What have you learned from the songwriters and artists you’ve worked with?
I’ve been lucky to work with artists and songwriters that work hard. Look at someone like Pharrell, who has never stopped working, through the good days and the not-so-good days. That’s why when it came back around for him, it wasn’t like he was getting back on the bike -- he was still on the bike. I love people like that; I get inspired. I’ve worked with artists and songwriters in different genres, male, female, black, white, whatever. The cream of the crop all do the same thing: outwork everybody else. Look at [songwriter] Justin Tranter. In achieving his success, he never lets you forget where he comes from and he never lets you forget about his community. So who am I not to do the same?
How have you evolved as a leader in the last 10 years?
Jon Platt the person always wants to help people. Jon Platt the leader learned the ability to put others before himself. That’s what true leadership is. But I’m in the early stages of it. I love the fact that I’ve had a hand in developing the next generation of executives, and I will continue to do that. A&R can be a selfish, individual sport at times. I’ve matured enough to know that you can include others, to play as a team. When you’re doing A&R, there’s a moment when you think it’s you. And it’s never you. It’s always the talent. And we’re on the team to help them achieve that success.
When I came into this industry and saw how it was, I didn’t want the industry to change me as a person. I wanted to change the industry. One of the things that connects me with a lot of the songwriters I represent is that I am who I am and they are who they are. And we respect each other. I don’t drink. It’s very rare that I’ll even have a celebratory drink. I don’t get high. And I’m not the outcast. People respect it. I’m very comfortable in my own skin. That’s the best way to explain it.
Platt has worked with many of music’s most important creators. Five offer their accolades.
“It has been a dream come true working with Jon. Some of my best work has been done with him. He cares about music and quality. He cares about the culture. He is one of one. I am so grateful for our work together.”