People to Watch: Matt Crumpton

From the 08/03/2011 edition

Matt Crumpton scored his dream job straight out of law school, but the powerful firm laid him off within two years. Rather than pout, Crumpton relished the chance to try something new. He started his own firm, made his own hours and launched a wide range of projects that made him a force in the music scene.

"Life is short, and if you're just talking about doing things all the time, and you're not actually taking action, how will you know if your idea would have worked or not?" Crumpton said, citing failed attempts at college football and music stardom. "I would much rather have an idea fail than to never have done it."

Crumpton tries a lot of ideas. His list of extracurriculars is so dense that it's a wonder he gets around to his day job representing musicians and small businesses through Crumpton Law.

Attracting clients for that business was his inspiration for the annual music biz how-to conference Musician Inc., which now features major national panelists. He also runs Music Loves Ohio, a charity that provides musical instruments for kids who can't afford them, a la VH1's Save the Music.

Crumpton authored two books: "Making It," for which he and a friend interviewed successful musicians, and "The Ohio Self-Defense Law Guide Book for Gun Owners." ("I'm a hillbilly by birth," Crumpton said. "My family's from Alabama.")

He's on the boards for indie culture fest Independents' Day and upstart music college Groove U. He plays bass for The Winnie Cooper Project, a band that plays folk-pop covers of '90s hip-hop songs. He has even more projects simmering.

"My only skill is that I just try to have more wherewithal than other people," Crumpton said. "That's the only thing I have going for me. And sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't."

Lately it seems to be working.