Please respect that the discussions in this lecture series are off-the-record, with a no social media policy.
Inarguably one of the top managers of music producers in the game, Daniel “Birdman Zoe” Desir runs business for taste-maker label/brand Internet Money and manages producer talent through his own Timeless Music Entertainment. Internet Money includes founder Taz Taylor, Nick Mira (Juice WRLD, Lil Tecca) and roughly 40 more producers defining the sounds of the hits you love. In this week’s Rezak lecture, we’ll talk to Desir about his come up with the Gucci Mane label 1017 Brick Squad (Waka Flocka); how and why he saw—and seized—opportunity with the massive 2016 hit “Desiigner” by Panda; and the ins and outs of steering Internet Money, the collective behind some of the biggest rap and R&B hits of the past few years, including Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams,” Lil Tecca’s “Ransom” and Internet Money’s own “Lemonade.” All this and truly so much more, Wednesday night.
Daniel “Birdman Zoe” Desir – Manager, Internet Money, and CEO, Timeless Music Entertainment
“I don’t chase money; I chase opportunity” is the mantra of music manager Daniel “Bird” Desir. “Money runs out, but opportunity can put you in a much better position to build your empire.” The 34-year-old Jamaica Queens native runs the business arm of Internet Money Records. He also founded Timeless Music Entertainment in 2014, a talent firm and label. He was named one of Billboard’s 2021 R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players.
Born in a Haitian-American household, Bird lost his father at age 1. He felt the pressures to be something. “In a Caribbean household, it’s not about sports or entertainment. It’s ‘go to school, become a doctor, lawyer or teacher.’” Bird, a basketball star, graduated from John Jay College with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He declined overseas playing opportunities to be a presence in his son’s life. However, he quickly found that life in a suit was not for him despite great pay and stability. In three months at Chase Corporate Security, Bird quit his job. He built a platform for emerging entertainers, D&D Productions, and went to work for himself.
With that enterprise, Bird met Brick Squad artist Frenchie in 2011. The two formed a tight bond, and Bird traveled to shows with the rapper heard on Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka albums. New to the industry, he offered help to an artist who needed it. Starting as road manager, Bird eventually took on the career of Frenchie and soon after, Mike WiLL affiliate, Yung Joey (aka F1Jo). Bird soaked up all the facets of the business while applying his fierce work ethic and street smarts. In 2015, he co-discovered a group, 821, whose song, “Lobby,” became a hit on WorldStarHipHop, radio and SoundCloud. 50 Cent invited them to play his Power premiere.
During this time, Bird pivoted. Early in the song’s climb, he sought to find who produced Desiigner’s “Panda.” Bird eventually linked with Menace, a UK beat-maker who needed representation. Immediately, Bird noticed that Menace had unknowingly lost his publishing. Using legal connections, Bird got results. Menace received his stake in the hit. “I know I’m not the best manager in the world, but I’m the hardest working,” he says, priding himself on punctuality, detail and around-the-clock availability. From Menace, Bird built a roster of talented producers. He connected with the biggest, Taz Taylor. Networking on social media, Bird believed he could help the Jacksonville-based Internet Money founder. “They were a group of kids selling beats, kits and tutorials online,” he recalls. While Taz was already drawing mid-six-figures with his business, Bird envisioned top placements, publishing deals and an Internet Money label.
Since Bird joined the fold in late 2016, he helped negotiate Taz’s first major beat placement with Desiigner and Gucci’s “Liife.” In 2019, Bird worked to secure a joint venture between Taz, Internet Money and Elliot Grainge’s 10K Projects. Internet Money’s roster of producers including Taz, Nick Mira, JRHITMAKER and others, have swarmed the charts with numerous platinum and gold hits; Bird represents them all. He has strategically secured publishing deals across the landscape of labels and A-list executives. This diversified vision has empowered a new class of producers and made these clients wealthy. With dedication and unstoppable persistence, the tireless “Big Business Bird” is spotting the opportunities and swooping in to make Timeless Music Entertainment a household name for the ages.
This event was published on October 7, 2021.