Each student that studies at Samford University has their own dreams and ambitions for their future. After graduation, those students will work to make those dreams a reality. Stephen DeFrancesco, recent graduate of Samford is working to make his dreams come true by starting his own talent management company.
DeFrancesco began his exploration into the music industry as the band manager and marketing analyst for the band, Steve and the Roommates.
“That was a band that I was in at Samford with two of my friends. We started playing music together. We actually opened for Harry’s concert my freshman year,” DeFrancesco recalled. “That was my first step into band management, but it was hard to do because I felt like I was marketing myself.”
DeFrancesco said his experiences at Samford helped direct his path forward.
“Without my experiences at Samford I wouldn’t be doing anything I’m doing right now,” DeFrancesco said. “So many opportunities became available where people trusted me to make decisions.”
One of those opportunities was serving on the Student Activities Council as Director of Musical Entertainment.
“Through SAC, I was able to see I could use the communications route of JMC,” DeFrancesco explained.
DeFranceso encountered difficulties entering the music industry when the pandemic resulted in a hiring freeze.
“My dream job is to be a music agent one day and do artist management,” DeFrancesco said. “It’s a scary time to think about entering the music industry.”
But DeFrancesco did not give up hope. He reached out to every artist manager he worked with. Many of the managers he spoke with were let go from jobs themselves or were also trying to find work. Several were starting their own companies. This inspired DeFrancesco to create Lakeshore Talent Management in addition to working a full time job as a leasing consultant.
So far, Lakeshore Talent Management has two artists: Andrew Morris and Taylor Wilson. A full-time worship leader and Samford alumnus, Morris was formerly roommates with DeFrancesco.
“He’s one of the most talented worship leaders I know,” DeFrancesco said. “He brings a lot to the table when it comes to musicality and heart to why we should worship.”
Morris recently had his music distributed to about twelve hundred radio stations.
Wilson is a current Samford student, pursuing her studies full time while also writing and performing music.
“I remember the first time I heard Taylor perform,” DeFrancesco recalled. “I was blown away by her performance.”
Having joined Lakeshore Talent Management with her songs already on Spotify, Wilson shows incredible promise.
“She’s going to make it big one day,” DeFrancesco said.
DeFranceso said the best part of his job is being able to connect Wilson and Morris with people and opportunities, but he also makes music himself. Recently, DeFrancesco released his song “In the End,” which is available on Spotify.
Not even a pandemic is stopping this Samford graduate from pursuing his dreams. He parted with these words of advice for current Samford students.
“Don’t be afraid to take chances especially when people see potential in you,” DeFrancesco said.