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James Kelley

James  Kelley '05

CEO/President, Wire Road Studios

award: Young Entrepreneur of the Year
company: Wire Road Studios


Kelley, who earned a degree in sociology from the College of Liberal Arts, set the goal of building a world-class music and audio recording studio. The Houston-based business’ revenue has boomed since its opening, growing from $13,000 the first year to more than $500,000 annually. Kelley has successfully built relationships with major record labels, including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, as well as sub-labels Capital, Motown and Epoch Records.

The studio has served artists from a variety of genres, including Beyonce, Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Aaron Lindsey, Grammy Award-winning R&B singer and songwriter India Arie, and hip-hop stars Ludacris, T.I., and Slim Thug.

The studio received a Platinum Record for work on Beyonce’s self-titled album, as well as a Gold Record for its work on the Trey Songz album, “Chapter V.” Wire Road Studios has also earned gold and silver “Addy” awards for its audio production work.

Mix Magazine named Wire Road Studios as one of the top new studios in the world. In addition to assisting recording artists, the studio has also engaged in major audio production work for “Breaking Bad,” “Nashville,” “Dallas,” and “Under the Dome,” as well as other projects for Sony Pictures, The Discovery Channel, History Channel, and National Geographic.

Aaron Lindsey, VP of A&R for Motown Gospel and a multi-Grammy winning music producer, said Kelley has created unique space for himself within the music industry.

“I am accustomed to a certain level of excellence in client services and business affairs,” he said. “When I first came [to Wire Road Studios] I realized I had found what I was looking for and more. This young entrepreneur has established a very consistent, intelligent, and client-oriented team. His leadership and business acumen have taken concepts taught in lecture halls and birthed them into a real and actualized service and excellence-driven entity.”


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