Tony's Travels!

Hey, all! I’ve been so busy, I just haven’t been able to get to generating a blog post since my Entertainment Media Works colleagues and I left for MAGIC Markeplace over three weeks ago. I returned to NYC from MAGIC over Labor Day Weekend, but my stay in the Apple was short-lived.

After spending the weekend recovering from working 18-hour days in Vegas, I jumped right back on a plane to Atlanta for the Billboard Hip Hop and R&B Conference. Then it was onto Nashville for label meetings in the land of Country music and to interview a prospective candidate for a biz dev position at StarStyle.

This past week was a recovery week spent following up with people I’d met during my travels. I also squeezed in the first two classes of my Fall semester at NYU, where I’m entering my 3rd year.

The MAGIC trip successfully got us in front of the top brands, retailers, press, designers and even a few celebrities. It’s a must attend trade show for anyone buying, selling or marketing fashions or fashion related products or services. This trip, EMW showcased with a booth in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. We brought a sizable team to the trade show to promote StarStyle, film content for the Fashion Five web video show we are getting ready to launch, and make contact with many of the brands and retailers we’ve been talking to over the past year.

My partner in crime, Fresnel aka Madsol Desar and I stayed at the MGM Grand, which played surprisingly good music throughout the hotel and casino area. It was very rhythm based; lot’s of loungey dance beats, which was definitely my cup of tea. Although the rooms are a little dated and mattresses in need of fluffing, the food in the hotel was the definitely the best in Vegas. From the Italian-style Fiamma, which has a sister restaurant in SoHo on Spring Street in NYC to Wolfgang Puck’s spot, you couldn’t ask for better service or better food. The Filet Mignon at Fiamma was absolutely amazing.

Opening night at MAGIC, we spent some time in the VIP area upstairs at TAO, then made our way to the dance floor to check out a live performance by Moby. Madsol is down with the Talib Kweli camp, so the next night we headed out to House of Blues to check out Talib and Jean Grae from an excellent vantage point backstage. The last night, we headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel to check out Tommy Lee’s party for his new clothing line. Out by the pool, Tommy actually worked the Pionneer effects rig while the DJ used Serato software and Technics tables to cut up some west coast sounding electronica and breaks.

You know, I love Triple Five Soul as a brand, but their party at the Wynn hotel was so wack, we had to leave. After Geology opened up (who was great by the way), things went progressively downhill. I don’t know who at BPM convinced Triple Five Soul to put this wack-ass DJ on, but it was just brutal. The mixing was god-awful. The music was like some half-dance, half rock, weird tracks that I couldn’t even comprehend. Just a bunch of noise and clashing keys. And to top it off, the DJ (I wish I knew his name…I can’t find the flyer around here anywhere) just stood there, up in the booth like he was rocking the place, and the dance floor was half empty. The cool people standing there wondering what was going on, while the trashed folk could have cared less. What’s worse, is then they had a live performance that was so horrible, I pulled my friends and said I’d just about had enough. I don’t care how dope the party was supposed to be, it’s probably one of the worst live performances I’ve ever seen. Contestants thrown off American Idol by Simon would have done a better job. Yes, friends, it was THAT BAD!

When we weren’t out at night, we were on the trade show floor networking with all the major urban brands. Ecko/G-Unit, Phat Farm, Southpole, R-World, Sean John…you name it, they were at the show. Our camera crew even caught Russell Simmons over at Project, a smaller version of MAGIC, to discuss a new Yoga line he’s just released. He recently cashed out of Phat Farm, so he’s got some cash to blow on more “green” type of projects, no pun intended!

I jetted back to New York to spend time with my girl over Labor Day weekend, then it was back on a flight to Atlanta for the Billboard R&B and Hip Hop Conference and Awards. I mainly went to check out top Billboard scribe, Michael Paoletta’s “I’m with the Brand” panel and try to catch up with D-Prosper from G-Unit. Michael’s panel was awesome. Beyonce’s father-slash-manager, Ludacris’s manager Chaka Zulu, and Jennifer Wu from FILA were on hand to give their input on product integration and other marketing related topics. I never did catch D-Prosper, he didn’t show for his A&R panel. But I did get to shake Rodney Jerkins hand and a few other notable A&R types after the panel.

After a few day’s rolling with the hip hop crowd, I jumped back on Jet Blue for a flight to Nashville, where I met with UMG Nashville and Curb Records for StarStyle. I also interviewed a nice woman who we ended up offering a job at StarStyle to handle the Country music market. Heck! What do I know about Country? Well, what I don’t know about the music, I do know that you can’t ignore one of the largest music markets in the country that has an extremely loyal fanbase and appeals to middle America. So, now we’re setting up a Nashville division to make sure we give the Country crew the love they deserve.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been back in the Apple, following up with people I met during my travels. School started two weeks ago at NYU, so I’ve been trying to keep up with that as well.

The big news is that I just ordered a new MacBook Pro, 15-inch screen with 2.16 Ghz Intel-based processor and 2 Gigs of memory. I’m waiting on it to come in from Apple, but when I get it, I’m finally going to be mobile with my MP3’s! I might even be spinning out again soon, now that I have my rig, Traktor DJ and Ableton Live . Although I do have to upgrade from Live 4 to 5, so I can get the upgrade to 6, when it comes end September, for free. Stay tuned.

Sorry that I have’t posted as much as I would have liked to. I’m sure you’re wondering where are all the photos from my travels? To tell you the truth, I just didn’t have time to shoot as much as I would have liked. I do have some cool shots that I’ll be posting over the next few days, but I’m thinking I gotta move forward, not backward.

I’ll get back in the swing of things shortly. Thanks for continuing to support Netmix while I’ve been away. Hey, I even finally crossed the $100 threshold in my Google Adsense Account! I’m rich!

For the past few days, I’ve been adding new friends on my MySpace page. I’m now up to 260-something. Let’s connect so we can get our networks to grow. My profile can be viewed at I also have a music profile at

So, Tony Z. is back…that’s whassup!


Tony Z.

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