Aaron Arnold, a Chicago native and CEO of Music Is My Business, is on his way to becoming the next member of Florida A&M’s extensive list of powerful, successful, alumni.
His company, Music Is My Business, works in brand development, producing, writing and creating music as well as music videos. Arnold said his company is the product of his experience, and above all else, the “hustle” he says he learned from FAMU.
“It all started, really, at FAMU,” Arnold said. “Not only things I picked up at the journalism program and the academic side of things. One of the great things about FAM is that it’s very entrepreneurial.”
MIMB is not a just a fledgling company hiding in the shadows of the big boys. Arnold’s brainchild has been recognized by Inc magazine as one of “America’s Smartest New Companies led by people under 30.”
The 31-year-old FAMU alumnus and former employee of Sean “Diddy” Combs took a risk coming to Tallahassee in the first place. He said leaving his home and learning to adapt helped him achieve early success.
“I went 1,000 miles away,” Arnold said. “I obviously had to make a lot of things happen. FAM provided so many opportunities on and off campus to really grow as a person as well as a young professional.”
Going from the student sitting in colloquium at 11 a.m. to the one speaking to students eager to be in his position has been a humbling experience for Arnold.
“You have so many benchmarks you want to reach so I don’t necessarily consider myself a ‘success story,'” he said. “But I will say that I’ve been very blessed.”
Whether he considers himself a success yet or not, Arnold’s reputation is starting to precede him. Nominations from GQ magazine’s “Gentlemen’s Fund” and appearances on CNN and VH1 helped to cement Arnold’s place in the music industry.
Arnold has the convenience of doing what he loves. When he spoke on campus in January, he differentiated between a job (what one does for money) and a career (what one does for enjoyment and just happens to get paid for).
“This is one thing I learned when I was in corporate America and making a lot of money,” he said. “If you’re not into it, per se, and you don’t really have a love for it… if you’re blessed enough you’ll be able to do what you love.”
He encouraged FAMU’s young potential entrepreneurs to take the risk and do what they love.
Run It Back
Arnold’s latest project, “Run-it-Back,” is a music video created and produced by Music is My Business.
“I got into this business because I wanted to make records,” Arnold said. “This record itself is an opportunity for me to just show all the people that I know … I’m just as capable of putting out a record, putting out a video.”
“Run-It-Back” debuted on MTV as the No. 2 music video and now Arnold hopes to crack the iTunes Top 100 list. The record itself is a mix of pop, hip-hop and rock. Arnold said the video is also a chance to introduce his company’s “whole roster.”
The video is backed by Combs, among other stars, via Twitter and is available on YouTube. The single is available on iTunes.
“The video itself, obviously I’m biased, is just different from a lot of the videos that you’ll find out there today,” Arnold said. “We just wanted to have fun. I definitely think right now we’re having fun. We’re very blessed.”
Arnold said he hopes the video can convey a clear message to its audience.
“You can accomplish something,” he said. “You just have to overcome or fight through those obstacles.”