Dante Ross interviewing Special Guest16:45 - 17:45 · Thursday 13th September 2018
Dante Ross (born October 11, 1967 in San Francisco, California) is an American music industry executive, A&R representative, and producer. He was named one of the top-25 greatest A&R representatives in hip hop  by Complex magazine. Ross started his A&R career at Tommy Boy records, at which he signed and handled the careers of such artists as De La Soul, Queen Latifah, and Digital Underground. Ross was then hired by Elektra Records and was the first person ever hired by a major label to be specifically a hip hop A and R man. Ross became the architect of Elektra Records hip hop roster where he signed acts Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, Pete Rock & C.L Smooth, KMD, Leaders of the New School, Busta Rhymes and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. He is currently a SVP of A&R ADA Music the independent distribution company owned by the Warner Music Group. He also serves as SVP of A and R for the newly re-activated Asylum records.
Dante Ross was born in San Francisco to political activist parents John Ross and mother Norma. He moved to New York City in 1967. Ross was raised by his mother raised in New York’s Lower East Side, then a predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood, where his mother was a nursery school teacher. Ross grew up skateboarding, writing graffiti and going to see punk rock shows with teenage friends who would eventually become members of The Beastie Boys, The Cro-Mags and Luscious Jackson. He hung out at Manhattan nightclubs such as The Mudd Clubb, Danceteria and The Roxy nightly while still in High School in the early 80’s. He frequently went to see live music at CBGB’s where he often saw The Bad Brains who befriended a young Ross. Hanging out in NYC’s Lower East Side during the early 80’s Ross became friends with many notable punk and hardcore groups as well as various future creatives. He credits this along with watching his friends The Beastie Boys success with him wanting to work in the music business.
Ross entered the music business when he was hired as a messenger at the behest of his friends The Beastie Boys and their road manager Sean Carasov at the newly formed Def Jam Recordings. Ross was mentored by Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons for several years before going to work as an A&R person at Tommy Boy records. This was followed by an 8-year stint at Elektra where he was considered one of the architects of the golden age of Hip Hop. Ross has been in his career an office messenger, a tour manager, an A&R person, a record producer, a notable songwriter and artist manager.
As a producer, Ross was a third of the Stimulated Dummies production team with partners John Gamble and Geeby Dajani. The production team worked with artists such as Brand Nubian, Grand Puba, Leaders Of The New School, 3rd Bass, and Del Tha Funky Homosapien. Gamble and Ross later went on to produce sans Dajani Santana, Everlast (working on both the multi platinum album Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and the gold follow-up Eat at Whitey’s), and many others. Ross earned a Grammy in 1998 for his work on Carlos Santana’s Supernatural. Ross’ production work has also appeared on Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack, on which he produced and co-wrote two songs that featured Macy Gray and Young Zee. Ross has also been enlisted for his remixing skills, which have been featured on songs by Korn as well as a plethora of other artists in genres as diverse as Nu metal, Dancehall, Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop. Mr. Ross is credited with signing Macklemore, Lil Dicky, Made in TYO and Ugly God while at ADA all who have gone on to earn Gold or Platinum status.