TORONTO - City native and 2004 city high school graduate Jimmy Cich said he'd never dreamed he would be attending his first Grammy Awards ceremony at 24.
But Cich, founder of Madiwood Entertainment, a company specializing in music marketing, online artist/brand development and new media management, did just that Feb. 13 when he attended the awards ceremony at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with Disney-affiliated and 17-year-old singer Tiffany Giardina, one of his clients.
While there Cich had the opportunity to hang out with other artists, such as the Jonas Brothers, while also watching the show of a lifetime featuring performances by industry heavyweights, he said.
Jimmy Cich, front, and Chad Daugherty, both of Toronto, are optimistic about Madiwood Entertainment, a company specializing in music marketing, online artist/brand development and new media management. — Mark J. Miller
"I attended with Tiffany Giardina and two other members of her management team," said Cich. "I always tell people, I'll never see a better concert than I did that night - Eminem, Dr. Dre, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, John Mayer, Usher and more. I'm very proud to say that I'm 24 years old and got to attend my first Grammy Awards. I'm thankful for everyone who's supported me throughout the way. I was meeting people, talking to them, and you don't realize that they're nominated as a songwriter, producer or composer. It was a very humbling experience."
After graduating from Toronto High School, Cich attended Five Towns College in Long Island, N.Y., graduating with a business management degree with a focus on the music industry. Working first as an intern for Atlantic Records marketing department, he landed a position as a promotion assistant at Radio Disney 1560 in New York City. Cich also served as new media manager for 785 Records, and his duties included online promotions for tours and artists such as Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers and Aretha Franklin. Cich also is on Giardina's management team, who has several hits to her name, including "I'm Not Crazy" and "No Average Angel."
"She just finished with Disney," said Cich, adding she's a client with Madiwood. "We deal with artists when they need an online presence."
Cich said he spent two months while in Los Angeles making contacts and hanging out with artists such as the Jonas Brothers.
Cich said Madiwood's job typically includes putting together packages for graphics, photos and music consulting for online music sites, such as Reverbnation,com, Myspace.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com, iTunes and establishing a Youtube.com channel.
"I got into this by spending late nights on Myspace," said Cich, adding he would be checking out new bands on the social network. "I never thought staying up late at night on Myspace would pay off."
Pittsburgh resident Chad Daugherty, who graduated from Toronto High School the same year as Cich and is a good friend, also has a role in Madiwood.
"I do a lot of consulting with certain artists," said Daugherty, adding he does a lot of the background work. "It's good to have an eye and an ear listening to (upcoming) artists. We're always looking for new artists to promote."
Daugherty said his job includes trolling the Internet looking for potential clients while doing "any cleaning up" for current artists on Madiwood's roster.
"It's something we both enjoy doing," he said, adding the company works with established to independent artists - even radio personalities and disc jockeys.
"We also set up merchandising stores for artists as well," said Cich, adding his vision for Madiwood is to be a "one-stop shop" for any online services. "One of our clients is C.J. Baran, a singer-songwriter. He started as a singer and now is in producer mode. Our business is for anyone who wants to become 'legit' online. I went to school for the music business, but there are things you can't learn unless you do it."
Both said the future includes making more connections and adding more clients.