February 16, 2023

Ronny Vance President, MyPart

Ronny Vance, former president of Geffen music and Interscope music has over 40 years of experience in the music industry. The artists and writers he signed in that time have cumulative sales of over 200 million records. Built upon his uncanny knack for spotting songwriting, talent and superstar artists in all music genres, each of his endeavors has enjoyed unprecedented achievement.

Over the course of this career, Ronny Vance has been responsible for the signings of Tupac Shakur, New Edition, Stephen Sondheim, Bruce Hornsby, and Gwen Stefani and No Doubt and for the placement of such notable songs as Maniac, New Attitude, and Eric Clapton’s two time 1998 Grammy winning song Change The World, among so many others.

He’s also the president of My Part, a company that serves creators, owners and representatives of songs as well as anyone looking for songs to cut or license through AI powered song matching an incredible company. He lives in Jerusalem in the heart of the Old City, with his wife and son.

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Some Timestamps:

Gospel music (05:00)

The old man in the startup (13:00)

Working way up in the music industry  (19:37)

The Tupac story  (24:11)

Loving the music  (27:49)

Living in Jerusalem (35:14)

My Part and AI (43:17)


Edited Transcription with typos – sorry:

Ronny Vance  01:54

How’s it going, how’s your day?


Actually, really, I should really be most grateful I was, when I reached out to you about this project, musical project, I’ve been really depressed because the guy that I started it with years ago, on and off and on and off and off, on and off. About six months ago, he said, I don’t want to, I didn’t want to do it anymore. And I was, you know, I really was so sunk over that.

And I’ve been reaching out to the top guys in Israel. They’re also unbelievably talented, you know, but whatever they have submitted so far, was somewhat, just because not right? If not at that great, but just that, right. And sometimes, you know, when you’re not a musician, I mean, I can play but I’m not a musician, right? And you’re not an engineer? Oh, it’s like, you’re just like, a guy that, you know, it’s like, that’s like, what more other than executive music person etc. So sometimes it’s difficult to, you know, to articulate, really try to tell, trying to tell somebody who’s worked their whole life and have developed major skills. That’s something that they’ve given you is, this isn’t right. It’s not, not fair. You know, so I’m very careful, very sensitive to where these guys are at.

Make a long story short, you asked me about my day, that I woke up in the morning. And the other guy, the original guy, had returned an email that I sent a couple of days ago, saying that he’d be happy to meet with me. Hey, I’m seeing him tomorrow. I don’t want to give it too much. But I’m pretty sure that we just, you know, we didn’t communicate properly. And, you know, he left. And I didn’t know why. And I got mad. And I think tomorrow, we’re going to figure it out. And I think we’re going to get back to it. I hope.


Eitan Chitayat  04:17

I think since we’re talking about it, what might be good is for you to explain what this personal project actually is.


Ronny Vance  04:29

Okay, I didn’t tell you too much. You know, since I was a little kid, we had a housekeeper. You know, maybe sound like we weren’t rich, that’s for sure. But something about my dad was so crazy about my mom, really crazy about her. The one thing that he always wanted to make sure of was is that she had help.

So back I mean, I’m born in ‘53 I’m going to be 70 and you know. So, by the time I was born, they had help. And this woman was with me. Afro, what’d he call it, African American black, whatever she was with me until I moved out of the house at about 17, 18. And she didn’t write very well or read very well, and it was in New York and was freezing winters, I remember going into her bedroom, and I would sit on the radiator in there. And she’d have Mater, an old-fashioned tube radio, and she’d have on a gospel station that she’d listened to, I guess, until she went to bed. And I just heard that music ever since that I was a little kid. And it meant so much to me. And so now, I’ve always wanted to try and make a record like that for Jews. Now, pointing out though, that when I say make it for Jews, it’s for everyone. Except Jews aren’t interested in a gospel, certainly an inspirational record that has anything to do with anything other than G-d, Hakadosh Baruch-hu. But certainly not Jesus, or any of that kind of stuff.

And about five or six years ago, when Rabbi Steinsaltz, who wrote a book called The Thirteenth Petal Grows, and thousands of other books, but I think that was like a hit, The Thirteenth Petal Grows. I used to see him every Shabbat. And I asked him  one Saturday morning, if it would be okay, if I would get a blessing to make a record, like a gospel inspirational type of a record. And he looked at me and he said, You must make that record. And it’s been difficult to make it but I’m determined to get somewhere with it, which we have, you know, we have some tracks, and we have some great singers. I think as I told you, Wednesday night, I’m going to Haifa. To hear here’s a, there’s a gospel event that has to do with I think, Anthony Jackson forgot the artists name that’s not even relevant, necessarily as an artist, gospel artists from America, that’s here that is performing in Haifa, with local Israeli gospel groups, some from Dimona and some from other places. And so, yeah, that’s some of the pieces of the current puzzle, as you know, and how we met is because you saw my boss, Matan, giving a speech at the, I guess, some sort of a pitch to investors.


Eitan Chitayat  08:08

Yeah, he was speaking at the AI conference, and I was very impressed with what you guys are doing. And I spoke to him, and then we had a meeting. And you were there. And I guess we kind of hit it off.


Ronny Vance  08:22

Yeah, we definitely hit it off. And of course, then we have the girls from The Revolution. And that crowd in common? Who I haven’t seen, you know, I mean, they wouldn’t. You know, I’m sure if they saw me they get scared today.


Eitan Chitayat  08:40

Because of that big shaggy beard of yours. And I think I think Susannah and Wendy would get a kick out of it.


Ronny Vance  08:45

Yeah, you know, it’s someone who was that we had a meeting, you know Matan and I have meetings on this zoom all the time. And so every now and then it’s what people I haven’t seen in twenty, thirty, forty years. And I and you know, and then the camera goes, you know, and then and there I am. But they’ve already, everybody does some kind of due diligence. You know, they, they don’t they check you out before they actually meet with you so that people have seen when I look like,


Eitan Chitayat  09:15

Well, you know, it’s interesting, because I know you as who you are right now, but who you are right now is a little different to where you’ve come from, I guess, you know, in terms of like what you do every day. I wanted to ask you a question, because you started talking about like, about your helper, and how she turned you on to gospel. But that’s music. And I guess that’s the one question that I wanted to ask you. Right from the get-go. But before I do, there’s always a question that I asked on the podcast, and it’s usually the first question that I ask. And it’s really a request to complete the sentence. And so I’m just going to ask you the question, and you can take your time with it. Ronny Vance, I’m That….


Ronny Vance  10:00

Really do you do this all the time? Oh, God, I don’t know how to answer that. I mean, I’m that kid that, you know, that was that grew up as a young guy in New York. And I started to tell you about the helper and I grew up in sitting in her bedroom, I started to say, no, she didn’t read and write very well. So I would sit there as a little kid, I would write all of her Christmas cards, and fill out all the envelopes. And you know, and I was, you know, and she always just say, Ronny. I raised you from a baby. And so that’s a big, that’s profound. I’ll show you a picture if I can find it. Of she and I, when I was 13.


Eitan Chitayat 10:52

Precisely where you started. Like, I mean, that kid in New York.


Ronny Vance  10:59

I mean, you know, now. It’s incredible, we have to look it up. Maybe you can look it up. I’d like to get it right, as opposed to paraphrase. But David Bowie, who was, you know, out of this world as a songwriter, and musician, everything else that he did, but I think he passed about five or six years ago. There is a quote, it’s easy enough to find on the internet, there’s a quote where he said that who he is now at that point he was in his late 60s, is really, he felt that that’s who he always was, or that he’s finally the guy that he always wanted to be something again, well, we must find the quote, but it was..


Eitan Chitayat  11:49

I think what you’re saying, though, is..


Ronny Vance  11:52

It just was wonderful, wonderful feeling about, you know, it was I that whoever, if I took acid in 1968, or if I, you know, was snorted, something, whatever I you know, and for whatever insanity that you go through in your twenties and thirties. And then, I’ll do it this way. I’ll tell you a quick story. I met Matan, five years ago, up until then, I was, you know, learning at the yeshiva here in Jerusalem and taking care of my son who was still kind of getting little becoming more of age.

And Matan was telling me about AI and how it was going to affect the music, etc. And I had absolutely no interest in what he was doing. But I offered to help him. So nothing will make a long story short, we finally when he raised money, he started a company. He hired me, I went to work there. And I guess he must have told his main investor. I got this guy, Ronny Vance. He lives in Jerusalem. He used to run Geffen and Interscope and worked for Universal and he had all these jobs. And I’m bringing him in. So this guy who’s obviously a bazillionaire, who invested millions of dollars into the company.

And so the day, one day, I’m at the office, and he has his office down the hall. And there’s lots of these startups pop out on the wing there. And I guess he wants to, you know, he wants to check me out. Or someone said, Ronny is going to be here today. So he walks in. Now, again, we’re sitting in a room, it was in the very beginning of the company, so there were only now there’s like, 15 of us, but at that time, there was like maybe four. And he walks in and everybody in there is 25, 27, 30, you know, and then there’s me. So he walks into the office. And he says, what’s, you know, like, who were you? Like, what’s your story?

No, there’s no one around those startup offices in that scene over there that’s over 45. Whatever. I don’t know that that’s got one of these. And so he wanted to know, like, you know, like, what happened to you is basically what he wants to know, you know, hear you while you’re running these companies in California, and that you’re here in Israel living in the Old City of Jerusalem. Well, I didn’t really get to rehearse anything, and I didn’t know what to say to him. So I just said, What can I tell you? I said, you know, one day,  somehow if you’re lucky, you discover that there’s a God in the world and that it’s probably a good idea to pay attention to that. And to maybe do something about that discovery that you’ve made.

Again, as I said, it’s not rehearsed. It just was the truth at that moment, you know, and so and that’s how it’s kind of been, you know, it’s a work in progress, you know, anybody who says they’re a ba’al tshuva, or that they’re this or that, you know, good luck, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s an effort, and it’s a work in progress kind of thing. And anybody who says anything that they could say what anybody could say whatever they want, obviously, but for me, it was, on one level, you know, hitting the jackpot, because it got me here. And we’ve been here for 25 years, almost with it, like a four year and interruption when we had to go back to Boston. But I never looked back once. Never for a second. Oh, don’t you want to go back to LA? Not even for a second.


Eitan Chitayat:15:00

How d’you get into music?


Ronny Vance  15:04

Well, you know, my oldest brother was a bit of a pop star. In the segment. He was a pop star in the 60s. He was in a group called Jay and the Americans and Jay and the Americans had a lot of hit records. And even when the Beatles came to America in 1964, they did a bunch of gigs and Jay and the Americans opened for them on one of those jobs in Washington DC. Yeah, I mean, it was in the house. It was in the house. And it certainly was something that, you know, that I, I guess I wanted a piece of and or I wanted a part of something. I don’t know what I want but I thought it was pretty cool. And what can I say, you know, there was also you know, during his run of having hits, he was trying to, you know, make it as a you know, as a record producer also are trying to find artists to work with. And he actually found Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, who became Steely Dan. And so I was around that the bar was very, very high for me as a kid, because those guys were just out-of-this-world songwriters. And so, you know, having been around the bar was raised so high as a kid for me, that when I finally you know, scored a job, that I think it, it only helped me do my job. As good as I was. I did it pretty well over the years. And so, so yeah, I did I answer it. Not exactly.


Eitan Chitayat  17:56

What is it that you did? I mean, I know that, you know, people who know you, know you as a very, very successful music executive.


Ronny Vance  18:03



Eitan Chitayat  18:08

Well, what is that for people who don’t know what a music executive is? And then in the intro to the podcast, we talk about, you know, the fact that you signed incredible musicians. I mean, Tupac to Bruce Hornsby, and great stuff. You have No Doubt. On your website right now. And I’m seeing all sorts of artists flashing from my eyes from SWV, to Rod Stewart, to Patti LaBelle to…


Ronny Vance  18:37

So just to point that in, you know, it’s true. Yes. Tupac, Gwen Stefani and, you know, I did sign and work with them as songwriters before they became gigantic stars, Hornsby as well. But for the most part, like, I don’t really know Patti LaBelle, or Eric Clapton, or a lot of the other people that are on my website, however, writers that we had under contract, wrote songs for a lot of, all of those people, which is why they’re on my website. Yeah.


Eitan Chitayat  19:17

So I mean, just to say that you signed Tupac. I mean, that’s incredible. So I mean, which I want to get to, but so when I was saying that you’re a music executive, how did you get into that stratosphere of, you know, that level, bringing in those quality people? I mean, how, did that happen?


Ronny Vance  19:37

Well, you know, it’s like, step by step by step in the beginning. I made a lot of mistakes. I would sign people that you know, that maybe didn’t have hits right away. For instance, even Hornsby, I signed Hornsby as a songwriter in 1979, but he didn’t have his first hit until 1985. So, I mean, I was so early on that one. And most of the songs that he wrote when I signed him, none of them wound up on Bruce Hornsby records. He just matured and open the door. I was already gone from the company that I signed them to. And he really worked so hard and opened the door until he started to, you know, figure out what his inner voice was because up until that point, I think he was just throwing anything he could at the wall to see what would stick and nothing was really sticking.

So sometimes, you know, timing is so critical with the in the case of Bruce Hornsby, even though I think he’ll be the first to say, when I got my first break, when Ronny Vance signed me, but we didn’t have success really, together. So when I left that company, which was called 20th Century Fox, I went to Warner Brothers, and I actually signed the writer Michael Sembello, who wrote Maniac. Yeah, but as a kid, he’s was a stone-cold genius. He was Stevie Wonder’s guitar player, you can’t play in a room with Stevie Wonder unless you are the best in the world. Now, people would probably jump all over me, but I would say that Michael Sembello was as good as anybody out there as a guitar player. And as a songwriter, he was pretty damn good. We had songs that were recorded by everybody.

But the giant one was the song that Michael wrote for The Flash Dance. And when he wrote that, he didn’t write it really for a movie. He was writing a song, he was crazy. He was writing a song about a maniac. That was what that was a serial killer. And but it was such a great, great vibe and great chorus, that when I played it for the executive over at Paramount Pictures, he said, You think that they would change the lyric and try to make it work for this? You know, and of course, they wrote she’s a maniac on the floor. She’s dancing, like it’s never done before or whatever it is. And so that, and originally, they were, Rod Stewart was slated to record the song. And he pulled out at the last minute, and there was like, there was no time left. So someone said, Who’s singing the demo? And they said this, the guy that wrote it, Sembello, they said, Fine, put him on there.


Eitan Chitayat  22:58

Did he ever have any success beyond that? Because I mean, that song everyone knows that song? But like, not many people know the artist.


Ronny Vance  23:06

Yeah, no, not really. Not really. He made a couple of more records and, but nothing like that. No. Nothing like that.


Eitan Chitayat  23:15

And you mentioned, Rod Stewart. I’m a huge Rod Stewart fan. I mean, I love, I love all of his stuff. Have you worked with him before?


Ronny Vance  23:22

I’m trying to remember that. I don’t think I ever met Rod Stewart. But yes, I mean, you know, another writer that I had under contract is Mark Jordan, he made several albums as an artist. He’s a Canadian artist. He made two or three albums for Warner Brothers, and then several for BMG, and some independent records. Never really happened as an artist, though. He’s a big star in Canada. But he wrote a song called Rhythm of My Heart while he was under contract to me, which became a number-one record for Rod Stewart.


Eitan Chitayat  23:59

Wow. So you see from the outside, you know, all these names. I mean I’m a huge Tupac fan. I mean, I’ve been listening to Tupac for forever. So I’m dying to ask you about what that story is and how…


Ronny Vance  24:11

That’s not a very interesting story. I don’t want to disappoint you and your listeners, but it’s really not. However, what really happened was that I had just become the head actually wasn’t just it was I was already there a year or two. I was running music publishing at Interscope and Tom Wally, who was a spectacular, brilliant A&R guy who signed The Wallflowers and Tupac, and just so many hits. And he called me up and he said, Listen, you should come down to my office and I want you to hear somebody I’m signing. And he played me a couple of tracks. And he said, you know, you should try to get this guy, and I did. And I got lucky. It wasn’t you know, I didn’t have a real relationship with Tupac, until the day that I gave him a check for a couple hundred thousand dollars. That was a lot of money in 1994. But I took a shot. I took a gamble and you know, and it was…


Eitan Chitayat  25:22

Was that like, first album was Brenda’s Got a Baby. Right? That was his first step.


Ronny Vance  25:25

Yeah, pretty sure. Yeah, I think so.


Eitan Chitayat  25:30

What was he like? I mean, did you get to know him a little bit?


Ronny Vance  25:32

But no, really not. What’s fascinating, you know, even with my son who’s 19 so, you know, when he started to come of age at 13, 14 and he started to figure out like, what his dad did, you know before and at a different you know, part of his life? That was the thing that he thought was cool. Like you do you think like the Tupac thing is cool, but it’s the Tupac thing for me, quite honestly was you know, what was a more of a deal. wasn’t a passion thing. I loved what I heard and I tried to get it and I got it. But it wasn’t like finding Sembello and working with some Sembello, and finding Hornsby and working with Hornsby and working with Brent. And the guy who wrote Change the World for Eric Clapton. Baby Face produced the record he produced. The song was co-written by my writer Tommy Simms, who was a gospel artists that in Nashville..


Eitan Chitayat  26:41

Incredible song. Incredible song.


Ronny Vance  26:45

Yeah, working with him was a joy. And you know, and he just, you could really dig in there. And, you know, I wound up getting him a record deal at Universal, there’s one Tommy Simms album. That’s actually very good. But I don’t think anybody is aware of it.


Eitan Chitayat  27:06

You touched on something right now, which was, you started talking about what you loved. What did you love about what you did? When you loved it? What was it that you loved it? Was it like working, working with these artists and nurturing them or building that relationship with them? It certainly wasn’t. I mean, I’m sure like, it sounds very rock and roll. Making those deals on the outside, like people when people tell me what was it like working with Apple? What was it like with Facebook? Was it like working with YouTube? I mean, on the outside looking in, it always seems very glamorous and very sexy. And many times it isn’t. So I imagine that’s the case with you, as well. But what was the thing for you? When you were doing what you were doing? And you were in? You were good at it? What was the thing that really that you loved? Like the thing that you loved? The most?


Ronny Vance  27:49

The music.


Eitan Chitayat 27:51

What does that mean?


Ronny Vance  27:55

Yeah, there’s something that happens, I think, to all of us, and definitely happened to me. There’s such a privilege to be around talent, especially not only the talent and the music, but especially when these people are, you know, menschedik, you know, when they’re quality people, and to be part of the process of whatever, wherever it’s going. You see the Tupac thing and even the Gwen Stefani thing. These were records that were already pretty much in the can, as they say, you know, these were records that were already done, I heard it and I jumped in, you know, and I made an investment and stuff like that. But for the most part, most of the people that I would work with, were, you know, were people that were, you know, bashing it out every day in their home studio. You know, Ronny would call and say, I need a song from Madonna. I need a song for Clapton, I need a song for this new r&b group. I need a song for this commercial. I need a song for a movie. And it’s like it’s always happening. It’s a constant, you know, drill and grill and, and it’s so that’s in such a great feeling when someone actually nails it. And it’s like, holy shit. This is just unbelievable. This piece of music and, and you’re part of it. I mean, some of my favorite things that I was involved with, you’ll never know. I mean, I want a quick story. Many stories, that’s why we’re here. Yeah. So you know, one of my writers was the guy Matthew Wilder. Matthew Wilder had a gigantic hit of his own called Break My Stride I don’t know if it was a hit in Israel but it was a worldwide hit. Break my stride.


Eitan Chitayat  29:59

Yeah, everyone knows that.


Ronny Vance  30:02

That’s, that’s Matthew Wilder. And he was again, he was under contract to me and I worked with him every day they have, you know, for years. And one day when I was on a business trip in the early 90s to New York, I get a call from one of the top, top guys, Frank Military is famous music publisher, who was Frank Sinatra’s go-to. Frank Sinatra, but only listen to songs that came through Frank Military. So if you wanted to get a song to Frank Sinatra, he had to go through Frank and Frank called me one day. And he said, Ronny, he said, Sammy Kahn, is driving me nuts.

Sammy Kahn wrote more hits than the Beatles. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. I mean, definitely, you’ll look through the through, you know, through his discography, it’s frightening how many hits he had. And in the early 90s, he was probably at that time already, you know, well, you know, shy of 70, or something. But so Frank calls me and he says, Ronny, says, Sammy is driving me nuts. See what you could do? Maybe somebody’s wondering if one of your guys will work with him. So I called Matthew. And I said, Sammy Kahn. And he said, I’ll, you know, he said, Sure, I’ll get I’ll do something with him. And they wrote two songs together, one, I don’t remember, I don’t even know if I could find it. And the other one was a song called How Fast Forever Goes.

Now it was recorded three times that I know of. And the first version of it was, was recorded by a kid named Ramon Carter, on Warner Brothers Records. And it was Quincy Jones, who brought Ramon to Warners through my friend Russ Titelman, who of course, produced Tears in Heaven, and produced, How Sweet It Is by James Taylor, and all the Randy Newman classics and Winwood and et cetera. And he heard the song that Matthew wrote with Sammy Kahn called How Fast Forever Goes. And the vocalist on the demo was this kid, Ramon Carter, I put all of these pieces together. And then of course, as I said, Warners signed Ramon, the record was not successful, the record really sort of missed, really capturing the beauty of what was there. But, you know, people like to hear a success story. So I mean, there’s, there’s thank God, there was enough of those. But moments like that, where you, you know, you sort of cross-breeding generations from Sammy to Matthew, and then Quincy gets involved. And Russ Titelman is involved. And these are the greatest guys in the world, the greatest guys in the business. And I’m somewhere in the middle of the whole thing. That’s the thrill.


Eitan Chitayat  33:15

That’s the thrill. You stopped at some stage. How come? You left the music industry, didn’t you?


Ronny Vance  33:24

Well, I guess it you know.


Eitan Chitayat  33:29

Did you retire? You just like…


Ronny Vance  33:31

Okay, not in the traditional sense. I still had a couple of writers that I looked after. But it was hard to phone it all in, but there were two writers that I was looking after. And one of them was a guy named Paul Gordon, who I had hits with in the old days, and he wrote a musical called Daddy Long Legs that got made on an off-Broadway production. Did not go the distance but he had also been nominated for a Tony Award for his musical Jane Eyre. It’s based on what is it Charlotte Bronte. I think that yeah, so no, I didn’t retire in the traditional sense. But, you know, I met my wife. And, and I met some rabbi. And I like the story. I told that the investor, you know, it’s like, all of a sudden, it’s like, you know, there’s, there’s a God in the world and you know, you want it and you want to do something about that.


Eitan Chitayat  34:33

Well, you don’t come from a religious background, do you?


Ronny Vance  34:39

Oh no. I don’t you know, my dad liked to make sure that you know, we had a Passover Seder. Very American, very predictable and traditional. What he always wanted to make sure we had a Passover Seder. And he also wanted to make sure that we went to the temple on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, of course.


Eitan Chitayat  35:03

You live in the Old City. I mean, I’ve been to your house, to your home, which is just beautiful and warm. And you know, this is an audio podcast, so people don’t see where you’re sitting.


Ronny Vance  35:14

The truth is, is that, you know, it’s home. So it’s hard to, you know, my son was born and, you know, he’s actually born in Boston, but he came back here as a little, little baby, and, you know, and he only knows this place. And, you know, he’s really Israeli. And we, you know, we talked about maybe moving and you know, and it’s, it can be quite a test sometimes, you know, especially before the COVID that the, you know, the amount of tourists you know, it’s like Jewish Disneyland here. So the amount of people coming through, you know, it’s like, just to get, you know, get in your car and be able to get at it here. Sometimes it’s, it can be murder, whatever it is silly stuff. You’re asking me? What’s it like living here? Again, it’s sort of like when we came to Israel, to me, you know, I didn’t really know much about the entire country. But I did know that the Har Habayit, that the center of the universe is right here in my backyard. And I figured like I’m going to be in Israel, I might as well be like, where the action is. Where else would I want to be?


Eitan Chitayat  36:30

What’s Har Habayit? For people who don’t know…


Ronny Vance  36:35

Har Habyait, this is the holiest place, the center of the universe. Most contested place in the world. It’s, you know, it’s the cause of many unfortunate difficulties. As well as, you know, the place where tradition and tradition where, where the metrics and, and the Holy Books will explain that, you know, that it’s over here, where Abraham actually took his son Isaac and offered him there as a sacrifice. Now, that’s right, you know, it’s like, I could throw a rock and I could hit it. And also for Christians, you know, the Via della Rosa, and you know, and where Jesus, actually, you know, they say, where he walked in, and where he, you know, where he ate and where he studied et cetera, is also it’s right here. So, you know, I mean, I love I love all that, you know, it’s huge.


Eitan Chitayat  37:37

Do you kind of like pinch yourself? Sometimes when you? I mean, you live in the home you live in the Old City. I mean, that is incredible. Yes. And yes. Even for me, when I came, I was just like, pretty blown away by how, and there is something very special about Jerusalem, that I, it’s just funny living in Tel Aviv, it’s a 45-minute drive, you know, but when you come to Jerusalem, it’s different, it’s just on a different level, it’s a different country. It’s a different to me, it’s a different vibe, especially where you are, especially even when we came over and just walking, walking to the car when we in, you know, didn’t walk to the car. And walking out of your house is it’s, um, I hate to sound cliche, but the spirituality, the feeling of you really feel something special when you’re there.


Ronny Vance  38:31

You know, we have friends that live down the block here who have devoted their entire lives to making sure when any which way they can, and big investments and big donors, etc, that, that the young people of Israel, especially those that maybe have come to Jerusalem once or twice in their life, really appreciate and understand what it is that this is all about. And they have, oh, boy, several 100 guests in their home every week, especially soldiers, and they bus people in to come to this beautiful, beautiful home to be able to get a firsthand look, these people there have their house stands above the wall, the Western Wall and the Hay Habayit.

And so they get a real sense that you know, wow, you know, there are people here. There are homes here. There are people that have devoted their entire lives to making sure that as you just said a minute ago, it’s like you grew up here and you know, how many times have you come to Jerusalem and how, how important was it really in your day to day and all the kids, and all the people and the rest that you grew up with, probably not very high on the list of what’s important about being in this country. And so, you know, we are, we are incredibly privileged to be part of that effort.

My wife always says, We are the, honey, how do you say it again? She says we are at the threshold, not saying it right. Chaya, she always likes to say, you know, for instance, like, every now and then it’s been a while, but you know, open up a Facebook and I would see a buddy of mine, who’s Elton John’s keyboard player on the post, he says, Oh, we’re going to Israel. So I send them a note and I say, Hey, Kim, it’s Ronny, remember it? Oh, yeah, I said, I’m in Jerusalem, anyway, he comes without that without, but he comes with the rest of the band and we’re the ambassadors to the Old City. For you know, people that come through people that, you know, unfortunately, read the New York Times. I know you don’t want to get into you know, we’re not going to get too political here. But..


Eitan Chitayat  41:26

Timeout who says that I don’t want to get political?


Ronny Vance  41:30

Well, you know, the New York Times is an Israeli-bashing newspaper. That’s true, pretty much, which is why your buddy Bari Weiss, I think finally got out of there. Thank you for turning her podcasts on to me because I love it.


Eitan Chitayat  41:46

Well, I will reach out to her. And I will tell her maybe she’ll listen to this. She is amazing. She’s, we never met. I don’t know her. But I can reach out to her and I just think she is…


Ronny Vance  41:58

She just had Ken Burns on. That’s our newest guest. filmmaker. His most recent documentary is on the Holocaust. And he opens up, you know, stuff that you’d think you’d seen it all you haven’t. And anyway, New York Times, he was saying, people will come through here we’ve had different, quote-unquote, rock stars come through here, who because of what watching CNN and reading the New York Times, they were ready for the worst. And we go and we do everything that we can to make sure that they see really what’s happening here and really understand the love and the effort that the Israelis and that we have made in trying to make something work with our cousins. And luckily, I think that most of them, by the time they leave, they have a whole other perspective on what Eretz Israel is before than they had before they got here.


Eitan Chitayat  43:08

You started talking about this, which is MyPart. You started talking about Matan, you started talking about this company. But what is MyPart? What’s My Part doing?


Ronny Vance  43:17

Oh, it’s, you know, it’s been almost five years. And it has gone through different kinds of, it’s gone through changes over the years in terms of what it maybe was supposed to be until what it is right now. And what is the ultimate goal? Sounds like a startup. Yeah, but Matan who is a graduate of the 8200 intelligence unit of the IDF.


Eitan Chitayat  43:47

Which by the way, I need to say, the talent, the brains and the know-how that comes out of 8200 some of the people who have come out of that unit, have gone on to create incredible companies that succeed around the world in changing the way human beings live. Pretty much. So yeah, so he’s a graduate of a very prestigious unit.


Ronny Vance  44:11

And at the same time that he has such skills as a technician, he’s also a musician, which is extraordinary, you know, it’s sort of, I think, they say, left brain, right brain and he has all this this, he’s got all these skills. And the way that he tells the story was that part of what, what he was assigned to do, he’s still in his miluim, many still serves, like once a month or once every couple of months. But one of the things that he was tasked to do was pretty much as he would say, find the bad guys, you know, through technology, where they would say, Oh, we must look over here. And we you know, we think there’s something going on over there. And, you know, they were able to narrow down where there was, where there was heat, where they were where there was supposed to look. And it worked. Instead of spending so much time and energy, you know, looking everywhere the technology took you, you know, and help direct and eliminate so much wasted time looking in the wrong areas. And with that, he says that he was able to take some of this technology that he developed, and use it towards helping music executives, to spend their time on 10% of the music that they have received, as opposed to listening to everything that they’ve received.

In other words, that technology says, Oh, you’re all looking for a soul, like, let it be. Okay, so out of these 10,000 songs that you have here, you should listen to these 10. Now, what do you mean these 10? There’s 10,000 songs. Yeah, you could listen to as many as you want.

But the technology is telling you to just listen for these 10. And it’s an extraordinary, extraordinary toy that has now been adopted by companies like Hypnosis, who are some of the biggest music publishers in the world. MPL which is Paul McCartney’s music publishing company, is currently a customer, several divisions at Universal, Universal Israel, Universal Australia, and several divisions of Universal in the UK are now our customers. And, you know, it’s a process and it’s a struggle, but we’re building it.


Eitan Chitayat  47:05

Well, let me ask you a question. So these 10 songs, like, who is listening to them? Who’s going to benefit from it? And why should they listen to these 10 songs? Like, who is it helping and why?


Ronny Vance  47:15

Oh, so what if in the case, like you are, you know, you’re one of our customers like Hypnosis, so what we do is we ingest their entire catalog into the AI, which in the, in the case of Hypnosis is about 70,000 songs. So now, all their songs have been what we call crunch. And you, as a music publisher, get requests every day, many requests every day saying, We need a song like this for this movie, we need a song for this, like this. For this artist, we need a song for a commercial, and they tell you exactly what they need. And so when you can take the song that they said they wish they had, in this particular case, I’ll just use an example. Let it Be, I wish I had a song like Let it Be, but obviously to license let it be from the Beatles is about $6 or $7 million. And I only have $50 grand. So help me find something.

So we take Let it Be for now that you are Hypnosis and you’re our customer, you have now learned how to use the platform. You take Let it Be, you put it through the machine. And then the machine says, Okay, listen to these 10 songs and see if the results work for you.


Eitan Chitayat  48:52

Does it serve musicians and writers? It does in the sense that they of course can find people to use their songs. But what about in the creation of songs, has it helped?


Ronny Vance  49:01

It’s a really good question. You know, that we have been approached by several companies, which Matan does not really want to do. But we have been approached by several people who are concerned with the infringement of copyrights. So they say, can your, you know, AI, help us detect those, you know, people that have infringed? You know, and the answer is, yeah, we can really do that. But we don’t want to really be known as that. We have taken on a couple of projects this way. But way under the radar, without you know, without telling anybody we’ve done it, gotten phenomenal. I wish I could tell you that there have been some, you know, we’re just really getting started with these big-shot clients. So soon, I hope to be able to tell you about some matches that we’ve made actually where they say, Oh, well we used it, and we took it and Let it Be and they wanted Let it Be. And it popped out this Dave Stewart song or this. You know, this Ed Sheeran song and we submitted it to the client and boom, they took it. Wow. Success. Yeah, that hasn’t happened today. We have a lot of great early believers.


Eitan Chitayat  50:23

Yeah, look, I was, you know, it doesn’t happen that often to me that I approach someone that really doesn’t happen a lot. But like when I heard Matan speak at that conference, I did approach him. And I think, I think that you guys are doing phenomenal stuff. So I want to, I wanted to talk about it a little bit. Before we go, I’m going to ask you one more question. And it’s really about you. And if someone who doesn’t know you, you have a superpower, something that you’re really, really good at? What would that what would that be?


Ronny Vance  51:01

Well, empathy. I think I can try to really feel the other person or feel the music that someone wants me to listen to. Or feel the book somebody wants me to read. Or, yeah, I think which is amazing to me cause I see my son, I don’t know what it is. Maybe he got something from, you know, what I see that that’s who he is with little people, you know, because he teaches kids to play basketball. He’s an incredible athlete. And I see how he really communicates with small people. And because I’ve been blessed with so much that I have to you know, just constantly remind myself that you know, you can’t current hatov, just have to have a current hatov for the Kadosh Baruch-hu. It’s just like here, take this wife, here take this kid, here take this career. Here take this hit …what did I do to get all this stuff.


Eitan Chitayat  52:10

Well, I can see why he’s given it. Thank you. Thank you for just chit-chatting with me like that I really appreciate it. And I love you. You’re great.


Ronny Vance  52:20

Good night sweetie, see you soon.