Gabriel "Gaby" Acevedo has been in the music business since he was 16. The 39-year-old Bronx native got his start in the mid-'90s working for his brother's independent marketing company before eventually meeting legendary music executive Steve Rifkind who was then running Loud Records. Rifkind took Gaby under his wing, and by the late '90s he was working songs on behalf of Loud Records to New York stations Hot 97 and WBLS. His job basically amounted to hanging out and buying drinks for radio big wigs in New York, and later for the entire East Coast, and charging it to his corporate card. "I had the best job" he explains, "I was having fun and everybody knew me." But it wasn't all fun and games, as the job also taught him about industry politics and how to build relationships.
When Loud closed shop in 2002, Gaby got plenty of job offers. But he felt a loyalty to Steve Rifkind, so instead of finding work elsewhere, he told Rifkind he'd wait until he found a new gig. His loyalty paid off because when Rifkind founded SRC Records that same year he named Gaby the president and a co-owner. At SRC, Gaby helped break Akon, going on the road with the eventual star for an entire year in a Yukon Denali. Along the way, he befriended an emerging rapper who also hailed from the Bronx: French Montana. Once SRC came to an end in 2012, Gaby was richer than he ever dreamed of being and was no longer interested in the music business. But thanks to French, just when he thought he was out, it pulled him back in.
Nowadays, Gaby is Montana's manager. With years of industry experience under his belt and a popping artist as his client, we talked to Gaby about what it's like to manage an artist like Montana. But really, his story is about how a kid from the Bronx made it in America.
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)