Noah Rakoski’s love affair with music began as a 3-year-old clanging pots and pans. By about age 13, he knew he wanted to be a record producer. And after stints as a SUNY Oneonta Funk Band saxophonist, talent manager, marketer and entrepreneur, that’s exactly what he became.
Rakoski is currently the Label Relations Manager for YouTube Music at Google. In his previous role at Evolve Media & Music Group, Rakoski led digital and technology efforts for Grammy and Platinum award-winning producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins’ multiple companies in partnership with Capitol Records.
He said every class he took as a music industry major at SUNY Oneonta gave him skills he has used in the real world. “The second I left college I was using marketing communications, I was using contract negotiations, legal issues, I was using music theory--because I had to talk to songwriters and producers, and if you didn’t know what they were talking about, you were out of the studio.”
Rakowski’s career started with a Jive Records internship that turned into a full-time job in artist management. He then began to develop pop and urban acts, discovering a passion for creating start-up companies focused on innovative technology and marketing.
In 2012, he and his business partner set out on a new venture that focused on talent management and monetization for online artists and content creators. Their growing firm quickly caught the attention of major networks, and they closed a merger and acquisition agreement with Maker Studios, where they became executives and shareholders. In 2014, Maker Studios’ was sold to The Walt Disney Company for $500 million.
More than a decade after graduating from SUNY Oneonta, Rakoski considers himself “happily successful. Success is an ever-evolving and somewhat unattainable goal. It’s more important to be happy. If you’re happy doing what you want to do, then you can say you’re successful.”