Business

Executive of the Week: Timeless Music Entertainment CEO Daniel 'BirdMan Zoe' Desir

Daniel "BirdMan Zoe" Desir
Chad Hamer

Daniel "BirdMan Zoe" Desir

Taz Taylor’s Internet Money collective released their debut album, B4 the Storm, back in August, a guest-filled collection of tracks with an eclectic mix of artists that debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. But the release of that album was just the beginning of the journey for the project, which has seen its flagship single, "Lemonade," featuring Gunna, Don Toliver and Nav climb all the way to No. 10 on the Hot 100 this week, the culmination (so far) of a nine-week ride on the chart that has seen the song steadily gaining in streams and airplay as it climbed toward the upper echelon.

Perhaps even more impressively, "Lemonade" is also currently entrenched in the top five of Billboard’s new Global 200 chart, having reached No. 4 this week behind only previous chart-toppers "Dynamite" by BTS, "Mood" by 24kGoldn and iann dior and "WAP" by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, and No. 7 on the excluding-U.S. chart, meaning its success is not just stateside, but is translating globally. And it’s that success that has helped make Internet Money manager and Timeless Music Entertainment CEO Daniel "Birdman Zoe" Desir Billboard’s Executive of the Week.

"It's doing so well because it's a good song, the hook is so catchy and it’s powered by dope verses from all the artists," says Desir. "One thing you can't deny is a hit record and we were blessed to have one."

With a new remix featuring Roddy Ricch and the song just last week beginning to impact enough at radio that it’s begun climbing the airplay charts, Desir speaks about how "Lemonade" came together, the role of 10K Projects’ and Create Music Group’s digital-marketing firm Homemade Projects and where the track can go next.

How did this song and project come together?

The Internet Money project came together via Taz Taylor. One day he called me and said, "Bird, we dropping an album," and like a month later we dropped an album. [Laughs] The single was originally written in 2017 by Jozzy, Johnny Yukon and Taz Taylor. Taz really liked the song and Don Toliver had cut to it. Taz, with his musical genius skills, wanted to turn it into something and started recreating the production with Nick Mira and Alex Wigdahl. Once he got the sound to where he liked it, he had Sam from 10K reach out to get the Gunna feature and I reached out to Dizzy who has the XO relationship to get the Nav verse. Taz had the vision and turned it into a monster.

"Lemonade" has been steadily growing for the past two months. What strategies have you used to help it along the way?

Honest to god, we just believed in it so much, released it with a dope video from Lyrical Lemonade and knew it was a hit. 10K, with the help of Caroline, made sure the DSPs were in tune with the song and we had full support from Spotify and Apple Music. Our PR, Audible Treats and Hannah Haines via 10K, also made sure press was on point and the song was everywhere it could be. It really was a team effort. Homemade Projects helped with our TikTok campaign and also us using social media to drive a lot of traffic to "Lemonade." We also went and got the Roddy Ricch feature thanks to my good friends Shawn Holiday and Keefa [Parker, vp A&R at Ricch’s label Atlantic Records]. That gave the remix a fresh breath of air, along with the Don Toliver verse. I give credit to the whole team for a job well done.

The song is No. 10 on the Hot 100, and No. 4 on the Global charts. Why do you think it’s doing so well around the world?

It's doing so well because it's a good song, the hook is so catchy and it’s powered by dope verses from all the artists. One thing you can't deny is a hit record and we were blessed to have one. And the song sonically catches you -- kids to older adults enjoy the song and I feel like it will be around for a long time.

What is your philosophy when it comes to management and how has that paid off with this campaign?

My philosophy for management is, "Don't chase money, chase opportunity." I live and die by that and I feel like once you have that mindset, it clears your mind to focus on the task and the rewards will come when they’re supposed to. And it has paid off with this campaign because we all believed in this record and made sure to position ourselves in every way possible to reap the benefits.

The song has done particularly well at streaming. Did you emphasize the DSPs in rolling it out?

One thing we did from the early stages, before even releasing this single and the songs from the album, was play them for the DSP partners over at Spotify and Apple Music. This is something I made sure we did because it's always good to have early feedback and opinions so you know where you stand when the song or songs release.

What does it take for a song to really take off these days?

It takes a village, everyone has to believe and be in sync. Everyone has to go above and beyond and know the work doesn't just stop once the song is released. With us, it took the help of 10K, Caroline, Audible Treats, Internet Money, Homemade Projects, our lawyers Navarro Gray, Jonathan Koby, Bob Currie and all the support and help we got from all of our business partners.

How are you planning to continue to push the song from here?

We have some special surprises for the fans, and we plan on taking this song up some more notches. I can give one secret: Dizzy Clean Face went and got Anuel AA on the Latin remix. And we have a few more dope surprises, but you guys have to wait for those.