Meet Our Founder
UMC Founder Gerard Longo
In his own words…
This whole wild ride started for me back in the fleeting summer of 2013. I had recently given up the ghost of a professional football career, and I was working in New York City as a contractor with a major corporation. The commute from New Jersey into the Big Apple had me a bit burned out and in need of a creative outlet.
So, one beautiful August night, I decided to wind down by listening to old episodes of my college radio show called The Quinn Spinn…
By the end of the night, I had found my outlet!
This time, though, I decided that we’d go beyond the sophomoric shock humor of our college days and feature music from independent artists. I just needed to find some. So, I scoured Twitter, asked a bunch of artists if this podcast nobody had ever heard could feature their music, and a surprising number of them said yes.
That run of the show welcomed a crazy cast of characters (the OG Quinn Spinn family), featured interviews with musicians on five continents, and led to 100+ pieces of programming from 2013-15. It also gave me first-hand experience with the grind of being an independent creative. In May of 2015, the show took a hiatus as I moved to Bethlehem, PA, where I soon found myself wanting to dig into the arts and culture now surrounding me. I would do this by creating even more content around it.
In January of 2016, I launched a blog called Lehigh Valley Underground, which existed to serve the music scene of eastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, and beyond. We grew quickly at the local level, expanding to regularly host and sponsor events, while capturing awards for our work in the community. For a couple years there, everything was humming along nicely.
But, by the summer of 2018, I felt the winds of change blowing. A number of life events, coupled by my experiences in music, made me want to take this platform another step higher. I decided that I needed to go to an “industry town” to do that, as it would be the only way to connect our content and the artists it serves to the greater musical world.
So, I re-branded LVU as Underground Music Collective in November 2018, to help us provide content and resources that are applicable to music professionals around the world. From there, I packed up whatever would fit in my car and hauled on down to Nashville in search of a new adventure. I’ve loved my time in Music City so far, and I look forward to getting to know this city and the people in it even more as the months and years progress.
When I’m not at a show or in the lab creating UMC content, you might find me getting my #GAINZ on at the local gym, or you might even catch me singing, once in a blue moon. My most important role in the world, however, is as the proud uncle to four amazing kids back home. I want my time in Nashville – and everything that has led to it – to show them that they can go out and create the lives they want from scratch.
Sometimes, all it takes to create that life is a crazy idea on a beautiful August night, and putting in the work to find out where it leads…
Oh, and caffeine. Lots and lots of caffeine.