Rotman Commerce Origins: Anthony Johnson

I’m always doing music. I’m always thinking about music. I’m always involved with music, in one way or another, all the time. Music is my life. My name is Anthony Johnson a.k.a Caj Flow, I’m a third year Rotman Commerce student in the management stream. My mom was actually a hip-hop dance teacher in Zurich, Switzerland. So she had to make medlies with different types of songs that she’d make her students dance to. When I was about six years old I started helping her out a little bit with it. And I was just really interested in how to piece those tracks together. And I started learning piano, so jazz piano. And I started incorporating that a lot into my music. And then I went to this conference called New Skool Rules in Rotterdam And this is where I met Anthony Dent who is a Grammy winning producer for Destiny’s Child. And so I spoke with him a little bit and he said “you know you’re fourteen we’ll see what you got.” And so I did a showcase demo and he was like “Wow!” And so then he told me “you might as well come to my studio and you can intern with me for awhile and I’ll teach you a bit about the music industry, music business, and just music production, and songwriting.” And so a few months later I went to Atlanta and interned at his studio and I learned all these things and it was probably the best experience of my life. Prior to that time I was actually thinking of going into music for post-secondary studies and just learning to be a musician and a music producer but Anthony Dent really told me a lot about the music business – what kind of deals to get into, what kind of deals to avoid. And this really made me realize, you know, I should understand the music business because this will help me survive in the long term. I don’t want to do music for a couple of years and then be in debt. I want to be successful in music for a long time, that’s my objective. What we’ve seen in recent times is we have companies like Spotify that are really giving consumers what they want. But in terms of the creators it kind of falls short where creators don’t necessarily get the money or reward that they should be getting, or atleast what they were getting before when they had CD sales. So what I would like to do is push towards a system where we could have great results for the consumers but also good results for the creators to. I definitely won’t give up when it comes to trying to disrupt the music business. I’m involved at U of T in two student associations. I’m the president of the Music Factory and the Black Ties Association. The Black Ties Association is basically and organization that is focusing on the professional development of visible minorities. Specifically, students who don’t necessarily have the kind of network that they would need to advance. I was accepted in quite a few other places for business programs but in the end I decided to go to Rotman Commerce because firstly it’s in Toronto – heart of Canada’s financial centre, secondly it is Canada’s best business program. It was an obvious choice for me.

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