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Freshman CEO rises in music industry

Many dream about becoming the CEO of their own company after college, but Christopher Yangello, a freshman business undecided major, already did so before he even graduated high school.

In 2018, Yangello jump-started his career at the Made in America music festival when he snuck his camera in to take pictures of the artists. Yangello said he met a man there who saw him taking pictures and offered to connect him with his friend who worked for Sony Music. From there, Yangello signed a deal with Sony’s RED MUSIC from October 2018 to November 2019.

During his time with Sony, Yangello said he did media coverage and promotions for live events through Instagram and covered artists including Travis Scott, Trippie Redd, DaBaby and others.

“My experience with artists is always mixed,” Yangello said. “There are some artists, like 6LACK, who are super genuine, nice and down to earth; Lil Skies and Trippie Redd are the same way. But there are other artists who have a bit of an ego about them, so it’s sort of a hit or miss.”

After his time at Sony, Yangello said he focused solely on his company, Forever*. Yangello said that Forever* started in 2017 as a clothing brand, but he started to steer his company more toward the music industry in 2018. 

Along with being a clothing brand, the company’s work includes artist management and music distribution and puts on music festivals and smaller concerts.

Just a few weeks into his first semester, Yangello has already collaborated with several students. 

After Devon Brooks, a sophomore business management major, reached out to Yangello via Instagram, the two worked together to release Brooks’ music on streaming platforms.

“With his company Forever*, he [Yangello] helped me distribute my music with DistroKid,” Brooks said. “I released my first song, ‘Bag,’ last month. With help from Chris, we got the song on popular Spotify playlists, which contributed to the 12,000+ streams that it is at now.”

Yangello also worked with Daniel Baluch, a junior marketing major. Baluch, a campus tour guide, said he met Yangello when he came to Seton Hall as a prospective student for a tour. Baluch said Yangello sent him a message on Instagram after the tour.

“He asked me some questions on student perspective and campus life, and we naturally brought up the whole music thing, content and all that stuff,” Baluch said. “We said we would be down to work with each other.”

Baluch said the two recently worked together to create a music video.

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Yangello also used his experience with clothing brands to help senior basketball player Sandro Mamukelashvili design one of his own.

“I’m actually the designer behind the shirt,” Yangello said. “He is really passionate about it and wasn’t expecting it to sell so well, but we pushed it out on Myles Cale’s, Mamu’s and my Instagram, so the sales shot up pretty quickly.”

Yangello said he wants to continue with Forever* after college and is trying to figure out the major that heavily relates to what he is doing now, as he is trying to make Forever* his main occupation.

Brooke McCormick can be reached at brooke.mccormick@student.shu.edu.

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