Ohio State student Cody Puccetti assisted Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, KidCudi, Mike Posner, Chip Tha Ripper and his boss down High Street in search of some lunch on a chilly November afternoon in 2011.
“I was just baffled,” Puccetti said, commenting on his experience. He was 19 years old at the time and had the privilege to parade down High Street with five musical artists he considered famous.
Before attending OSU, the fourth-year in biology attended Upper Arlington High School. His sophomore year of high school, Patrick Cline, a promoter for Columbus company Vanline Productions LLC, sent Puccetti a message via Facebook, asking him to meet at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus one Saturday.
Cline was searching via Facebook for high school students from Central Ohio to be ticket sellers for his promotion company. AlthoughPuccetti thought the message to be “sketchy,” Cline had reasoning for reaching out to his hometown of Columbus.
“Sure I could’ve found 100 plus intern resumes from major entertainment agencies or management firms out West, but the thought of reaching out to someone from my hometown was fulfilling,” Cline said.
Cline’s leap of faith ended up paying off.
“I reached out to (Puccetti) blindly to help promote a show early on in my career. It was his first time ever promoting a show and, out of the team we had set up in the market, Cody outperformed everyone and hit it out of the park,” Cline said.
Puccetti then began his work for Vanline and in 2010, Cline, who manages singer, songwriter and producer Posner, promoted Puccetti to be his assistant.
“(Puccetti is) an extension to our management team, so he’s involved in a wide range of tasks and responsibilities that come with working with a multi-platinum international artist,” Cline said.
Since, Puccetti has had many opportunities working in the line of business.
For example, Puccetti got to be in the rehearsal studio with Posner and rapper Ludacris as they practiced each other’s songs before performing together.
“Last New Year’s, Mike Posner did a show in Miami (Florida) with Ludacris, and it was called the ‘Red Bull Soundclash.’ They had two stages facing each other, and the crowd was in the middle. Mike did Luda’s songs andLuda did Mike’s songs,” Puccetti said.
Puccetti devotes his free time to booking shows, setting up recording studio time and promoting DJ E-V, who serves as Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly’s official mix tape DJ and Posner’s tour DJ, and Cal Scruby, a former OSU student who became popular through various raps about the university and his hometown of Cincinnati.
Puccetti said he got Scruby’s career up and running by knowing the formalities of the music industry.
“Every connect we had was through Cody,” Scruby said.
Last fall, Scruby came out with an EP, titled “Boy Genius,” which Puccetti produced.
In February, “Fux With Me,” a song from “Boy Genius,” was featured on BBC Radio 1. Puccetti said this was one of his proudest achievements.
“Normally, the manager wouldn’t just walk in and start messing with stuff. But I produced some beats, so it’s kind of like a collaboration effort,” Puccetti said.
During the Midwest leg of Justin Bieber’s Believe tour, Puccetti managed and sat backstage as Posner opened for the pop artist, who performed at Nationwide Arena July 12. He also managed Posner when he opened for Ke$ha at the LC Pavilion on Aug. 27.
“Managing an artist on an arena tour for the night won’t look too shabby on the resume,” Puccetti said.
In Spring 2014, Puccetti is set to add a degree in biology to his resume following his graduation from OSU. His choice of study, he explains, was a way for him to challenge himself.
Although the subject matter seems to contrast, he said much of what he has learned in biology and pre-med helped him in his work life.
“The work ethic has been a major help,” Puccetti said. “It takes a lot of time and effort to study biology at OSU, and it definitely translates to promoting.”
Puccetti has “no clue at this point” regarding his plans for the far future, but he hopes to go on tour full-time after commencement.
In the near future, though, he is focused on booking October shows in Ohio for Scruby and organizing a radio tour for Posner.
Cline, though, assures open doors for Puccetti post-graduation.
“Ohio natives have a strong presence in the national entertainment business, believe it or not, and Cody has the potential to continue that,” Cline said. “He’s getting great experience early on, he’s smart and has a good ear for music, and he’ll have some doors open for him when he graduates.”
Danielle Seamon contributed to this story.