Earning More From Music Than His Finance Job, Shoffy Releases 'Direction' With Maroon 5's Sam Farrar: Q&A
In 2016, Alex Shofler made a brave move from working as a financial analyst in Beverly Hills to being a full-time musician. But he didn't take a pay cut.
After running numbers in the office by day and making music by night under the moniker Shoffy, he says he decided to switch careers altogether when his single "Takes My Body Higher" went viral, racking up 56 million Spotify streams, 42 million YouTube views, and spending 20 weeks at No. 19 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Chart.
"I did better in 2017 doing music than in private equity," says the 27-year-old, whose new track, "Direction," a collaboration with Sam Farrar of Maroon 5, was released today (8/17), an "upbeat, optimistic song about finding somebody that you want to spend the rest of your life with." Billboard spoke to Shoffy about about his secrets to success -- and economic efficiency - so far.
What is your setup like?
I'm using a Focusrite 212. I got it used on eBay for $80. It's a super basic audio interface. That's how I record my vocals. I have the same Rode NT1 microphone that my parents got me when I was 14 and the same MIDI keyboard from back then as well. The cool thing about music right now is you don't need a $1 million studio to make it.
Tell us about playing all the instruments on your songs and writing, mixing and producing everything.
I have a couple of collabs on my upcoming album but 90 percent of the songs I'm doing all that. It makes the process a lot quicker. I can work on them on my own time. It's not a long bureaucratic drawn out process of dealing with artists and managers. It's empowering to be able to work on music and get it 100 percent across the finish line without having to rely on other people.
Can you make as much money in music as you could in finance?
I did better in 2017 doing music than in private equity. I was expecting to take a loss last year and just really try to build it up but I was so lucky that it started working with music. Spotify has been a great platform. You don't need a giant label behind you. You can get your music out there and get it heard through playlisting. Having close to 100 percent share of a song has allowed me to do music like this. The streaming numbers we've been getting have been pretty cool -- around 128 million total on Spotify. It adds up!
Has your finance background helped you navigate the industry?
My USC business background has been empowering in terms of signing agreements and navigating the music world. I think people look at me a bit differently and are maybe less likely to try to screw me over.