Jorge Brea is the Founder and CEO of Symphonic Distribution, a digital music services company, which provides digital distribution, playlisting and marketing services, go to market strategy, and more for record labels, artists, managers, and distributors.
With content distributed from popular artists such as Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, Deadmau5, Marshmello, Black Thought (of The Roots), and many more, Symphonic has been influential in the music industry and has continued to grow while never losing what has made it great: Customer Service, Technology, and one of the largest distribution networks in the music space.
Today, the team of Symphonic has grown to over 50 passionate individuals in offices based in Tampa, Brooklyn, Denver, Nashville, and Bogota, Colombia and has distributed millions of songs from thousands of record labels and artists across various genre types while paying out millions in royalties to content creators all over the world.
Jorge’s contributions to the music industry have been noticed, being named to the Billboard Magazine Indie Power Players list in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Q. Can you share a little about why you chose Tampa Bay?
A. I’ve lived in Tampa since 1992 and grew up here. It has been great to see how Tampa has grown and to be a part of it is very inspiring. We’re in a non music market but that hasn’t stopped us from putting a flag in the ground and establishing us as a company that is global, based in Tampa.
The city and state is great for growing business and because the cost of living is favorable, has helped us recruit individuals to the area.
Q. How would you summarize the overall workplace culture of the Tampa area? Is there something that sets Tampa Bay apart?
A. I think Tampa is getting more creative and becoming a technology hub. We’ve been known for finance and healthcare for so long that it is great to see new entrepreneurs and different types of business come into the area. I think some things that set Tampa apart are the proximity to things. It’s not a far distance to go do things for leisure and/or business and certainly it’s a great place to settle and put roots down. Business wise, downtown is fantastic for us being that it is close to the airport and not too far from Orlando where a big amount of our customer base (from Puerto Rico) resides.
Q. To what do you attribute your success?
A. A lot of hard work on my part but also that of our team. Since we’re not in a major music market we have to be more creative and put forth more hours than other markets to make ourselves a serious player in our industry and I believe we’ve done that and continue to. I also believe we’ve been responsible from a financial perspective. We’re making investments and moves that are sound and strategic for our growth. Sometimes it comes without headlines but we prefer to keep our heads down and work hard to reach our goals.
Q. What advice would you give to young people who just moved to Tampa and are looking for ways to familiarize themselves with the business and social scenes here?
A. First, have a great idea and prove it out as much as you can without help financially or with others. If there is a good proof of concept then there can be a business. From there, networking online and at local events is helpful to meet folks doing great things and to expand your network. There are a lot of great areas around the city to do things as well if you are looking for leisure that can maybe lead to business opportunities. For me, it has always been about staying in touch with what is happening and using resources like LinkedIn to interact with individuals. That initial hello can lead to a coffee that then leads to a meeting and more.
"I think Tampa is getting more creative and becoming a technology hub."-Jorge Brea