models. I left the mortgage industry in 2009 after the market crashed and was forced to reinvent myself. I lost everything and had to reset after filling bankruptcy, I went back to being 18 again. Lost my home, car, credit, income, and all I had left was my passion to win. I went to CSB-broadcasting school in Tampa, Florida and shortly after graduating took a job with Citadel communications in sales. I moved up quickly to Head of Sales and also co-hosted a TV show called Home and Castle TV. About 3 years into working for Citadel I received a call from one of my best friends, Brent Battles who worked for Sony Music at the time. He took notice of the success I was having on a national level at Citadel and knew that I was very passionate about music. Brent was in the process of getting promoted and offered me his old job.
Whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up as a child I used to respond “I’m gonna be Michael Jackson” I’ve had an affinity for music my entire life. It’s how I book mark my life chapters, how I relax, how I make it through tough times. And now I’m grateful to say it’s how I pay the mortgage and take care of my family.
Tell us about your company, further.
Yes so, further. is an artist development company that specializes in radio and DSP promotion. We’re redefining the possibilities available to artists and their teams. Sometimes, we’re campaign quarterbacks, directing the entire release. Other times, we can be a valuable addition to a larger team. We’re Advocates. Enthusiasts. Champions. We’re passionate about the artists we work with. We’re experienced. With our years of experience in larger systems, we bring to the table a long-term relationship with radio, digital and tastemakers and strategic expertise. We’re not just a promotion company. We’re partners and stakeholders. We align ourselves with artists we love and work together over the course of a career, on radio and beyond.
Congratulations on your artists upcoming Grammy-nominations. Can you explain your involvement?
Thank you, we are very excited. This year for 2021, we have the artist’s Flume ft Toro Y Moi for the song The Difference and Noah Cyrus for Best New Artist. For Flume, this is his second GRAMMY-nomination. It was a project my partner Brent and I promoted at the Alternative Radio format, which is very unconventional for an artist that’s know for dominating the Dance and Pop Charts and being a headlining festival DJ at venues like Coachella and Lollapalooza. I have history with Noah from my years with her back at Sony Music, working singles “Make Me Cry”, “Team” and most recently “July” along with traveling with her on the Katie Perry tour.
Over the years, you have received multiple awards for your participation in Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) platinum and gold certification awards. Can you explain your involvement?
Unlike the artist or record producers, we are recognized via all the radio promotion for the artist. It’s the art of getting airplay by teaming up radio stations across the country and putting together shows, content or exciting contests. It’s how music gets out to the masses, it’s how artists become household names and on the bill of concerts both big and small. I have relationships with program directors which controls the radio stations playlist, and we figure out what music that will best fit the brand they’re going for and how to involve the artist into the fabric of their communities.
Can you list your awards so far?
Yes, and just to explain a Platinum award is over 1 million copies sold, Double Platinum is for over 2 million copies sold and Gold is 500,000 sold. That’s a lot of records!
Artist: Flume “Never Be Like You” Platinum Award and “Say It (FEAT. Tove Lo)” Gold.
Artist: Alice Merton “No Roots” Gold
Artist: Ashe “Moral of the Story” Platinum
Artist: LovelyTheBand “Broken” Double Platinum
Artist: AJR “Weak” Double Platinum
Artist: Daya “Hide Away” Double Platinum and “Sit Still Look Pretty” Double Platinum
Artist: Max “Love Me Less” Platinum and “Lights Down Low” Double Platinum
What artists projects have you been a part of breaking?
So far, Chainsmokers, Flume, Daya, Shaggy, BTS, MAX, AJR, lovelytheband, Fergie, Nina Nesbitt, Jake Miller, LeeAnn Rimes, Ashe, Alice Merton, Tom Morello, The Dirty Heads, Leslie Odom Jr., Doja Cat, Alicia Keys, Passenger, Cyn, NF, Sam Fischer, Christina Aguilera, Meghan Trainor, Brock Hampton, Nelly, Allan Walker, Noah Cyrus, Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Madeon and Niall Horan.
I’m sure I’ve missed a few …. But that gives you an idea!
How are you and your artist maneuvering with the current Pandemic?
Haha well, you better have a good web cam, comfy office chair and big boy zoom account. We’ve had to get very creative. A lot of virtual meet and greets, showcases and community outreach. Despite the COVID restrictions further. had an incredible first year, we worked 32 projects broke a brand-new artist, Ashe. You can’t ask for much more than that even in a world where there isn’t a global pandemic.
What’s coming up in 2021 for you?
We’re swinging into 2021 with an Ed Sheeran produced record by Passenger called “Sword from the Stone” impacting HAC 1.18 and really excited about it. We also have a new MAX record featuring Suga of BTS and a few other projects I’m not able to talk about yet but have a feeling they’ll be huge!
Thank you, CB!
To find out more on Christopher Steven Brown, follow him on www.instagram.com/break.records