Meet Our Team

Our team of experts have been carefully chosen to give you the very best team of mentors who specialise in areas spanning across the various stages in Mastering Your Craft, Recording, Releasing, Artist Development, Media, Marketing, Sales, Career and Business.

USM’s team of mentors have worked with institutions such as Berklee College, JMC, Universal Music, Sony and several independent labels, agencies and venues in Australia and internationally for over 20 years.

Steve Jaz

Founder, CEO & Business Mentor

USM founder, mentor and entrepreneur, Steve Jaz has helps musicians turn their knowledge, skill and experience into a music business in the new music industry.

Inspired by years of research and investment in personal development, metaphysics, universal principals and human behaviour, Steve’s unique path of a musician turned entrepreneur has enabled him to generate a six-figure income and a company that has generated millions in revenue and transform the lives of thousands of musicians along the journey.

As a mentor and coach, Steve works with emerging music business start-ups revealing his blueprint for success using the tools that have helped him and his clients turn their passion into a thriving business in today’s music industry.

Steve has worked with professionals across multiple industries including record labels, education, entertainment, sales, marketing, coaching, self-development, spirit guides, shamans, actors, celebrities and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Steve is dedicated to developing artists and leaders who have a significant impact on communities around the country by giving people the opportunity to develop a sustainable career in music and education. With a growing team and network across the country, USM continues to work with its foundation as a way of always giving back to the community and helping develop a stronger industry within Australia.

Michél Kroll

Head of USM Records, Producer, Trainer & Mentor

Professional Songwriter, Producer and Music Mentor, Michél Kroll started his music career at the age of 16 and only a year later, he signed his first record deal and moved to Berlin working with Universal Music, Berlin State Opera and Sony Music as touring artist, songwriter, mentor and producer. Alongside this he has performed with international acts like The Wu-Tang-Clan, Bloodhound Gang, Danko Jones, Nick Cave, Powderfinger and Fall Out Boy. Michel is currently head of USM Records at Universal School of Music.

Jake Howman

Tribe Songwriter Coach, Guitar teacher & Vocal Producer

How do you blend creativity and success without one swallowing up the other?

That was my biggest fear in trying to turn my passion for music into a sustainable career. I joined USM’s Tribe for Modern Songwriters in October 2018 in search for an answer, and what I found was so much more. USM was my introduction to the world of personal development, mentoring and business, and has since shaped my mindset in a way that was only achievable by being surrounded by action takers.

What I experienced was a team who practiced holistic mentoring methods focusing on individual goals, then creating strong and deep connections with everyone in the community as a result of attaining those goals.

So what was the answer to blending creativity with success?
Create to give, not to take. The more we offer our skills to get others where they want to be, the more we propel ourselves forward. I've gone from bedroom wannabe to business owner, making double the money compared to my day job just by asking myself what I can give to other people.

I’ve been a guitarist for 15 years and can show you techniques you can use as a singer/songwriter to instantly stand out from the crowd, specialising in alternate tunings and open voiced chords. Once you know your way around the instrument, I can help you write songs that will connect deep in the core of your listener while also remaining true to your creative self (trust me, it’s easier than you think to “write from the heart” and also hit the charts).
As one of the Tribe leaders, I intend to help Tribe to become the biggest songwriting force in the country. I have studied methods taught by leading songwriters Jason Blume (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys), Friedemann Findeisen, James Roche (Bachelor Girl) and Eric McCusker (Mondo Rock, John Farnham) with one of my own songs placing top 30 in the 2018 ASA Australian Songwriting Contest for the folk acoustic genre.
Last but not least, I thrive in the recording studio as a vocal producer to make sure those lyrics hit home in the context of a full mix. Microphone placement, vocal layering, gain automation, pitch correction and composition through vocal tone are all art forms in themselves which contribute a huge amount to a truly professional sounding track.

I couldn’t imagine my life without music and I know there’s more of you out there who are the same. Bursting at the seams wanting to share my knowledge so jump on the ride with me and let's see where we go!

Jake

Martin Case

Music Director, Composer, Trainer & Mentor

Martin, Music Director, Trainer & Mentor at USM, specialises in working with producers, DJ’s and artists on how to produce professional quality work and gain artistic employment through entrepreneurship. Martin has taught at Harvard University, Berklee College of Music and JMC Academy. He has over 20 years of experience as a lecturer, touring musician, composer and in curriculum design.

In addition to teaching and mentoring, Martin is a composer, multi-media producer, and performing musician. His work also includes designing experiences for concert, dance, film and other multi-media, both live and in the studio which has taken me to the Middle East, West Africa, South America, Europe, Australia, and throughout Asia.

Claire Rayner

Vocal Topliner, Artist Mentor, Songwriter & Teacher

Professional vocalist, songwriter, topliner and artist mentor, Claire Rayner (Rromarin, Kult Kyss) has spent recent years forging her name in the world of Australian music.

After graduating from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Classical Music, Claire signed to major music publisher Warner/Chappell and record label TMRW Music, and is actively engaged within the industry as a topliner, producer, recording artist and live performer.

Accruing over 11 million collective Spotify streams, Claire's versatile songwriting has seen her participate in events such as the 2019 Sony MMW Songwriting Camp, as well as the 2018 Victorian SongHubs and KLP's Ricochet SONGS. No stranger to the stage, 2018-19 also saw the eclectic vocalist performing live with Kult Kyss, supporting the Presets on their national HI VIZ tour, showcasing at BIGSOUND, performing on ABC TV’s show ‘The Set’ and EMC Live.

Receiving airplay across triple j, Double J and Unearthed for every release, Rromarin has also added her voice to a slew of acclaimed singles with artists such as LUCIANBLOMKAMP, The Presets and Golden Features.

Claire brings a wealth of both contemporary and classical music training to USM, specializing in vocal coaching, classical piano, performance technique, artist mentoring & development, songwriting and toplining. She loves working with artists and musicians of all ages and levels, and strives to make each interaction warm, engaging and fun.

Cameron Deyell

Teacher and mentor in guitar, music theory, songwriting and production

Hi, I’m Cameron Deyell, I’m looking forward to joining the team at USM in 2020 as a teacher and mentor in guitar, music theory, songwriting and production.

I’ve been making music for 20 years. The guitar is my doorway into a spooky world of sounds and songs where I’m drawn to all things unusual and beautiful.
I’m maybe best known for working with Sia on her grammy-nominated platinum-selling album This Is Acting.

After living for years in USA and India, I’ve moved to Melbourne where I’m busy working with amazing singers Lior, Katie Noonan, avant punk band Liars and Indian jazz fusion group The Three Seas.

I cut my teeth as a jazz musician, studying at UCLA in Los Angeles with jazz guitar legend Kenny Burrell. I completed my honours degree in guitar performance from Uni of Adelaide and since then I’ve worked with many artists including Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Streets of Laredo (US), Jessica Lea Mayfield (US), Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bertie Blackman and jazz pianist Mike Nock. I’m signed to BMG in LA and songs I’ve worked on have a collective 25 million streams on Spotify.

The focus USM has on mentoring artists into a sustainable career in the new music industry is exciting. I wish there was a place like this when I was coming up!
When I’m not making music I love sailing. I recently sailed my boat from Los Angeles to Mexico, across the Pacific through Tahiti to Fiji. It was wild. I’m always happy to stop and chat about music or sailing or both 😉

Come say hi!

Cameron.