Jason Flom is an American music industry executive and current Chief Executive Officer of Lava Records. He has served, at times, as the Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records, Virgin Records, and the Capitol Music Group. In 1995, he founded Lava Records.
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I’ve been in the music business since I was 18 and have discovered artists including Katy Perry, Kid Rock and Lorde among many others. After a quarter century of working on criminal justice reform, I’m proud to say that I launched my podcast, Wrongful Conviction on October 4th.
On my podcast, I interview a different exoneree every week and ask them hard questions and now you can the turn the tables on me!
You can subscribe to the podcast here:
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With the hype that came from "Making a Murderer," what is your take on the new "Amanda Knox" documentary? Do you think that we are properly being educated or steered in a direction the network wants us to believe?
I loved Making a Murderer but I've been so busy that I haven't seen the Amanda Knox documentary yet. It will be hard for me to be objective because a.) she is my friend and b.) I've read a lot about her case including the incredible Newsweek cover story and I'm absolutely convinced that she's innocent.
What inspired you to found the innocence project? Music exec to criminal justice reformer is a move a lot of people wouldn't make.
I didn't found The Innocence Project. I joined soon after it was founded by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck. My official title is Founding Board Member which reflects my involvement from the earliest days. I'm obsessed with the mission and inspired by the work.
Hello Jason, I have maybe a simple question? Best way to get a developement deal? My 12 year old Daughter Angela Meza Sings and writes songs.
I'm not sure what you mean by a development deal. Please send me her 2 best songs and I'll try to advise you.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
There are a number of things: I love the Innocence Project and I especially love the exonerates themselves. Being around these courageous men and women puts gratitude in my attitude and makes me feel angry and inspired to want to do more to help others who have been wrongfully convicted. I also love interviewing people. I fact, I just love people, so the podcast seemed like a perfectly logical thing for me to do!
What about Katy Perry stood out to you from the beginning?
I met Katie for lunch at the Polo Lounge and as soon as she walked in I recognized that I was in the presence of a star. My spidey senses were tingling and when she sat down and started talking it became crystal clear to me. Then I heard the music and I got even more excited!
I've worked right on your block at Wells Fargo and a business management firm right around the corner from you guys, the 250 building.
Now I'm ready to be full on into music management.
Looking for any opportunities to sponge up knowledge and be of assistance. Any advice or even better, jobs currently open in Lava Records? I'd love a chance to speak to you.
I appreciate your interest. Unfortunately there's no openings at Lava at this time but if you'd like to send a resume we'll keep you in mind!
What does your day to day look like as CEO of Lava?
I like to do 3 things in the morning: 1. Take my bulldog Lulu for a walk in the park. 2. Work out .3. Read the New York Times in the bath (with epsom salt). Also I typically have 10 espressos before I leave the house before I get to work (I'm about to have my 12th one now).
My first question is what do you believe makes a great artist. ? I know it may be difficult to sum up
And what changes can I as an aspiring artist and vocalist wanting to be signed make.? I have attached my soundcloud for reference and would love to hear a response.
Bambi, your voice sounds good but I don't have a great knowledge of this genre because I specialize in pop and rock so I'm not the best person to judge it.
First of all thank you for your kind words. I love the Innocence Project and I feel lucky to be a part of it. Lava 2016 is a boutique label where we focus on a small number of artists and try to do the best job for them. I used to run major labels, which was a fantastic experience but I'm not sure it's a challenge I would want to take on again!
What has been your most memorable interaction with someone the innocence project has helped?
In May of this year I met Keith Allen Harward at the office of the Innocence Project. Keith had just been released after serving a staggering 34 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. He was with the co-founder Peter Neufeld and they pulled me into a file room. Peter said to Keith, "Keith, please show Jason your tattoo." His tattoo had the date of his conviction in 1983, the date of his exoneration in 2016, and then it said Innocence Project, Skadden Law and Exoneree 341. It literally took my breath away at least in part because of the fact that I wasn't aware that Skadden, my dad's law firm, had represented Keith alongside the lawyers from the Innocence Project. Keith is an incredible man whose spirit transcends everything.
Ah, I was confused by the title. How did you find out about it to be a board member? Were you friendly or collegial with a Neufeld or Scheck?
I randomly saw something on TV about one of their cases and I felt I had to do something to help so I contacted them. Until that time or probably even heard of Barry or Peter.
Are you working on any current projects that you are excited for?
Yes, 3 of them! Maty Noyes, Stanaj and Cemetery Sun. Please check them out. I hope you like the music!
Will do. What's the best email for you?
This is the artist I'm currently working with. Would love your feedback. R&B and Pop vibe.
Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The song has some cool elements to it but it sounds a little derivative and doesn't strike me as a smash on first listen.
In your opinion, What parts of the law needs the most reform? Is death penalty integral to a strong justice system or rule of law?
I feel very strongly that the death penalty has no place in a civilized society. It does nothing to deter crime and we have to accept that the system is imperfect and mistakes are made with alarming frequency. The idea that we have executed innocent people and that we continue to do so is a disgrace and a national shame.