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Dave Mallen of Innovation Station Music Asks a Bold Question: "Why Not Here?"

11/11/2014 5:46 PM | Deleted user

     Dave Mallen is an inspired man.  Ideas about the music business seem to inspire him the most.  It’s this zeal for new ideas that led Mallen to start Innovation Station Music while working towards a degree at the Berklee College of Music online.  For one of his classes he was assigned to create a business plan that addressed the future of the music industry.  Not wanting to just do the minimum, Mallen decided to see his business plan all the way through development.  The result was Innovation Station Music, a one stop shop for local musicians located in Arlington, Virginia.  

     Mallen has been making music for many years, first as a folksy guitar-playing singer-songwriter and eventually as a keyboardist, backing musician and producer extraordinaire.  He grew up in New Jersey in between Springsteen and Bon Jovi’s old stomping grounds.  That hometown vibe is something Mallen brought with him to D.C. when he moved here to attend American University nearly twenty years ago.  At it’s heart, Innovation Station Music is a strong proponent of hometown culture -- a concept that Mallen does not want to see lost among the highly transient and “fickle fans” in the D.C. crowd.  Innovation Station Music is a connecting entity that seeks to to create a strong music scene right here in the D.C. area.  Mallen wants to encourage musicians to stay in D.C. instead of moving to New York, Nashville, etc. to pursue their music career.  It’s this bold vision that begs the question, “Why not here?”.  As songwriters and music-lovers residing in the D.C. metro area, we couldn’t agree more!        

     Mallen started Innovation Station Music in 2006 while still at his day job as a Project Manager at a large corporation.  In 2008 he took the leap to work at his new business on a full-time basis.  When you meet Dave Mallen, it doesn’t take long to realize that Innovation Station Music truly is his passion project.  One of the signature products he offers as part of his Music Business Strategy consulting is the “Strategic Plan,” a 60+ page document catered to individual artists.  Dave loves to consult with musicians and share with them the knowledge and skills he’s learned from his extensive training and experience.  Mallen’s vision for Innovation Station Music is to comprehensively develop artists’ potential using four steps: Connect, Educate, Inspire and Stay.  To support this vision, Mallen involves himself in several local music groups and causes.  He started a  monthly music industry meet up called Metro Music Source which encourages musicians to network with one another while discussing topics ranging from finding gigs to promoting their music.  Additionally, Mallen is very active in D.C.’s Fair Trade Music movement, a “grassroots community organizing initiative with the goal of developing local, community standards for equitable relationships in live musical performance.”

     In addition to music business strategy services, Innovation Station Music offers a full service recording studio.  From large full band sounds to more intimate singer/songwriter records, Mallen seems to have done it all. So just what might Innovation Station Music have to offer you?  Perhaps you’re looking for someone to record a demo with or to produce an album of your songs?  Maybe you’re unsure of what the next step might be to help advance your music career?  Innovation Station Music can help with all of these ideas from album production to album release and beyond.  

     Mallen and Innovation Station Music have partnered with SAW in the past at workshops and other events.  It’s a relationship that Mallen sees as a good fit.  He and some of the artists he has produced have won multiple MASC awards and, in 2013, Mallen was nominated for the “Most Supportive of Washington Music” Wammie.  

     When asked, Mallen expressed that his wish would be to “educate every artist in the D.C. metro area and give them the tools and confidence they need to take their music to the next level.”  This begs a bold question for us, the songwriters and performing artists living here, “What are we waiting for?” 

You can find out more about Dave Mallen and Innovation Station Music by visiting      

Songwriters' Association of Washington is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


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