Russell Emanuel was 15 years old when he decided to leave high school. He knew from a very young age that he was a musician, through and through.
In 1997 he co-founded Extreme Music, a library stock of production music. Extreme Music became famous, not only for the music it offered, but also for the notorious punk energy and marketing that Russell channeled through the brand. Most memorably, he sent condoms to numerous industry professionals, printed with the message: "the only safe thing you will ever get from us."
Russell grew the company to such a large success that it was acquired by SonyATV in 2008 for $110 million with Emanuel still remaining as the active CEO.
Today, Russell Emanuel is not only the CEO of Extreme Music, he's also the CEO & Chief Creative Officer at Bleeding Fingers Music.
Bleeding Fingers Music is one of the industry's leading producers of quality-crafted film and television scores in the world. More recently, it landed The Simpsons, after Alf Clausen was let go in his 27th year of composing music for the show.
Bleeding Fingers Music has a series of amazing accomplishments under its belt in a short 4 years. A collaboration with David Attenborough and BBC on the music for Planet Earth II. This score contributed to the series' record-breaking viewership, international acclaim, and BAFTA and Emmy nominations for Bleeding Fingers' work, paving the way to their most recent project to premier later this year: Blue Planet II.
Russell also produced a track for the prequel, titled "Ocean Bloom," featuring a collaboration with Radiohead and Hans Zimmer.
In layman's terms: Russell Emanuel left high school to become a rock-star in the industry. He used his wit, brains and obsession with music to navigate the murky waves and tides of the music industry over the past two decades, always landing him at shore with a trophy in hand. In his words, "it's important to stay reassuringly expensive." So, how does he do it?
It's not enough to love what you're doing. You must become obsessed. Emanuel shared that he is obsessed with every note that is played by him and his team at Bleeding Fingers Music. When the leader of the pack consistently retains a high level of obsession it is inevitable that the team will perform behind him, producing quality that is unrivaled in each moment.
Clients inevitably feel reassured by a high price, when they know that the work they are getting is stellar, every time.
Sitting with Russell, you could feel the deep passion he exudes for every detail of the Bleeding Fingers Music office, team and work.
What I found most interesting is his unique vision for collaboration. He isn't just taking on partnerships with names like Hans Zimmer, he's also employing, full-time, young composers like Austin Fray (25) and Andrew Christie (30) who are on the Simpsons team.
He's taking risks to collaborate with fresh creativity, perspective and passion. Infusing this kind of collaboration in an industry that is led by only a handful of top names is game-changing.
Let it run in your blood
Caring about your clients is one thing. To let the work run through your veins means that you care so much, it's tied to your own well being.
Let the work that you do run through your veins. When you're willing to do that, your clients are willing to take risks with you as you journey to shift an industry, and produce work that wins the audience every time.
(Note: Bleeding Fingers Music is not a client, nor do I have any other business dealings with the company.)