Denzyl Feigelson is a renowned music entrepreneur and co-founder of successful companies AWAL and Platoon.
He is currently CEO of creative services firm Platoon, which he launched in 2016.
Denzyl Feigelson: Career beginnings
Denzyl Feigelson began his career as a talent manager, working with a string of artists in his native South Africa. After helping Paul Simon alchemise his Graceland album into a classic, Feigelson moved his business first to New York and then settling in Los Angeles, following an invite to work on A&M’s Windham Hill imprint under Herb Alpert.
In the early nineties, Feigelson joined Shep Gordon at LA-based management outfit Alive Enterprises, looking after the likes of Johnny Clegg, the Gypsy Kings and Kenny Loggins, helping the latter release an album of children’s songs outside of his Sony contract.
Feigelson left the music industry to semi-retire in Hawaii, where he started a direct mail flower business, shipping rare local varieties to the US via FedEx – all purchased via a rudimentary online ordering system.
Denzyl Feigelson: The Apple era onwards
Denzyl Feigelson’s online success with flowers led to his return to the music business in 1997 as he launched Artists Without A Label (AWAL), one of the world’s first direct-to-fan record websites, and moved back to California.
AWAL’s success caught the eye of Steve Jobs and Apple, and he joined the company in 2002, working on the US launch of iTunes in 2003 and moving to the UK to work on its international expansion in 2004. Feigelson continued to work with Apple on its live music events, and more recently Apple Music.
Feigelson sold AWAL to Kobalt for a seven-figure sum in 2012.
In 2016, Feigelson launched his next company with the former Co-Founder and CEO of Lovefilm, Saul Klein: Platoon. The London-based creative services firm has worked with the likes of Billie Eilish before she signed to Interscope in 2017, as well as Stefflon Don and Jorja Smith. Platoon was acquired by longtime Feigelson fans Apple in 2018.
Denzyl Feigelson: Professional Philosophy
Across his career, Denzyl Feigelson has worked to help artists achieve global success on their own terms.
Speaking to MBW in 2020, Feigelson said: “We don’t tie artists down to owning their rights, we never have; I never have. I have a long history of doing this, and it’s just in my nature to try and help an artist stay creatively and economically free. Because once you help an artist build a robust business, a lot starts to happen for them.”
“I’ve seen so many artists, working under pressure, lose their light over the decades. They have all this energy and this magic. But the process can be hard on their innate creative process.”
Denzyl Feigelson on platoon supporting artists
Music Business Worldwide