Contrary to reports, Trent Reznor, Chief Creative Officer for Beats Electronics, will not be leaving the company following Apple’s $3 billion buyout, a spokesperson for Beats confirmed to Rolling Stone.
When asked about rumors that Reznor is no longer with the company, the spokesperson said, “They are all false.” Reznor had been quiet since reports of the buyout first emerged last month, but broke his silence on Twitter Monday afternoon, writing, “YES I am still CCO of Beats Music and looking forward to what lies ahead with Apple.” A spokesperson for Beats said that Reznor’s role in the company will be unchanged.
The Nine Inch Nails frontman was hired by Beats in January 2013 to help build up the company’s streaming service, with Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine saying at the time that Reznor would “bring an emotional connection back to the act of music discovery.”
Three months prior, Reznor announced his new job on his Facebook page, writing that he had been “wanting to experiment and focus my energy and creativity in some different directions, and Beats has afforded me that very opportunity. The process has been challenging and fascinating.”
In a 2012 profile with The New Yorker, the Nine Inch Nails frontman contrasted the streaming service with competitors like Spotify and Pandora. “‘Here’s 16 million licensed pieces of music,’ they’ve said, but you’re not stumbling into anything,” Reznor said. “What’s missing is a system that adds a layer of intelligent curation . . . As great as it is to have all this information bombarding you, there’s a real value in trusted filters. It’s like having your own guy when you go into the record store, who knows what you like but can also point you down some paths you wouldn’t necessarily have encountered.”
For Reznor, joining Beats was a reunion of sorts, with Iovine signing Nine Inch Nails to Interscope. More than two years ago, Iovine brought Reznor to Beats to show him the company. “It was pretty mind-blowing,” Reznor told Rolling Stone. “He asked me to solve a problem with the hardware he’d been having – an interesting riddle to me. I’d hear him speaking excitedly about his concept of a streaming service with curation at the forefront. My eyes lit up. I said, ‘Hey, in my own world, I agree that a product like that feels like the right move, from a consumer standpoint.’ We started executing that. I think I’m the longest employee here now at this point.”
Earlier this year, Reznor said his role was more “architectural.” “We’re trying to bring joy to the user and sort through the world’s catalog of music into digestible parcels that considers context where it might be,” said the singer. It’s coming up with the idea that humans need to be involved in this process and the miracle of algorithms. What we’ve been promised – it seems great, but more often than not it feels like a computer.”