Apple’s Jimmy Iovine was at the first annual Revolt Music Conference this week to accept a “SFTB award” (named after Drake’s lyric “started from the bottom now we here”) for his climb to an executive position in one of the most valuable companies in the world after starting out as an audio engineer in a New York studio.
In the speech, which is embedded above, Iovine recounted once again the story of how he met Dr. Dre and founded Beats Electronics (even though Dre wanted to go into the sneaker business). He also touched on Steve Jobs’ role as his inspiration during that fateful meeting:
But like everything else, cool changes and moves on.
Then in 2003, I learned something brand new about cool.
I met Steve Jobs and the team at Apple, and I thought: this is where cool lives right now.
The party is at Steve’s house.
This was a man who understood the lyrics, who understood the music, who understood The Beatles and Bob Dylan, but who also in a visionary way, truly understood lifestyle and technology.
In other words, this was a great and dangerous man who I quickly decided to make my friend.
See Steve didn’t just love music; he had a deep and intuitive understanding of its place in our world.
Today, everybody thinks that if they love music, that’s enough.
For instance, I really love chocolate, but that doesn’t make me a potential Willie [sic] Wonka.
So when I ran into Dre one day and he told me his lawyer Peter Paterno wanted him to start selling sneakers, the shining example of Steve Jobs and his company stuck in my head.
I said, “Dre, let’s not do sneakers – let’s do speakers.
He also compared the Apple co-founder to the many entrepeneurs working to change the music industry, whether through technology or other means.
In so many ways, young minds out there are now discovering and exploring the soul in the machine – just as Steve Jobs once did when he kicked off an earlier revolution.
You can see the full video above, or read a full transcript of the speech at Revolt. The speech starts around the 11:00 mark.