As a kid, Mike Norris (Music Management B.A.’19) tagged along with his grandfather, running errands for housebound church members, repairing damaged property from fallen trees, and showing up for his community when they needed him. A significant experience with lessons that reverberated into his adulthood, he carries that spirit into his connection with the Georgia State music community.
Norris, recently named to the 2022 alumni class of Georgia State’s 40 Under 40, is the co-founder of Aurign. This multimillion-dollar tech startup creates and files split sheet music from clients’ songs, giving artists and publishers the transparency, security and publishing royalties they deserve. He is also the founder of the Norris International Agency, which manages several multi-platinum and GRAMMY-nominated producers and has played a significant role in generating several of this decade's biggest records.
In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Norris also cultivates philanthropic contributions in the community and is working to establish his LLC, Playmakers, as a non-profit. Founded with two fellow Georgia State alumni, Playmaker seeks to provide a support group for young music executives to find support for their mental health amidst the industry’s challenges. “It is difficult to find peers and build genuine relationships because everyone wants to be around you for what you can do for them and who you have access to,” says Norris of those challenges. Norris also notes that the individuals in the industry often find themselves exposed to the struggles of suicide and drug overdoses, compounding the need for a network of support.
On advising the next generation of Georgia State grads, Norris says, “Take as many risks as you can.” He encourages recent and upcoming graduates to stay connected with the school and take advantage of the robust alumni and faculty networks, noting, “The stronger your community gets, the stronger you get.”
Norris himself gives back to Georgia State, helping students identify local internships, offering mentoring and music consulting, and providing funding opportunities through Playmakers. Norris encourages the next generation to pay it forward. “If you find success soon after graduation, then give back; it's so rewarding.”
The 40 Under 40 program began in 2018 and annually honors, recognizes and celebrates the most influential and impactful Georgia State graduates who embody the values of the university. The 2022 Class of 40 Under 40 will be honored at a March 24 ceremony and reception at the Foundry at Puritan Mill. The event is open to the public and tickets are available here.