From Payment in Free Food to CEO… All Before 30

Matt Romero (Northern Arizona ‘17) is an entrepreneur and CEO of Affinity Entertainment in Nashville. Matt always knew he wanted to be in the music industry; Affinity had been a dream of his since he was 5 years old. With a backup vocalist as a mother, Matt had early memories of going on the road with her, taking the tour bus from city to city. A career in the music industry was always the end goal and Matt worked toward it during his time at Northern Arizona. While bartending at a local bar in Flagstaff, Matt approached the managers about adding live music once a week. From there Matt did all the leg work from finding musical talent to scheduling a show every Wednesday night, and in return, the bar paid him free meals, “which can go a long way in college,” Matt joked.  And if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Matt was the founding president of Beta-Iota Chapter. Matt never planned on joining a fraternity, but when our Sigma Pi expansion team pitched a fraternity where you could create your own culture, he was all in. Memories were great but Matt focused on the future and thought about how beneficial his Chapter could be to young men and that drove his passion within the Fraternity. 

After graduating, Matt took his dream to Nashville. Affinity Entertainment took off from executing small shows to coordinating 500-people shows. With growth comes adjustability, having a sustainable business model in such an unpredictable industry was a challenge but Matt adjusted Affinity to be more ingrained with the community. 

Taking the leap as an entrepreneur never worried Matt, saying “I’m a big believer in belief itself, if you believe in something strong enough, then that’s enough to take you, and I believe in Affinity.”

Matt has big visions for Affinity Entertainment to be an influential part of the music industry including providing musical experiences nationwide, as well as hosting a music festival. 

If you find yourself in Nashville and hear live music in a bar, restaurant, or even the lobby of your hotel, you could be experiencing the product of Matt Romero’s passion, dedication, and success. 

Advice from a Young Entrepreneur 

#1 Advice for Your Career

“No matter the industry, the biggest advice I wish I had gotten is to have a strong work ethic, the only thing that dictates your future is you.” 

 Steps to Success as an Entrepreneur

“I connect with writers and artists a lot because being an entrepreneur is just being an artist for your own vision. Your company is having belief in your art.”

How to Handle Rejections

 “Be ready to redefine the word ‘failure’ and the word ‘no.’ Redefine those experiences as growth, it’s just one step closer to where you want to be.”