Today’s guest on #MWL is Mark O’Shea. We discuss business ventures like Noise New Media, overcoming personal obstacles, philanthropy, and music.

Mark’s new single came out July 10th, and you can watch the video here.


Where to watch live:

Get The Full Episode Transcription


what's up happy Monday

hope y'all doing okay back with another

episode of Marcus Whitney live and

excited for this one this is a a good

friend of mine that I have to thank my

wife for introducing me to this guy is a

creative inspiration of mine

professional musician from the land down

under and he also is a is a sort of a

wunderkind in that he owns and operates

a fantastic marketing agency that has

pivoted several times and evolved really

really well with the times which I

that's just a characteristic and a trait

that I love in people has real estate

and just has the most lovely family on

earth and so super excited to have him

on the show today what's up my man markx

O’ shea  mark what's good man what's up


I'm good man I'm good I'm good good 


have you on the show today did you have

a good weekend let's start there


 I did I

did yeah we did a lot of music work late

last week and then on Saturday we cut a

lot of trees that for the back of the

back you know so she's just so

landscaping stuff so much so that we had

to ask out very kind neighbors if they

wouldn't mind us dumping a bunch of it

in front of their house as well to sort

of you know offset the impact when the

guy comes to pick it up


 nice nice nice

yeah I was doing a bunch of work around

the house as well and I I have to ask

because like we had like the crazy storm

that came through and this weekend just

hit me sort of like a ton of bricks kind

of coming down off of the launch of my

book which happened the week prior but

you just had the launch of a brand-new

single right launches launches

everywhere yeah exactly so so you know I

was just sort of wondering what was it

like you know the weekend after

launching a single now this is not brand

new for you I you know just launched my

first book but you've been how long have

you been a professional musician


oh goodness I think I signed my first

record deal when I was 17 so I'm 40 now

Wow Wow a little while yeah yeah yeah so


you've released many many many many

singles but I'm just wondering like

what's it like the weekend after you

know releasing a you know a brand new

single well this is all very different

of course because you know normally

you'd be doing maybe TV shows or you

know certainly in-store well no there's

no in stores anymore buds you know you'd

be at about performing and doing you

know showcasing things maybe going some

radio stations and doing all that but

not anymore

currently yes so it was been a little

bit different but there was a lot of

buildup of question last week and what

of a lot of things to do I'm very

fortunate that CMT premiered the video

for us which was great that was on

Friday and we were jumping around the

bedroom watching it on CMT music and all

that so it's very fun oh it was great

and then Saturday we kind of just

completely debriefed and like I said did

some yard work just to get out of that

space for a minute school can be you

know like with anything man if you spend

too much time online you just go inside

totally yeah I mean and I I don't know

if this is hit you yet but man when I

sort of got at the end of last week the

number of podcasts I had done to support

the book launch you're everywhere dude I

just feel like I'm glued to zoom like I

cannot separate from bazoom you know

what I mean so yeah I definitely feel

you but man let's let's let's there's so

many things I want to talk about with

you I think maybe first let's just get

some background on on the O'Shea's as a

music act originally from from Australia

and you know your journey to Nashville

let's just let's cover that well you

know we would be here all day if we win

it in too much detail but but the crux

of it is Jay my wife is her name is Jay

and hopefully she's watching somewhere

there she is

is a singer songwriter and performer

herself as was I and although we've been

together romantically for 22 years

23 years we only we always had our own

musical journeys you know she was

touring with um she was a backing singer

for INXS for a while she was touring

with all sorts of different folks around

the world and I was doing my other thing

as a solo artist that wasn't until about

about 10 years ago after we'd moved to


via London now I and Sydney and some

other places that we eventually started

performing together because we were

always so fearful that we'd kill each

other until then you know which we

haven't yet we come pretty close a few

times but now it was really great we

started doing this gig in Midtown at the

place called the blue bar and in

Nashville which no longer exists very

sad but um yeah just through playing

there over a period of a year or two

every Wednesday we supply there and

people would come and say hey you guys

are great duo and we would go no no no

we're not a duo which just happened to

be playing with each other at this

moment in time but anyway so that kind

of led to us finally going well we were

having fun and we're enjoying it so

let's do this thing and then we were

fortunate to get a record deal with Sony

Music in Australia so we're just in the

process of recording fast forwards now

our fifth out fifth album what a bunch

of CMA Awards in Australia called CMA

Awards or gold guitars gold guitars are

called to a war if you're them happy

number ones in Australia I've been very

lucky and yeah just to it everywhere man

you know with everywhere from the Opry

here to the Opera House in Sydney Opera

House in Sydney to green hall in Texas

and I think grew up to about 42 or the

50 states so we've been around wow man

that's that's incredible so you've you

and Jay managed a very full life you've

got a beautiful family beautiful

beautiful little girls and I think the

thing that really kind of threw me off

when we first had dinner together was

you were just talking to me about a

bunch of like business stuff like I I

expected to listen to you and Jay and

Rachel talk about the music industry and

music and like you start on board yeah

you started like poking at me with all

these questions about business and then

you know come to find out you


 you run an

agency as well like talk about like talk

about noise your agency how you found

time to do that along with being you

know assigned recording artists and

raising a family like how did you yeah

how do you do that well I think the well

the answer is and not just the

diplomatic answered the true answers

that I'm the credibly fortunate to have

a great partners in both of those things

a my wife who's a fantastic musical

partner both creatively and and


on that side and then also my business

partner and noises to Steve hricko who's

incredible as well so he has been such a

you know such a great friend and and

true partner and at all and he he was

talking to me about you for years you

know back in the moon toast days and all

that stuff so don't try to play off like

you don't know anything about the music

business you oh you're in a tube broke

yeah I ran away with my tail between my

legs that's what happy so yeah it's so

very very lucky to have great partners

and great friends that I I get to work

with so how do you find time that it all

start the meet the noise thing kind of

started when Steve was working at a

record company in town and I was

cheering when we first got to Nashville

Jay got a publishing deal quite quickly

you got and so she was riding with a

whole bunch of people and I had a

publishing deal in Australia but it

wasn't really doing much and so I was

just trying to whatever I could to get

to make money basically so I was doing a

lot of gigs as a guitar player playing

for other people and one of the folks

that I was playing for was we're doing

this big radio tour which is where you

go around to different radio stations

around the country and perform in

boardrooms for the PBS to try to get

them to play your song and so his I

think a normal radio tour might take a

month maybe or six to maybe six weeks or

something like that

his took like nine months so it was a

life was a lot which was amazing yeah

amazing because it kept me employed

and it was a great way to see a lot of

America but during that time I had been

through the wringer a little bit with

record companies and I think at that

point I'd been through three different

record deals or something and you know

yeah the success path is like this you

know one minute you're the king of the

world next minute you're broke so I just

in the last few years there had been

exposed to a lot of really great digital

marketing stuff with people in LA and

London even in Sydney and I was quite

surprised when I started playing as a

guitar player for these other folks that

Nashville wasn't really hip to some

really basic you know data collection

type things and just stuff like that you

know so I mentioned a few of these

things to the artist and the team and

and they put me in touch with Steve and

shortly after that that that record

company closed but Steve reached out a

little bit later and said hey and I like

those things that you were saying I've

got the technical side of it you've got

the ideas let's see what we can do fast

forward to 12 years later where we have

this agency with the staff of six and

it's one of the probably two probably

the biggest digital marketing agency can

be in the fair and festival world for

sure and probably one of the bigger ones

in the live event space . so we've been

very lucky and it's going great with a

great team and great clients if any of

them are watching of course yeah so so I

I love that story because I I can't just

do one thing so it makes me feel like

I'm not alone out here in in terms of

like people that are balancing multiple

things I I also am really passionate

about digital with digital marketing you

know and we know that you're one of the

godfathers made for Nashville

yeah you know I just I just I just think

it's so powerful and it is such a level

up for you know the underdog you know

what I mean like you know and I consider

many musicians out here who are

struggling you know it's like the record

labels and the managers like they only

have so many resources and they sort of

funnel those into a select few artists

and so it's like if you want to really

give yourself the best leg up you have

to be able to leverage digital marketing

you know it's like for me I I didn't I

didn't get a publishing deal for my book

you know um nobody wanted to do it I was

first time it was like now you know I

don't really know

so I self-published and if I had not

been leveraging digital marketing sort

of this entire time there's no way you

know I would have had the successful

launch that I had talk a little bit

about you know the the the virtuous

flywheel of of how having this agency

you know helps you as a musician you

know what I mean yeah exactly

it's it's good because you know we've

been able to use O'Shea I'm not talking

about myself in the third person but but

we've been able to use the the act as a

what do you call that

a part where your science experiment

essentially a petri dish

where you basically had trial as

different things and some of them work

and and they're great and some of them

are terrible and at least we get to try

it you know on some on some stuff and

see how that pans out it's a winner of

an idea we take it everybody else you

know so so that's been good on that

level and also you know just employing

the tactics and strategies that noise

does for for other clients with

ourselves a hundred percent we would not

be as successful as an act as we have

been without take practicing what we

preach you know in saying that there is

a bit of a thing where you know the the

Cobblers children don't have any shoes

you know there is a little bit of that

sometimes yeah but ya know it's great

great support network talk talk a little

bit about the the transition and we

started here we talked about like

launching launching the single but talk

about the transition of how this

pandemic has been for you you know you

you you're getting hit I think sort of

on three levels because you're doing

three things right so one it's like

you've got you've got young children

yeah at home and so you and Jay are

navigating that with all the other brave

parents across America that I'm so in

awe of everything you're doing every day

to you know keep your household together


so launching new music in an era where

there was a playbook for that and a lot

of it involved traveling and playing out

and that's no more the case and then

also it's not like your agency world

didn't you know change massively because

you supported fares as you said and many

of those right right so so you know 


 I think how you've adjusted to three

 things you know much less like just the

 keeping yourself safe insane process you

 know I'd love to I'd love to hear sure

 yeah well we talked about this one other

 time a few weeks ago but the the word

 pivot is getting thrown around a lot now

 like you know pivoting like you you

 can't just keep doing what you've been

 doing over and over again you know and

 Tony Robbins has got a great couple of

 phrases we talked about businesses like

 innovation and marketing is essentially

 the two things if your business is doing

  well that that's the reason easy for

 everybody to talk about marketing and

 selling yourself all the time but the

 innovation has to be there as well there

 again I give credit to Steve on the

 noise front for you know coming up with

 other different ways the whole virtual

 zoom thing like we're doing now has been

 a big big a skill set that we've all had

 to pick up pretty quickly for our

 clients and also for just for the music

 side of the things as well doing a

 regular Facebook live is cool but if you

 can elevate it by bringing in other

 folks and doing all that it's that's

 been good as well and just yet the word

 innovation I think thinking of how to

 approach things differently than what

 you've done before I think that's really

 been the way they keep things going with

 both schooling and and you know music

 side not to get into it but we were just

 um in the throes of signing up for

 homeschooling for for the next little

bit which is gonna be a huge journey for

 us not something I ever thought we would

 have done but given the alternatives

 right now it seems like the best thing

 to do you know so that's a big pivot for

 us I you know I hate aside the home

 school kids are weird you know I would I

 would never have wanted my kids to be

 homeschooled but currently you know

 it's well we've made the decision that's

 way better option then then you know

 what's going on via the alternative


so that's a big pivot for us so so I

wanna I want to give you give you credit

for for making that decision and also

sort of highlight something in there you

know about about innovation right which

is the the narrative about the

difficulty that we're going to have as

the country re-entering the school year

really started to hit fever pitch last

week right obviously Davos and the Trump

and and various schools and Harvard and

you know it's like it's really sort of

hit last week and you know I think that

there for so many people this is such a

paralyzing thing to deal with right

because because because it is just not a

small decision to decide to home-school

right but once you make the decision

once you do make the decision it's it

makes all the difference in the world

right because it's like okay now you can

start to act no you can start to measure

now you can start to re orient your

lives and your mindset and you know some

braised the new right other way you can

embrace the new as opposed to just like

sitting here in the state of paralysis

looking at it on being like so I just

think I just think it's amazing I

haven't arrived at this yet with my son

because you know a because he's 19 okay

yeah that's part of it and it's kind of

part of its kind of his decision yeah

you haven't arrived that he hasn't


that's exactly right but but also part

of it is is that uh you know I'm I'm

just thinking like man I it's not the

same as homeschooling but so much of the

value of college is the interactions and

the gift that happens from being there

on campus with all these other people

and the independence and it's like you

know we're I'm waiting to hear what the

University of Tennessee is going to say

in terms of what they're gonna do the

last thing they said is they're

definitely coming to campus but that was

before yes the case is doubled across

the country

and also you know there's a whole

question about about what they're gonna

charge you know what I mean like how do

they how do they now recalibrate the

value that they're offering yeah you

know yeah I hadn't thought about that

I'm sure they're uh I'm sure they have a

whole team of dry monkeys working on how

to keep the ribbon you out right sir

right it's it's crazy how much how much

how much change is happening in such a

short period of time and how much we're

having to like rewrite the rule book

yeah well one of the things that this I

mean not to stay on the school thing too

much but like the good news is about

that is that we can try it for awhile

and if everything goes back to normal

cool we'll just go back school that's

right like this is you know no harm no

foul we just gave it a go for a few

months and didn't work whatever you know

we actually started reading this book as

a family to the kids the other day

called um who moved my cheese yes I've

never read it I've heard about it but

never read and it's basically like

exactly what's going on right now so you

know you know what you know yeah in our

in our life in our life

talk to me a little bit about like what

it's like to have a record deal with a

record label in Australia but live in

the United States and release an album

release a single release an album like

what is what's that what's that even

like it's good and bad it's good and bad

the challenges are that you're not there

all the time so you're not on the ground

but the good news is that you people

don't get sick of you playing every

local thing all this time either so

you've got a you know come in make an

impact and leave I miss my family

terribly as does Jay you know but from a

touring perspective it's it it's kind of

cool it ties in I think for us one of

the huge success things or very

fortunate things that we've had has been

our television shows we had for six

years so there's a channel in Australia

called a country music channel which is

kind of like

CMT and in fact it just it just closed

about two weeks ago and switched over to

a version of CMT oh wow now gonna be

called CMT in Australia

okay but we had our own television show

on that for six years so 26 episodes a

season six seasons and so it's a hundred

and fifty six episodes of television or

something you know so that was a great

way to sort of stay visible and sort of

be there without being at the same time

yeah that's so cool and and like how do

you so you're you're doing we didn't get

too much into it but you are you are

doing for your clients that noise what

we're doing right now right one sure

that's one of the things yeah yeah I

mean it's one of the thing it's not it's

not everything you're doing but it is it

is one of the things you're doing which

is helping them to create experiences

that they can't create right now and

doing them at the highest level possible

right right

you know nothing this is the highest

level possible it's not sorry I did

that's how that came out and I'm like

yeah but like you know lights good

cameras using something like wire stream

wire cast you know like really good

audio quality producing it while they're

behind the mic like treating it like a

like a first-class production TV show

man it's a TVs yeah it's reading like a

first-class production to the best of

your ability you know my case I'm like

hosting and producing so like that works

yeah there's gonna be some limits to how

how polished this is but you know how do

you how do you think about your music

career with this inability to travel in

your background of doing a TV show for

six years and now this new world where

we kind of need to get out there and you

having this agency that's got this core

competency like are you thinking more

about how you're going to create more

consistent content you know you've got a

fantastic studio you know in your houses

you've got access to how are you

thinking about content as it relates to

the future of your career meaning like

just the next like 12 months right good


not glad you asked no no it's funny man

because there's so many like you're in

full you're in full promo mode at the

moment with the book and doing

everything you know and I love it and I

love the intensity it's hard to do that

all the time and still be creative as


and now homeschool your kids so I think

we just need to be we are working on

some stuff we just did a little series

for a radio station in a network in

Australia kicks country which is the

largest country radio station Australia

we did a little online series for them

which goes for six weeks of showing some

of our behind the scenes kind of stories

about Nashville and stuff so we just

finished that which is cool we just have

to be pretty careful about where we put

our energy I think that's one of the big

things it's like we have to enjoy it and

it's got to be fun for us and we've got

to be motivated to do it and excited by

it like doing a not a podcast which a

live stream every day would require four

on our end significant shifts you know

family lifestyle and dynamic to be able

to pull that off

so I don't know what the exact answer is

your question in terms of like how we're

going to navigate this virtual world

with more content um I just I just do

know that we have to be careful of our

own energy and emotion you know I mean

because if you're doing something and

you're hiding it or it's a task or chore

and you're not into it and you don't

want to do it who wants to watch a guy

put on a fake happy smile talking about

that he doesn't even want to do you

know so that's that's that's my thing we

just got to make sure whatever it is we

do we come out swinging and are really

excited about you know yeah I think

that's that's so wise and it just shows

like that you you have a good amount of

experience as a creative and you know

how important it is to sort of protect

that and you also treasure your family

and do such a great job

prioritizing that you know consistently

like that was that was the one of the

big takeaways from me when Rachel and I

came over and we had dinner at your

house is like you know your your kids

are very happy kids and you know that

happens because they have a happy

household you know I mean like that's

that's an intentional thing that's

created so your priorities are up so no

dude I mean look here just to your point

the only reason why I can do what I'm

doing right now is because my kids are

21 and 19 that's it right if they were

two years younger

each I ain't doing this you know you

know it's like it's 

 only because I'm in

 the first real year of like kind of

 reclaiming yeah my life from Parenthood

 from active active Parenthood that I

have the time and bandwidth to do this

there's no way I'd be able to do it


so yeah yeah no I totally get that see

it's exciting for you and and I don't

want to look at it like like the kids

are stopping me from being creative or

any like just like you know you're

foolish if you don't like to write a

song Steve I said it to me one time is a

songwriter great artist in Mississippi

he said this is when we just had our

first baby

Austin got signed something about that I

was worried about oh there goes the

career you know kind of thing I thought

that yeah and he said did you actually

become a way better songwriter Hoss you

have a baby and the time I didn't quite

understand what he meant but you it's

conscious I feel like it has happened to

me I'm much more emotional like I'm much

more sort of like you know in touch with

stuff than I was before which only makes

you a better if you can express that

better then that makes better art you

know so I I don't think the children

prohibit me from doing that I think they

enhance it it's just gonna be strategic

about how you do it totally totally

agree yeah I mean I there's there's no

book without my kids right you know what

I mean like this you know and I'm not

writing about them no I'm saying you

know I mean but yeah it doesn't

I mean I really wrote it for them quite

frankly you know anybody to like give

them something yeah oh and like you said

you what you may not have been inspired

to do that or may not you know held your

feet to the fire to do it if it weren't

for them so yeah yeah good so we also

beat ours and lock them in the cupboard

oh thank god I'm glad I'm not alone in

that DC as you can't come get me my kids

man so let's just let's leave off

talking about about the single sure yeah

okay yeah we wrote the current one with

Clare Bowen and her Brandon if you know

Clare but she's great and Brandon's

great and we're just sitting here

writing one day and we were talking

about some we started talking about our

weddings for some reason and that was

telling us a bunch of crazy that

happened to bears and we were relaying

some of the shenanigans at ours and then

we suddenly realized that pretty much

everybody's wedding didn't go to plan in

some form or another you know but what

does that matter you know does that make

any difference to your relationship in

your life afterwards and it really is

just one day it's an important day but

it's one day out of a lifetime of stuff

so that's basically was the the the crux

of the the I guess inspiration for the

song and my dog Ming wine is something

like nobody cares about you have first

your first dance song and there's a good

chance that your spray tans gonna come

off that's kind of like the setup flower

goes yeah yeah yeah it's all true

that's so funny about the first dance

it's like how much time you spend

agonizing over that nobody cares nobody

cares so it's out everywhere and and on

all the things and there again thank you

to supportive but - well thank you

Spotify and everybody for playing it but

- um - CMT for featuring it so heavily

and being a behind it on it early and

stuff is very card that's awesome man

any any final words man this is the

fastest 30 minutes it goes so fast I

love doing it it's like I get to have

these these

some conversations especially during

this time when I'm not visiting people

that I love and respect so thank you for

being on the show oh thanks for having

me man it's it's fun it's just like an

excuse to catch up yeah and you just

happen to be filming it so exactly

exactly and any any any final things you

you want to you want to share before we

check out here I'm looking forward to

some of the things that were really

passionate about on the charity front

like there's a couple of events that

we're really big into we've

unfortunately have all been you know

postponed to next year so I'm looking

forward to next year to get them breathe

some new life into them family voices of

Tennessee is an organization that we're

very proud to be a part of they have an

event called popped last year we raised

like a hundred grand for the Wow at that

one night for them so that was that's

hugely a great organization that

provides support for families of kids

that have special needs and special

healthcare needs so that's someone we're

all pretty excited about as is the Dolly

Parton Imagination Library awesome which

I think I mentioned to you another time

where we've been able to help really

give that a bit of a kickstart in

Australia in the last year so there's a

sister city for Nashville in a show

called Tamworth and it is now running

the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and

there's 800 kids every month to get a

book free delivered to their to their

home so that was been a big project that

we've worked on over the last couple of

years we're very excited about them so

yes lots going on man so that's awesome

that's okay that was great man thank you

for leaving on like such a heartwarming

note you know there's a we want this

show to be about good news man and yeah

yeah you know and that's that's that's

good news we'll look mark send our love

to Jay two beautiful kids

oh thanks thanks so much for being on

the show everybody out there you guys

definitely need to be following mark his

family they're amazing the real O'Shea

com the same the real O'Shea on Twitter

on Instagram go follow go support the

new single that's out right now amazing

people that you need to know and I know

you already love again the book create

and orchestrate just go pick it up I'm

not promoting that anymore just just go

pick it up that's know ordered it I'm

waiting for it to show up okay

go pick it up go pick it up the podcast

Marcus Whitney's audio universe

everywhere that you listen to podcasts

go get it and you can follow me online

everywhere at Marcus Whitney that's it

and thank you all for checking in I will

see you tomorrow with another episode of

Marcus when you live piece

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