Milken Community School is a place that builds and nurtures friendships that for many Alumni, last a lifetime. For Alex Schwartz ’03, one half of the multi-platinum music producing and songwriting duo, “The Futuristics,” those relationships have remained a constant source of support throughout his personal and professional journey.
Drawn to hip-hop music from an early age, Alex started off as the kid who made mixtapes for his friends and has gone on to collaborate with some of the biggest names in the music industry. In addition to his unrelenting determination and work ethic, Alex credits much of his success to a straightforward concept, which is to simply, “Be a good person.” Learning how to be a good person through the bonds of close friendships and lessons learned at Milken, continue to be pillars of his career and personal philosophy.
With plans to study on the east coast to become a lawyer, Alex’s vision for his future completely transformed during the summer after graduation. During those few months, he spent most of his time alongside a close relative who had recently started his career in the music industry. For the first time, Alex was exposed to the studio world and the behind-the-scenes creative process and lifestyle of music production. It was a life changing jolt of inspiration --Alex was hooked and quickly realized that music was much more than a hobby, but a deep passion.
Within two months of his freshman year at Trinity College, Alex transferred to USC here in LA, the heart of the music industry. “There was absolutely nothing that would get in my way,” Alex says. Considering the swift nature of his decision, Alex recalls how meaningful and encouraging it was to have the support of his family and Milken friends during this time of transition. In addition to his studies at USC student, Alex landed an internship at Interscope Records and upon graduation, continued to work within the industry while making beats from his bedroom. It was around that time that he met his future partner, Joe Khajadourian, and the rest is history.
Alex and Joe make up “The Futuristics,” and have written and produced music with Chris Brown, Flo Rida, Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, and many more. Reflecting on how Milken prepared him for his career, Alex recalls learning that in order to make it far, personally or professionally, “be a good person and be someone that people want to be around.” It is this valuable lesson and approach to life that has always stayed with him. “Milken for me was so important because I found my group of friends who are still my best friends today and who are such a big part of my life and played such a big part in the shaping of who I am today.”
When asked what advice he would give young entrepreneurs in any industry, Alex is a champion of persistence and the idea that “if you want something, it should never feel like a task, it’s just something you have to do.” It’s that feeling of waking up every morning with a need to do what you love. For Alex, it’s the daily drive to find inspiration through music that has molded his career and been a constant source of motivation. He encourages future entrepreneurs to find their passions and to never stop persisting until you reach your dream.