Danny Koppel

Danny Koppel

Current title
Chief Executive Officer of J23 Productions Publishing & Records CC; ‘Danny K’

Course at Wits Business School
Postgraduate Diploma in Management, 2000

A defining moment in my career
My career-defining moment presented itself in the form of a blessing in disguise. In 2001, after having graduated from WBS, I resigned my nine-to-five office job and decided to pursue my music passion. 

My first single, “Hurts So Bad,” went to number one on South African radio and I became an overnight success, much to my own disbelief and amazement. I was soon headhunted by the biggest record company in the world, Polydor in the United Kingdom. I was signed to an unprecedented deal the likes of which the South African music business had not seen.

Twelve months later, on the verge of what looked like huge international success I was dropped from the label. A series of unfortunate events led to my returning home with my tail between my legs. It was then and there that I decided that I would be the master of my own destiny and no longer put my career in someone else’s hands. 

My education at Wits and my understanding of business gave me the confidence and compelled me to set up my own label, management company and publishing house, namely J23 Productions Publishing and Records CC. It’s a structure that led to my greatest success and my greatest freedom. All of this would not have been made possible without my tertiary education and the massive failure of my international record deal.

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