Episode 32 - Tim Larew: Don't Chase The Money, Chase The Passion

Back in 2012 when you were looking for new music you didn’t go to soundcloud, which didn’t exist just yet, you went to blogsites like The Fresh Heir to get the rundown on what everyone was talking about and to hear the latest news. That’s when I came across Tim Larew, the founder of the blog, and our guest for Episode 32. I have watched this guy hustle over the past few years and he hasn’t stopped... he is really only just beginning.

This is someone who just simply gets it. He understands that it's all about the journey of getting to where you’re trying to go. When he had the chance to take the sold out Cousin Stizz, one of the artists he works with, show at Middle East (Upstairs/ 194 capacity) to the basement for a bigger capacity and more money, he didn’t want to. He wanted that look of a sold out show and less than a year later he had Cousin sold out at Paradise Rock Club (933 capacity.) Talk about a jump. This is just one of many examples of the way Tim operates. It’s all calculated and properly executed, and has gotten him to where he is today.

You don’t even have to be interested in the music industry to follow along or appreciate this episode as you get to learn about what Tim has been able to accomplish over the past five or so years. His story can translate to any industry and that's the idea behind this podcast. At one point, Tim talks about how in the beginning the last thing on his mind was chasing the money, it was more so chasing after what his passions were. I think that is important to note for anyone out there currently trying to find their passion. If you could make a living doing anything in this world and money didn’t matter, what would you want to do? Tim found his passion in writing and music, and that's what led him to where he is today.

Episode Takeaway: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. The actions of today might not make sense for the future but if you have good intentions, you put in the work and remain patient… then you’ll be ready to go when the opportunity comes knocking on your door.   

Podcast Outline

  • Who is Tim Larew today?

  • Grew up in Ellington, Connecticut

  • Went to college

    • Got involved in sports writing heavily

  • Saw his first show at Middle East downstairs - Wiz Khalifa

  • Recognized he could become a part of the scene, he didn't want to just be a fan

    • Enjoyed writing so he started a blog (The Fresh Heir) during his sophomore year

    • Album reviews, going to shows, creating as much content as possible

    • Put together 1,500+ articles in a year in a half

    • Rap Genius was sharing his work

  • Writers from different parts of the country were showing him love and always asked what the scene was like in Boston

    • No bridge to connect the rest of the world to what was actually happening in the city

    • Saw an opportunity to write about a Boston guy once every ten posts

    • Built a fanbase on content readers were already interested in and hoped they come across these underground artists

  • Connections made from the blog 4-5 years later have turned into business relationships

  • Linked up with his friend Goodwin (videographer) and started working together for interviews

    • Cam Meekins was interviewed and eventually reached out to have both part of his creative/management team

  • Booked Chance The Rapper for his first Boston show at BU for $2000 opening for Joey Badass

  • Tunji, an A&R at Interscope at the time, was from a far a mentor and good role model for Tim

  • Built his entire network through his writing, hustling and doing things that he loved

    • People started to trust his voice and taste

    • Genuinely people started to rock with the artists that he had been working with

  • Never pitched himself as a manager to any of the artists he'd worked with, it organically and naturally grew to that

    • An artist needs a good friend and critic before they need a manager

  • There needs to be a branding direction for not only the artists projects but also the artist

    • Michael Christmas was the first to recognize Tim as his manager

  • The smallest victories sometimes can be the best ones

    • Seeing a Boston artist posted on Complex or 2 Dope Boyz

    • Stizz selling out Paradise Rock Club 2 weeks before the show and only months prior selling out Middle East Upstairs in 3 days

    • Went out partying with Justin Bieber and The Weeknd

    • Wakes up to text from Q (Mac Miller’s Manager) with a video of Drake on his birthday and OVO crew bumping “Shoutout”

  • Loves moments where he doesn’t have to say anything and lets the work show for it

  • Convincing Cousin Stizz to have his current name versus his previous (Stizzy), it’ll play out better in the long-run

  • It’s not what you know it’s who you know

    • Every relationship Tim has built has been natural, organic and genuine

    • Wanted to build up himself up and have people curious to see what he was doing

  • Met Steven Victor (Pusha-T manager, EVP of GOOD Music) through Cam Meekins and stayed in contact over the years

    • At one point offered to double whatever Tim made last year, nothing come of it, but a relationship he just wanted to sit on. Let it be a motivation to for the future.  

    • Met with him in Beverly Hills Hotel, had passed Stizz’s “Suffolk County” tape to Kanye West

  • Picture frame on the wall 10 years from now, what/who do we see?

    • Wants to see everyone he works with progress in their owns ways

    • If at any point in time anyone is not happy with that they’re doing he's okay with that, he wants them to do what they love

  • 2-3 pieces of advice for someone trying to find their passion/purpose

    • When he started the things he was passion about, the last thing on his mind was the money

    • You just have to start and be a student to whatever you’re looking to accomplish

    • Luck is when opportunity meets preparation

    • Surrounding yourself with passionate people who’re excited and have purpose

  • Ask Bobbbaaay 1 Question: What makes you so passionate about the podcast?