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 Forbes, Rolling Stone, CNN, ESPN, The London Financial Times, and The New York Times; 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.
Schnur’s awards include the 2021 Hollywood Music In Media award for Music Supervision – Video Game; the 2020 Game Audio Network Guild award for Music Of The Year; the 2012 and 2018 Guild of Music Supervisors awards for Best Music Supervision in a Video Game (nominated in the same category each year between 2015-2022, and in 2013 and 2011 ), 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 (nominated in the same category in 2020), and MUSEXPO’s 2014 International Music Supervisor of the Year. In 2005, The Lili Claire Foundation honored him with The Beacon of Hope Award for his work in improving the lives of children living with neurogenetic birth conditions and creating services to support their families.
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 Crüe, 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 Worldwide Executive 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 Green Day, Anitta, CHVRCHES, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Robyn, Fallout Boy, Black Eyed Peas, K’naan, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon, The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, Kendrick Lamar, Glass Animals and Billie Eilish.
His hands-on approach to composer selection, orchestration, and production of well over 200 EA soundtrack albums – including original scores for Battlefield 2042, The Sims, Madden NFL, FIFA, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Medal of Honor, and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order with composers that have included Hildur Guðnadóttir, Gordy Haab, Mark Mothersbaugh, Michael Giacchino, Junkie XL, Kris Bowers, Steve Jablonsky, and Hans Zimmer – has earned EA nearly 100 soundtrack nominations over the last 20 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.
Schnur has always been visionary in how the music in EA titles can drive culture outside the gaming world. For two decades, he’s been a global tastemaker with EA’s franchise soundtracks, which consistently move the needle worldwide.
“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.”
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.
Schnur was recently appointed for a second term to the board of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission by the current Governor of TN, and he recently served as a Governor on the NARAS Nashville Chapter Board of Directors. Additionally, he serves on the City of Hope board and Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music board. He 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 was selected as one of Leadership Music’s “Class of 2017.”
In 2012, Schnur founded the Creative Community for Peace, and in 2021, he launched the Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance.