Steve Schnur has been a label and music publishing company President, TV executive producer, music supervisor, professional musician, songwriter, composer, record producer and more. Along the way, he has moved the needle and changed the game in the fields of music, movies, television, sports, video games and digital interactive entertainment around the world.
He has been profiled by CNN, ESPN.com (“EA Execs are music tastemakers”), Music Row Magazine, Nashville Business Journal, The New York Times, London Financial Times and The Tennessean; named ‘One of the Most Creative People in Entertainment’ by Entertainment Weekly, ‘One of the Most Powerful People in the Music Business’ and ‘One of the Top 20 Power Players in the Digital Entertainment’ by Billboard, and ‘One of the Top 25 Power Players in the New Hollywood’ by The Wall Street Journal. In December 2015, he was featured in Variety’s ‘Music City Impact Report’ as one of the most influential executives of Nashville’s current creative boom, and in 2016, he was featured in Billboard on their annual Nashville Power Player list.
Schnur’s awards include being awarded at the 2018 Guild of Music Supervisors awards for Best Music Supervision in a Video Game, MUSEXPO’s 2009 International Music Person of the Year, the ACLU’s 2009 Bill of Rights Award, The Guild of Music Supervisors’ 2012 Music Supervisor of the Year, and MUSEXPO’s 2014 International Music Supervisor of the Year. Additionally, in 2005, he was honored by The Lili Claire Foundation.
Born in suburban New Jersey, Schnur began to study guitar, piano, composition, production and arrangement at Carnegie Hall at age 7. By his early teens, he was playing in pop, rock and jazz bands with seasoned musicians. While attending New York University’s School of Music Business & Technology, a chance conversation with MTV co-founder Les Garland on Schnur’s first morning as a research intern led to an invitation to join the fledgling network programming department that same afternoon. Shortly after, he was offered a full-time position with the team and became instrumental in the groundbreaking video debuts of Madonna, Michael Jackson, The Cure, Mötley Cru¨e, and more.
Schnur went on to hold various executive positions in promotion, marketing and A&R with Elektra Records, Chrysalis Records, Arista Records, Arista Nashville, Arista Austin and Capitol Records, helping to orchestrate the breakthroughs of many major artists, which included Metallica, Sarah McLachlan, Coldplay, Björk, Brad Paisley and more. He also served as music supervisor for hit movies ‘Cruel Intentions’ and ‘Miss Congeniality,’ which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song, and others.
In 2001, Schnur joined Electronic Arts, the global leader in video game software and streaming content. As President of EA Music Group, his role is to pursue, create and continuously develop the international business plan for music in game franchises such as Madden NFL, FIFA and Need For Speed. His entrepreneurial vision has transformed both the industry and the culture, and he has been responsible for internationally launching artists that have included Thirty Seconds to Mars, Robyn, Fallout Boy, K’naan, Katy Perry, Migos, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon, The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, Lizzo and Kendrick Lamar.
“Schnur has been ahead of the curve,” Variety wrote, “radically transforming the industry’s perception of video games from simple licensing opportunities to a series of groundbreaking partnerships.”
His hands-on approach to composer selection, orchestration and production of well over 100 EA soundtrack albums – including original scores for Battlefield, The Sims, Madden NFL, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Medal of Honor, Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order with
composers that have included Mark Mothersbaugh, Michael Giacchino, Junkie XL, Steve Jablonsky, Kris Bowers, Hildur Gu›nadóttir and Hans Zimmer – has earned EA over 50 soundtrack nominations over the last 10 years. And with the formation of Artwerk Music and Music Publishing Group, Schnur directly signed, developed and launched artists – including alternative breakthroughs acts Matt & Kim, Chromeo, Airbourne and Ladytron – for publishing, master recordings, sync deals and distribution.
Billboard recently said, “It's up to Steve Schnur to match bands with appropriate games – not just to get gamers to rock a little harder while playing best sellers – but to give artists a chance to break through.”
In 2011, he produced the No. 1 Billboard hit “Dance On” and the Top 5 hit, “Undivided” featuring Snoop Dogg. In 2012, he was Creator and Executive Producer of the E! Network television series “Opening Act,” which starred Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart, Nicki Minaj, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO and Jason Aldean.
In 2015, Schnur signed to an exclusive worldwide songwriter agreement with Sea Gayle Music, home to writers Brad Paisley, Chris Stapleton, Ingrid Andress and Brandy Clark.
Schnur has been a Governor on the Nashville & Los Angeles Recording Academy Boards. Additionally, he serves on the City of Hope board and Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music board. He was selected as one of Leadership Music’s “Class of 2017”; is a former board member of the Country Music Association; a voting member of the Grammy’s Producers & Engineers Wing; Music Advisor to Major League Soccer as well as the U.S. National Men’s and Women’s soccer teams; and has served as both Chairman and Chairman Emeritus of The Grammy Foundation. He has served on the Tennessee Entertainment Commission under Governors Haslam and Lee, and currently serves on the Advocacy Committee of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. In 2018 he helped craft legislation that led to the Scoring Incentives Program, which created rebates for producing original music scores for films, television, video games, and other digital media projects in Tennessee.