Music Industry Spotlight: Reza Sarrafieh, Roc Nation’s National Director of Radio and Promotions

Music industry veteran Reza Sarrafieh has wisely navigated the ever-changing lane of radio and promotions since entering the industry in 2004. His wildly successful track record for breaking a number of almost-overlooked urban acts lends to a reputation that precedes him. He invested 13 years at Interscope Records where he rose to Vice President of Promotions. He then launched his own business, Pars Promotions, where he propelled a number of SoundCloud artists to the limelight; bringing them heavy radio rotation. Now, well-positioned for even more groundbreaking success, he proudly holds the esteemed title of Roc Nation’s National Director of Radio and Promotions; home to acts such as Snoh Aalegra, Buju Banton, and Rapsody. However, it is Reza’s personal journey that makes his career progression all the more impressive. His story is completely unexpected and highly unconventional.

Reza initially planned to forge a career in immigration law, enrolling as a political science major at a local community college. Yet by age 23, with every intention of furthering his education at the renowned UCLA, he had already entered the workforce to pay for his education. Whilst working at the nation’s second Fleming’s Steakhouse location, he collided with the world of music as he waited on industry heavyweight Garnett March, the Senior Vice President of Promotion at Interscope Records. Garnett took a liking to Reza’s energy and, on a whim, hired him into his very first role as his assistant after only the third time they interacted.

Reza credits his early success to his massive grind and corporate background, as he was able to bring structure to an often chaotic role. As he climbed the ranks, he developed an ear for what he considers good music: that which is memorable and moving. His passion encouraged him to lobby for artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Robin Thicke prior to them gaining widespread recognition, and eventually being an integral part of their introduction to the mainstream world. He was notably chosen in the first-ever Billboard Thirty under Thirty in August of 2007, at the age of 27.

As the music industry slowly began to embrace the world of streaming, Reza shifted his focus to ensure that the world of radio remained in the mix. In 2017, after parting ways with Interscope Records, Reza was granted the chance to give a trial run to some of his ideas when a fledgling act named Lil Pump approached him for his radio expertise. This led to more success via his independent ventures, ultimately being responsible for the mainstream radio success of artists such as Lil Pump, Trippie Redd, Tekashi 69, and the international sensation Afro B, amongst others.

The ability to create momentum combined with an innately innovative approach and great relationships is what made him a prime candidate to join forces with Roc Nation in late 2019, where he finds himself today.

Connect with Reza via LinkedIn

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