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Titan Alumnus Lands a Dream Role at Warner Records

CSUF's Career Center Helped TJ Landig Get His Foot in the Door of the Music Industry
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Surrounded by beaming strobe lights, roaring speakers and energetic concertgoers, TJ Landig dreamed of becoming a rock star on the grand stage.

At 5 years old, Landig’s dad taught him how to play the guitar. He immersed himself in his high school band and cherished the rich sound of musical notes filling the air. His love for music boomed at Cal State Fullerton. Landig recalled feeling inspired by Professor Emeritus of American Studies John Ibson’s interactive discussions on masculinity, ethnic diversity in American culture and music’s power to the ear.

“My professors opened my eyes to American culture in a deeper way, such as understanding the history of rock and roll and jazz music,” said Landig ’06 (B.A. political science and American studies). 

During his bustling college years, Landig gained leadership and community relations experience participating in Camp Titan, a former student-run program under Associated Students Inc. that supported underserved youth in Orange County. He was a lead counselor who organized shows, presentations and campfires to entertain young campers.

Tapping Career Resources on Campus

Landig said he experienced an existential identity crisis in college. A trip to the Career Center job fair changed his career trajectory from finance and banking to his true passion — music. Cal State Fullerton’s Career Center provides students with workshops, career fairs, graduation preparation and specialist appointments.

“One company dropped out of the job fair and Warner Music Group replaced them,” said Landig. “I bought a brand new suit and did a round of interviews with Morgan Stanley and Warner Music Group. I was offered internships at both companies.”

He trusted his gut instinct. Landig joined Warner Records as an intern and radio promotion assistant before transitioning into the marketing department and climbing the corporate ladder to senior vice president. 

“Figure out what you love. I love music more than I love trading stocks,” said Landig. “I walked into a music industry that was being faced with challenges by music pirating, but despite that, I chose to commit to it.”

Marketing Artists at Warner Records

Peeling back the layers of Warner Records’ iconic culture, Landig described the four processes of marketing success.

Through Warner Records’ inventive ideas and creative risks, collaborative leadership drives the artists’ vision in campaigns. Landig said he ensures that the company’s divisions are in line through product development of music, creatively enhancing the brand’s identity and overseeing the marketing budget while investing time in relationships with artists.

Men in suits
John Chen, Warner Chappell vice president, left, with TJ Landig, Warner Records senior vice president, at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards

The exhilarating responsibility of his career is leading campaigns for versatile artists, from country singer-songwriter Zach Bryan to rapper Mac Miller, rock band Deftones and pop stars Nessa Barrett and Benson Boone. 

“Every artist is different and unique. Our job is to understand what they care about, who their audience is and how to propel their brand,” said Landig.

Branding Bryan to the world was a recent breakout success for Warner Records. Landig felt humbled to contribute to Bryan’s journey. Billboard magazine reported Warner Records’ historic No. 1 Billboard 200 album launch and No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single debut of his song “I Remember Everything” featuring Kacey Musgraves. Landig explained that Warner Records’ role prioritizes protecting Bryan’s relationship with his audience and bringing forth meaningful opportunities to his team. 

“He has had over 20 certified songs and platinum albums over the last year. He is playing at football stadiums all throughout 2024,” said Landig. “We help to support his vision.”

For the late Mac Miller, Landig said he manages posthumous releases in partnership with Miller’s family, estate and the management team.

“We produced his last live performances in Hotel Cafe with a 150-seat room for three nights in a row around his ‘Swimming’ album release,” said Landig. “I feel fortunate to be a part of his evolution, from his high-brow art videos and visuals to physical product offerings. Warner Records will continue to protect and honor his legacy.”

Landig emphasized the importance of innovation in Warner Records’ marketing strategies that keep pushing the envelope. He said the 1988 alternative metal band Deftones was an experimental process.

“I helped orchestrate a deal between Warner Records, Deftones and Marc Jacobs’ ‘Heaven’ fashion campaign, repositioning them into the Gen Z pop culture zeitgeist,” said Landig. “They have trending sounds on TikTok. We help push those without asking the band to engage.” 

Warner Records launched the collaboration with a pop-up shop at the Marc Jacobs boutique in Los Angeles and free live Deftones performances in independent record stores. Covered by cutting-edge GQ and Vogue media publications, Landig said the Marc Jacobs and Deftones partnership was rewarding.

“Our marketing campaigns are met with the highest level of taste and care,” said Landig. “These are quality music products and we have a very intentional approach to how we manage the artists’ careers from the label perspective.”

Reflecting on his stomping grounds at Cal State Fullerton, Landig learned the power of manifestation, mindfulness and investing time into the Career Center’s free resources.  

“Build upon the core value of loving your career,” said Landig. “Embrace your passion. Your genuine happiness and fulfillment will launch you into new heights.”

Written by: Vanessa Siguenza