News - Putting It All On The Line

Putting It All On The Line

Seth EnglandSeth England ’08 recalls watching local media celebrity Julie Henricks report weather and news in the Wabash Valley area where he grew up in Marshall, Illinois, so it was a surreal experience when Henricks interviewed him in June at the 2014 CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Seth grew nostalgic when Henricks regarded him as something of a hometown hero.

“You have gone far,” Henricks said, “You are the example for every kid out there who is going to watch this show of what you can do with your dreams.” Click here to watch the video.

It didn’t take long for Seth to find success in Nashville’s music industry since moving there in 2008 to pursue his dream. Just six years after graduating from Greenville College with a degree in music business, Seth works as the creative director at Big Loud Shirt Industries, listed by Billboard Magazine among the nation’s top ten publishing companies. He also is a founding partner of the Big Loud Mountain record label, which launched one of country music’s hottest bands, Florida Georgia Line.

Seth now manages a portfolio of artists and songwriters, including Florida Georgia Line. The band rose to meteoric fame after its 2012 breakout hit “Cruise” became country music’s best-selling digital single of all time and an impressive crossover hit. The six-time platinum song also became the longest-running No. 1 single in the 70-year history of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

Seth England with Florida Georgia LineA first-time nominee, Florida Georgia Line swept up during last winter’s 2013 award show season, winning top awards from the ACA, AMA, ACM, CMA and CMT Music Awards, including the CMA Artist of the Year Award.

Behind the scenes, Seth has supported the band through it all. He says he has met “some of the most Christ-like people in secular music.” The band has a staff of more than 30 people who travel with its members on tour. The band formed a prayer group, and Seth has seen people’s lives transformed.

For Seth, the opportunity is a “God-thing.” He says, “I wanted to chase something I was passionate about.”

As a student, Seth chased his dream by promoting shows on Greenville College’s campus, working internships in Nashville during summer and winter breaks, volunteering all four years for AgapeFest and directing the festival during his senior year. He networked relentlessly in Nashville and, during his last semester of college, landed a job working remotely for Big Loud Shirt’s founder Craig Wiseman. When Seth graduated, Wiseman hired him full-time. 

Seth reflects on his Greenville College experience, calling it “transformational.” He recalls finding inspiration in a quote from Professor Jack Chism to take risks and chase his dreams. Seth has adopted the catchphrase “can’t afford not to” as something of a motto. If you follow Seth on social media, you’ll see it appears often as a hash tag on his posts.

In college, Seth also played football for the Greenville College Panthers. Greenville College will host special reunion events for former football players and music business students during its annual Homecoming celebrations, the weekend of October 23-26. Click here for more information.

Update: In September 2014, Seth England was named to Billboard's 40 Under 40: Music’s Young Power Players list.

This story was published on September 11, 2014

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