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With a powerhouse voice and a whole lot of soul, Ireland-born and Los Angeles-based RuthAnne found the missing link between gritty nineties R&B a la Lauryn Hill and seventies songwriter storytelling reminiscent of Carole King. The musical journey of artist, songwriter, and performer Ruth-Anne Cunningham has been marked by fearlessness. By the age of seven, she regularly took the mic at karaoke bars, winning free drinks for mom and dad. Moving to Los Angeles at 17, she kicked off her career penning music for other artists. In 2007, she achieved the ASCAP Songwriters “Best Pop Song” Award for writing JoJo’s “Too Little Too Late.” Rooty continued with a string of smashes including Britney Spears’s RIAA platinum certified “Work Bitch,” One Direction’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and “No Control,” and Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha’s “In The Name Of Love” which just went platinum. She also lent her voice to “Love’s Just A Feeling” from Lindsey’ Stirling’s 2016 chart-topping third full-lenght album Brave Enough.
Lindsey Stirling remains fearless enough to always dream big. In four years since the release of her 2012 self-titled debut, the electronic music impresario, classically trained violinist, dancer, and artist quietly and humbly became one of the 21st century’s most innovative stars by clinging to her groundbreaking vision of cinematic violin-driven electronic music. After bowing at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Dance/Electronic Album Chart, holding #1 on the Classical Album Chart for 21 consecutive weeks, and receiving a Billboard Music Award for “Top Dance/Electronic Album,” her sophomore opus Shatter Me would not only garner an RIAA Gold certification, but it would rank as the #2 Dance/Electronic Album and #1 Classical Album on Billboard’s 2015 Year-End charts. Attracting nearly 8 million subscribers and 1.3 billion-plus views on YouTube by 2016, Forbes placed Lindsey at #4 on its yearly YouTube artists list, making her the highest-ranked female. Her headline tours would play to a cumulative audience of over 500,000 people worldwide, and her literary debut The Only Pirate at the Party—co-written with her sister Brook S. Passey—became a New York TimesBestseller.
When it came time to begin work on her third full-length album, Brave Enough [Lindsey Stomp Music, LLC], she took a look at her journey thus far and asked herself an important question…. “I basically wrote Shatter Me about overcoming my anorexia,” she admits. “So, I thought, ‘What’s the next step of the process?’ I realized that breaking free is just the beginning. In order to continue through the journey you have to decide every day not to crawl back into that shell when things get tough. It’s easy to fall into our old habits. You can’t feel true joy, if you numb the bad. Brave Enough is a continuation of the story. It draws on the same contrast of light versus dark, but the flow is very different. It starts in a place of less surety. As the record progresses, it softens and turns more optimistic and hopeful. I’m way closer to the place I’m seeking than when I started this album.”
“I want people to feel like they can be brave enough do the things they want to do,” she leaves off. “Everybody has hopes and dreams. Teach yourself to gain the courage you may not have in the moment. This record is proof you can.”
Ohio-born John Legend is a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter. His work has garnered him ten Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, the BET Award for Best New Artist and the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, among others. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania where he studied English and African-American literature, Legend participated in a wide range of musical activities while in college. During the same period, Legend was introduced to Lauryn Hill, who hired him to play piano on her track “Everything Is Everything,” and shortly thereafter he began to play shows around the Philadelphia area, eventually expanding his audience base to New York, Boston, Atlanta and Washington D.C.
After college, Legend was introduced to then up-and-coming hip-hop artist Kanye West, who quickly signed Legend to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint and hired him to sing vocal hooks on some of his music. This began a stretch of chart-topping hits including Wests “All of the Lights”, Jay-Z’s “Encore” as well as John’s first hit single “Ordinary People” which scored Legend multiple Grammy Awards in 2006. Continuing this momentum John has won several Grammy Awards from his releases “Heaven”, “Green Light” and Wake Up, which won for Best R&B Album of 2010. Legend’s highly acclaimed fourth and most current studio album Love In the Future, features “All of Me,” Legend’s highest selling and charting song to date, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on both Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic charts. Most recently, Legend won his first Academy Award, first Golden Globe Award, a Grammy award, and a Critic’s Choice Award for his song “Glory,” that he wrote and performed with Common, for the film SELMA.
Natasha is a Maryland native and Los Angeles newbie who graduated from Syracuse University in 2015 with a BFA in Art Photography. She first fell in love with the art after receiving a Pentax ME Super film camera from her mother for her 14th birthday. This love grew after she spent the summers of 2009 and 2010 in Macedonia and Morocco, respectively, working as an English language instructor for the non-profit Camp Excell.
Part of the Internet generation, she was exposed to social media for personal use at a young age and was a self-proclaimed “Myspace master” by the age of 13. Today, she combines her innate creative and social media intuition as the digital coordinator for Friends at Work.
Her previous social media work includes the Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals), Special Olympics World Games, and the entertainment advertising company Trailer Park.
Beyond her passion for photography and social media, she loves dogs, traveling, fighting the patriarchy and buffalo wings from Wings Over Syracuse.
Lee is an award-winning filmmaker and dad joke enthusiast hailing from Boston, MA. An honors graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he fell in love with LA during a summer internship at The Walt Disney Studios. Prior to joining the Friends At Work team, Lee served as Head of Digital Content for Atom Factory, where he built the original content department from the ground up. He is a big proponent of impromptu guitar jam sessions.
Ashaya Robinson is the associate creative manager at Friends at Work. Prior to joining the team at Friends at Work, Ashaya worked in both music management as well as film production. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ashaya is a lover of the arts and is passionate about helping artists share their talent with the world. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, catching a movie and spending time with family and friends.
Los Angeles native John Warren is an entertainment industry “lifer” who spent most of his youth participating in local theater as either a performer or member of the stage crew, before landing his first professional paid job as part of a Broadway play in New York City. When John wasn’t working in theater he was hanging out with crewmembers, soaking up as much knowledge as he could. His interest in entertainment soon expanded from theater to live music when he became a “Roadie” on tour with legendary artists such as The Grateful Dead, Crosby Stills and Nash, John Fogerty, The Beach Boys and many others. He eventually rose to the level of Tour Manager and Tour Accountant for artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Brian Wilson, The Lumineers and Lady Gaga. Currently John serves as Tour Manager/Tour Accountant for John Legend as well as Head of the Touring Department at Friends At Work.
From the moment he picked up an electric bass at age 14, Jeremy Gruber has had a passion for music and the arts. After graduating with a degree in Music Industry from USC, Jeremy started his career in artist management and marketing at Sabre Entertainment where he helped manage the corporate career of legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood. Jeremy went on to run the Digital Department for 10th Street Entertainment and Eleven Seven Music while working with marquis rock bands Mötley Crüe, JET and Blondie. In 2010 he joined leading independent label Concord Music Group, helping establish the direct to consumer team and later building the Digital Marketing & Strategy Department, working with legendary artists such as Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Gregg Allman and James Taylor, before becoming Head of Digital Marketing & Strategy with Friends At Work. Jeremy has spent over a decade working with artists at all levels while growing their businesses through a combination of traditional marketing and cutting-edge technology.
Detroit native and Friends At Work Partner, Adina Friedman began her career as a college marketing rep for Atlantic Records before her hard work and resourcefulness quickly propelled her to a full-time position at Warner Music’s New York office. There she rapidly rose through the ranks, eventually landing in Warner’s Direct to Consumer department managing the online presence of industry heavyweights such as Paramore, Bruno Mars, and Shinedown. After moving to indie start-up tinyOGRE, Adina caught the attention of John Legend’s management, who brought her to Los Angeles to become a key member of their team. Her career then took her to Troy Carter’s entertainment company Atom Factory where she began working with Lindsey Stirling and helped spearhead the artist’s growth and success. Based on Adina’s impressive history, it’s no surprise to anyone that she has already made a positive impact here at Friends At Work.
Rob English is a Cultural Change Specialist. Starting his career in traditional advertising he learned the mechanics of Brand Architecture and audience development while working on Fortune 500 brands such as Volkswagen, Vitamin Water and Reebok. Specializing in brand development, he has a proven passion for breakthrough creative that can penetrate elusive and rapidly evolving targets such as youth, tech and fashion. Rob led the creative vision of Vitamin Water’s first national advertising campaign with 50 Cent. Following this he was an agency creative lead in the Lifestyle division of Reebok which included women’s fashion and their legendary music programs. Through this work Rob’s brand and culture talents were utilized to launch the Ice Cream Skate Shoe brand with Pharrell Williams, Scarlett Hearts with Scarlett Johansson, S. Carter with Jay Z and the G-Unit brand with 50 Cent. This path soon led Rob to leave the traditional advertising space and begin working directly with artists and cultural figures. Establishing a more nimble approach to branding and artist campaign development he creative directed marketing campaigns for Lady Gaga through her retail experience “Gaga’s Workshop” with Barney’s New York and her global perfume launch called Lady Gaga FAME. Rob went on to creative direct projects for many other artists and initiatives over the last few years including John Legend, John Mayer and Meghan Traynor. Rob has been balancing Lifestyle with his passion for Social Impact through his work with John Legend on LRNG which is the evolution of learning and #FREEAMERICA, Legend’s campaign for criminal justice reform. In his “spare time” Rob is a member of the LA based audio/ visual project DE SIGNER where he has been able to collaborate on music, event and experiential projects with several high fashion brands including Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and Armani.
CFO and COO Jonas Stiklorius knows a great idea when he sees one. So when his sister, Ty, asked him to join her in launching Friends At Work, Jonas immediately left a successful 15-year career in corporate management and never looked back. Previously, Jonas served as Managing Director in the Corporate Restructuring Practice at Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) before moving to Lehman Brother’s where he played a key role as Lehman’s COO of Real Estate. While at Lehman, Jonas helped build and manage a team of over 75 real estate professionals responsible for assets across a broad range of property types and in various stages of development. Jonas’s background in restructuring and consulting affords him a wide range of management and financial experience in a variety of industries. His clients beyond Lehman have included companies in real estate development and homebuilding, consumer products, textiles, technology and aircraft manufacturing.
Friends At Work Founder and CEO Ty Stiklorius has spent her career helping creative vision thrive. Ty is the longtime manager of luminary recording artist and philanthropist John Legend. Ty’s work with John Legend began in 2006 with the formation of JL Ventures (JLV), which focuses on brand strategy, technology, business development and social impact that builds on and enhances John Legend’s unique multidisciplinary talents and desire for positive change. This partnership has lead to efforts such as The Show Me Campaign, which seeks to give every child access to quality education, and the #FREEAMERICA campaign, a movement to change the United States’ criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration. In 2012, Ty formed a partnership with Troy Carter and served as Co-President of Atom Factory, a diversified entertainment company and later launched Friends At Work. Ty also serves as one of the principals in Get Lifted Film Co., a film and television production company based in Los Angeles.