Michael Motta, is a former executive in the record business. He was instrumental in breaking open the careers of musicians like Snoop Dogg, Beastie Boys, Megadeath and Bonnie Raitt.
After years in the business, he realized it was treacherous to his health and left after achieving major success. He also saw the systemic racism and inequality of music airtime, radio station resources. Listen to his story in this conversation on race.
Today he is the regional manager of Mayweather Boxing and Fitness in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Michael considers himself a “a man for all nations.” He is African, Sicilian, Cuban, and Jewish. Raised in the Bronx by four strong Black women, he learned to be a strong Black man.
[5:00] How he was bullied by different groups because of his skin color, not being white enough for the white kids and not dark enough for the Black kids.
[7:12] Incredibly, Michael just two years ago that he is fifty-one percent Jewish. Hear how he found his Jewish father and a sister he didn’t know he had. However before finding that out, he always had connections to Jewish people, and his son’s mother is Jewish.
[16:12] What made him finally decide to leave the music industry.
Motta breaks down the systemic racism of the music industry and the segregation of the radio stations.
[20:53] We talk some of our favorite genres of music along with artists we love
[29:06] White kids who listen to hip-hop but don’t care about the politics, and still act racist towards people of color. They spend money on the music but don’t understand history or the message.
Where to find conscious rap and hip-hop since it’s not played on commercial radio or given airplay
[34:50] His experience in college at a mostly Jewish school
[38:55] What it’s like being Black with light skin. How he wasn’t accepted in different places and what he did to survive.
[40:44] Race and racism and how it’s about fear
[41:37] Why he’s bothered by gentrification and it’s impact on non-white communities.
[45:35] Solutions and suggestions to end racism and actions we can all take
A 20-year industry veteran, Michael hails from the Bronx and is of Black, Hispanic and Caucasian heritage. He earned a scholarship to Brandeis where he played varsity basketball and then went on to earn an MBA at Boston College. Mike is an accomplished martial artist, boxer and strength and conditioning coach – as well as an expert on nutrition counseling and healthy living — all skills he attributes to his ability to combat stage four prostate cancer. Prior to his fitness career Mike was an accomplished record industry executive and was head of promotion and marketing for four record labels, executive vice president for several film companies and is an accomplished screen writer. He’s the proud father of one son, Nick.
Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist helps leaders create inclusive cultures. She is a consultant, speaker and facilitator and the host of the podcast, “Everyday Conversations on Race for Everyday People.”
Go to www.simmalieberman.com and www.raceconvo.com for more information
Simma is a member of and inspired by the global organization IAC (Inclusion Allies Coalition)