CEO Sit Down: Ernie Valladares on The Lucrative Youth

(Passion + hardwork) timing = magic

If there ever was a time to break free of convention, it would be now. Name an even better time? Yesterday, which is exactly what Ernie did, timing the opening of his business The Lucrative Youth perfectly, with the increase of digital and recording services for musicians being on the rise. Through the decades musicians have needed to shift their music venture strategies, making them extremely entrepreneurial individuals. From physical music formats to digital and from live performances to livestreams, musicians have had to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Ernie is someone who is working with a new wave of upcoming artists, who are navigating this time, identifying how they will continue to progress in their music careers. Ernie offers some great advice to artists in our sit down as well as an overview of his company and how he became a lucrative youth through The Lucrative Youth.

Ernie, tell us about yourself! Also, why not share your favorite song. 

Hey Ursula! I first wanted to thank you for giving me this opportunity to be showcased on your website! I’m just a kid from Miami who is blessed to be living my dream everyday. I recently “virtually” graduated from Babson College and have continued working on my company, The Lucrative Youth. My favorite song is probably one of the hardest questions to answer cause it changes every week! Most of my favorite songs are actually unreleased songs from the artists I work closely with, but I’ll give an honorable mention to Cash by Product Of The City Ft K.Charles.

What is The Lucrative Youth and how did the company come about?

The Lucrative Youth is a music and entertainment company that supports independent artists and creatives, we continue to grow and expand every day and it’s been a great ride. We started in 2018 with an original interview series “Into The Mind Of” with local artists and built upon those interviews, hosting and co-hosting events as we grew our community. Fast forward to today and we now have our own creative space, which includes a recording studio, photography room, interview lounge, community shop and much more. We focus on artist development and work closely with our clients to offer a wide variety of creative services.

What kind of artists do you work with and what kinds of services to them come to you for help with?

I mainly work with local and upcoming independent artists. I’m based out of Miami so most of the artists I work with are from here as well, but I have worked with other artists and producers across the country. We just opened our recording studio at the end of June so the main services clients have been coming for is studio time. Beyond our studio, though, we offer video production, interviews, and even allow artists to sell their merchandise at our location and on their own personal shop on our website. 

What do you think differentiates you in the market and makes your company stand out?

A big value we bring to our clients is the ability of being a one stop shop! A new client can walk into our studio one day and by the time they leave can have a song recorded, cover photo shoot, recap video of the session, a video interview, and much more done. We also focus on building our community and connecting artists & creatives to work together. We understand that one hat doesn’t fit all so we try to create the perfect personalized experience for each client and give them what they would need most. 

What are some hot new music trends that you have identified?

The hottest trend is the move towards independence! Back in the day, artists believed the only way to “make it” was to sign to a major label. Today, we live in a completely new world where technology has flipped the game upside down. An artist who is completely unknown today could be the next big thing simply by going viral on TikTok off a song recorded on their phone!

Technology has broken down the barriers of entry and has created an interesting opportunity for artists to be independent and still grow.

This is incredible, in my opinion, because ever since I started The Lucrative Youth we have always promoted independence.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to anyone looking to make it big in the music industry?

I’m in the middle of the process myself and I genuinely believe there is no perfect answer to this question. Each artist or creative will ultimately have their own path. The best advice I could give is to stay true to yourself and your vision and keep moving forward no matter how many setbacks you may encounter. As cliche as it may sound, before you can succeed you must fail. The lessons you learn from each failure and how you react to those situations is what will allow you to thrive. 

What has been your biggest challenge in starting your new company?

Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 10.01.06 AM

Like any journey, we’ve encountered many challenges throughout! But, if I were to pinpoint the biggest challenge, I would have to say separating friendship and business. This is always easier said than done, but I cannot emphasize how critical it is. Especially in the creative field, it becomes complicated because you tend to grow close to clients and build relationships that are not strictly business. However, there comes a point where business and friendship must be separated to ensure everything runs smoothly. Leaving emotion out of certain situations will lead to much better execution.

Can you tell us about any exciting projects, artists, albums, merch, and releases that you have coming up?

It’s always been a dream of mine to distribute my own music and now that we have our recording studio up and running we are in the process of doing exactly that! Stay tuned for our upcoming LY Community project, an album including various artists we have worked with ever since we started The Lucrative Youth back in 2018. 

What does the future of music look like to you?

If you asked me a year ago my answer would be extremely different based on the circumstances we’ve been living through these last couple months. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most musicians made a large percentage of their money on touring. Now, there realistically won’t be any big concerts happening again until at least 2021 and we still don’t even know how they will operate. Currently, the future of music looks like a lot more online visual content and music streaming based. However, the truth is,

those who are able to adapt the best to constantly changing circumstances are the ones who will be the future of music. 

Find The Lucrative Youth here:


Instagram: @thelucrativeyouth 

Twitter: @lucrative_youth


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