Ben Fales is general manager/producer of BYU Music Group. As general manager, he directs and oversees all the business affairs of the organization and is responsible for shaping, managing, and executing the outward-facing identity and brand of BYU music ensembles/groups through the production, marketing, and distribution of BYU music albums and videos to US and world markets. Fales also produces and is responsible for the development and creative execution of new recorded music audio/video and sheet music content for Brigham Young University music ensembles/groups, School of Music faculty, and BYU-related artists and composers.
Although a singer/songwriter from his teenage years, Fales began his professional music career as a student intern in the stockroom of the Brigham Young University-owned record label, Tantara Records. In 2002, shortly after receiving a bachelor of arts degree in music (commercial music emphasis) with a minor in business management from BYU, then general manager Ron Simpson hired Fales as the operations manager of the label. Fales continued in that position for eight years where he learned almost every aspect of the music business firsthand: project management, licensing, sales, marketing, distribution, producing, and more.
In 2009, Fales began the BYU Executive MBA program, which opened his eyes to an expanded view of business strategy and opportunities. In 2010, in the midst of an ever-changing music-industry landscape, he was promoted to general manager and took on the added duties of shaping the overall mission and vision for the record label, Artists & Repertoire management, and producer.
After earning his MBA degree in 2011, Fales transformed the organization from the single record label Tantara Records into BYU Music Group, which consists of Tantara Records as well as a BYU-branded record label and music publisher, BYU Records and BYU Music Publishing Group, respectively. While the bar had long been set by Simpson for music recordings and CD packaging of the highest quality, the organizational change and emphasis on the BYU brand allowed Fales to strengthen BYU’s relevance on the world “music stage” as he developed new and innovative marketing and distribution strategies of BYU-branded CDs, digital downloads/streaming, and sheet music.
In 2012, Fales was able to combine two of his greatest creative passions—music and filmmaking—and released BYU Records’ first official music video on YouTube: “Danny Boy,” performed by BYU Vocal Point. Since then, BYU Music Group has continued to produce and release music videos featuring BYU music ensembles/groups that have garnered more than 100 million combined views on YouTube.
Fales’ passion for and understanding of the music industry, business best practices, music production, and filmmaking have enabled him to effectively drive the growth of BYU Music Group. This growth has enabled continued experiential learning opportunities for students in the Brigham Young University music ensembles/groups; increased worldwide distribution and engagement of BYU-related music albums and videos; and further established BYU as a university that produces audio and video recordings of the highest caliber.