Interview with Trevor

Introducing Trevor Kinsey, Innovation Manager at Utopia Music, the leading growth partner for the music industry. In this interview, Trevor shares insights into Utopia’s mission to revolutionize the music industry, his unconventional career journey, and the excitement of solving challenges at the intersection of product, tech, and strategy.




Keziah Meeuw


Utopia Music

Can you introduce yourself?

Sure. My name is Trevor Kinsey. I’m the Innovation Manager at Utopia Music, where we are the number one growth partner for the music industry.

What does Utopia Music stand for exactly?

That’s a great question! So really, if we want to talk about Utopia, we kind of have to take it back to kind of the roots of the music industry and how the industry has kind of stalled out as far as innovation goes since about the 1920s. Licensing is a mess. Things could be a lot better. And because of that, Utopia represents kind of a shift in how the industry works and presents them with an option for growth. We did it in a few different ways, everything from enhancing finances, but really what it comes down to is ensuring that every single artist is fairly paid for every single play across the world.

Can you tell me more about your career/background?

So I come from kind of an unorthodox sort of background, so I started my professional career probably while I was in the Navy, but before then I was essentially going to school for game design, then I realized that was a kind of a sad career path if being honest. They’re underpaid and overworked, and very little of them had any sort of creative input to the things that they’re doing. So, you know, after joining the Navy, I did both intelligence and communications for a while. I started my first music business while I was in the Navy. Stumbled into the music industry by helping a band in Japan and ended up working with 11 artists across three countries. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a lot of fun. And some of them moved on to bigger and better things, but kind of got the entrepreneurial pinch after that and was involved in everything from creating my own defense companies to even doing things with HR and and everything in between. I later ventured into entrepreneurship, ran accelerator programs in the Bay Area, and got involved in consulting, and assisting businesses in modernization. I even took a break from Silicon Valley to work as a wind turbine technician for a year. I moved to Switzerland and I ended up getting a job at Utopia, where now I’m having probably the best career that I’ve ever had in my life, working not only out of Europe but in the music industry as a whole, not doing innovation and things like that.

What do you like most about your profession?

Innovation itself is kinda something I’ve more or less been involved with my entire career. Whether it’s’ been called innovation or something else, right? So I love having difficult challenges that have to be solved and then figuring out a way to actually do that rather than just saying: ‘OK, it’d be really cool if we could solve this and this is maybe how we do it and then just leave it at that’. Like, for me, that is never enough. So with Utopia, I have a real opportunity to not only bring those ideas to life but then implement them into the broader business plans and things like that. So if you really were to define kind of my special place at Utopia and within innovation, it’s kind of at the intersection of product, tech, and then strategy as well. To have all those three things is kind of unique and it’s kind of put me in a wonderful position to be able to actually do things, which is great. I think that there’s like a difference between doing regular innovation to where you essentially become a think tank and if any ideas get traction, great, but if not, then no big deal to where our approach is very much here. We have to have this grand idea that solves this challenge, but we also have to have it be functional and manifest itself in the real world. So crossing that boundary is probably the most exciting part of my job. 

What is your favorite music genre?

Oh man, I’m all over the place. Right now, I’m like really a strong Lo Fi kick, just writing all sorts of cottons and documents. Having something to zone out to is great, but I’m also been on a Childish Gambino kick as well. I like everything from Led Zeppelin to even Kayne occasionally. For me, it’s not really about a genre, for me the whole philosophy is that music is kinda the soundtrack of our lives. Whatever is jiving with whatever is going on in my life at the moment.