Perez takes music industry track to local stage with Friends of Fine Arts
By Catherine Harper
In the music business, striking a chord between who you know and industry experience is ideal. For Chris Perez, Texas State graduate and president and CEO of Captiva Music Group, achieving that ideal harmony means sharing the music with Texas State. He’ll use his international experience and industry connections to play a part behind-the-scenes as a board member for Texas State’s Friends of Fine Arts, a support organization for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.
Perez, a first-generation college student, graduated from Texas State in 1989 with a degree in anthropology and international studies. He started his career as a grant and community development specialist in municipal government, working for several years around the state in Austin, Harlingen and San Marcos. However, with determination and some spontaneity his path veered in pursuit of his top passion: music.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of music. I come from a family that is very musical and that has always been a very important thing for me,” Perez says.
In 1995, destiny coincided with Perez’s ambitious career goals when he decided to form a band with friends and booked several shows at Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. Landing that first gig led Perez to a career in music promotion. By 1999, Perez had started his own label, Captiva Music Group, promoting acts in countries around the world including the U.K., Germany, Australia, Scotland and Columbia. For Perez, this was a lifelong dream realized.
“I’ve had to work my way up in my career, and it’s been a bumpy road,” Perez says. “I’m definitely a creative, go-getting person and I need to get my hands dirty in order to learn something. Making some mistakes in my career has helped me to learn the industry and make broad connections.”
Since starting his own label, Perez’s opportunities have expanded throughout the music industry. He currently serves as a voting member of the Grammys and Latin Grammys, and manages Captiva Music Group while co-managing educational film company Divi Tree Media. With Captiva, Perez has created three different projects within the label including Captiva Records, Captive Audience Management and Captiva Dominion Publishing. With DiviTree Media, Perez is producing educational films for various issues.
For students entertaining aspirations of working in the music industry, Perez says his personal experience shows that success boils down to determination.
“You will encounter way more ‘nos’ than ‘yeses’, but dream big and don’t give up,” Perez says. “There will always be roadblocks. I started my career in San Marcos, which is proof that you don’t have to be centered in New York or L.A. if you want to get started in the music industry. You need to work hard and believe in what you are doing to make it.”
In August, Perez made a move to support students with professional ambitions in the arts by becoming a board member of Texas State’s Friends of Fine Arts and Communication. For the 2011-12 arts season, Perez says the incorporation of digital outreach will lead to a broader integration of the community with the local arts scene, where his expertise can come into play.
“A lot of the people I work with are from the ‘click’ generation, where you just click and receive endless information and resources at your fingertips,” Perez says. “Musicians, filmmakers and other content developers can bypass new barriers with the digital forefront. I hope to maximize the use of these tools in future endeavors with DiviTree, Captiva and Friends of Fine Arts and Communication.”
This year, the organization is breaking ground with expanded digital outreach, support for a new Performing Arts Center on campus and a visionary new dean, Timothy Mottet. According to Perez, this is a great opportunity to get more of the Texas State community involved with Friends of Fine Arts and Communication.
“I invite alumni and current students alike to learn more about the Friends of Fine Arts and Communication and consider becoming a member,” Perez says. Aside from including access to all the events and performances offered throughout the year, membership fees fund scholarships, faculty grants, diverse programming and other educational opportunities in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.
“I’m very excited for the future of the university, with all of its diversity and growth,” Perez adds. “I’m planning on working with the Texas State community and Friends of Fine Arts for a long time.”
To learn more about Texas State’s College of Fine Arts and Communication or to join Friends of Fine Arts and Communication, visit finearts.txstate.edu.
Updated 9/28/11: DiviTree Media produces educational video libraries that assess complex issues in a simple video format including chronic diseases, cardiac, pediatrics and COPD. Their latest production can be found here.