It’s been a year since Dane Schmidt launched Daschent, a creative management company.
Since launching, the company’s Dane and Jake Moss (Creative Manager & Brand Dev.) have built out a roster that includes Dane’s brother and genre-leading hitmaker Jordan Schmidt, multi-Platinum mixing engineer Jeff Braun, hit songwriter Jaida Dreyer and rising singer-songwriters Kyle Clark and Joey Hendricks.
Before forming Daschent, Dane spent many years taking rewarding creative risks.
He and Jordan grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. Their parents were both musicians who worked full-time jobs and played music five nights a week, so music is in their blood. Dane started playing drums before he turned 2 years old, and Jordan picked up instruments just as quickly.
As a teen, Dane was drawn to punk bands such as Blink-182 and Dashboard Confessional. He was inspired to join bands in high school, and in his senior year, he wrote a nine-song album inspired by a breakup.
“I went off to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Dane tells MusicRow. “Morehead State University had a recording program. I went and spent my first semester partying a lot, but also traveling around, playing shows and putting my music on the internet.”
Dane’s music started growing a fanbase. After he had to come home from college when his grades started suffering, he leaned in to his musicianship.
“I had to stay in my old bedroom. It was very demoralizing. I had a couple of demoralizing times like that,” Dane quips. “I went to a community college and cleaned up my act. I got a 3.5 GPA, but I also started direct messaging, emailing and going on forums on Pure Volume to share my music.
“One night I put up the entire album [I wrote in high school] and it shot up to the top 10 on the unsigned artists chart,” Dane says. “I started getting emails from people to come play shows.”
Dane booked his first few tours while continuing his college education. “After my third semester of college, I started failing again because I was so busy with music. My parents would see me carrying out garbage bags of CDs that I would be taking to the post office to mail out. I told my parents, ‘I’ve got an opportunity here. I need to see it through.’ That was 2005.”
Dane became a full-time frontman for his band. They toured for two and a half years, but couldn’t get a record deal, so the band called it quits.
“I came back home demoralized again, living in my parents’ basement,” Dane said. “Jordan had learned to produce by then so he helped me record a CD [for my band Sing It Loud].”
After calling it quits with Sing It Loud, Dane returned to his solo project, Jamestown Story, and landed a record deal with Epitaph Records. Dane and Jordan moved to Minneapolis for a few years, where Dane continued to release music and Jordan grew his book as a producer.
The left Minneapolis when Nashville called in 2012. “We moved down here with no plan other than being around people like us,” Dane says.
At that point, Dane realized he had more passion for business than he did for songwriting. He started managing Jordan so that his brother could strictly focus on being a creative—a skill he would employ years later with Daschent.
After some time living outside of Nashville in Gallatin, the brothers weren’t finding much success, so they packed up their studio and moved into midtown Nashville. Within a year, they met Mitchell Tenpenny, Andy Albert, Brian Kelley and more rising songwriters. Then Dane helped Florida Georgia Line‘s Kelley and Tyler Hubbard build their publishing company, Tree Vibez Music. Jordan became the company’s first signee.
“I had just turned 30 and was in the right place at the right time,” Dane says. “Tina Crawford, who was at Major Bob at the time, taught me publishing over instant messenger.”
Dane stayed at Tree Vibez for two of its foundational years before joining Sony Music Publishing. “I took that as a college education,” he says. “I decided to learn as much as I could and when I got out, I would be able to use it to start something [of my own].”
After five years at Sony Music Publishing, where he became Senior Creative Director, Dane reconnected with Jake Moss, who he eventually hired to help him build Daschent.
While in college at MTSU, Moss took a class taught by Nashville entrepreneur Mark Montgomery. After college, he began managing some of Montgomery’s studios for a few years. Through a series of circumstances, Moss ended up in a meeting with Tree Vibez executives and connected with Leslie DiPiero. Moss soon started working at Tree Vibez, where he met Dane.
Now, Dane, Jake and Dane’s father Mark support their creators at Daschent. In just a year, the company has celebrated an impressive slate of victories.
Jordan has had an excellent year. In addition to selling some of his catalog to Endurance Music Group last year, Jordan celebrated multiple No. 1 hits as a songwriter and as a producer. He co-wrote Kane Brown‘s “Like I Love Country Music” and “Bury Me In Georgia,” Cole Swindell‘s “Drinkaby,” Mitchel Tenpenny‘s “We Got History,” Lainey Wilson‘s “Watermelon Moonshine” and more, along with a myriad of production credits.
Schmidt won an ACM Award as a co-writer and co-producer of Hardy and Wilson’s “Wait In The Truck.”
Kyle Clark has been building his fanbase after rising to songwriter prominence as a co-writer on Lily Rose‘s breakout hit, “Villain.” He has since garnered major label cuts with Jon Pardi, Mitchell Tenpenny, Restless Road, Adam Doleac and more.
In early 2022, one of Kyle’s own songs, “Hope It’s Hot Out,” took off on TikTok. After officially releasing on May 25, 2022, the track quickly crossed 1 million streams its first week, and has since garnered over 30 million streams independently across all platforms.
Kyle recently released an EP, and in an effort to compensate his co-writers fairly, he gives a portion of the master to them, exemplifying the creators-first approach Daschent has taken on.
Joey Hendricks recently signed with the company alongside Warner Chappell. Hendricks moved to Nashville from Washington state in 2018 and has written songs for Lady A, Nate Smith, Avenue Beat and Eric Ethridge. Today (June 16) Hendricks released his latest single “Run Away,” which he co-wrote alongside Aaron Espe. He is set to release his debut album next year.
Daschent has a big future ahead of it. Dane says, though, his goal is to keep betting on himself and his tribe.
“I’ve been very happy with how my career has gone. I feel like I’m in a place right now where I can take some shots and bet on myself and other people,” Dane says. “If I can continue to do that and people are happy with what they’re doing and having the success that they’re having, anything on top of that is the cherry on top.”