MUSIC BIZ 2019 SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT — Derrick Aroh, RCA Records

Music Biz is excited to welcome Derrick Aroh, VP of A&R for RCA Records, to the Music Biz 2019 Program! He will be speaking on the panel “#NEXTGEN_NOW 2.0: Young Voices, High Industry Impact,” set for Monday, May 6 at 11:30 am. Check out the Speaker Spotlight profile below to learn more about Derrick before his panel in May! You can also keep tabs on the latest featured speakers on our Speaker Spotlight Portal.


What is your favorite industry memory from years past?
My favorite recent memory is a combo of things; GoldLink’s “Crew” getting nominated for a GRAMMY in 2017, Childish Gambino winning Record of the Year and Song of the Year GRAMMYs for “This Is America” this past year, and Brockhampton going #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart late last year.


Besides attending the Music Biz Conference, what is your favorite thing about Nashville?
I’ve never been to Nashville, so I’m excited to see what it’s about!


What do you foresee being the most impactful trend for the industry in the coming year?
I think TikTok is going to be very, very influential in breaking a lot of records this year. You’ve seen that already with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.”


When did you know you wanted to work in the music business? If there was no specific “Aha!” moment, what led you to working in music?
I knew in the summer of 2007 that I wanted to be in music; initially, I wanted to rap and didn’t know an entry point to being in music. A family friend of mine came by my house and told me I should do an internship because that’s how Puffy started. My mind blew up and I started looking at his route to success and how to get there.


What music-focused app or tech could you not live without?
I couldn’t live without Apple Music!


Aside from speaking, what are you most excited to experience at this year’s Conference?
I’m excited to see what the Conference is about; I’ve never been there but I have heard amazing things about it and I feel like it’s going to be an awesome experience.


What are your Album of the Year and Song of the Year?
I think it’s a little too early in the year to speak on that, but some of the stuff I’m working on I feel confidently will be in the conversation…


How do you discover new music?
I discover new music via Apple Music, Twitter, Spotify, Instagram, YouTube, related artists and playlists, and word of mouth.


What was your first concert OR the best concert you’ve ever attended? What about the show sticks with you the most?
The first concert I ever went to I believe was Kanye West’s “Glow In The Dark” tour in Madison Square Garden back in 2007. Rihanna, NERD and Lupe Fiasco were the opening acts… CRAZY!


What is your dream industry project? Is there an artist or power player you’d give anything to work with?
You know what? I don’t know if I have a dream project. I learned a long time ago to always see everybody in this business as someone just like myself to prevent real disappointment. I’m very happy with the artists I currently work with, and I hope to find more people like that.

Music Biz 2019, the industry’s premier business-focused event, takes place Sunday, May 5 through Wednesday, May 8 at the JW Marriott Nashville. Attendees can look forward to keynote presentations from influential industry trailblazers including Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Capitol Records’ Amber Grimes, RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier, Motown Records President/Capitol Records EVP Ethiopia Habetemariam, Caroline President Jacqueline Saturn, and CEO of Def Jam Recordings Paul Rosenberg. The event will also feature our Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner, a celebration of artistic & executive achievement sponsored by BuzzAngle Music, City National Bank, Cracker Barrel, Jammber, and TiVo. Announced thus far, Bebe Rexha and Kane Brown will receive Breakthrough Artist Awards; Darius Rucker will accept the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award; Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Randy Goodman will receive the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement; Record Archive owners Richard Storms and Alayna Alderman will accept the Independent Spirit Award; and The Orchard Co-Founder Richard Gottehrer will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award. This year’s ceremony will also see the induction of the late Sir George Martin into the Music Business Hall of Fame by his son Giles Martin, along with 12 other notable industry executives, record labels, landmarks and media outlets.

More programming and awards announcements will be made in the coming weeks. Visit for an up-to-date Program Schedule and to register today!