Ted Chung W’99 is a man with many roles to play. President of a marketing firm, vice president of a hip-hop record label, video-game promoter, clothing-line developer, disc jockey, film producer: Chung has either done it or is doing it.
Since graduating from Wharton in 1999, he’s become the vice president of marketing and A&R (Artist and Repertoire, which involves finding and developing talent) for Doggystyle Records, a hip-hop record label whose artists include, among others, multi-platinum rap king Snoop Dogg. He is also the president of a full-service entertainment marketing firm, Chung & Associates, which he operates with his cousin, Seung Chung.
“We basically came from grass-roots marketing to full-fledged entertainment company, whose vision is to execute exciting new creative ideas that haven’t been seen in the marketplace for film, music, and video games,” he explains.
Chung got his start in the music business when he was in high school in Los Angeles, where he began DJ-ing for local hip-hop and radio stations. He soon become coordinator of the city’s first high-school “street team” for MCA Records.
“Street teams are sort of like grassroots guerilla marketing,” he explains. “You do things like going into high schools to promote albums and artists.”
Many of the events he oversaw ended up crossing over into promotions and marketing, allowing him to begin building a national network in the music industry. In his senior year of high school, Chung drew on that network to start his own regional marketing company.
During his sophomore year at Penn, a Polygram executive heard Chung DJ-ing in Philadelphia. “He came up to me after the show and said, ‘Hey, I’m interested in putting together a compilation,’ and asked me to help put it together and repackage it.” The result was a rare rock, soul, and R&B project called “Hidden Jewels,” which Chung executive-produced for Polygram Music.
After graduation, Chung worked in A&R for EMI Records, doing “soundtrack stuff—basically finding new artists, selecting songs, and putting albums together.” Through the company, he met Snoop Dogg, and when the artist started his own joint-venture label, Doggystyle Records, in late 2000, he asked Chung to come along for the ride.
“I’m pretty much there from start to finish,” Chung says. “Not only do I head the direction of the imaging and overall release strategy for each album, but I also get the producers for each artist, and do collaborations with the artist. I try to reach out to all the producers that he and I feel will be best for a project.”
In 2002, Chung took on another mantle when his cousin Seung moved to the West Coast. Together, they took what had been Chung’s regional promotions company and joined it with an L.A. advertising firm to become Chung & Associates, a full-service youth marketing/ advertising company.
Some of Chung & Associate’s “bigger claims to fame” include their work for Vivendi Universal. “We do about 70 percent of the electronic arts music supervision for all their titles, as well as company promotions and marketing campaigns for their video games,” says Chung. And in another project, a film for MTV networks called Volcano High, they took an existing Korean martial-arts film and gathered an all-star cast of hip-hop and R&B artists to do voice-overs.
Doggystyle Records and Chung & Associates have a slew of new projects coming out: two more martial-arts films remixed with hip-hop and R&B musicians; the revamped 2004 Starsky & Hutch movie with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson (Snoop Dogg plays Huggy Bear, a police informant); a hip-hop video game; even a clothing line, Chariot, of “high-end urban apparel.”
“I would love to know about any undergrads who are interested in getting into the entertainment business, or if there’s anything currently happening on campus that I can get involved with,” he says. “I also know there are tons of Penn grads in the entertainment industry, and it would be really great if we could get a network going.”
Those interested may contact him at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
—Alison Stoltzfus C’05