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In the music industry, you usually can’t have it both ways. You find a musician who gets
what life is like in the studio and in front of the stage lights, but who finds the business
side of things a mystery. Alternatively, you get the industry insider who knows how to
close a deal but not how to hold an instrument. Not so with Cameron Mizell. This Brooklyn
based freelance musician and online musician’s advocate knows how to straddle the divide.
As a musician, Mizell brings his guitar playing, composing and arranging chops to a host
of NYC based outfits. He is most often found working with singer-songwriter Lauren
Zettler as multi-instrumentalist and occasional co-writer, arranger, and producer. The two
worked together on Zettler’s On Your Back Porch and most recently recorded a holiday
album titled Sounds Like Snow under the moniker Be Still. The duo continuously records
and tours together. Additionally, Mizell has recently joined the band Little Grey Girlfriend,
fronted by vocalist Erika Lloyd, with whom Mizell produced a covers album titled Pour A
Little Everything Else. Since recruiting Mizell, the band released a new EP titled Green-
Currently, the centerpiece for Mizell’s musical output is his jazz/funk trio. The group
serves as his creative playground, a place to continually develop his voice as a musician.
Since 2005, Mizell has been accompanied by long time friend and collaborator,
pianist/organist Brad Whiteley, and in 2007 filled the drum chair with the talented Kenneth
Salters. Together, they recorded Mizell’s third album, Tributary.
Before becoming a freelance musician, Mizell had a gig of a different sort – behind a desk
at Verve Records. As head of production at Universal Music Group subsidiary Verve Music
Group, Mizell got a look at a side of the music industry most musicians never get to see.
After starting out as a Digital Production temp, Mizell was soon hired as a full time
employee and eventually promoted to Head of Production. In his three years at Verve,
Mizell learned invaluable information that has helped him as an independent musician.
In 2008, Mizell decided to combine his knowledge of the industry with his understanding of
life as a musician and put it to good use. Together with Dave Hahn, Mizell founded the
website Musician Wages. Musician Wages offers music industry advice specifically geared
towards making a living as a musician. The site has become a fast favorite in the music
community, and Mizell can often be found there writing about everything from promoting
your music on iTunes to tips on home recording.
Mizell’s pace shows no signs of slowing down. In the first half of 2010, he has finished
albums with his trio and Little Grey Girlfriend, laid the groundwork for a new album with
Lauren Zettler, joined a new band as the mandolinist, and continued to expand Musician
Wages. He has also been working as a music industry consultant for small labels and
independent artists. With his business acumen and musical prowess, expect to see much
more of Mizell both on and offstage in the future.