114: Courtney Orlando (Artist & Producer)

Courtney Orlando on Innovation City

“You have to be haunted by your craft. Which means when you’re asleep it’s speaking to you and when you’re awake it’s speaking to you.” — Courtney Orlando

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Courtney Orlando, Artist & Producer. St. Louis native, Courtney Orlando, is an Urban/Soul artist, songwriter and Grammy award-winning producer. He also produced the opening track that is on every Innovation City episode. Courtney sits down with the team to discuss his passion for music and how he got started, what it’s like working in the music industry, his Grammy win in 2013, the importance of business knowledge as an artist, his advocacy for mental health, the new project he’s releasing soon, and much more!

They discuss:

  • Courtney wrote and produced the Innovation City opening track
  • He had always been around music from being in church growing up
  • He found his passion for music a teenager in his attempt to attract girls
  • Playing piano and practicing his singing with his childhood friends
  • At 16, he learned how to make his first track on his friend’s sequencer keyboard
  • This moment was when he knew music was going to be his journey
  • Got an internship with a local music studio/CD shop and learned to use production tools
  • Observing the transition from analog production to digital production
  • He was a strong baseball player and almost went down the path to become pro, but his love for music was stronger
  • Working with Nelly and St. Lunatics on a record before they signed with Universal Records
    • This experience was Courtney’s first real glimpse at how hard the music industry can be on new artists
  • Got his first placement with a group called The Cross Movement, which is where he produced his first professional record
  • When you have a gift with music, the word of mouth about you spreads fast
  • Receiving many Grammy nominations over the years
  • His Grammy win in 2013 for hip hop artist, Lecrae
  • Putting out his own music and seeing success as an independent artist
  • As a musical artist, music has to consume you
  • People want to see and hear artists, so you have to be visual
  • The power of social media as an artist
  • The importance of business knowledge as as artist
  • His advocacy for mental health and discussing your traumas
  • Channeling his traumas into his artistry and future works
  • The coming year is going to be a year of faith for Courtney
  • Filming music videos for his upcoming project
  • Courtney’s new project is dropping in December or January
  • Reach out to Courtney on social media @courtneyorlando (@courtneylando on Twitter)