In the Spotlight: Over 100 Voices in Music by Emily Correa

I wrote this text in 2015 and I hope you can enjoy this FREE copy! 20 years in the arts #MillennialLifeCoach

I wrote this text in 2015 and I hope you can enjoy this FREE copy!

20 years in the arts #MillennialLifeCoach


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong><br />

<strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong>

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong><br />

<strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

Dani Felt & <strong>Emily</strong> <strong>Correa</strong>

Legal <strong>In</strong>formation and Disclaimer<br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Copyright © 2015 <strong>by</strong> Dani Felt and <strong>Emily</strong> <strong>Correa</strong><br />

All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced <strong>in</strong> any form without<br />

permission <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong> authors. Reviewers may quote brief passages <strong>in</strong><br />

reviews.<br />

Disclaimer and FTC Notice<br />

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored <strong>in</strong> a retrieval system or transmitted<br />

<strong>in</strong> any form or <strong>by</strong> any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy<strong>in</strong>g, record<strong>in</strong>g<br />

or o<strong>the</strong>rwise, without prior permission <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong> publisher.<br />

While all attempts have been made to verify <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>formation provided <strong>in</strong> this publication,<br />

nei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> author, nor <strong>the</strong> publisher assumes any responsibility for errors,<br />

omissions, or contrary <strong>in</strong>terpretations of <strong>the</strong> subject matter here<strong>in</strong>.<br />

This book is for enterta<strong>in</strong>ment purposes only. The views expressed are those of<br />

<strong>the</strong> author alone and should not be taken as expert <strong>in</strong>structions or commands. The<br />

reader is responsible for his or her own actions.<br />

Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>ternational, federal,<br />

state, and local govern<strong>in</strong>g professional licens<strong>in</strong>g, bus<strong>in</strong>ess practices, advertis<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

and all o<strong>the</strong>r aspects of do<strong>in</strong>g bus<strong>in</strong>ess <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> US, Canada, or any o<strong>the</strong>r jurisdiction<br />

is <strong>the</strong> sole responsibility of <strong>the</strong> purchaser or reader.<br />

Nei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> author nor <strong>the</strong> publisher assumes any responsibility or liability whatsoever<br />

on <strong>the</strong> behalf of <strong>the</strong> purchaser or reader of <strong>the</strong>se materials.<br />

Any perceived slight of any <strong>in</strong>dividual or organization is purely un<strong>in</strong>tentional.<br />

ISBN: 1512270482<br />

ISBN 13: 9781512270488<br />

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015908039<br />

CreateSpace <strong>In</strong>dependent Publish<strong>in</strong>g Platform<br />

North Charleston, South Carol<strong>in</strong>a<br />

Reviews for <strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>:<br />

<strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>In</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

“<strong>In</strong>spiration’ is a fitt<strong>in</strong>g title for Chapter 1 of <strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong><br />

<strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>In</strong> <strong>Music</strong>!<br />

The anecdotes shared <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> ‘Keys to Success’ portion illustrate that<br />

<strong>in</strong>spiration can come from anywhere and anyone. The ‘Featured<br />

<strong>In</strong>terview’ with Broadway star Joanna Christie rem<strong>in</strong>ds readers that<br />

self-belief is <strong>the</strong> biggest ‘Key to Success’. Authors Dani Felt and <strong>Emily</strong><br />

<strong>Correa</strong> have created a motivational guide that is sure to <strong>in</strong>spire.”<br />

- Steve Gordon, Enterta<strong>in</strong>ment Lawyer, Author of “The Future of <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Music</strong> Bus<strong>in</strong>ess”<br />

“Thank you for shar<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>se words of wisdom. The first chapter<br />

“<strong>In</strong>spiration” is like “Chicken Soup for <strong>the</strong> Soul” <strong>by</strong> Jack Canfield.<br />

The stories are short and to <strong>the</strong> po<strong>in</strong>t, ego free, and without long<br />

drawn out rhetoric. Many artists and new <strong>in</strong>dustry people want to<br />

know experiences from both <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>die and <strong>the</strong> established. Never<br />

has a book been written where you get <strong>the</strong> personal <strong>in</strong>side scoop<br />

from artists <strong>the</strong>mselves, I felt as though I was <strong>in</strong> group <strong>the</strong>rapy! Stay<br />

blessed!” -Andrea Arroyo, <strong>Music</strong> Artist<br />


Reviews for <strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>In</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“What an amaz<strong>in</strong>g way to reach creatives around <strong>the</strong> world <strong>by</strong> deliver<strong>in</strong>g<br />

such an <strong>in</strong>spirational book. It showcases stories and keys<br />

to help you unlock your <strong>in</strong>ner power, to keep go<strong>in</strong>g and to focus<br />

always on your art and creativity without boundaries. This is one<br />

of <strong>the</strong> toughest times right now to be an artist s<strong>in</strong>ce we are fight<strong>in</strong>g<br />

such a crisis of survival and this book helps and <strong>in</strong>spires you to<br />

strive for what you believe <strong>in</strong>. I am blessed to be one of <strong>the</strong> featured<br />

artists and th<strong>in</strong>k this is already one of <strong>the</strong> best th<strong>in</strong>gs I could have<br />

done <strong>in</strong> my career this year, open<strong>in</strong>g and shar<strong>in</strong>g my story to <strong>in</strong>spire<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r musicians and artists. What a great job Dani and <strong>Emily</strong> have<br />

done tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir time to put this all toge<strong>the</strong>r! I wish from <strong>the</strong> bottom<br />

of my heart that this book reaches millions of people all over <strong>the</strong><br />

world”- K’Sandra, Perform<strong>in</strong>g Artist<br />

“<strong>In</strong>spiration” has caused me to reflect about my own journey – I look<br />

forward to read<strong>in</strong>g more of “<strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Spotlight</strong>” to ga<strong>in</strong> more <strong>in</strong>sights<br />

<strong>in</strong>to different strategies I can use to reach my goal as an artist.”<br />

Elena Murzello, Author of “The Love List”<br />

“I am so blessed to be a part of Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s <strong>in</strong> this book.<br />

As an artist work<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong> ground up, it can feel like push<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

boulder uphill to just move forward a half step <strong>in</strong> your career. Dani<br />

and <strong>Emily</strong>`s bravery <strong>in</strong> start<strong>in</strong>g this book and <strong>the</strong>ir onl<strong>in</strong>e presence is<br />

HUGE. Not only does it validate artists as performers, it showcases<br />

talent as talent…not need<strong>in</strong>g labels or producers to be <strong>the</strong> middleman.<br />

I have so appreciated Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s’ k<strong>in</strong>dness and opportunity<br />

<strong>in</strong> my life”<br />

- Michelle Anderson, Perform<strong>in</strong>g Artist<br />

“While <strong>the</strong> book title suggests that <strong>the</strong> content will only perta<strong>in</strong> exclusively<br />

to <strong>the</strong> musically <strong>in</strong>cl<strong>in</strong>ed, vary<strong>in</strong>g artists at any stage <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

career can benefit from <strong>the</strong>se words of wisdom. I enjoyed read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> featured <strong>in</strong>terview with Broadway actress, Joanna Christie depict<strong>in</strong>g<br />

her trials and tribulations throughout her career. Her thoughts<br />

on us<strong>in</strong>g self-belief as an <strong>in</strong>ternal compass resonated with me, especially<br />

when navigat<strong>in</strong>g through difficult times. The first chapter<br />

vi<br />


Special Thanks<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

“I would like to thank God, my family Lori, Eric,<br />

Morgan, Michael, my partner Zach, <strong>Emily</strong> my amaz<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and genius Co-Founder and all of my friends for<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir constant support and believ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> me no matter<br />

how crazy my dreams might have seemed.”<br />

- DANI FELT<br />

“I would like to thank my bus<strong>in</strong>ess partner and best friend<br />

Dani for all <strong>the</strong> hundreds of hours we spent analyz<strong>in</strong>g every<br />

corner of this book! Also all those people <strong>in</strong> my life that<br />

believed <strong>in</strong> our dreams and heard me chatter endlessly,<br />

especially my partner John. As always, I am thankful to<br />

God, div<strong>in</strong>e presence, <strong>in</strong> all forms I was approached <strong>in</strong><br />

light and love with a clear direction on all parts of this<br />

work. It wasn’t always easy, but always enlighten<strong>in</strong>g.”<br />


We also give thanks to our Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s Team + Supporters,<br />

without your belief <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> vision of Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s, we wouldn’t<br />

know <strong>the</strong> depths of what could be…<br />


Our Creative Mission:<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

<strong>In</strong> November 2013, Dani Felt and <strong>Emily</strong> <strong>Correa</strong> partnered up<br />

on an amaz<strong>in</strong>g idea to support <strong>the</strong> over 300 music artists and<br />

professionals<br />

Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s had featured over 4 years of hard work;<br />

<strong>the</strong> design of an <strong>in</strong>spirational guide with words of advice on <strong>the</strong><br />

music <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>by</strong> those who are <strong>in</strong> it!<br />

Our mission is to provide a truly motivational resource<br />

of life and career advice for <strong>the</strong> music artist to:<br />

1. Truly understand <strong>the</strong>ir creative gifts<br />

2. Learn how <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry really works<br />

3. Ultimately understand what it takes to compete at higher<br />

levels <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

We hope as you read this book you become as <strong>in</strong>spired, empowered<br />

and strategic as we have become from creat<strong>in</strong>g this book!<br />


Table of Contents<br />

Reviews for <strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong><br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>Music</strong> · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · v<br />

Special Thanks · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·ix<br />

Our Creative Mission: · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·xi<br />

How to Use This Book · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · xv<br />

Foreword: The First Note · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·xix<br />

Chapter 1 <strong>In</strong>spiration · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 1<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Stay<strong>in</strong>g <strong>In</strong>spired · · · · · · · · · · 11<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Joanna Christie, Broadway<br />

Star from “Once” · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 13<br />

Chapter 2 Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 25<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Know<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry · · · · · · 35<br />

Feature <strong>In</strong>terview: Trevor Gale, Vice President<br />

of SESAC · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 38<br />

Chapter 3 First Steps · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 51<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Walk<strong>in</strong>g a New Path · · · · · · · 61<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: David Schuler, Award-W<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>Music</strong> Producer · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 65<br />

Chapter 4 Creative Belief · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 77<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Design<strong>in</strong>g Your Vision · · · · · · 87<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Steven Memel, Celebrity<br />

Vocal Coach · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 90

Chapter 5 Power Relationships · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 103<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Build<strong>in</strong>g your Network · · · · 113<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: David Dufresne,<br />

CEO of Bandzoogle · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 117<br />

Chapter 6 Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor · · · · 125<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Hold Your Armor High · · · · 135<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Steve Gordon, Famed<br />

Enterta<strong>in</strong>ment Lawyer · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 138<br />

Chapter 7 Dream Collaborations · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 149<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: <strong>In</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> Greatness · · · · · 157<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Noah Guthrie, YouTube<br />

Superstar · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 159<br />

Chapter 8 <strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 167<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Vision <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong> · · · · · · · · · · 175<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Benji Rogers, CEO of<br />

Pledge<strong>Music</strong> · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 178<br />

Chapter 9 Legacy: Leav<strong>in</strong>g Your Art Beh<strong>in</strong>d · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 189<br />

Coach’s Perspective: Leav<strong>in</strong>g your Legacy · · · · · · · · · 211<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Lou Plaia, Co-Founder<br />

of ReverbNation · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 214<br />

Chapter 10 The Laws to <strong>the</strong> Ultimate Creative Spark · · · · · · · · · · · 223<br />

About <strong>the</strong> Authors · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 229<br />

Special Thanks to our Writers · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 231<br />

Creative Directory · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 235<br />

Our Sponsors · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 241<br />

What’s Next? · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · 247<br />

How to Use This Book<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

Congratulations on tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> next step to truly empower<strong>in</strong>g<br />

yourself as an artist!<br />

THIS BOOK HOLDS 10 INSPIRING chapters rang<strong>in</strong>g from “<strong>In</strong>spiration,” “First<br />

Steps,” “The Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry,” all <strong>the</strong> way down to<br />

“Legacy”.<br />

Chapters 1 through 8 each beg<strong>in</strong> with a personal story from Dani<br />

Felt, <strong>the</strong> CEO & Founder of Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s. These chapters hold<br />

over 40 key pieces of advice from <strong>the</strong> over <strong>100</strong> music artists featured<br />

<strong>in</strong> this book! Look out for Dani’s best bus<strong>in</strong>ess and life strategies called<br />

Keys to Success to stay on track.<br />

<strong>In</strong>cluded <strong>in</strong> each chapter is a special full length <strong>in</strong>terview<br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>Emily</strong> as<br />

our top enterta<strong>in</strong>ment writer with one of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry’s highly-respected<br />

music professionals.<br />

Chapter 9 spotlights an amaz<strong>in</strong>g <strong>In</strong>ner Circle Roundtable of music<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry professionals and “movers and shakers” show<strong>in</strong>g how <strong>the</strong>y<br />

feel <strong>the</strong>ir legacy will make a difference <strong>in</strong> music.<br />

Each chapter ends with <strong>the</strong> coach’s perspective <strong>by</strong> <strong>Emily</strong> <strong>Correa</strong>,<br />

a certified life/bus<strong>in</strong>ess coach for those <strong>in</strong> arts + enterta<strong>in</strong>ment and<br />


How to Use This Book<br />

Founder of Vida L<strong>in</strong>da Coach<strong>in</strong>g. You will f<strong>in</strong>d specially designed<br />

exercises to empower, guide and motivate you to connect to your<br />

highest creative purpose. This way you can use your new awareness<br />

to attract true prosperity, make better bus<strong>in</strong>ess decisions and swiftly<br />

br<strong>in</strong>g forward your dreams!<br />

As a special bonus, we are <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g her exclusive tool, “The Laws<br />

of The Ultimate Creative Spark” for Chapter 10 to help raise your creative<br />

energy immediately and enhance your luck.<br />

What to do next:<br />

Grab a journal/notebook/pen or IPAD and f<strong>in</strong>d a favorite place to<br />

reflect and strategize!<br />

When you are done read<strong>in</strong>g <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>Music</strong>, we have some special <strong>in</strong>vites for you too...stay tuned!<br />


Foreword: The First Note<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

MY NAME IS DANI FELT, <strong>the</strong> CEO of Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s. I would like to<br />

start off <strong>by</strong> shar<strong>in</strong>g with you <strong>the</strong> story of how Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s was<br />

born. As I write this book, I am still reach<strong>in</strong>g for my dreams. I have always<br />

felt that I was born as a mover and a shaker, and that I was meant<br />

to create great changes <strong>in</strong> this world. I didn’t know it at <strong>the</strong> time, but<br />

my trip to London <strong>in</strong> 2011 to learn about <strong>the</strong> music scene was go<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

be <strong>the</strong> start of just that. It began while I was volunteer<strong>in</strong>g to sell raffle<br />

tickets for a music <strong>the</strong>rapy foundation at a Stevie Wonder concert.<br />

While stand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> VIP area, this tall, handsome British guy caught<br />

my immediate attention. I walked over to sell him a ticket. I told him<br />

he looked “like an artist.” Little did I know that sentence was bound<br />

to plant a seed, a creative connection to <strong>the</strong> development of Creative<br />

<strong>Spotlight</strong>s that would blossom with time.<br />

Upon return<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> United States for my junior year, I became<br />

more <strong>in</strong>terested and <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music scene. I decided to start a<br />

music blog. I started out <strong>by</strong> search<strong>in</strong>g for my favorite bands onl<strong>in</strong>e. I<br />

proceeded to email <strong>the</strong>m fun questions, such as “What’s your favorite<br />

color?” and “Who would you go on a date with and why?” Given <strong>the</strong><br />

fact that I had always wanted to be a s<strong>in</strong>ger, comb<strong>in</strong>ed with <strong>the</strong> rise<br />

of social media market<strong>in</strong>g, this was <strong>the</strong> perfect way for me to connect<br />

with <strong>the</strong> artists I admired.<br />

Eventually, I started show<strong>in</strong>g my new onl<strong>in</strong>e project to some of my<br />

friends, who all enjoyed read<strong>in</strong>g it. It was <strong>the</strong> excellent feedback that<br />


Foreword: The First Note<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

encouraged me to showcase <strong>the</strong> site on Facebook. Next, I realized it<br />

couldn’t hurt to make my website project known to my acqua<strong>in</strong>tances,<br />

(you know, those people who end up on your list of friends, but you<br />

maybe talk to <strong>the</strong>m once a year). One of <strong>the</strong>m happened to be Henry,<br />

<strong>the</strong> cute British musician I met <strong>in</strong> London. While most people were<br />

tell<strong>in</strong>g me <strong>the</strong>y liked what I was do<strong>in</strong>g, Henry’s response was more<br />

elaborate.<br />

Henry wanted to partner with me and make <strong>the</strong> blog useful for<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r artists. He suggested we formulate new questions that would<br />

serve as advice for <strong>the</strong>ir careers. Henry is a pa<strong>in</strong>ter and a musician,<br />

so he understood firsthand what it was like to be look<strong>in</strong>g for clear,<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ed guidance. After bra<strong>in</strong>storm<strong>in</strong>g for weeks toge<strong>the</strong>r, we developed<br />

fifteen basic questions for musicians that, if answered correctly,<br />

would serve as a road map to a fruitful artistic career. Once <strong>the</strong> new<br />

questionnaire was onl<strong>in</strong>e, I started to get more <strong>in</strong>-depth responses<br />

than I had gotten <strong>in</strong> past <strong>in</strong>terviews. I suddenly began to understand<br />

how my blog could effectively offer <strong>in</strong>sight.<br />

<strong>In</strong> time, Henry and I realized that if we were go<strong>in</strong>g to take our jo<strong>in</strong>t<br />

endeavor seriously, we needed our own doma<strong>in</strong>, and that was how <strong>the</strong><br />

name “Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s” was created.<br />

It didn’t take long for Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s to be discovered <strong>by</strong> PR<br />

companies whose representatives contacted me to feature <strong>the</strong>ir artists<br />

on <strong>the</strong> site. Although I orig<strong>in</strong>ally created <strong>the</strong> blog for fun, I was <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>gly<br />

<strong>in</strong>vest<strong>in</strong>g more time <strong>in</strong>to it. As a result, it had become a more<br />

serious avenue for me to explore.<br />

Three years later I realized that Henry’s focus had drifted more<br />

towards <strong>the</strong> visual arts while my heart had always belonged to music.<br />

Therefore, I decided to purchase his percentage of <strong>the</strong> company from<br />

him and revert Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s back to my orig<strong>in</strong>al vision. F<strong>in</strong>ally,<br />

my website was solely dedicated to <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry. That way, <strong>the</strong><br />

website became more manageable. Once <strong>the</strong>re was a more def<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

focus, it became easier to identify, target and market to an audience.<br />

(This would change aga<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> 2015, as CS took a more expansive<br />

direction <strong>in</strong>to all <strong>the</strong> arts; <strong>Music</strong>, Fashion, Act<strong>in</strong>g, Photography and<br />

more through <strong>the</strong> design of our first artist development program...)<br />

<strong>In</strong> 2013 Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s was reborn and I moved to New York<br />

City. <strong>In</strong> order to recruit new writers to <strong>in</strong>terview artists for <strong>the</strong> website,<br />

I submitted a post on L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong>, and o<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong>ternship sources. This is<br />

how I met <strong>Emily</strong> <strong>Correa</strong>. Like me, <strong>Emily</strong> was a creative entrepreneur<br />

passionate about <strong>the</strong> arts with her bus<strong>in</strong>ess, Vida L<strong>in</strong>da Coach<strong>in</strong>g. As a<br />

certified life and bus<strong>in</strong>ess coach she was look<strong>in</strong>g onl<strong>in</strong>e for new creative<br />

projects to be a part of and came across my ad <strong>by</strong> fate. Enterta<strong>in</strong>ment<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g for Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s would expose her to <strong>the</strong> world of music<br />

that I loved so much.<br />

After spend<strong>in</strong>g two years <strong>in</strong> New York City she came to understand<br />

<strong>the</strong> value of network<strong>in</strong>g, which motivated her to host events<br />

for her Meetup group, NYC Artists On The Rise. Her group attracted<br />

a variety of artists <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g actors, pa<strong>in</strong>ters, s<strong>in</strong>gers, photographers<br />

and many more. <strong>Emily</strong>’s understand<strong>in</strong>g of art and music along with<br />

her coach<strong>in</strong>g background made her ideal for <strong>in</strong>terview<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> music<br />

professionals that Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s began attract<strong>in</strong>g. We started<br />

gett<strong>in</strong>g full length <strong>in</strong>terviews with producers, such as Dave Schuler<br />

(John Legend, P<strong>in</strong>k), Doug Fenske (Chris Brown, <strong>Emily</strong> Osment), as<br />

well as <strong>the</strong> CEO`s of music companies such as Bandzoogle, Featured.<br />

me, ONErpm and Pledge<strong>Music</strong>. Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s’ expansion <strong>in</strong>to<br />

music was grow<strong>in</strong>g at a swift speed.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong> and I both had very similar goals: to transform <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>by</strong> us<strong>in</strong>g our grow<strong>in</strong>g network to <strong>in</strong>spire and guide<br />

artists. Dur<strong>in</strong>g a bus<strong>in</strong>ess call with <strong>Emily</strong>, I asked her advice on what I<br />

could do to take Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s <strong>in</strong> a new direction for 2014. <strong>Emily</strong><br />

suggested we create an <strong>in</strong>spirational book us<strong>in</strong>g key career strategies<br />

and life lessons from all <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>terviews CS had completed. We decided<br />

to feature quotes from <strong>the</strong> over 300 <strong>in</strong>terviews Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s had<br />

showcased on <strong>the</strong> website. The book you are read<strong>in</strong>g is a culm<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

of hundreds upon hundreds of hours of work and over 1 year of bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

meet<strong>in</strong>gs, coach<strong>in</strong>g sessions, research and a lot of NYC coffee!<br />

xx<br />


Foreword: The First Note<br />

My favorite part about form<strong>in</strong>g Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s is how I’ve had<br />

<strong>the</strong> opportunity to reach out to new levels of people from <strong>the</strong> music<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry, from not only music artists and <strong>the</strong>ir labels and publicists,<br />

but also CEOs, celebrity producers and vocal coaches, mak<strong>in</strong>g great<br />

marks <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry. I mean, how often does a 25-year-old<br />

<strong>in</strong>die s<strong>in</strong>ger-songwriter get to have <strong>in</strong>side access to <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ner world of<br />

<strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>in</strong>dustry professionals’ best kept secrets and <strong>in</strong>sight<br />

for success? What I had was golden.<br />


CHAPTER 1<br />

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

MY CREATIVE JOURNEY IN MUSIC started when I was five years old, when I<br />

used to put on performances for my parents. I would dress up as my<br />

favorite nursery rhyme characters, stand on top of a yellow bucket,<br />

and pretend I was “on stage”. I was one of <strong>the</strong> lucky ones as a young<br />

artist; my parents always supported everyth<strong>in</strong>g I did and told me to<br />

follow my dreams. This gave me great confidence <strong>in</strong> my passion for<br />

s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g. I truly believe I would never have gone as far as I have today if<br />

it wasn’t for <strong>the</strong>ir constant support.<br />

When I was around n<strong>in</strong>e years old, I was blown away <strong>by</strong> this 10-yearold<br />

<strong>in</strong> my art class who had an amaz<strong>in</strong>g voice. Every time she opened<br />

her mouth to s<strong>in</strong>g I was <strong>in</strong> awe. I asked her what her secret was, and<br />

she told me it all came down to voice lessons. I realized that was <strong>the</strong><br />

answer to becom<strong>in</strong>g great at what I loved, and I started weekly lessons.<br />

I found <strong>the</strong>m to be an amaz<strong>in</strong>g tool that truly shaped me <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong><br />

acoustic folk s<strong>in</strong>ger I am today.<br />

As I grew older, and entered middle school, I had a hard time fitt<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong>. I started to get picked on a lot. I used to come home every<br />

week and cry <strong>in</strong> my mom’s arms. Throughout <strong>the</strong> years, I learned how<br />

to use my songwrit<strong>in</strong>g ability and voice as a way to channel my frustration<br />

<strong>in</strong>to someth<strong>in</strong>g beautiful; someth<strong>in</strong>g people could relate to.<br />

Songwrit<strong>in</strong>g was an <strong>in</strong>credible experience and an outlet for me. I<br />

used to write many songs, mostly sad music, because I was not a very<br />

happy child. Then <strong>in</strong> middle school, I decided to try out for <strong>the</strong> school<br />


<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

talent show, and I made it! From that moment on, I knew I was go<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to make music a big part of my life. There’s noth<strong>in</strong>g like <strong>the</strong> feel<strong>in</strong>g of<br />

an audience cheer<strong>in</strong>g your name and strangers congratulat<strong>in</strong>g you -<br />

people who you never would have spoken to o<strong>the</strong>rwise. It was a glorious<br />

sensation.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> time I was 14 years old, I found a songwriter workshop camp<br />

to attend <strong>in</strong> New Hampshire. It was that summer that helped me become<br />

<strong>the</strong> outgo<strong>in</strong>g person I am today. I was forced to <strong>in</strong>troduce myself<br />

to strangers, and from that experience, I learned I had a love for<br />

connect<strong>in</strong>g with new people. This camp was a monumental step <strong>in</strong> my<br />

journey as a s<strong>in</strong>ger as <strong>the</strong>re we were taught how to write simple structures<br />

for a song. I would create lyrics and vocal melodies, and <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong><br />

director would come up with <strong>the</strong> guitar parts, and help me mold it <strong>in</strong>to<br />

a f<strong>in</strong>ished product: a song. We would <strong>the</strong>n record all of our songs <strong>in</strong> a<br />

studio and perform <strong>the</strong>m for all <strong>the</strong> parents at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> summer.<br />

From <strong>the</strong>n on, songwrit<strong>in</strong>g became my number one passion, so<br />

I applied to college to study music bus<strong>in</strong>ess. <strong>In</strong> college, I jo<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Music</strong> & Enterta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>In</strong>dustry Student Association (MEISA). One day<br />

I suggested creat<strong>in</strong>g a compilation album to raise money for breast<br />

cancer awareness. I waited for weeks, yet no one seemed <strong>in</strong>terested<br />

<strong>in</strong> mov<strong>in</strong>g forward with <strong>the</strong> idea. I asked once aga<strong>in</strong>, and one of <strong>the</strong><br />

board members suggested I should create it as my own personal project.<br />

I had never been <strong>in</strong> a leadership position like that before, so I was<br />

pretty nervous but I decided to embrace <strong>the</strong> challenge. It took quite a<br />

while, but soon enough, I had found <strong>the</strong> bands to put on <strong>the</strong> compila-<br />

tion album, which was later titled “A M<strong>in</strong>or Effort for A Major Cause”.<br />

I designed <strong>the</strong> cover and promoted <strong>the</strong> CD to friends and family, as<br />

well as on my college campus. Between my dad promot<strong>in</strong>g it to all his<br />

work friends, and my efforts <strong>in</strong> push<strong>in</strong>g it to everyone <strong>in</strong> my network, I<br />

got to hand <strong>the</strong> L<strong>in</strong>da Creed Breast Cancer Foundation a $1,000 check<br />

that summer. Do<strong>in</strong>g that made me realize how much I loved lead<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and be<strong>in</strong>g an entrepreneur. I also realized how much I loved to make a<br />

difference us<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> power of music and how music can be used as a<br />

tool to implement change. That summer The Philadelphia <strong>In</strong>quirer<br />

ran<br />

that story and featured me as a “citizen of <strong>the</strong> week”.<br />

“It’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g what we can do when we try.”<br />

– DANI FELT<br />

Keys To Success:<br />

Connection: If you are look<strong>in</strong>g to expand your bus<strong>in</strong>ess network, L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong><br />

is a great place to start. It is similar to Facebook, but you connect with<br />

people <strong>in</strong> a more professional sett<strong>in</strong>g. On L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong> you can create profiles,<br />

get testimonials, post projects, and connect with an abundance of<br />

people to help build your network even fur<strong>the</strong>r. I highly recommend sign<strong>in</strong>g<br />

up on L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong>. Connect with Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s on L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong> today.<br />

Community: If you are look<strong>in</strong>g to expand your network, ano<strong>the</strong>r tool to<br />

use is www.meetup.com. This is a platform that makes it easy to meet new<br />

people with similar <strong>in</strong>terests as you. There are Meetup groups for s<strong>in</strong>ger/<br />

songwriters, producers, actors, writers, and many more. Some events are<br />

free while some cost money. You can also start your own group <strong>by</strong> becom<strong>in</strong>g<br />

an organizer, although you would have to pay a fee for that.<br />

“Everyone has a special someone, a cool event or a comb<strong>in</strong>ation of<br />

experiences that first ignited <strong>the</strong>ir passion for music. Here is what<br />

some artists had to share! Hopefully <strong>the</strong>ir words can serve as <strong>in</strong>spiration<br />

for you.” - Dani Felt, CEO of Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s<br />

“The true artist will produce higher quality work with a balanced,<br />

multi-dimensional experience. As such, I am <strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> great human<br />

be<strong>in</strong>gs who have changed history, not just musicians. Ultimately,<br />

greatness is my biggest <strong>in</strong>spiration and <strong>by</strong> compar<strong>in</strong>g myself to <strong>the</strong><br />

2 3

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

all-time greats, I always know that <strong>the</strong>re is more work to be done and<br />

that my own meager efforts are noth<strong>in</strong>g compared to <strong>the</strong>irs. There<br />

is always <strong>the</strong> next level – always push for it.” - Leo Freire, Session<br />

Drummer, Queens, NY<br />

“I remember be<strong>in</strong>g asked to s<strong>in</strong>g at almost every family ga<strong>the</strong>r<strong>in</strong>g s<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

I was four, and that’s really where <strong>the</strong> ‘fire’ for s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g began. I would<br />

credit my family and friends as be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> ones who have always, and<br />

will always, support my passion for music.” - Christian Holl<strong>in</strong>gsworth,<br />

Entrepreneur, Model, S<strong>in</strong>ger/Songwriter, CA<br />

“S<strong>in</strong>ce a very young age, I always had <strong>the</strong> most fun perform<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

school plays, s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g and mak<strong>in</strong>g costumes and gett<strong>in</strong>g dressed up<br />

and becom<strong>in</strong>g ano<strong>the</strong>r character. I expressed very early on my emotions<br />

through s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g and songwrit<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>stead of just talk<strong>in</strong>g about<br />

myself or my problems. I was never a very good talker and swallowed<br />

a lot of pa<strong>in</strong>, but through music, found a way to process all my<br />

emotions. <strong>Music</strong> has been a passion and healer for me all my life.” -<br />

K’Sandra, S<strong>in</strong>ger, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I would have to say my biggest <strong>in</strong>spiration is my Mom. My mom was<br />

a s<strong>in</strong>gle mo<strong>the</strong>r who worked 4 jobs to keep a roof over our heads and<br />

food on <strong>the</strong> table. My mom worked so hard to br<strong>in</strong>g me to Broadway<br />

shows and put me <strong>in</strong> dance classes. My mom always brought me to<br />

NYC to see as many shows as possible. I have always had a love for<br />

NYC.” - Andrea Benham, S<strong>in</strong>ger, NJ<br />

“When I was play<strong>in</strong>g alto sax <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> seventh grade school band, I went<br />

over to a band mate’s house to play some music. His bro<strong>the</strong>r had a<br />

keyboard, and when I saw him overdub a hi-hat, my m<strong>in</strong>d was blown.<br />

That was an epiphany. I thought it was <strong>the</strong> coolest th<strong>in</strong>g I’d ever seen or<br />

heard. At age 17, I decided I wanted a career <strong>in</strong> record production.” -<br />

Doug Fenske, Producer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I feel like I was born with songs <strong>in</strong> my head, so it’s hard to say who,<br />

or what, first ignited my passion. However, <strong>the</strong>re are quite a few artists<br />

that have forever changed me. The most obvious of <strong>the</strong>m be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Michael Jackson. Watch<strong>in</strong>g his sheer magnificence ignited a burn<strong>in</strong>g<br />

desire <strong>in</strong> my heart that hasn’t ever gone out. He changed my perspective<br />

on <strong>the</strong> purpose of a song.” - Alexa Falk, One Half of Country Duo:<br />

Falk, UT<br />

“Sofia Gubaidul<strong>in</strong>a, James MacMillan, Betty Olivero and o<strong>the</strong>r contemporary<br />

composers allow me to experience music to <strong>the</strong> fullest.<br />

The same goes for players and conductors; <strong>the</strong> score, <strong>the</strong>ir musical<br />

understand<strong>in</strong>g, education and technical abilities are reflected <strong>in</strong> every<br />

note, phrase and musical gesture. To experience <strong>the</strong>ir remarkable<br />

works taught me from what <strong>in</strong>ner place I should approach my own<br />

compositions.” - Gilad Hochman, Classical <strong>Music</strong> Composer, Israel<br />

“It’s very co<strong>in</strong>cidental to be giv<strong>in</strong>g this quote on this day. My grandmo<strong>the</strong>r<br />

(who passed away one year ago today) is <strong>the</strong> reason I got <strong>in</strong>to<br />

music. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandma putt<strong>in</strong>g a tambour<strong>in</strong>e<br />

<strong>in</strong> my hands, teach<strong>in</strong>g me words to songs, and us just march<strong>in</strong>g<br />

around her liv<strong>in</strong>g room s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g and danc<strong>in</strong>g. I was hooked. Whe<strong>the</strong>r it<br />

be perform<strong>in</strong>g, writ<strong>in</strong>g, or work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry, music has been a<br />

part of my life ever s<strong>in</strong>ce.” - Jesea Lee, <strong>Music</strong>ian/Publicist, NYC<br />

“My biggest <strong>in</strong>spiration is <strong>the</strong> thought...<strong>the</strong> prospect... of liv<strong>in</strong>g life at<br />

your highest potential. See<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> emotional and mental garbage that<br />

we are subject to everyday, but overcom<strong>in</strong>g it <strong>in</strong> order to br<strong>in</strong>g our<br />

deepest imag<strong>in</strong>ations, of a perfect life, <strong>in</strong>to fruition. This is what I like<br />

to write about most.” - Stephen Rivera, Rock Vocalist and Producer,<br />

Los Angeles, CA<br />

“My passion for music came at a young age. When I was 10 years old<br />

I was diagnosed with Hodgk<strong>in</strong>’s disease. While undergo<strong>in</strong>g treatment<br />

4 5

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> hospital, as part of recreation, we were able to go and play<br />

<strong>in</strong>struments. Play<strong>in</strong>g made me forget about <strong>the</strong> treatment and what I<br />

was go<strong>in</strong>g through for a little while.” - Charlie Scopoletti, CT<br />

“Listen<strong>in</strong>g to everyth<strong>in</strong>g. I try not to let one specific th<strong>in</strong>g be my ma<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>spiration ever, because I don’t want to fall <strong>in</strong>to a sound derivative of<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g else. Every song I hear, I th<strong>in</strong>k, subconsciously <strong>in</strong>spires me.<br />

I just want <strong>in</strong>spiration to come naturally, I th<strong>in</strong>k that’s where <strong>the</strong> best<br />

songs come from - a headspace where you don’t even have to th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

about it.” - The Ready Set, IN<br />

“My parents. They are such strong au<strong>the</strong>ntic hard work<strong>in</strong>g people. My<br />

fa<strong>the</strong>r was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Emergency Service unit of <strong>the</strong> NYPD for 23 years and<br />

my mo<strong>the</strong>r (after rais<strong>in</strong>g 5 children) is start<strong>in</strong>g her career as a <strong>the</strong>rapist.<br />

It is very easy to lose track of reality <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> rush of this bus<strong>in</strong>ess.<br />

But my parents are a constant rem<strong>in</strong>der of <strong>the</strong> truthful simple day to<br />

day problems that everyday people face.” - Marrick Smith, Broadway<br />

Star and S<strong>in</strong>ger/Songwriter,<br />

NYC<br />

“When I was six, a ba<strong>by</strong>sitter gave me a toy piano. I played it until <strong>the</strong><br />

batteries ran out. That’s when I had that moment of discovery: ‘This is<br />

what I’m built for!’ ” - Alexis Bab<strong>in</strong>i, NYC<br />

“Everyth<strong>in</strong>g and everyone <strong>in</strong> my life. I am a sponge, affected and impacted<br />

<strong>by</strong> everyth<strong>in</strong>g around me. I am also really <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> selfexploration<br />

and cannot help, but become <strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r artists<br />

(writers, pa<strong>in</strong>ters, musicians, sculptors, etc.). They all pay <strong>the</strong>ir creative<br />

energies forward. It’s not just one th<strong>in</strong>g or person.” - Selena Garcia,<br />

NYC<br />

“My biggest <strong>in</strong>spiration towards be<strong>in</strong>g a better artist is def<strong>in</strong>itely my<br />

fans. I go on Twitter and Facebook and see <strong>the</strong>y may not be hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> best day, so I go try and talk to <strong>the</strong>m and make <strong>the</strong>m feel as good<br />

as I can through a computer screen. They tell me my music helps <strong>the</strong>m<br />

get through some tough times, and for that I am grateful and strive to<br />

become a better artist and reach more people.”- Dylan Ander, NYC<br />

“My bro<strong>the</strong>r was actually famous <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Midwest, and I followed him<br />

around until I picked up some of his skills on my own <strong>by</strong> play<strong>in</strong>g shows<br />

with him. Low and behold, he discovered that <strong>the</strong>re was someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

about my voice that I was not tapp<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to yet. Out of <strong>the</strong> blue he said,<br />

‘C’mon, let’s go see Pavarotti!’ We saw him at an outdoor arena, and<br />

when I heard that sound, that voice, and that music, that was it! I do<br />

not know how he knew it! We were not even listen<strong>in</strong>g to opera at <strong>the</strong><br />

time. We were heavy <strong>in</strong>to rock ‘n’ roll. After that, I went off to school<br />

and started study<strong>in</strong>g.” - Alexander Kariotis, Rock Opera Vocalist, NYC<br />

“My biggest <strong>in</strong>spiration is <strong>the</strong> hope that my music could possibly help<br />

someone. <strong>Music</strong> is so powerful, and I really want to <strong>in</strong>spire people<br />

through my songs.” - Marie Miller, VA<br />

“My fa<strong>the</strong>r had a lot of <strong>in</strong>struments around <strong>the</strong> house even though he<br />

was a doctor. He had a viol<strong>in</strong>, mandol<strong>in</strong>, bongos, an organ and various<br />

flutes. He’d teach me just basic melodies of songs he loved like<br />

old film music and <strong>In</strong>dian songs on <strong>the</strong> organ. He bought me a guitar<br />

when I was five, and I started tak<strong>in</strong>g lessons at 10.” - Anu Gunn, Rock<br />

Vocalist/Guitarist/Actor, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I started play<strong>in</strong>g bass guitar as a teenager and fell <strong>in</strong> love with be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a musician. I’d have to say that I had to work really hard to develop my<br />

ears and skills as a musician, but once I got <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> audio/record<strong>in</strong>g/<br />

master<strong>in</strong>g side of th<strong>in</strong>gs, I found pretty early on that I had an aptitude<br />

and ear for what I do as an eng<strong>in</strong>eer.” - Adam Ayan, Master Eng<strong>in</strong>eer,<br />

Portland, ME<br />

6 7

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“My parents always played all different k<strong>in</strong>ds of music, so I had a vast<br />

range of music styles from a young age. They are <strong>the</strong> reason I want to<br />

succeed because someday I want to spoil <strong>the</strong>m like <strong>the</strong>y spoiled me<br />

all <strong>the</strong>se years!” - Alex Flanigan, Nashville, TN<br />

“I always felt a really strong attraction to record<strong>in</strong>g. Freez<strong>in</strong>g time.<br />

Freez<strong>in</strong>g a moment and a feel<strong>in</strong>g. It’s a similar reason why I love photography<br />

too. I’m fasc<strong>in</strong>ated <strong>by</strong> that process of be<strong>in</strong>g able to take a<br />

snapshot of a feel<strong>in</strong>g, a thought, a moment, and be<strong>in</strong>g able to relive it<br />

later or to be able to share it. It’s like proof of existence or someth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Once I started I couldn’t stop! I’ve become almost addicted to that<br />

process of express<strong>in</strong>g and document<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> hopes of understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

myself, and <strong>the</strong>n somehow connect<strong>in</strong>g. I have someth<strong>in</strong>g to say<br />

through music and art that I can’t express <strong>in</strong> any o<strong>the</strong>r way. Most artists<br />

I know feel that way.” - Adam Watts, CA<br />

“Stevie Wonder <strong>in</strong>spired me to really just want to be great and just not<br />

settle for less. I have worked with Stevie Wonder before, but at <strong>the</strong><br />

same time, he was <strong>the</strong> reason why I had <strong>the</strong> drive and <strong>the</strong> ambitious<br />

attitude today. His music made me want to create someth<strong>in</strong>g that was<br />

on his level.” - Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Producer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Along<br />

with be<strong>in</strong>g a musician, I come from a non-profit background. I<br />

spent some time <strong>in</strong> Wash<strong>in</strong>gton D.C. work<strong>in</strong>g on an anti-poverty/antihunger<br />

campaign <strong>in</strong>side <strong>the</strong> schools. Gett<strong>in</strong>g started <strong>in</strong> music is hard,<br />

and over <strong>the</strong> years, I knew I didn’t want to stay where I was. The work I<br />

was do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> non-profit was such a good th<strong>in</strong>g to do, but I was always<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g to do my music. People need help, but people need music too.<br />

If I am just shar<strong>in</strong>g what I feel, and if someone else feels it, <strong>the</strong>y know<br />

<strong>the</strong>y are not alone. That is powerful to me, and special. I guess that<br />

help<strong>in</strong>g place is where I write from.” - Casey D<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>, NYC<br />

“My passion for music is l<strong>in</strong>ked to my childhood. When I hear <strong>the</strong><br />

Gipsy K<strong>in</strong>gs I imag<strong>in</strong>e be<strong>in</strong>g six years old <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> summer. I’m soaked<br />

from <strong>the</strong> pool and reach<strong>in</strong>g for corn chips, while <strong>the</strong> adults are smok<strong>in</strong>g<br />

cigarettes, dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g beers and laugh<strong>in</strong>g. My <strong>in</strong>spirations are all <strong>the</strong><br />

memories that I try to recreate.” - Adam Lasher, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I was always <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> ‘heart and soul’ of music as a young kid,<br />

and what really fasc<strong>in</strong>ated me is how a song could make a person feel<br />

various emotions and moods. When I was eight, I talked my mom <strong>in</strong>to<br />

buy<strong>in</strong>g me an acoustic guitar, and I taught myself to play. When I was<br />

about 12, I formed a band and started play<strong>in</strong>g at local events. We even<br />

had a manager who just happened to have a makeshift record<strong>in</strong>g studio<br />

<strong>in</strong> his house. We used to record songs that we would perform live<br />

from time to time.” - Craig Bartock, Lead Guitarist from “Heart”, CA<br />

“There are many th<strong>in</strong>gs that <strong>in</strong>spire my passion for music. Talk<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to people and hear<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir stories is always <strong>in</strong>spir<strong>in</strong>g. Listen<strong>in</strong>g or<br />

watch<strong>in</strong>g a great band play or hear<strong>in</strong>g a good song is not only humbl<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

but also <strong>in</strong>spir<strong>in</strong>g. Bad days, good days, ra<strong>in</strong>, sun, tears, joy,<br />

hard times, great times, it’s hard to p<strong>in</strong>po<strong>in</strong>t what <strong>in</strong>spires that passion.<br />

I guess it`s a little bit of everyth<strong>in</strong>g.” - <strong>Emily</strong> Earle Brooklyn, NYC/<br />

Nashville, TN<br />

“I’ve been a music lover my entire life. When I discovered my talent,<br />

my passion grew to a po<strong>in</strong>t where I couldn’t see myself pursu<strong>in</strong>g anyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

else. My parents have been beyond supportive every step of <strong>the</strong><br />

way s<strong>in</strong>ce day one.” - Yaya, Artist Manager/CEO of Ya <strong>In</strong>dieGround<br />

House, NYC<br />

“I was <strong>in</strong>itially <strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> my cous<strong>in</strong>, B.E. Taylor, and his band while I<br />

was com<strong>in</strong>g up through <strong>the</strong> music ranks. The thrill of <strong>the</strong> live show and<br />

8 9

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>tense connection created between <strong>the</strong> musician and <strong>the</strong> listener<br />

<strong>in</strong> that environment led me to be a performer.” - Dom Liberati, Los<br />

Angeles, CA<br />

“Ever s<strong>in</strong>ce I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with music. Noth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

makes more sense to me. I love everyth<strong>in</strong>g about it.” - Dan Wright,<br />

NYC<br />

“My mom and dad are professional artists and encouraged my creative<br />

streak from day one. They were open to <strong>in</strong>spire any of my emerg<strong>in</strong>g<br />

talents, but when I came out s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g and whistl<strong>in</strong>g and bang<strong>in</strong>g on<br />

<strong>the</strong> piano, it was clear that music was my th<strong>in</strong>g.” - Neara Russell, Los<br />

Angeles, CA<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Stay<strong>in</strong>g <strong>In</strong>spired<br />

When I was a child, my big requests every Christmas were crayons,<br />

colored pencils and blank draw<strong>in</strong>g pads. I had <strong>the</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d of an artist<br />

even back <strong>the</strong>n. For me, see<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> endless colors all displayed like<br />

ra<strong>in</strong>bow-hued candy <strong>in</strong>spired my young creative m<strong>in</strong>d, and helped me<br />

express myself as I drew <strong>the</strong> world around me. With each pass<strong>in</strong>g year,<br />

I experimented with different forms of art while observ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> world’s<br />

<strong>in</strong>teraction and connection with <strong>the</strong> creative part of society, not really<br />

sure where it would all lead.<br />

My love for <strong>the</strong> arts started with draw<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>n moved unto devour<strong>in</strong>g<br />

hundreds of books, soon enough a fasc<strong>in</strong>ation for writ<strong>in</strong>g grew<br />

with<strong>in</strong> me. My <strong>in</strong>terest <strong>the</strong>n turned to poetry, which led me to create<br />

over 80 poems <strong>in</strong> my teens. F<strong>in</strong>ally, when I was 16 years old, I became<br />

obsessed with act<strong>in</strong>g and <strong>the</strong>ater, with which I truly fell <strong>in</strong> love, and<br />

felt creatively free. I received classical act<strong>in</strong>g tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g through various<br />

scholarships. That led to teach<strong>in</strong>g with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> arts.<br />

Ultimately, what truly <strong>in</strong>spired me was <strong>the</strong> psychology of an artist,<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir contributions to society and <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess side of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. I<br />

chose to give back to <strong>the</strong> artistic community as a thought leader and<br />

life/bus<strong>in</strong>ess coach, <strong>in</strong> a niche I was once part of and knew so well.<br />

Now, <strong>in</strong> collaboration with Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s, I got to design this<br />

amaz<strong>in</strong>g, heal<strong>in</strong>g, guid<strong>in</strong>g tool to <strong>in</strong>spire all music artists. I now feel<br />

higher levels of understand<strong>in</strong>g about my creative purpose. I am truly<br />

liv<strong>in</strong>g “<strong>in</strong>spired.”<br />

That is what art does to <strong>the</strong> honest, brave and self-aware person.<br />

It allows people to reach <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>nermost core of who <strong>the</strong>y are as<br />

creative be<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

At your most deepest core, you are a creative be<strong>in</strong>g because you<br />

were created <strong>by</strong> an <strong>in</strong>trospective universe that wanted to explore <strong>the</strong><br />

mean<strong>in</strong>g of <strong>the</strong> world through you.<br />

10 11

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

1. What first <strong>in</strong>spired you to express yourself through your art?<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Joanna Christie,<br />

Broadway Star from “Once”<br />

2. What are you truly creat<strong>in</strong>g with your work?<br />

3. At this moment, name <strong>the</strong> top 10 ideas, images or words that <strong>in</strong>spire<br />

you to create your art?<br />

1. 2.<br />

3. 4.<br />

5. 6.<br />

7. 8.<br />

9. 10.<br />

Chapter 1 Affirmation: Stay <strong>In</strong>spired<br />

“I am creative because I was created. It is my natural state<br />

to receive <strong>in</strong>spiration from it all, <strong>the</strong>n to <strong>in</strong>spire o<strong>the</strong>rs with<br />

my art. When I do this, I know I am cont<strong>in</strong>uously support<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> process of creation and liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>spirationally.”<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

JOANNA CHRISTIE most recently starred as Girl <strong>in</strong> Broadway’s<br />

Once. She tra<strong>in</strong>ed at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and was<br />

a member of <strong>the</strong> National Youth Theatre. Television <strong>in</strong>cludes: Mr<br />

Selfridge (ITV); Starl<strong>in</strong>gs (Sky 1); Misfits 3 (E4); Lewis series II<br />

(ITV);<br />

Small Dark Places (BBC); No Angels (Channel 4); Hol<strong>by</strong> City<br />

(BBC1).<br />

Theatre <strong>in</strong>cludes: Equus (Gielgud Theatre); The 24 Hour Plays (The<br />

Old Vic); Be My Ba<strong>by</strong> (Hull Truck Theatre); The Ramshackle Heart<br />

(Public Theatre NY/The Old Vic); School For Scandal (Greenwich<br />

Theatre); Dr Faustus (Greenwich Theatre); Bloody Poetry (Jermyn<br />

Street Theatre); Immaculate Conceit (Lyric Hammersmith); One Night<br />

<strong>In</strong> November (Belgrade Theatre Coventry).<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Today on Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s, we’re welcom<strong>in</strong>g Joanna<br />

Christie from <strong>the</strong> Broadway hit show “Once,” w<strong>in</strong>ner of eight 2012<br />

Tony Awards, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g best musical. Joanna will share her creative<br />

journey to help guide, <strong>in</strong>spire and motivate our creative fans to f<strong>in</strong>d<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir voices <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music scene and keep go<strong>in</strong>g after <strong>the</strong>ir dreams.<br />

12 13

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

So Joanna, my first question for you is; have you always dreamed<br />

of be<strong>in</strong>g on Broadway?<br />

Joanna: Actually—well, I was on <strong>the</strong> phone talk<strong>in</strong>g to my mom yesterday.<br />

I was say<strong>in</strong>g to her that actually, Broadway was even beyond my<br />

dreams!<br />

I have always, always wanted to be an actor, and I had been utterly<br />

dedicated to that s<strong>in</strong>ce I could speak. But I never even thought about<br />

Broadway. This th<strong>in</strong>g is k<strong>in</strong>d of so far away and so k<strong>in</strong>d of…(trails off)<br />

All I wanted to do was work.<br />

All I wanted to do was just be able to play good parts and good productions,<br />

be on radio and just have a varied and <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g career.<br />

That’s all I wanted.<br />

So it’s not <strong>the</strong> bright lights or any of that that attracted me. I haven’t<br />

been dream<strong>in</strong>g of that. You know what I mean? I’d just been focused<br />

on mak<strong>in</strong>g a liv<strong>in</strong>g out of act<strong>in</strong>g and just be<strong>in</strong>g able to work as much<br />

as possible. I just didn’t th<strong>in</strong>k I had <strong>the</strong> voice. I didn’t th<strong>in</strong>k I had what<br />

it took to do that. It’s beyond my wildest dreams.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s great because, of course, a lot of people who are s<strong>in</strong>gers/dancers/actors,<br />

aka triple threats, desire to be on Broadway<br />

so badly! The dream is always, “Oh, I wanted to be on Broadway<br />

s<strong>in</strong>ce I was a young child.” But <strong>the</strong> fact is that you attracted it <strong>in</strong>to<br />

your career. It was part of your path as an artist.<br />

Joanna: Yeah, yeah. I’m so lucky. I just really feel very lucky, and grateful<br />

every day.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Absolutely. So how did you beg<strong>in</strong> your journey as an<br />

actress?<br />

Joanna: Well, as a child, I always wanted to act. I just did as much as<br />

I could always do to perform. I did loads of amateur stuff when I was<br />

a kid. I’d always say I wanted to go to drama college! What you can<br />

do <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> UK, <strong>in</strong>stead of go<strong>in</strong>g to university, you go to drama college<br />

for a year for a practical performance degree. Then I started work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

from 21 when I graduated from <strong>the</strong>re. I was really fortunate enough to<br />

f<strong>in</strong>d a great agent straight from drama college. But <strong>the</strong>n, <strong>the</strong> real hard<br />

work started.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Do you feel that is <strong>the</strong> best path for an actor/actress, to<br />

get a degree <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>atre, <strong>in</strong> drama?<br />

Joanna: No, now I’m older and hopefully a bit wiser, and I can see<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r people’s paths and different trajectories. There’s no rhyme or<br />

reason. There’s no set formula. There’s no “way” to do it. There’s no<br />

way to “not” do it and all that.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k that with this <strong>in</strong>dustry, unfortunately, <strong>the</strong>re’s so much luck <strong>in</strong>volved.<br />

It takes one person <strong>in</strong> a position of power to believe <strong>in</strong> you and<br />

to give you an opportunity to show what you can do. But it’s really rare.<br />

I felt like all through my career, I’ve had to have such huge self-belief<br />

because <strong>the</strong>re’s been so many setbacks, but I’ve always thought, “I<br />

know I can do more than I’m be<strong>in</strong>g given <strong>the</strong> opportunity for.” You just<br />

have to hold on to <strong>the</strong> hope that one day you’ll get <strong>the</strong>se opportunities<br />

to do that.<br />

I do feel a t<strong>in</strong>y bit of regret. I don’t regret anyth<strong>in</strong>g because I wouldn’t<br />

be here now. And I don’t regret anyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> my life, but I do feel that I<br />

do sometimes wish I had gone to a university <strong>in</strong>stead of drama college<br />

actually. At <strong>the</strong> time, I thought go<strong>in</strong>g to a drama college is <strong>the</strong> obvious<br />

way to get <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess. But actually, I had a really good education,<br />

and I’m <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> a lot of o<strong>the</strong>r subjects. And I k<strong>in</strong>d of regret<br />

not hav<strong>in</strong>g an opportunity to study on ano<strong>the</strong>r level.<br />

14 15

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

And certa<strong>in</strong>ly <strong>in</strong> England, go<strong>in</strong>g to a good university like Oxford or<br />

Cambridge and Ed<strong>in</strong>burgh and Bristol, <strong>the</strong>y have such great drama<br />

departments. You get to do tons of great drama when you’re <strong>the</strong>re,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> agencies respect those places. So I k<strong>in</strong>d of feel like that is a<br />

really good route to go down as well.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k if you are <strong>in</strong>telligent as well as talented as an actor, <strong>the</strong> next step<br />

is to study someth<strong>in</strong>g like English or history or someth<strong>in</strong>g else that<br />

you’re really <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong>. Because as an actor, <strong>the</strong> more strengths you<br />

have, <strong>the</strong> more <strong>in</strong>terests and knowledge, <strong>the</strong> more you know, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong><br />

better an actor you are, to be honest, I th<strong>in</strong>k.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I th<strong>in</strong>k that’s a good po<strong>in</strong>t. I th<strong>in</strong>k it def<strong>in</strong>itely makes an actress<br />

well-rounded. My own journey after I completed my own tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> act<strong>in</strong>g was to go to college, but <strong>in</strong>stead of major<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ater,<br />

I majored <strong>in</strong> psychology and sociology with a m<strong>in</strong>or <strong>in</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess management.<br />

I felt <strong>in</strong>spired that this sort of education with my act<strong>in</strong>g<br />

background would suffice <strong>in</strong> navigat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

Joanna: Absolutely. You’re not go<strong>in</strong>g to be <strong>the</strong> best actor you can be<br />

without be<strong>in</strong>g well-rounded because obviously, when you’re play<strong>in</strong>g<br />

roles, you’re play<strong>in</strong>g normal people. You’re not play<strong>in</strong>g an enterta<strong>in</strong>er<br />

<strong>in</strong> our <strong>in</strong>dustry. The more you know about everyth<strong>in</strong>g else, <strong>in</strong> my op<strong>in</strong>ion,<br />

<strong>the</strong> better.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Right! I would suggest classes on history, philosophy and<br />

psychology… bus<strong>in</strong>ess management, hopefully, to get very wellrounded<br />

as an actress.<br />

Joanna: Yes, exactly. Actually, last year, I was study<strong>in</strong>g anthropology<br />

<strong>in</strong> between my act<strong>in</strong>g jobs and rehearsals. I was go<strong>in</strong>g to lectures, attend<strong>in</strong>g<br />

free sem<strong>in</strong>ars. It was so fasc<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g. I realized that I didn’t do<br />

that enough <strong>in</strong> my life and that it could only make you a better actor.<br />

It completely opened my eyes a lot.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s really great advice right <strong>the</strong>re. You also mentioned a<br />

couple key po<strong>in</strong>ts <strong>in</strong> your shar<strong>in</strong>g I would like to po<strong>in</strong>t out!<br />

You mentioned strong self-belief as an artist pursu<strong>in</strong>g this career<br />

track. You can navigate your career through <strong>the</strong> ups and downs<br />

with that self-belief. You also mentioned hav<strong>in</strong>g that right person<br />

who’s go<strong>in</strong>g to change your life at <strong>the</strong> moment is key, a person <strong>in</strong><br />

power to direct your career.<br />

You really shared a number of nice <strong>in</strong>trospective viewpo<strong>in</strong>ts that<br />

will <strong>in</strong>spire our readers, as it’s so important for artists to coach<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves and to cont<strong>in</strong>uously do that on a daily basis and just<br />

know <strong>the</strong> gift that <strong>the</strong>y have with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Joanna: Yeah, absolutely, and to nurture it. I feel like <strong>the</strong>re are so many<br />

obstacles that are go<strong>in</strong>g to be aga<strong>in</strong>st you. You have to do so much<br />

yourself to just keep go<strong>in</strong>g. Emotionally, physically, mentally, you just<br />

have to do it to be strong enough to get through all that.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Right, very true, very good tips! I can understand what<br />

you mean. You’re show<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> different areas where artists can<br />

develop <strong>the</strong>mselves. You said you’ve got to be mentally very<br />

strong to handle <strong>the</strong> ups and downs of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry, and physically,<br />

you’ve got to be <strong>in</strong> shape to be on Broadway because it’s so<br />

physically demand<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I do want to ask about <strong>the</strong> cast. They all s<strong>in</strong>g and play <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

<strong>in</strong>struments. I mean, it’s such a beautiful show. What did you learn<br />

most about yourself as a musician while do<strong>in</strong>g this show?<br />

16 17

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Joanna: Oh, God! I got so much as a musician, as an actor, as a person.<br />

The show, I feel, has gifted me an opportunity to learn so much<br />

about myself. That’s been one of <strong>the</strong> major profound th<strong>in</strong>gs about me<br />

regardless, like achiev<strong>in</strong>g a dream. Just <strong>the</strong> self-exploration that it’s<br />

enabled me, it’s been quite profound.<br />

I mean, I didn’t even th<strong>in</strong>k of myself as be<strong>in</strong>g a musician before I did<br />

<strong>the</strong> show. When I got to <strong>the</strong> audition, it was like, “Oh my God! I got to<br />

play <strong>the</strong> piano. Argh!” I th<strong>in</strong>k it was go<strong>in</strong>g to be an absolute nightmare.<br />

And actually, my mom is a musician… my bro<strong>the</strong>r is a musician. The<br />

music is on my mo<strong>the</strong>r’s side of <strong>the</strong> family. I’ve played <strong>the</strong> piano from<br />

a really young age, and I did tons of it. That was what I just did. But<br />

when I was 15, I played a concert and basically got stage fright, and I<br />

just absolutely crumbled. I just decided that I don’t want to ever play<br />

<strong>in</strong> front of anyone aga<strong>in</strong>. And this is off of k<strong>in</strong>d of 10 years of play<strong>in</strong>g<br />

competitions and concerts… Suddenly, I didn’t want to do it anymore.<br />

So s<strong>in</strong>ce I was 16, I haven’t played <strong>in</strong> public aga<strong>in</strong>. So just hav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

audition for “Once” was k<strong>in</strong>d of really, really nerve wrack<strong>in</strong>g! But I got<br />

over it suddenly after 10 years, and I feel really proud of myself. I’m so<br />

happy play<strong>in</strong>g a simple piano piece <strong>in</strong> front of 1,200 people when at<br />

one po<strong>in</strong>t years ago, it would have been an absolute nightmare for me.<br />

But it’s not like that right now. I enjoy it, and love it. It’s really precious<br />

to me.<br />

The fact that I’m back with <strong>the</strong> piano, a part of my life s<strong>in</strong>ce age six,<br />

<strong>the</strong>n I lost it and had it fall <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> wayside, to now rediscover that at<br />

age 30 and play on Broadway, I’m just so grateful for that because it’s<br />

a really beautiful th<strong>in</strong>g to be able to play.<br />

Every time I meet a young person who plays <strong>the</strong> piano, I just say, “God!<br />

Just don’t ever give it up because it’s such a joy.” And every adult I<br />

meet who used to play when <strong>the</strong>y were young and gave up, regrets it,<br />

every s<strong>in</strong>gle one of <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

So I feel really strongly about that. It’s such a beautiful th<strong>in</strong>g to be able<br />

to play music. It’s a really big part of anyone who has music <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir life,<br />

it’s a big part of it. I feel I just want to say to any young person to keep<br />

that with you. It’s a really precious gift.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s so <strong>in</strong>spir<strong>in</strong>g and beautifully said. And I want to ask<br />

you, what is <strong>the</strong> Broadway schedule like? I know it’s very demand<strong>in</strong>g!<br />

How many shows… ?<br />

Joanna: It’s crazy! Today is my anniversary actually on Broadway.<br />

Today is <strong>the</strong> day it all started. When I started, I didn’t actually know<br />

if I’ll be able to do it because I’ve never sung before. I’ve never sung<br />

professionally. I just never used my voice this much. And also, I’ve had<br />

a lot of voice problems <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> past.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: What happened to your voice?<br />

Joanna: I’ve had nodules on my vocal cords twice. I’ve had <strong>the</strong>m when<br />

I was 15 when I was s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> rock band at board<strong>in</strong>g school. I<br />

developed nodules, and I had to stop s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g. And <strong>the</strong>n I got <strong>the</strong>m<br />

aga<strong>in</strong> when I went to drama college at 18. I had to have an operation<br />

to remove <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>n, I’ve always had to be so careful with my voice. I lose it really<br />

easily. And I th<strong>in</strong>k that’s k<strong>in</strong>d of why I haven’t sung more than I have before<br />

now because I didn’t th<strong>in</strong>k I could. I didn’t th<strong>in</strong>k my voice would handle it.<br />

So start<strong>in</strong>g this job was k<strong>in</strong>d of scary because I thought, “Oh, my God!<br />

Am I actually go<strong>in</strong>g to be able to do eight shows a week?” But it’s<br />

amaz<strong>in</strong>g…<br />

18 19

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: It’s just so ironic. You play <strong>the</strong> piano and s<strong>in</strong>g for eight<br />

shows a week. It’s a wonderful th<strong>in</strong>g that you have go<strong>in</strong>g on.<br />

Joanna: I know! There’s so many th<strong>in</strong>gs that I just didn’t know I could<br />

do, but I th<strong>in</strong>k when you prove to yourself that you can do someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that you didn’t th<strong>in</strong>k you could, it’s <strong>the</strong> most liberat<strong>in</strong>g, streng<strong>the</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g<br />

th<strong>in</strong>g you can do.<br />

And so to get to this po<strong>in</strong>t, to have my yearly anniversary of do<strong>in</strong>g all<br />

<strong>the</strong>se th<strong>in</strong>gs that I never thought I could do, I’m k<strong>in</strong>d of proud of myself.<br />

I mean, I feel it’s probably one of my greatest achievements.<br />

And my voice got so much stronger just <strong>by</strong> do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> show. It’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g!<br />

Aga<strong>in</strong>, <strong>in</strong>stead of this tak<strong>in</strong>g out of me, it’s given me so much more.<br />

I found my s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g voice a lot more, and my range has <strong>in</strong>creased. I’m<br />

s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g a fifth higher than I did when I started <strong>the</strong> job. I work out with<br />

my vocal coach every week, and she’s just been <strong>in</strong>credible to work<br />

with. She has helped me f<strong>in</strong>d my potential <strong>in</strong> my voice. I never thought<br />

I had that as well. It’s great!<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: What is your vision for your career <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> next five years?<br />

Joanna: Oh, God! Part of me feels like I should have more bus<strong>in</strong>ess sense<br />

really about my career, but I k<strong>in</strong>d of feel like my career so far has had [a lot<br />

of] I-never-know-what-is-around-<strong>the</strong>-corners. I could never have guessed<br />

that this would happen for me, so who knows what <strong>the</strong> future holds?<br />

But all I want to, as I’ve said, all I wanted to do is just to be able to<br />

work. It’s k<strong>in</strong>d of funny, my bro<strong>the</strong>r said to me, “You know, do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

job you’re do<strong>in</strong>g now, for you, it’s <strong>the</strong> top. It’s <strong>the</strong> summit. There’s nowhere<br />

higher to go.”<br />

I mean, I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I know what he’s say<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I just would love to keep work<strong>in</strong>g. I would love to do more Broadway. I<br />

would love to do more <strong>the</strong>atre, more musicals if I can. I can’t believe this<br />

world [that] has opened up to me—and some TV.<br />

I just would love to have as much variety <strong>in</strong> terms of what projects I<br />

do and what roles I play. My absolute dream would be to be seen as<br />

an actor, a versatile actor who was not of any “type” and to just play<br />

and to be considered for character roles, as well as lead<strong>in</strong>g roles and<br />

just as I would say not to be put <strong>in</strong> any k<strong>in</strong>d of box. That’s <strong>the</strong> ultimate<br />

dream for me. I would love to do rom-coms and <strong>the</strong>n action films and<br />

<strong>in</strong>die films. I would just love to do everyth<strong>in</strong>g, everyth<strong>in</strong>g and anyth<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

as much as possible.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: You’re on Broadway, yet you’re so down to earth. You’re<br />

such a strong woman. You’ve been through a lot of ups and downs.<br />

You have this strong, fight<strong>in</strong>g spirit <strong>in</strong> you.<br />

Joanna: Thank you. Yeah, that’s actually what I th<strong>in</strong>k I prize most above<br />

anyth<strong>in</strong>g else.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: <strong>In</strong>spiration—def<strong>in</strong>itely, def<strong>in</strong>itely as a woman artist.<br />

Adventurous—you’re open to wherever life takes you <strong>in</strong> a positive<br />

direction.<br />

Joanna: Oh, absolutely. You k<strong>in</strong>d of just summed me up. That’s k<strong>in</strong>d<br />

of how I try to be anyway—strong and adventurous, k<strong>in</strong>d of more like<br />

I’m learn<strong>in</strong>g, and [hav<strong>in</strong>g] courage.<br />

I would th<strong>in</strong>k that if you have courage <strong>in</strong> everyth<strong>in</strong>g you do <strong>in</strong> life, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

you can’t regret anyth<strong>in</strong>g. You just have to dive <strong>in</strong>. You have to be<br />

bold. You have to be brave and not be scared… All those th<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

20 21

<strong>In</strong>spiration<br />

But it’s so tough. It’s so hard. I’ve just been <strong>the</strong>re <strong>in</strong> a place <strong>in</strong> my career.<br />

When I’m not work<strong>in</strong>g, it makes me extremely unhappy. So when<br />

I’ve had those periods of unemployment <strong>in</strong> my career, <strong>the</strong>y have been<br />

my most unhappy times. It’s so difficult to keep go<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

But to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>in</strong>ner strength and to f<strong>in</strong>d what makes you feel strong [is<br />

important], to f<strong>in</strong>d o<strong>the</strong>r talents and to nurture those and have o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

<strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g hobbies that make you feel worthy as a person because<br />

be<strong>in</strong>g unemployed and gett<strong>in</strong>g rejected <strong>in</strong> your career, it can really<br />

make you feel worthless and destroys what’s <strong>in</strong>side of you.<br />

So I k<strong>in</strong>d of feel like just your <strong>in</strong>ner strength is just so important. To<br />

keep believ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> you; <strong>in</strong> yourself.<br />


CHAPTER 2<br />

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

I HAVE BEEN SINGING SINCE I was five years old. I used to dream of be<strong>in</strong>g on<br />

magaz<strong>in</strong>e covers and s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> front of crowds of a million people. I<br />

thought, “I can s<strong>in</strong>g. Of course, I’m go<strong>in</strong>g to be famous.” I look back,<br />

aware now that I needed to be realistic.<br />

The truth is, millions of people can record music at <strong>the</strong> push of a<br />

button. That doesn’t imply that <strong>the</strong>y will deliver quality, but <strong>in</strong>stead<br />

means that <strong>the</strong>re will be clutter, so it’s hard to f<strong>in</strong>d good music and<br />

real talent. The reality is that if I want to have a chance at “mak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

it,” I need to not only be on top of my s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g, but also my brand<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

market<strong>in</strong>g, social media, my overall image and f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> right team.<br />

I need to stand out, and do someth<strong>in</strong>g that makes people consistently<br />

remember me. Audiences listen to millions of songs <strong>in</strong> a lifetime, so<br />

<strong>the</strong> only way to get <strong>the</strong>ir attention is to be orig<strong>in</strong>al, to wow <strong>the</strong>m and<br />

to connect with <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

I used to th<strong>in</strong>k, “Oh, I will get discovered <strong>by</strong> a label and get signed,”<br />

but nowadays, artists need to develop <strong>the</strong>mselves and build a team.<br />

Then <strong>the</strong>y need to create a follow<strong>in</strong>g, and once <strong>the</strong>y develop enough<br />

of a buzz, <strong>the</strong>y will grab <strong>the</strong> attention of an <strong>in</strong>die or major label.<br />

There is also a f<strong>in</strong>e l<strong>in</strong>e when it comes to how and when you reach<br />

out to your fans. If you only talk to <strong>the</strong>m when you have a new song to<br />

sell, odds are <strong>the</strong>y might eventually tune you out. If you want to ga<strong>in</strong><br />

attention, start a YouTube documentary about your life, cut a cover of<br />

a song, make a contest for your fans to participate <strong>in</strong>. <strong>Music</strong> is not just<br />


Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

about <strong>the</strong> song anymore, and it’s not just about sell<strong>in</strong>g an album; it’s<br />

about creat<strong>in</strong>g an experience for your target audience. That is how<br />

you will ga<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir support.<br />

It might not be strategic to focus all your energy on sell<strong>in</strong>g songs<br />

unless you are on a major label because, let’s face it: <strong>the</strong> majority of<br />

people will f<strong>in</strong>d ways to download your music for free. Just look at<br />

Spotify, it lets you listen to millions of songs free of charge. The real<br />

way to make money from music <strong>the</strong>se days is to team up with great<br />

brands, ga<strong>in</strong> sponsorship opportunities, license your music, go on<br />

tour, and sell merchandise. You can be creative. Maybe your mom is a<br />

pa<strong>in</strong>ter. You can have her pa<strong>in</strong>t custom guitar picks, and sell <strong>the</strong>m as a<br />

necklace at your merchandise table. There are unlimited possibilities.<br />

Set goals for yourself. Remember that if mak<strong>in</strong>g money is <strong>the</strong> only<br />

drive for your success, chances are you will fail. You have to do this<br />

for <strong>the</strong> passion you have for music. When you are passionate, you are<br />

abundantly more successful <strong>in</strong> everyth<strong>in</strong>g you do. Keep faith and love<br />

<strong>in</strong> your heart, and you will go a lot fur<strong>the</strong>r than you would <strong>by</strong> just striv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to get paid. <strong>Music</strong> isn’t just about mak<strong>in</strong>g money. <strong>Music</strong> is art. It’s<br />

creation. It’s <strong>in</strong>credible! Make music for your fans, for your team, for<br />

<strong>the</strong> people who believe <strong>in</strong> you.<br />

Understand that you might have to play <strong>in</strong> clubs with 10 or 12 people,<br />

hundreds of times before you get to play <strong>in</strong> bigger venues. Realize<br />

that if you meet <strong>the</strong> right people this might not be necessary. Know that<br />

this <strong>in</strong>dustry is full of politics and that you need to focus on build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

right relationships. Maybe you don’t <strong>in</strong>vest all your money <strong>in</strong> creat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

an album <strong>the</strong> first time around, and <strong>in</strong>stead you just create a demo at<br />

your friend’s apartment with Pro Tools and use that as a key to conv<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

venues to give you a chance or to eventually f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> right producer.<br />

Know that no matter what you are do<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>re are hundreds of<br />

thousands of people who are work<strong>in</strong>g just as hard as you, and would<br />

practically do anyth<strong>in</strong>g to succeed. If you want success, you have to be<br />

mentally strong and persistent, and have passion and faith <strong>in</strong> yourself.<br />

If you’ve knocked on one hundred doors, be prepared to knock on<br />

one thousand more. Don’t give up if you truly want your chance more<br />

than anyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. Remember, each obstacle will come with<br />

opportunities and lessons. Use <strong>the</strong>m as a chance to develop as an artist<br />

and ga<strong>in</strong> experience.<br />

Lastly, be<strong>in</strong>g an artist is a lot of pressure, and it’s not for everyone.<br />

Anyone who makes it, is not do<strong>in</strong>g it just for <strong>the</strong> money. They are do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

it for <strong>the</strong> love of music. Know that anyth<strong>in</strong>g is possible, but you still<br />

need to work for it. It takes <strong>the</strong> right drive, passion, positive m<strong>in</strong>dset<br />

and team, but you will get <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

Keys To Success:<br />

COMPETITION: Learn to compete aga<strong>in</strong>st yourself first, and <strong>the</strong>n focus<br />

on those around you. Realize that it is more important to improve<br />

yourself than to try to beat o<strong>the</strong>rs. If you wrote a good song last year,<br />

try to write an even better one this year. If you performed <strong>in</strong> front of<br />

<strong>100</strong> people, try to ga<strong>in</strong> an opportunity to perform for 200, 500 or even<br />

1,000. If you have 5,000 Twitter followers, make it your goal to ga<strong>in</strong><br />

10,000. There are always ways to constantly improve. The more we<br />

can focus on compet<strong>in</strong>g aga<strong>in</strong>st ourselves and develop<strong>in</strong>g ourselves<br />

and our artistry, <strong>the</strong> more chances we have of reach<strong>in</strong>g our objectives.<br />

HEALTH: Make sure to take care of yourself. If you are not healthy, you<br />

can’t help o<strong>the</strong>rs. If you are not happy, you will not want to improve<br />

yourself. Make sure to set yourself <strong>in</strong> a positive environment as much<br />

as possible. This will make a huge difference to your well-be<strong>in</strong>g. Make<br />

sure you eat enough every day and dr<strong>in</strong>k plenty of water. Food equals<br />

energy. You are accomplish<strong>in</strong>g noth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>by</strong> starv<strong>in</strong>g yourself, and that<br />

can only make your career go downhill. The reality is that if you are<br />

only worried about your image and don’t take care of your health, life<br />

will be bleak and depress<strong>in</strong>g. And remember to take breaks, that may<br />

be <strong>the</strong> time when you are your most creative self!<br />

26 27

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

MEDITATION: Listen to meditation CDs, be <strong>in</strong> nature, take some time out<br />

for yourself to relax and just be. When we are passionate about someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

it is easy to get caught up <strong>in</strong> it and become a workaholic. Passion<br />

is amaz<strong>in</strong>g but everyone needs time off. Just as be<strong>in</strong>g physically fit is important<br />

for your health, so is be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a peaceful m<strong>in</strong>dset. The calmer we<br />

are <strong>the</strong> easier time we will have <strong>in</strong> f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g solutions to issues that come up.<br />

Reality hits hard, yet <strong>in</strong> can be <strong>the</strong> fuel beh<strong>in</strong>d an artist’s dream. This is<br />

what <strong>the</strong>y had to say about it:<br />

“Many artists lose <strong>the</strong>ir ‘soul’ <strong>in</strong> striv<strong>in</strong>g to be more ma<strong>in</strong>stream. I credit<br />

artists like Adele as <strong>in</strong>dividuals who balance ma<strong>in</strong>stream success and<br />

passion well.” - Christian Holl<strong>in</strong>gsworth, Entrepreneur, Model, S<strong>in</strong>ger/<br />

Songwriter, CA<br />

“Technology and <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet have allowed everyone to make music.<br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> past, record companies served as filters, and I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong>y did a<br />

very good job. Now <strong>the</strong>re are no filters. Everyone is a musician and<br />

music producer. The problem is <strong>the</strong>y aren’t mak<strong>in</strong>g good music, and<br />

most of it sounds awful. It makes it a lot harder for those of us who<br />

really are professionals. <strong>In</strong>die artists don’t realize this. It’s one th<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

make a great record… It’s ano<strong>the</strong>r to get people to pay attention to<br />

it. That costs dollars.” - John McCracken, Producer, NYC<br />

“One th<strong>in</strong>g I have learned, especially <strong>in</strong> mov<strong>in</strong>g to Los Angeles, is that<br />

gett<strong>in</strong>g opportunities doesn’t always have to do with talent… Most<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustries are driven <strong>by</strong> money, and <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry is no exception.<br />

Sometimes it’s hard to look at your art like a bus<strong>in</strong>ess, and I th<strong>in</strong>k this<br />

turns a lot of amaz<strong>in</strong>g musicians bitter. I don’t want to turn bitter.” -<br />

Rachel B, NYC<br />

“For a while, <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry was solely rely<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> artist’s look to carry<br />

<strong>the</strong> product, but over <strong>the</strong> past year, I’ve seen a lot of <strong>in</strong>dependent<br />

artists stepp<strong>in</strong>g up <strong>the</strong>ir game and demand<strong>in</strong>g attention, whe<strong>the</strong>r<br />

<strong>the</strong>y were drop dead gorgeous or not. It’s really refresh<strong>in</strong>g to see and<br />

hav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> audience take notice.” - Carly L<strong>in</strong>d, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Simply put, from what I can see, <strong>the</strong>re’s less money to go around, and<br />

it’s elim<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> middle class of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. I’m keep<strong>in</strong>g myself<br />

busy <strong>by</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g smart, efficiently and creative. Time is precious, so<br />

I’m focus<strong>in</strong>g work on <strong>the</strong> GREAT songs and not <strong>the</strong> mediocre or good<br />

ones.” - Greg Ogan, Writer/Producer/Eng<strong>in</strong>eer/Mixer, Hollywood, CA<br />

“Even though companies, bus<strong>in</strong>ess models and record labels are dy<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

I feel like we’re <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> wild frontier with social media and <strong>the</strong> new<br />

market<strong>in</strong>g paradigm. I made tour videos for “Slumdog Millionaire”<br />

Oscar and Grammy award w<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g composer/musician A.R. Rahman<br />

while on his Jai Ho World Tour. His Facebook fan base was at 600K<br />

when I started. After four months of releas<strong>in</strong>g just <strong>the</strong> videos I made,<br />

it grew to 2.3 million. Now it’s over 5.3 million. He puts out a post,<br />

and with<strong>in</strong> 10 m<strong>in</strong>utes he’s got 800 likes. You don’t need record labels<br />

once you get to that po<strong>in</strong>t, but you don’t have to be an A.R. to be<br />

<strong>the</strong>re. Bands like OK GO make amaz<strong>in</strong>g videos that go viral.” - Anu<br />

Gunn, Rock Vocalist/Guitarist/Actor, Hollywood, CA<br />

“The amount of creativity <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world is enormous; however, <strong>the</strong> arts<br />

are usually <strong>the</strong> first to be taken as a luxury. On that po<strong>in</strong>t, I state that<br />

only a society where decision makers know <strong>the</strong> value of music and<br />

<strong>the</strong> arts can be a prosperous one.” - Gilad Hochman, Classical <strong>Music</strong><br />

Composer,<br />

Israel<br />

“Call me naive, a believer, or just pla<strong>in</strong> stupid, but one aspect that has<br />

taken me totally <strong>by</strong> surprise is that I had no idea that you can buy your<br />

way <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry. If I had two million Euros for radio promotion<br />

and a market<strong>in</strong>g campaign, I could probably be as big as a Lady<br />

Gaga or Taylor Swift. I guess that makes me sad, though… I always had<br />

28 29

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

this romantic notion that all it took was talent and a lucky break, but<br />

when I got to Los Angeles no one seemed <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> music, only <strong>in</strong><br />

how much budget I had to work with.” - K’Sandra, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Be<strong>in</strong>g a record producer requires long hours, extreme attention to<br />

detail and a sharp bus<strong>in</strong>ess m<strong>in</strong>d. My high po<strong>in</strong>ts are always when<br />

I receive recognition from my peers. We are <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess to sell<br />

records, and while sales are great, it’s even better when o<strong>the</strong>r work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

professionals admire someth<strong>in</strong>g that you’ve put toge<strong>the</strong>r. Low<br />

po<strong>in</strong>ts are def<strong>in</strong>itely when you th<strong>in</strong>k a song is great, and it doesn’t get<br />

<strong>the</strong> reception that you’re hop<strong>in</strong>g for.” - Doug Fenske, Producer,<br />

Los<br />

Angeles, CA<br />

“I feel excited about <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry today! It’s evolved to a place where<br />

anyone has <strong>the</strong> ability to create <strong>the</strong>ir own career due to <strong>the</strong> opportunities<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet has provided. It gives an artist, like me, a chance<br />

to connect with fans, write honest lyrics, and say th<strong>in</strong>gs I want to say,<br />

regardless of how a giant record company feels about my op<strong>in</strong>ion.” -<br />

Alexa Falk, One Half of Country Duo: Falk, UT<br />

“We are liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a digital world now where artists can produce music<br />

from home. You don’t have to be <strong>in</strong> Nashville, L.A. or New York <strong>in</strong><br />

order to ‘make a record.’ It’s convenient for sure, but also <strong>the</strong>re’s a lot<br />

of ‘self-produced’ music out <strong>the</strong>re. Also, it’s not about mak<strong>in</strong>g records<br />

anymore. More artists are deliver<strong>in</strong>g EPs or s<strong>in</strong>gles <strong>in</strong> order to get<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir fans music quicker.” - Brian Fuente, Nashville, TN<br />

“The corporate structure tends to be <strong>in</strong> opposition to <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>nate way<br />

that music is created. I th<strong>in</strong>k some of <strong>the</strong> best music comes from<br />

<strong>the</strong> most personal place. There’s someth<strong>in</strong>g wild and unpredictable<br />

about that. Yet, <strong>the</strong> corporate world does everyth<strong>in</strong>g possible to<br />

guarantee consistent results and profits. That said, I’ve had so many<br />

great experiences <strong>in</strong> that world, and <strong>the</strong>re are some really talented<br />

executives out <strong>the</strong>re who totally get it and love music and artists.” -<br />

Adam Watts, CA<br />

“A<br />

s<strong>in</strong>ger will work really hard to get <strong>the</strong>ir voice and brand<strong>in</strong>g toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Once <strong>the</strong>y get a record deal, <strong>the</strong>y tend to forget what got <strong>the</strong>m<br />

<strong>the</strong>re <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first place. They have radio <strong>in</strong>terviews and o<strong>the</strong>r obligations<br />

and a lot of people talk<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong>m. They forget about what <strong>the</strong>y<br />

worked through to get to <strong>the</strong> top, and <strong>the</strong>y put <strong>the</strong>ir attention to <strong>the</strong><br />

demands of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. They stop ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir voice.” - Renee<br />

Grant Williams Vocal Coach, Nashville, TN<br />

“Unfortunately, I see a lot of colleagues of m<strong>in</strong>e that have won<br />

Grammys, have 20 Gold/Plat<strong>in</strong>um Records, have number one hits, all<br />

have tremendous amounts of success, and who have left <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

because <strong>the</strong>y couldn’t make a liv<strong>in</strong>g anymore. Thank God I was able<br />

to make that transition for myself, which is basically market<strong>in</strong>g our<br />

services to <strong>in</strong>dependent labels, <strong>in</strong>dependent musicians, <strong>in</strong>dependent<br />

s<strong>in</strong>gers, and not rely on <strong>the</strong> record and publish<strong>in</strong>g companies for <strong>the</strong><br />

majority of our work.” - Arty Skye, Producer, NYC<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> is suffer<strong>in</strong>g because labels want <strong>in</strong>stant gratification. If <strong>the</strong>y<br />

meet an artist and <strong>the</strong>y put <strong>the</strong>ir record out, and it doesn’t connect<br />

with <strong>the</strong> people, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>y’ll let <strong>the</strong>m go. Back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> day, <strong>the</strong>y built<br />

artists. If it didn’t work <strong>the</strong> first time, <strong>the</strong>y just kept build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir fan<br />

base. Right now, that’s a lost craft. Now, as an artist or a musician, you<br />

have to come <strong>in</strong>to this game basically at <strong>the</strong> top of it to be respected.<br />

It’s mak<strong>in</strong>g it harder for artists and musicians to grow because everyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

is so ‘here today, gone tomorrow.’ ” - Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd,<br />

Producer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

30 31

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“It’s more effective for <strong>in</strong>dependent artists to put out s<strong>in</strong>gles ra<strong>the</strong>r<br />

than focus on putt<strong>in</strong>g out EPs or full albums. As <strong>in</strong>dividual artists, it’s<br />

harder to get people to digest an entire product at one time.”<br />

- Dylan Synclaire, Producer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“There is a lot of struggle <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess, but that does not<br />

mean th<strong>in</strong>gs can’t turn around. As far as <strong>the</strong> music goes, I just hope<br />

talent cont<strong>in</strong>ues to be someth<strong>in</strong>g important for success (not money).”<br />

- Alex Flanigan, Nashville, TN<br />

“The record<strong>in</strong>g world has traditionally been male-dom<strong>in</strong>ated, and<br />

even though it’s improved <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> last five years, much of <strong>the</strong> gender<br />

discrim<strong>in</strong>ation still exists.” - Erica Glyn, NYC<br />

“As we are becom<strong>in</strong>g more fast-paced and less personable, more<br />

op<strong>in</strong>ionated and less active, more needy and less attentive, we are cater<strong>in</strong>g<br />

our music to those attributes. Like I said, though, it’s a hopeful<br />

time. The talent and au<strong>the</strong>ntic always rise to <strong>the</strong> top.” - Dom Liberati,<br />

Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k what is most surpris<strong>in</strong>g is how hard it is to keep people <strong>in</strong>terested<br />

<strong>in</strong> your music. I remember when we first started tour<strong>in</strong>g, we would<br />

play shows and have all <strong>the</strong>se people come up to us afterwards tell<strong>in</strong>g<br />

us that we were <strong>the</strong>ir favorite band. Then <strong>the</strong> next time that we came<br />

through <strong>the</strong> city <strong>the</strong>y wouldn’t even be at <strong>the</strong> show! … We learned we<br />

needed to focus on not th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g of people as just ano<strong>the</strong>r ‘fan,’ but as a<br />

friend whose life we can be a part of.” - The Icarus Account, FL<br />

“Mak<strong>in</strong>g money is probably <strong>the</strong> biggest challenge, for sure. It’s hard<br />

to make money. When you’re go<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to o<strong>the</strong>r markets and tour<strong>in</strong>g<br />

around, if you don’t have a lot of promotion lead<strong>in</strong>g up to it, it’s hard<br />

to get a crowd at some of <strong>the</strong> places. That’s always a demoraliz<strong>in</strong>g<br />

th<strong>in</strong>g.” - Zak Smith, NJ<br />

“One of my biggest fears that I’m gett<strong>in</strong>g over was hav<strong>in</strong>g a normal<br />

life and go<strong>in</strong>g out with friends over <strong>the</strong> weekend. You know, you can’t<br />

do that as an artist. You have to k<strong>in</strong>d of stay <strong>in</strong> and work, work, work,<br />

work. It’s k<strong>in</strong>d of like <strong>the</strong> AMAs and VMAs are your prom and homecom<strong>in</strong>g.”<br />

- Macy Kate, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I do th<strong>in</strong>k that <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry is full of alligators, and you have to<br />

watch who you swim with. We have been offered many contracts that<br />

were very dangerous to a career, and I am sure a lot of bands are sign<strong>in</strong>g<br />

without really th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g what <strong>the</strong>y are sign<strong>in</strong>g or go<strong>in</strong>g to a music<br />

lawyer.” - Dream Aria, Toronto, Canada<br />

“With illegal download<strong>in</strong>g, we were only gett<strong>in</strong>g two or three out of 10<br />

<strong>in</strong> our purchas<strong>in</strong>g-to-consumer ratio, mean<strong>in</strong>g that if 10 people are listen<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to a song, only two or three of <strong>the</strong>m actually bought it. There are<br />

several ways to <strong>in</strong>crease this ratio, and one of <strong>the</strong>m is a monthly fee for<br />

stream<strong>in</strong>g services. Mechanical royalties should <strong>in</strong>crease too!” - Doug<br />

Fenske, Producer,<br />

Los Angeles, CA<br />

“The music <strong>in</strong>dustry is split <strong>in</strong> two, unevenly. Ten percent of artists are<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g music for radio, and that’s what Joe Public hears every day.<br />

It’s a here today, gone tomorrow k<strong>in</strong>d of deal that’s a double-edged<br />

sword. Someone is mak<strong>in</strong>g bank — possibly not you. The o<strong>the</strong>r 90<br />

percent are creat<strong>in</strong>g music through a passion for <strong>the</strong>ir art and a desire<br />

to be understood through it. They’re broke. They don’t get played<br />

on <strong>the</strong> radio and are just look<strong>in</strong>g for an audience, tour<strong>in</strong>g and do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

it grass roots style.” - Declan Bennett, Broadway, Star and S<strong>in</strong>ger/<br />

Songwriter,<br />

NYC<br />

“There’s just so many facets to everyth<strong>in</strong>g, and I love <strong>the</strong> art and creativity<br />

<strong>in</strong>volved, as well as <strong>the</strong> passion and excitement from people<br />

when all <strong>the</strong> pieces work toge<strong>the</strong>r properly. Sometimes though, it can<br />

get muddled up with <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess and bureaucracy of th<strong>in</strong>gs and lose<br />

32 33

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

sight of why we all got <strong>in</strong>volved with music <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first place.” - Chase<br />

Coy, Nashville, TN<br />

“There’s far more bad music out <strong>the</strong>re than <strong>the</strong>re is mediocre music,<br />

and <strong>the</strong>re’s more mediocre music out <strong>the</strong>re than <strong>the</strong>re is GOOD music.<br />

<strong>Music</strong> that is well written, carefully crafted, performed <strong>by</strong> exceptional<br />

musicians, recorded and produced at <strong>the</strong> utmost level of quality<br />

and mixed and mastered so that <strong>the</strong> details, dynamics and EMOTION<br />

of <strong>the</strong> song are brought to <strong>the</strong> forefront is becom<strong>in</strong>g hard to f<strong>in</strong>d.” -<br />

Derik Nelson, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I am pretty sure that you’re better-off mak<strong>in</strong>g friends with people<br />

than mak<strong>in</strong>g music <strong>the</strong>y like. <strong>In</strong> short, be nice to everyone, don’t expect<br />

anyth<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong>m, and, above all, never trap yourself <strong>in</strong> bitterness<br />

<strong>by</strong> th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g that you deserve anyth<strong>in</strong>g. No one really deserves<br />

anyth<strong>in</strong>g. If you get it, it’s luck, connections and chance. Good music<br />

probably helps, but not all that much. Bad music does hurt though.” -<br />

Michael Epste<strong>in</strong>, MA<br />

“You have to love it. If you are <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess or want to get <strong>in</strong> it for fame<br />

or money, forget it. That all comes later if you work hard and are honest<br />

about <strong>the</strong> art. If you ‘chase paper,’ that’s all you will be do<strong>in</strong>g.” - Karl<br />

Heilbron, Producer,<br />

Atlanta, GA/Los Angeles, CA<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Know<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

Many artists I have worked with don’t realize how much every craft,<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s music, act<strong>in</strong>g, visual arts, etc. is a bus<strong>in</strong>ess. They ei<strong>the</strong>r don’t<br />

manage <strong>the</strong> career side of <strong>the</strong>ir art or mishandle it <strong>by</strong> choos<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> wrong<br />

people, disregard<strong>in</strong>g brand<strong>in</strong>g, lack<strong>in</strong>g direction, and so on. When you<br />

are express<strong>in</strong>g your art, you’re sell<strong>in</strong>g a brand. Your brand is everyth<strong>in</strong>g; it<br />

goes from how you look, and sound, which is your <strong>in</strong>dividual style, all <strong>the</strong><br />

way to <strong>the</strong> basic <strong>the</strong>me colors of your website and market<strong>in</strong>g materials.<br />

Your brand<strong>in</strong>g as an artist must match your fan’s perception of your art.<br />

Work<strong>in</strong>g with a coach can clarify your message to your fans so you can<br />

reach that next level. Don’t take your brand<strong>in</strong>g for granted!<br />

However, what I have just mentioned here is <strong>the</strong> “outer stuff,” <strong>the</strong><br />

somewhat superficial part of your artistic package that matters, yes,<br />

but only to a po<strong>in</strong>t. As an artist, <strong>the</strong>re is a core part of who you are<br />

from with<strong>in</strong>, which is powerful, a creative energy that you must take<br />

good care of consistently. There will be highs and lows; that is <strong>the</strong> expression<br />

of your emotional life.<br />

At regular <strong>in</strong>tervals, you must streng<strong>the</strong>n your <strong>in</strong>ner self alongside<br />

all <strong>the</strong> areas of your creative bus<strong>in</strong>ess and seek to improve who you are<br />

and how you express yourself as an artist to <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

It’s hard to crack open who you really are and what you have<br />

been through. It’s just as hard to separate your weaknesses from your<br />

strengths, and br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> right team <strong>in</strong> to support you. But like I expla<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> my A.V.A. method, awareness of your creative gifts at <strong>the</strong> present moment<br />

is your key to success <strong>in</strong> your future. The creative universe will rejoice<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> captur<strong>in</strong>g of this clarity. This clarity will heighten your power.<br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

1. What is <strong>the</strong> exact state of your music career today? What is work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and not work<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

34 35

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

7. How does <strong>the</strong> world see you?<br />

2. Where was your career a year ago? What have you achieved s<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

<strong>the</strong>n?<br />

8. What is <strong>the</strong> true “you”?<br />

3. What are your biggest bless<strong>in</strong>gs and gifts?<br />

Chapter 2 Affirmation: Realities<br />

4. What are <strong>the</strong> biggest weaknesses that you have as a music artist??<br />

“I know who I am as an artist and a creative be<strong>in</strong>g. I have<br />

complete clarity <strong>in</strong> express<strong>in</strong>g myself to <strong>the</strong> world. I accept<br />

my weaknesses and my strengths, know<strong>in</strong>g I def<strong>in</strong>e my own<br />

state of perfection. I am full of creative power and have a<br />

great purpose <strong>in</strong> this world. Know<strong>in</strong>g this, I cont<strong>in</strong>uously<br />

build my <strong>in</strong>ner power towards my ultimate success.”<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

5. What resources do you need from o<strong>the</strong>rs to improve your level of<br />

success?<br />

6. What is <strong>the</strong> biggest fear that crosses your m<strong>in</strong>d about your career?<br />

About yourself?<br />

36 37

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Feature <strong>In</strong>terview: Trevor Gale, Vice President of SESAC<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I’m sure our readers will appreciate <strong>the</strong> wisdom from someone<br />

who has been <strong>the</strong>re, done that and accomplished so much <strong>in</strong><br />

support<strong>in</strong>g artists with your work!<br />

So my first question is this: What would you say are “some keys to<br />

success <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry” that an artist needs to commit to<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>y’re aspir<strong>in</strong>g or <strong>the</strong>y’re <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> midst of a music career,<br />

promot<strong>in</strong>g… tour<strong>in</strong>g, etc. What should <strong>the</strong>y focus <strong>100</strong>% on?<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Today on Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s, we are welcom<strong>in</strong>g Trevor<br />

Gale, Vice President of perform<strong>in</strong>g arts giant SESAC, which represents<br />

thousands of songwriters and publishers, and <strong>the</strong>ir right<br />

to be compensated for hav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir music performed <strong>in</strong> public.<br />

They have headquarters <strong>in</strong> Nashville and offices <strong>in</strong> New York,<br />

Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and London. SESAC is one of <strong>the</strong><br />

top three organizations to support songwriters <strong>in</strong> all genres <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Bryan-Michael Cox, Bale’wa<br />

M Muhammad, Omarion, Swizz Beatz, Jason Perry and Angela<br />

Hunte, to name a few.<br />

The goal of this <strong>in</strong>terview is to receive your wisdom and guidance<br />

as a music <strong>in</strong>dustry veteran so that music artists check<strong>in</strong>g out our<br />

site, Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s, can truly succeed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry,<br />

and be <strong>in</strong>spired. So welcome!<br />

Trevor: There’s a lot of th<strong>in</strong>gs to keep <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d if you want to be successful<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess. Most of <strong>the</strong>m are pretty simple. Most of<br />

<strong>the</strong>m are pretty straightforward.<br />

Trevor: That’s a very good question. The first th<strong>in</strong>g that I do say to<br />

many, many artists and many, many musicians every day is don’t be<br />

afraid of hard work.<br />

No. 1: The music <strong>in</strong>dustry, no matter how you slice it, is very reward<strong>in</strong>g<br />

but most of <strong>the</strong> time, <strong>the</strong> real reward comes at <strong>the</strong> end of a long drive<br />

of hard work.<br />

It’s like you have to back out an expensive Cadillac through a very narrow<br />

driveway that has <strong>the</strong>se granite walls on ei<strong>the</strong>r side and <strong>the</strong>re’s a new<br />

pa<strong>in</strong>t job on <strong>the</strong> car and you have to get it through without too many<br />

scratches. It’s very difficult to not get <strong>the</strong> scratches, but it’s also very difficult<br />

to not get discouraged when you do get <strong>the</strong> scratches. It’s also very<br />

‘reliev<strong>in</strong>g’, so to speak, when you actually get <strong>the</strong> car out of <strong>the</strong> driveway.<br />

It’s k<strong>in</strong>d of like what <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess is about… It’s a challenge, a<br />

never-end<strong>in</strong>g challenge. So you have to not be afraid of hard work.<br />

You have to never give up. Never give up. You have to have an enormous<br />

amount of confidence <strong>in</strong> yourself, but that confidence has to be<br />

based <strong>in</strong> reality. That confidence has to be based <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> fact that you<br />

know you put <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> work, and you’ve done <strong>the</strong> homework, so to speak<br />

and you’ve really developed your craft and your ability to a certa<strong>in</strong><br />

38 39

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

level. That’s what it has to be based <strong>in</strong>, not like, “Oh, my girlfriend said<br />

I was good, so I guess I’m good.”<br />

Those are <strong>the</strong> first three or four th<strong>in</strong>gs I would tell somebody because<br />

just like anyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment field, you’re go<strong>in</strong>g to start with<br />

just rejection. Everyone is go<strong>in</strong>g to say, “No, you’re no good. Get out<br />

of here!” Even if you’re good, <strong>the</strong>y’ll say, “Wow! You’re great, but I’m<br />

not look<strong>in</strong>g for a tall great guy that can s<strong>in</strong>g good. I’m look<strong>in</strong>g for a<br />

short person who just does that,” or whatever.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g advice that you are shar<strong>in</strong>g. Your analogy<br />

is def<strong>in</strong>itely orig<strong>in</strong>al, it does take a lot of confidence and selfawareness<br />

for an artist to claim <strong>the</strong>ir musical gifts, and have a door-die<br />

mentality and passion for <strong>the</strong>ir career, you know? So tell<br />

me about <strong>the</strong> mission of SESAC and how it all started.<br />

Trevor: SESAC is a perform<strong>in</strong>g rights organization. We make sure that<br />

songwriters, as you said, get paid for <strong>the</strong>ir public performances. What<br />

that means really is that when your music is performed that you created<br />

(you created a song), it actually is your <strong>in</strong>tellectual property.<br />

You dreamed up that song. It was created with<strong>in</strong> your <strong>in</strong>tellect, and<br />

it’s your property. So <strong>in</strong>tellectual property, when that song is performed<br />

<strong>in</strong> a nightclub, on a radio station, on a television station, on<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet provider, on an airl<strong>in</strong>e, a cruise ship, anywhere where to<br />

ga<strong>in</strong> access to that place or venue, someone had to pay money, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

<strong>the</strong>re is <strong>the</strong>oretically, a royalty or a payment that is now due to you<br />

because your <strong>in</strong>tellectual property has been utilized to sort of draw<br />

people <strong>in</strong>.<br />

I always use <strong>the</strong> analogy of ‘cheese on a mousetrap’. The reason why<br />

radio stations play music is not necessarily because <strong>the</strong> radio station<br />

people actually like music, <strong>the</strong>y play music because <strong>the</strong>y like money,<br />

and <strong>the</strong>y know that if <strong>the</strong>y play music that <strong>the</strong> people like, <strong>the</strong>y’ll get<br />

listeners. The more listeners <strong>the</strong>y get, <strong>the</strong> more <strong>the</strong>y can charge advertisers<br />

who advertise on <strong>the</strong>ir station. You know what I mean?<br />

If <strong>the</strong>y can tell <strong>the</strong> advertisers (i.e. Pepsi, Coke, Chevrolet, Kentucky<br />

Fried Chicken or whoever it is) that <strong>the</strong>y have six million listeners, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir fees goes up.<br />

So that’s what we do. We make sure songwriters get paid for <strong>the</strong> usage<br />

of <strong>the</strong>ir music <strong>in</strong> those types of situations.<br />

And those types of situations, I might just add, have vastly expanded<br />

and blossomed. <strong>In</strong>itially, it was clubs and bars and radio and <strong>the</strong>n television.<br />

And now we have this whole <strong>In</strong>ternet world and viral world, so<br />

it is <strong>the</strong>re as well.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yes, def<strong>in</strong>itely a lot more layers <strong>the</strong>re nowadays and artists<br />

<strong>in</strong> my op<strong>in</strong>ion, shouldn’t be afraid of branch<strong>in</strong>g out and express<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir brand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> multiple ways to get exposure and <strong>in</strong>fluence.<br />

I did notice that you also use very sophisticated technology at<br />

SESAC to keep track of <strong>the</strong> songs that are out <strong>the</strong>re from your<br />

artists that you worked on sign<strong>in</strong>g and represent<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Trevor: Right, right. Basically, we use a system called BDS, which is a<br />

company called Broadcast Data System. They’re sort of a sister company<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Nielsen company. When you hear television rat<strong>in</strong>gs and successful<br />

television shows, you hear about ‘high Nielsen rat<strong>in</strong>g’, well <strong>the</strong><br />

same people have ano<strong>the</strong>r company called Broadcast Data Systems<br />

and <strong>the</strong>y measure and account for <strong>the</strong> number of performances that<br />

songs have on radio and <strong>in</strong> some music-<strong>in</strong>tensive television networks.<br />

40 41

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

We use that technology. We use <strong>the</strong>m to track <strong>the</strong> performances of<br />

<strong>the</strong> songs that we represent. That is very, very accurate. We’re very<br />

satisfied with that system and it’s worked out very well for us.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Let’s look at your start with SESAC. I know that you started<br />

with SESAC <strong>in</strong> 1996 as <strong>the</strong> Director of writer/publisher relations.<br />

And <strong>the</strong>n you swiftly moved up to Vice President. Next to Senior<br />

Vice President; impressive!<br />

I’m sure our readers would love to know how <strong>the</strong> music scene was<br />

back <strong>the</strong>n <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> day <strong>in</strong> 1996 compared to how it is right now. You’ve<br />

seen it all! Plus, you also have your own musical background as an<br />

<strong>in</strong>dependent record producer, songwriter and drummer that has<br />

toured with Whitney Houston, Aretha Frankl<strong>in</strong>, Vanessa Williams<br />

and Run DMC and CEO of Gale Warn<strong>in</strong>gs Production Company, a<br />

full-service music production facility <strong>in</strong> NYC.<br />

Trevor: It’s <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g because <strong>the</strong> music scene has changed a lot.<br />

<strong>Music</strong>, necessarily, hasn’t changed a lot and what it takes to be successful<br />

<strong>in</strong> music hasn’t really changed that much. But <strong>the</strong> scene of music,<br />

parts of <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess have changed a little bit. Before, when<br />

I started at SESAC <strong>in</strong> those sort of days and times, you got a record<br />

deal. The record company promoted your record if you’re fortunate<br />

enough to have <strong>the</strong>m do that.<br />

And <strong>the</strong>n you went on <strong>the</strong> road and you performed and you became<br />

famous, so to speak, based on <strong>the</strong> success of your songs.<br />

That still happens to some degree today, but as we know now, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>In</strong>ternet is <strong>the</strong> way to go. It’s everyth<strong>in</strong>g. It’s just taken over. It has<br />

changed some of <strong>the</strong> methodology and some of <strong>the</strong> processes of how<br />

you become known for your music, but at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> day, <strong>the</strong>re’s<br />

also a shallowness to <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet is a great th<strong>in</strong>g and it creates great access to music<br />

and access to different artists and such. But at <strong>the</strong> same time, because<br />

it creates so much access, it’s someth<strong>in</strong>g that doesn’t have weight.<br />

“We love you. We love you” and <strong>the</strong> crowd is <strong>the</strong>n, “Okay… now, I’ll<br />

go and listen to somebody else.”<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, nowadays anyone can put a song on <strong>the</strong>ir Facebook<br />

page and YouTube and all that!<br />

Trevor: Next week, I’m k<strong>in</strong>d of listen<strong>in</strong>g to somebody else like, “I heard<br />

you. I saw you. Get out of here. Leave me alone.” It wasn’t so much<br />

of that back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> day when you only had <strong>the</strong> more traditional ways<br />

of promot<strong>in</strong>g artists. It was a little bit more of “If I like you, I like you”<br />

back <strong>the</strong>n. Not “If I like you now, I like you right this second. I might<br />

not like you ten seconds from now.”<br />

It’s so much access. It’s just so much com<strong>in</strong>g at you. It’s so much...<br />

touch<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>re’s so much feel<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>re’s so much hitt<strong>in</strong>g you, <strong>the</strong>re’s<br />

so much <strong>the</strong>re that you don’t even have time to know an artist and to<br />

get to understand<strong>in</strong>g artists.<br />

Even though <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet allows you to k<strong>in</strong>d of do that because you<br />

can search back, “What was <strong>the</strong>ir first record? What was <strong>the</strong>ir record<br />

before that first record? What was <strong>the</strong>ir demo?” It allows you to dig<br />

deep, but most people, <strong>the</strong>y don’t dig that deep because <strong>the</strong>y’re busy<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> next th<strong>in</strong>g. It’s a challenge.<br />

So that, <strong>the</strong> scene of music, as you say, how has it changed? I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong><br />

enormous access that <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet provides also takes away from <strong>the</strong><br />

depth of my association with an artist.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I agree. Now <strong>the</strong> artist is much more of a creative entrepreneur<br />

<strong>in</strong> a sense. The <strong>In</strong>ternet provides all this self-promotion<br />

42 43

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

for any person that it can get cluttered with so many new<br />

artists…<br />

Trevor: When I was a kid, I used to listen to Santana records. I used to<br />

play <strong>the</strong> record until <strong>the</strong> groove wore out basically on <strong>the</strong> record, you<br />

know what I mean? But now, if I listen to Santana, it’ll tell me, “Oh, you<br />

like Santana, you’re go<strong>in</strong>g to like this guy” and before I know it, I was<br />

listen<strong>in</strong>g to Santana for a m<strong>in</strong>ute, <strong>the</strong> next th<strong>in</strong>g I know I’m listen<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

some o<strong>the</strong>r guy… and <strong>the</strong>n some o<strong>the</strong>r person, which is cool. But now<br />

I’ve gone away from that artist that I really was <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first<br />

place, and now I’ve started listen<strong>in</strong>g to what someth<strong>in</strong>g is tell<strong>in</strong>g me<br />

I’m go<strong>in</strong>g to th<strong>in</strong>k is <strong>the</strong> first artist.<br />

It’s a very subtle, but not so subtle change to what has become <strong>the</strong><br />

music scene. It takes away I th<strong>in</strong>k from <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>tensity of <strong>the</strong> fan base.<br />

It’s funny because <strong>in</strong> some ways, people will argue and say, “A true fan<br />

now is really a true fan,” but it’s just a little different I th<strong>in</strong>k because of<br />

<strong>the</strong> amount of access to all <strong>the</strong> music we have.<br />

It’s good <strong>in</strong> a lot of ways because it enables new artists to get heard,<br />

so it’s always a fabulous th<strong>in</strong>g. The challenge of it is <strong>the</strong> fact that <strong>the</strong><br />

whole society, so to speak, has become disposable a little bit and this<br />

quick, “Oh, I chew that gum. It loses its flavor <strong>in</strong> two seconds, I get<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r piece of gum.”<br />

When you buy gum now, it’s like <strong>the</strong>y give you 40 pieces of gum <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

box and <strong>the</strong> little th<strong>in</strong>g. Back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> day, you’d buy <strong>the</strong> chew<strong>in</strong>g gum<br />

and it’d have five sticks of gum <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>re if you’re lucky and you’d chew<br />

that for like a week or someth<strong>in</strong>g, or three days or someth<strong>in</strong>g. Now,<br />

because it loses its flavor <strong>in</strong> ten m<strong>in</strong>utes, you go through <strong>the</strong> box <strong>in</strong> a<br />

half hour.<br />

It’s k<strong>in</strong>d of that way with some of <strong>the</strong> music. It’s very <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I <strong>in</strong>terviewed Jason Boyd, producer of Just<strong>in</strong> Bieber’s records<br />

and he was say<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> same th<strong>in</strong>g. He was like, “Oh, nowadays,<br />

people have ADD with music.” It’s just everyth<strong>in</strong>g is so<br />

commercialized <strong>in</strong> a way, and it’s like, “Okay, what’s <strong>the</strong> next artist,<br />

or next sound.” They jump around.<br />

Trevor: Back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> day an artist would come with an album, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

would tour, <strong>the</strong>y would take a break, <strong>the</strong>y would record ano<strong>the</strong>r album,<br />

it would take <strong>the</strong>m a while, and <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>y’ll be like, “Oh, my God! So<br />

and so’s album is com<strong>in</strong>g out.” You would really wait for that. It’ll be<br />

excit<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Nowadays, it’s like <strong>the</strong> artists come out with new albums, it seems like<br />

every two weeks. You can’t even keep up what album that song is from<br />

because <strong>the</strong>y’re constantly putt<strong>in</strong>g songs out <strong>the</strong>re… because <strong>the</strong>y’re<br />

so afraid that <strong>the</strong> people will forget <strong>the</strong>m and go away, <strong>the</strong>ir fan base<br />

will wane and dissipate that <strong>the</strong>y’re constantly putt<strong>in</strong>g more songs out.<br />

It’s a very strange and <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g phenomenon.<br />

It’s also <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g from ano<strong>the</strong>r perspective that because of <strong>the</strong> different<br />

layers and levels of <strong>the</strong> uses of music and access to music that<br />

songwriters have opportunities to at least have a little bit of a difference<br />

and more options as far as streams of <strong>in</strong>come are concerned.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I’ve been say<strong>in</strong>g that as well! There are some great opportunities<br />

for artists, especially if <strong>the</strong>y have <strong>the</strong> right team around<br />

<strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Trevor: There’s more songs be<strong>in</strong>g used <strong>in</strong> films and TV. There’s obviously<br />

more channels on television. It’s just a little bit more opportunity.<br />

44 45

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

It’s still not perfect. It’s still not <strong>the</strong> way we all really want it to be, but<br />

<strong>the</strong> light is a little brighter a little bit, just a little bit.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: There’s more freedom. They have a little more freedom <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>ir brand management and <strong>the</strong>ir market<strong>in</strong>g. Social media helps<br />

a lot too.<br />

Trevor: Yeah, it’s <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: At labels today, <strong>the</strong>re isn’t artist development or mentors<br />

like <strong>the</strong>re used to be <strong>in</strong> old days… Like Ray Charles was with<br />

Atlantic Records.<br />

I thought that was really great because I, myself am a life and<br />

bus<strong>in</strong>ess coach for people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> arts and enterta<strong>in</strong>ment. I’m do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

my part to help <strong>in</strong>spire and work with artists <strong>in</strong> develop<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir careers because I saw this need <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> market plus I had passion<br />

for <strong>the</strong> arts. What is your perspective on that?<br />

Trevor: You’re right. Like I say, <strong>the</strong> level of artist development is a completely<br />

different scenario now with labels. Labels are actually look<strong>in</strong>g<br />

for artists who are developed already. They’re look<strong>in</strong>g for artists who<br />

have fan bases already.<br />

The phenomenon of <strong>the</strong>se television shows, X-Factor, American Idol,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Voice, all <strong>the</strong>se stuff is based on, “Okay, we’ll f<strong>in</strong>d semi-talented<br />

or talented artists or s<strong>in</strong>gers,” let’s call <strong>the</strong>m (we don’t know if <strong>the</strong>y’re<br />

artists), “…and we’ll put <strong>the</strong>m on this TV show, which is a reality-based<br />

sort of th<strong>in</strong>g, and <strong>the</strong>y’ll get fans from <strong>the</strong> people that watch <strong>the</strong> show.<br />

So, as soon as we put <strong>the</strong> record out, <strong>the</strong>y’ll have a fan base. Thus,<br />

we’ll have record sales from day one.”<br />

That is <strong>the</strong>ir th<strong>in</strong>g. Outside of that, if <strong>the</strong>y do sign someone new, <strong>the</strong>y’re<br />

look<strong>in</strong>g for those who have already had a presence onl<strong>in</strong>e. That way,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y can say, “Oh, <strong>the</strong>se people already have 500,000 views on <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

video and this and that and a web page and blah-blah-blah, so we<br />

don’t have to do anyth<strong>in</strong>g. We just have to put <strong>the</strong> record out because<br />

all we want to do is make money.<br />

So it is a completely different th<strong>in</strong>g when you go to a label back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

old days and <strong>the</strong>y had a staff producer who had a sound that <strong>the</strong> label<br />

is famous for, and so to develop and hone this artist <strong>in</strong>to someth<strong>in</strong>g, or<br />

an artist who was ready to go out and perform with a sound and with<br />

an identity, and a look and all of that.<br />

Now, you’d have to walk <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> door with that. It is completely different.<br />

That’s why I say that artists have to have <strong>the</strong> ability to work really hard<br />

because you have to not only work to say, “I’m <strong>the</strong> best guitar player <strong>in</strong><br />

New Jersey,” but you have to have a vibe, a uniqueness and a message<br />

and a persona and character. “Who are you? What are you say<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

What are you talk<strong>in</strong>g about? Why do I like you? Why should I like you?”<br />

You have to come <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> door with all of <strong>the</strong>se before <strong>the</strong>y even pay<br />

any attention to you. It takes a lot of thought, it takes a lot of work, and<br />

it takes a lot of trial-and-error to get to that po<strong>in</strong>t where you’ve got<br />

that stuff toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Awesome advice! Are <strong>the</strong>re any f<strong>in</strong>al th<strong>in</strong>gs you want to<br />

share with Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s?<br />

Trevor: It’s <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g. <strong>Music</strong> to me that works and lasts is all emotional.<br />

It speaks from <strong>the</strong> heart. It speaks from <strong>the</strong> soul actually. <strong>In</strong> order for<br />

an artist to do that, whe<strong>the</strong>r you’re sculptor, a pa<strong>in</strong>ter, a photographer,<br />

a musician, a dancer, you have to f<strong>in</strong>d out who you are and understand<br />

who you are, and what you have to say. Understand that that’s <strong>the</strong> only<br />

th<strong>in</strong>g that really means anyth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

46 47

Realities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry<br />

Or else you’ll be an artist that has a hit song. It’ll be one of those th<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

that come on at three <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> morn<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

“You remember <strong>the</strong> P<strong>in</strong>k Doorknobs? They had this song, “Ba<strong>by</strong>, I<br />

Love You” and <strong>the</strong>y were like, “Oh, yeah. I had <strong>the</strong> P<strong>in</strong>k Doorknobs,<br />

but <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>y only had that one song, and <strong>the</strong>n I never heard from <strong>the</strong><br />

P<strong>in</strong>k Doorknobs aga<strong>in</strong>.”<br />

I mean, that’s not bad. You can be one of <strong>the</strong> P<strong>in</strong>k Doorknobs. But if<br />

you want to be Bono or…or Otis Redd<strong>in</strong>g, you want to be somebody<br />

that somebody cares about, or can change somebody’s life.<br />

You have to really dig deep and work extremely hard to f<strong>in</strong>d your voice<br />

with<strong>in</strong> your soul first, and make it come across through music, which is<br />

sometimes difficult.<br />


CHAPTER 3<br />

First Steps<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

NOWADAYS, IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT to pay attention to your brand. Society<br />

is shallow and will judge you from your shoes to your hairstyle. Be<br />

prepared for judgment. Just as <strong>in</strong> cloth<strong>in</strong>g and overall appearance, it<br />

is vital to master <strong>the</strong> right brand<strong>in</strong>g for yourself as an artist. That said,<br />

your social media profiles are equally, if not more, important. When<br />

becom<strong>in</strong>g an artist, you need to decide what k<strong>in</strong>d of artist you want<br />

to be. If you are a metal artist, you are probably not go<strong>in</strong>g to use hot<br />

p<strong>in</strong>k as your ma<strong>in</strong> brand<strong>in</strong>g color for your website or logo. If you are a<br />

country s<strong>in</strong>ger, it is unlikely you would dress <strong>in</strong> all black and sell t-shirts<br />

that curse out <strong>the</strong> world. My po<strong>in</strong>t is: your brand awareness starts from<br />

<strong>the</strong> moment your name is browsed.<br />

Often, <strong>the</strong> question is: where to start? First, beg<strong>in</strong> with <strong>the</strong> basics.<br />

Sit down and th<strong>in</strong>k about what k<strong>in</strong>d of music you want to perform.<br />

What k<strong>in</strong>d of artist do you want <strong>the</strong> world to see you as? Are you look<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to be that s<strong>in</strong>ger with <strong>the</strong> awesome-acoustic-guitar-rocker-chick<br />

vibe or more of an <strong>in</strong>nocent pop girl for teens to idolize? Also, <strong>in</strong> this<br />

day and age, bands and brands go toge<strong>the</strong>r. I recommend call<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

head of communications for a brand/cause you believe <strong>in</strong> and sett<strong>in</strong>g<br />

up a meet<strong>in</strong>g. If <strong>the</strong>y see how passionate you are about what <strong>the</strong>y do,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re is unlimited possibilities. They could end up hir<strong>in</strong>g you to be<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir spokesperson, or even hire you as a songwriter for <strong>the</strong>ir brand.<br />

Now that you have a cause or brand you are team<strong>in</strong>g up with, it`s time<br />

to hit social media. Start <strong>by</strong> creat<strong>in</strong>g an email account for your creative<br />


First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

work, so all band related requests can be organized. I highly recommend<br />

Gmail. Add<strong>in</strong>g a great promotional photo to match your email<br />

address is important too.<br />

Next, it is time to start creat<strong>in</strong>g a fan page on Facebook, spread<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> word, and hav<strong>in</strong>g people like/endorse your page.<br />

Then, you should add some photos of your band to your social<br />

media sites. I’d recommend us<strong>in</strong>g great professional photos <strong>in</strong>stead of<br />

amateur ones that a lot of beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g artists use. This means no selfies.<br />

Personal photos are great for your personal Facebook page only. Take<br />

professional ones to show you are serious and that you mean bus<strong>in</strong>ess.<br />

The type of photos reflect your brand, so always keep <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d what<br />

you want <strong>the</strong> world to see <strong>in</strong> you.<br />

Next, upload your music on different platforms. If you don’t already<br />

have record<strong>in</strong>gs, I would suggest f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g a music producer to<br />

record, eng<strong>in</strong>eer and master your tracks. Once you have your music,<br />

you can connect your music player to your Facebook page <strong>by</strong> us<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Reverbnation.com or www.bandpage.com. To build your brand awareness,<br />

I recommend you creat<strong>in</strong>g profiles on www.soundcloud.com and<br />

www.reverbnation.com The latter is great because it allows you to upload<br />

your press kit to your profile and gives you <strong>the</strong> chance to send<br />

requests to venues. All this is great for your presence as an artist.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r great step to take is to f<strong>in</strong>d a graphic designer to create<br />

your logo, an image that goes with your brand. If you are look<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

save money, try www.fiverr.com. Once you have a logo, you can use<br />

it as your email signature and on your flyers, your Facebook page, CD<br />

album, merchandise, and so on. Remember to always keep your brand<br />

image consistent. Make your brand name and logo someth<strong>in</strong>g that<br />

stands out, someth<strong>in</strong>g people will remember.<br />

Next, I highly recommend buy<strong>in</strong>g your doma<strong>in</strong> name and sett<strong>in</strong>g<br />

up your website. If you are try<strong>in</strong>g to do it yourself, I recommend us<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Bandzoogle which is a platform to help create websites for artists. We<br />

speak about this more with David Dufresne, CEO of Bandzoogle later<br />

<strong>in</strong> this book.<br />

Now, on your website you want to have <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g sections:<br />

photos, a biography, a music player with some of your songs, videos of<br />

your performances, social media l<strong>in</strong>ks, a button so people can sign up<br />

for your mail<strong>in</strong>g list and <strong>the</strong> schedule of your upcom<strong>in</strong>g shows.<br />

You can use several sites for mail<strong>in</strong>g lists. My personal favorites are<br />

MailChimp and ReverbNation. It is also a good idea to set your band<br />

up with some social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, <strong>In</strong>stagram,<br />

Google+ and ReverbNation. Moreover, get a YouTube page, so you<br />

can post videos of your performances and your overall journey.<br />

F<strong>in</strong>ally, make sure to constantly put out new content. Fans love this!<br />

Keys To Success:<br />

Social Media: Make sure to set up a social media profile on Google+,<br />

Facebook, YouTube, ReverbNation, SoundCloud and <strong>In</strong>stagram.<br />

Google+ is great because <strong>the</strong>re are different music groups to jo<strong>in</strong> just<br />

like on Facebook. There is even a YouTube s<strong>in</strong>ger/songwriter Google+<br />

group. You can use this as a great outlet to promote your music, and<br />

connect with more s<strong>in</strong>ger/songwriters.<br />

SoundCloud is excellent for expand<strong>in</strong>g your fan base and audience.<br />

It’s all about <strong>the</strong> sound on this platform. On <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand, <strong>In</strong>stagram<br />

is very useful when it comes to mak<strong>in</strong>g your fans feel more connected<br />

to you. You could post a photo <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> studio or of lyrics you just wrote.<br />

The more your fans feel connected to you, <strong>the</strong> more likely <strong>the</strong>y will<br />

be to promote you and support you <strong>by</strong> purchas<strong>in</strong>g your albums, merchandise<br />

and more. <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> same way, YouTube is perfect for videos,<br />

and when you create a Google+ hangout, you can record it and <strong>the</strong><br />

file will convert right to YouTube.<br />

Engage your Fans: Make sure to keep your fans engaged. Let <strong>the</strong>m know<br />

about upcom<strong>in</strong>g shows, tours and albums you are work<strong>in</strong>g on. You can<br />

52 53

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

also send <strong>the</strong>m holiday cards and tie <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong> with your music. For example,<br />

you could have a Valent<strong>in</strong>e’s Day contest where one lucky lady would<br />

w<strong>in</strong> a brand new, orig<strong>in</strong>al song written just for her. You would ask those<br />

<strong>in</strong>terested to submit a video about why <strong>the</strong>y should be <strong>the</strong> w<strong>in</strong>ner, and<br />

encourage <strong>the</strong>m to post it on your Facebook page, or tweet about it to<br />

br<strong>in</strong>g more views and activity to your profiles. You can get super creative<br />

with this. No matter what, make sure to keep your fans updated. Even if<br />

you send out a quick hello every month, it will make a difference.<br />

“Make sure whatever you are creat<strong>in</strong>g, artistically satisfies you on a soul<br />

level. If it is connect<strong>in</strong>g with you, it will connect with <strong>the</strong> people.” - Dan<br />

Kimpel, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Really understand f<strong>in</strong>ances. I’m here because of understand<strong>in</strong>g returns<br />

on <strong>in</strong>vestments <strong>in</strong> all aspects of life. It’ll get you fur<strong>the</strong>r. For example,<br />

<strong>in</strong>stead of spend<strong>in</strong>g hundreds of dollars on headshots, I spent a bit more<br />

on buy<strong>in</strong>g camera equipment to do my own headshots. Now I’ve got <strong>the</strong><br />

equipment to make films as well. Also, figure out ways to make passive<br />

<strong>in</strong>come. For example, own<strong>in</strong>g a vend<strong>in</strong>g mach<strong>in</strong>e can br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> money<br />

while you’re writ<strong>in</strong>g your screenplay, and scale it up to gett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to rental<br />

properties.” - Anu Gunn, Rock Vocalist/Guitarist/Actor, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Classical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g will def<strong>in</strong>itely mold you as a s<strong>in</strong>ger. My college<br />

voice teacher, <strong>Emily</strong> Riggs, is my knight <strong>in</strong> sh<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g armor! She really<br />

helped me f<strong>in</strong>d my voice, and build a strong technique to carry with<br />

me throughout my career.” - Rachel Lynn, NYC<br />

“I read a book called ‘Outliers’ <strong>by</strong> Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about<br />

<strong>the</strong> 10,000 hour rule. If you do someth<strong>in</strong>g for 10,000 hours, you will<br />

achieve greatness <strong>in</strong> that field. Twenty hours a week for 10 years. If<br />

you haven’t already—get started. Do what you love, and what you<br />

love will do wonders for you.”<br />

- Declan Bennett, Broadway, Star and S<strong>in</strong>ger/Songwriter,<br />

NYC<br />

“YouTube is <strong>the</strong> reason I was discovered. Social media is a big part<br />

of what started my career, and it helps me cont<strong>in</strong>ue to connect with<br />

fans and hear <strong>the</strong>ir stories, letters, etc. I use it to respond to as many<br />

as possible, and it helps our relationship become a community.” -<br />

Meredith O’Connor, NYC<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> th<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>in</strong>dustry as<br />

a whole, that I found that really helps you more than anyth<strong>in</strong>g, is be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a nice guy to everyone and really ga<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g respect.” - Noah Guthrie,<br />

YouTube Superstar with over 50 million views, SC<br />

“Understand<strong>in</strong>g music is <strong>the</strong> first step toward be<strong>in</strong>g a producer. Look<br />

at top music producer, Qu<strong>in</strong>cy Jones. The guy is an <strong>in</strong>credible musician.<br />

That’s what you need to be able to do. You need to understand<br />

a number of different <strong>in</strong>struments. You have to understand from <strong>the</strong><br />

eng<strong>in</strong>eer<strong>in</strong>g po<strong>in</strong>t of view <strong>the</strong> different sound qualities of <strong>the</strong> different<br />

<strong>in</strong>struments and how <strong>the</strong>y all fit toge<strong>the</strong>r.” - Arty Skye, Producer, NYC<br />

“F<strong>in</strong>d a good mentor start<strong>in</strong>g out. The whole notion of assistant/mentor<br />

tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> studio has changed quite a bit recently. It’s so much<br />

easier to purchase a DAW and jump right <strong>in</strong>to eng<strong>in</strong>eer<strong>in</strong>g or produc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

records with little experience. The problem with that is you’re miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

out on learn<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> art of record<strong>in</strong>g from an experienced eng<strong>in</strong>eer.<br />

There is <strong>the</strong> reason that those at <strong>the</strong> top of our <strong>in</strong>dustry are so good<br />

at what <strong>the</strong>y do. Learn from <strong>the</strong>m!” - Adam Ayan, Master Eng<strong>in</strong>eer,<br />

Portland, ME<br />

“Stay levelheaded and be able to see how situations or people can<br />

change <strong>in</strong> seconds. Just believe <strong>in</strong> yourself. And do one th<strong>in</strong>g everyday<br />

that will help you toward your goal.” - Alex Flanigan, Nashville, TN<br />

“I hate to say this, but you have to be honest with yourself and your<br />

goals because if you have ANY doubts about a music career path,<br />

54 55

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>n it’s not for you. It’s very competitive… Be focused and take advantage<br />

of opportunities <strong>in</strong> your immediate surround<strong>in</strong>gs as well as<br />

<strong>the</strong> bigger music world. Say ‘yes’ to everyth<strong>in</strong>g.” - Greg Ogan, Writer/<br />

Producer/Eng<strong>in</strong>eer/Mixer,<br />

Hollywood, CA<br />

“Get acqua<strong>in</strong>ted with all <strong>the</strong> social media formats. Also, acquire a relationship<br />

with a Perform<strong>in</strong>g Rights Organization, publisher, etc. Also,<br />

acquire relationships with record<strong>in</strong>g studios that fit <strong>the</strong> mold to <strong>the</strong><br />

sound you envision for your recorded music… I would say that you<br />

need to ref<strong>in</strong>e your craft <strong>by</strong> spend<strong>in</strong>g time with people who are better<br />

than you… If you are more of a bus<strong>in</strong>ess savvy person, a music<br />

<strong>the</strong>ory course can help your communication skills… Take market<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and economics courses to brush up that part of your bra<strong>in</strong> and rem<strong>in</strong>d<br />

yourself that it’s not just about practic<strong>in</strong>g your <strong>in</strong>strument or pour<strong>in</strong>g<br />

your soul onto <strong>the</strong> page.” - Alexander “Sheriff” Ariff, <strong>Music</strong>ian/Radio<br />

Producer,<br />

NYC<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k ask<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> advice of ANYONE and EVERYONE about your<br />

music is totally key.” - DJ Dark and Stormy, NYC<br />

“Lay a solid foundation first. I’m one of those <strong>in</strong>dividuals who organizes<br />

everyth<strong>in</strong>g with a purpose beh<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> passion, with <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>tention<br />

of never fail<strong>in</strong>g. This is one of <strong>the</strong> reasons I decided to get <strong>in</strong>to<br />

<strong>the</strong> market<strong>in</strong>g/bus<strong>in</strong>ess <strong>in</strong>dustry first. I decided that if I wanted to<br />

f<strong>in</strong>d an audience for my music, I should have an <strong>in</strong>tense understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of how bus<strong>in</strong>ess and market<strong>in</strong>g works. This has led me to harness<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> power of people, and now I have a Twitter follow<strong>in</strong>g of<br />

over 152K and a blog that is syndicated to over 11 million people.”<br />

- Christian Holl<strong>in</strong>gsworth, S<strong>in</strong>ger/Songwriter, Entrepreneur, Model,<br />

CA<br />

“I just knocked on every door that I could. I just talked to every person<br />

that I could. I spent my whole first year just try<strong>in</strong>g to meet people.” -<br />

Zach Adam, NYC<br />

“You have to th<strong>in</strong>k of yourself, your music, your performance and even<br />

your social media presence as a product and you have to constantly<br />

ask yourself; is your product someth<strong>in</strong>g people would want to spend<br />

money on? If it’s not <strong>the</strong>n you have to work harder and improve your<br />

craft to make it worthwhile for your audience.” - Danielle from Danielle<br />

and Jennifer, NYC<br />

“I learned everyth<strong>in</strong>g I could about every facet of <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g enterta<strong>in</strong>ment law, distribution, publish<strong>in</strong>g, etc. I had a great<br />

mentor named Arthur Mann, who started a very successful record label<br />

called Rykodisc <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> mid-80s. He was <strong>in</strong>valuable <strong>in</strong> my learn<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> ropes <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess. I can’t express enough how valuable<br />

it is to have a mentor.” – John McCracken, Producer,<br />

NYC<br />

“1. Hard work 2. Hard Work 3. Hard Work. Really for me, it’s about<br />

sett<strong>in</strong>g goals and work<strong>in</strong>g my butt off to accomplish <strong>the</strong>m. Every year<br />

I make a goal list, and throughout <strong>the</strong> year, I check to make sure I’m<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g what I need to be do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> order to be where I want to be.” -<br />

The Autumn Film, CO<br />

“Be<strong>in</strong>g a musician, songwriter or eng<strong>in</strong>eer is a great place to start …<br />

I would advise <strong>the</strong> people who want to be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> back end of music<br />

to practice one or two of <strong>the</strong>se core skills and to go to school! There<br />

are tons of record<strong>in</strong>g schools across <strong>the</strong> country, and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>terns with<br />

formal education almost always get fur<strong>the</strong>r than <strong>the</strong> ones who don’t.”<br />

- Doug Fenske, Producer,<br />

Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Not only do you have to be concerned with what you like as an artist,<br />

but you have to take <strong>in</strong>to consideration what your audience wants as<br />

well.” - Jennifer from Danielle and Jennifer, NYC<br />

“Depend<strong>in</strong>g on what you’re do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry, first hone your specific<br />

craft. If you play guitar, take lessons, and if you s<strong>in</strong>g, take voice<br />

lessons. Take a course on publish<strong>in</strong>g or market<strong>in</strong>g… Every tool you<br />

56 57

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

have can be an asset to you and make <strong>the</strong> difference <strong>in</strong> your career.”<br />

- Charlie Scopoletti, CT<br />

“My personal motto is: act like everyone is your biggest supporter<br />

and your biggest opportunity because <strong>the</strong>y just might be.” - Robert<br />

Ballesteros, Talent Handler/ Photographer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Be a student of <strong>the</strong> arts, pursue excellence and stay humble.” - Rob<br />

Chiarelli, Producer,<br />

Los Angeles, CA<br />

“…There are a LOT of bases to cover to establish yourself as an artist—<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g albums, social network<strong>in</strong>g, hav<strong>in</strong>g a nice website, hav<strong>in</strong>g good<br />

pictures and work<strong>in</strong>g on your image, writ<strong>in</strong>g and record<strong>in</strong>g good songs,<br />

promot<strong>in</strong>g yourself, expand<strong>in</strong>g your fan base, network<strong>in</strong>g, work<strong>in</strong>g on<br />

your performance (performance experience plus vocal and dance tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g,<br />

etc.). The work is never done.” - Adam Shenk, VA<br />

“First you need to figure out three th<strong>in</strong>gs: 1.) What am I better than<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r people at musically? 2.) What do I enjoy do<strong>in</strong>g musically? 3.)<br />

How can I make <strong>the</strong> most money with music? Figure out what those<br />

are, and stick to those fields.” - Adam Lasher, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> most important th<strong>in</strong>g is to say yes to everyth<strong>in</strong>g, to opportunities<br />

big and small. I learn more dur<strong>in</strong>g bad shows than on good<br />

ones. When a night is go<strong>in</strong>g terrible, <strong>the</strong> crowd isn’t on my side, no<br />

one wants to buy anyth<strong>in</strong>g, and I’m mess<strong>in</strong>g up… that’s like throw<strong>in</strong>g<br />

someone <strong>in</strong>to a river for <strong>the</strong> first time, so <strong>the</strong>y can learn to swim. You<br />

stay afloat <strong>by</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> best of those situations.” - Alexis Bab<strong>in</strong>i, NYC<br />

“Be a sponge. You can be a sponge anywhere. Know what you want to<br />

do, <strong>the</strong>n soak up everyth<strong>in</strong>g you can from any and all sources. We’re<br />

all a little bit different and respond differently to th<strong>in</strong>gs. Do what will<br />

work for you ra<strong>the</strong>r than what you th<strong>in</strong>k you should do. Be will<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

do any and all of it. Take lessons, learn your craft, figure th<strong>in</strong>gs out<br />

yourself, search th<strong>in</strong>gs, watch videos, read <strong>in</strong>terviews, whatever you<br />

can th<strong>in</strong>k of. And focus on what gets you results. And always, always,<br />

always use your <strong>in</strong>tuition and your logic.” - Adam Watts, CA<br />

“If you have an idea and you can see it through, and have an impact<br />

on people, that’s success. Always remember why you’re do<strong>in</strong>g this,<br />

and never get caught up <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> th<strong>in</strong>gs that don’t relate to your reason<br />

for mak<strong>in</strong>g music. Never sacrifice your <strong>in</strong>tent for success.” - Alyson<br />

Greenfield, NYC<br />

“…Practice every day, and try to do at least one musical th<strong>in</strong>g a day,<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r it be obsess<strong>in</strong>g over an artist or writ<strong>in</strong>g a song. Do anyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

you can that will help you become a better person, which helps you<br />

become a better artist.” - Carly L<strong>in</strong>d, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“It is so important for musicians to be educated <strong>in</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess because,<br />

as an artist, you are your own bus<strong>in</strong>ess. More and more, artists<br />

are <strong>in</strong> charge of <strong>the</strong>ir own book<strong>in</strong>g, market<strong>in</strong>g, promot<strong>in</strong>g, record<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and f<strong>in</strong>anc<strong>in</strong>g.” - <strong>Emily</strong> Earle, Brooklyn, NY/Nashville, TN<br />

“There’s no better course, or class than just do<strong>in</strong>g it. I would suggest<br />

to not get bogged down with books, tests, etc., and get a Mac, get<br />

GarageBand or Pro Tools, f<strong>in</strong>d some friends and make some music.<br />

Or if you’re on <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess end, get a job as an <strong>in</strong>tern somewhere.<br />

Practical experience… There’s no substitute. That be<strong>in</strong>g said, <strong>the</strong> best<br />

teachers are <strong>the</strong> ones that have actually been <strong>the</strong>re, and done that.” -<br />

Craig Bartock from Heart, CA<br />

“I will have to say my key philosophy <strong>in</strong> life would be four Ps: prayer,<br />

persistence, patience and <strong>the</strong>n that all equals perseverance. Those are<br />

my keys to become successful.” - Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Producer,<br />

Los Angeles, CA<br />

58 59

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“Never try to sound EXACTLY like your favorite artist. You may th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

this is an excellent way to get fans s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong> person you’re try<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

emulate is probably successful, and if you do it right, you might be<br />

right. You might f<strong>in</strong>d a slight amount of success <strong>in</strong> do<strong>in</strong>g this, but is it<br />

worth it? Do your fans honestly listen to you for you or because you’re<br />

just ano<strong>the</strong>r catchy ma<strong>in</strong>stream artist? Be different, be unique, and if<br />

you f<strong>in</strong>d success on your own, it’ll all feel worth it <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> end. People<br />

will look up to you.” - Diary Of Snow,<br />

Atlanta, GA<br />

“If you’re look<strong>in</strong>g to start a career <strong>in</strong> music, it helps to be <strong>in</strong> a huge<br />

enterta<strong>in</strong>ment mecca like L.A. simply for <strong>the</strong> connections available.<br />

However, with <strong>the</strong> state of <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet today, and <strong>the</strong> tools available<br />

for home record<strong>in</strong>g, market<strong>in</strong>g and distribution, <strong>the</strong>re are ways to get<br />

your music heard and create a name for yourself from anywhere <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

world without hav<strong>in</strong>g to be <strong>in</strong> L.A., New York or Nashville. It just takes<br />

a lot of hard work, passion and fearlessness. It’s k<strong>in</strong>d of like po<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to your goal on a map, and <strong>the</strong>n driv<strong>in</strong>g as fast as you can <strong>in</strong> a straight<br />

l<strong>in</strong>e with your eyes closed until you get <strong>the</strong>re.” - Derik Nelson, Los<br />

Angeles, CA<br />

“Learn as much as you can. Part of this learn<strong>in</strong>g will be your art,<br />

learn<strong>in</strong>g all aspects of your craft <strong>in</strong> depth and always challeng<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

boundaries of your style and comfort zone. But also study <strong>the</strong> world,<br />

literature, philosophy, politics, science—all <strong>the</strong> th<strong>in</strong>gs that comb<strong>in</strong>e<br />

to form life as we know it because art is <strong>the</strong> portrayal of life, and <strong>the</strong><br />

more you learn, <strong>the</strong> more you will have to call upon and be <strong>in</strong>spired<br />

<strong>by</strong>. F<strong>in</strong>ally, don’t be afraid to market yourself. No one else will do it for<br />

you. Know what you are capable of, and do not rest until o<strong>the</strong>rs see it<br />

too.” - Michael Bihovsky, NYC<br />

“Take EVERY opportunity you get. Don’t let fear push you away from<br />

what you want. Let it be your motivation to succeed.” - Nick F<strong>in</strong>ochio, PA<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Walk<strong>in</strong>g a New Path<br />

Your first words… your first steps… first kiss… first track?<br />

It’s said that <strong>the</strong> most consistent part of life is change. How do you<br />

feel about that? What will it take for you to truly let go of <strong>the</strong> past, and<br />

stop worry<strong>in</strong>g about <strong>the</strong> future? To simply focus on achiev<strong>in</strong>g success<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> “now” = <strong>the</strong> present moment? Life is all a series of moments <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> “now” isn’t it? You are liv<strong>in</strong>g your future right now!<br />

Now, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> journey to become <strong>the</strong> level of artist you desire, you<br />

got to stop, and truly look at your level of self-awareness! Who really<br />

are you? What have you been through? What are <strong>the</strong> hidden life<br />

lessons <strong>in</strong> all <strong>the</strong> good and bad you have been through? What do<br />

you need to let go and accept?<br />

<strong>In</strong> each of your life experiences is a clue to reach<strong>in</strong>g your ideal future.<br />

There is a message for you if you look close enough. Once you<br />

unravel that part of you, you can now truly move onto attract<strong>in</strong>g your<br />

ideal future. On top of that, it has to be a pretty determ<strong>in</strong>ed crystal<br />

clear future! Success will come to you if you are persistent, confident<br />

and unwaver<strong>in</strong>g on your path. Do not switch back and forth <strong>in</strong> your<br />

decision-mak<strong>in</strong>g, as your chances <strong>in</strong>crease greatly when you stay focused.<br />

<strong>In</strong> life, <strong>the</strong> directionless go nowhere.<br />

Who you are + your past + your potential future = <strong>the</strong> full picture,<br />

a mirror effect that I unbiasedly share to my clients <strong>in</strong> our sessions. I<br />

collect several pieces of <strong>in</strong>formation hidden <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir stories, adamant<br />

truths to <strong>the</strong>ir persona, and glitches <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir psychology. As a professional,<br />

I reflect it back so my client can understand <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>ner world<br />

much better, and be able to release old energy. Although I like to<br />

focus on career strategies, clear<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> way for this <strong>in</strong>formation makes<br />

it much easier to <strong>in</strong>fluence my clients to move forward <strong>in</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g real<br />

plans of actions. Layer<strong>in</strong>g emotionality to <strong>the</strong> process with acceptance<br />

and gratitude seals <strong>the</strong> process towards success.<br />

60 61

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Now <strong>the</strong>re is a natural pull <strong>in</strong> nature towards a tim<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> th<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

There are many metaphors for this <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> coach<strong>in</strong>g world, but I like to<br />

use <strong>the</strong> 4 seasons; Spr<strong>in</strong>g, Summer, Fall and W<strong>in</strong>ter. Where you fall<br />

season-wise when start<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> coach<strong>in</strong>g process provides a bit of a<br />

road map for <strong>the</strong> artist/coach connection, mak<strong>in</strong>g it easier to navigate<br />

<strong>the</strong>se changes toge<strong>the</strong>r over time.<br />

Here is a description of <strong>the</strong> seasons:<br />

Spr<strong>in</strong>g: Dur<strong>in</strong>g this time period <strong>the</strong>re are many new beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>gs and fresh<br />

starts. You are start<strong>in</strong>g new th<strong>in</strong>gs; perhaps a new direction for your music,<br />

a new image, mov<strong>in</strong>g to a new area, or team<strong>in</strong>g up with new people<br />

who can help support and manage your dreams. Spr<strong>in</strong>g time is <strong>in</strong>nocent<br />

and positive, as all <strong>the</strong> dark debris from w<strong>in</strong>ter has f<strong>in</strong>ally eased up. You<br />

are <strong>in</strong> a new life cycle, and <strong>the</strong> feel<strong>in</strong>g is adventurous and free<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Summer: This stage is full of experimentation, quick conversations, new,<br />

fast bus<strong>in</strong>ess relationships, just gett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> projects and ideas, that you<br />

started dur<strong>in</strong>g spr<strong>in</strong>g, mov<strong>in</strong>g quicker. S<strong>in</strong>ce it is a fiery season, full of<br />

passion, you may get very enthusiastic about new bus<strong>in</strong>ess/creative<br />

ideas, and quickly tire of some o<strong>the</strong>r ones. Time quickens and so does<br />

<strong>the</strong> pace of your moves <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry. It is a social season, as well<br />

with more opportunities to network. This is <strong>the</strong> season of social leverage.<br />

Fall: The stage of autumn is about patience. The comb<strong>in</strong>ation of all<br />

<strong>the</strong> work started dur<strong>in</strong>g spr<strong>in</strong>g + <strong>the</strong> somewhat exhaustive pace of<br />

summer really starts br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g some amount of anxiety for results. As a<br />

music artist, you want your harvest at this time, especially <strong>the</strong> fruits of<br />

your labor from your more <strong>in</strong>tense key projects. This is a good season<br />

though as you start to see <strong>the</strong> last<strong>in</strong>g values of those key projects,<br />

<strong>the</strong> truth beh<strong>in</strong>d key relationships, and just generally secur<strong>in</strong>g a really<br />

good foundation. If you congratulate yourself for all your efforts, you<br />

will actually realize that you have done quite well, and know <strong>the</strong> results<br />

are occurr<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a perfect tim<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

W<strong>in</strong>ter: End<strong>in</strong>gs. Analysis. Relaxation. Rest. Peace. <strong>In</strong>trospection.<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g w<strong>in</strong>ter, you rest while you move through end<strong>in</strong>gs and settle<br />

th<strong>in</strong>gs once and for all. This could be f<strong>in</strong>ish<strong>in</strong>g up <strong>the</strong> last stages of<br />

your music projects, f<strong>in</strong>ish<strong>in</strong>g record<strong>in</strong>g your album, or end<strong>in</strong>g partnerships<br />

with band mates or a manager. It is time to clear what is not<br />

mov<strong>in</strong>g you forward <strong>in</strong> your career. You clear <strong>the</strong> wrong out of <strong>the</strong> way<br />

and you slow down and just th<strong>in</strong>k. You heal and analyze until spr<strong>in</strong>g<br />

comes aga<strong>in</strong>, and it’s time for you to beg<strong>in</strong> anew.<br />

If you did this right, <strong>the</strong> new life cycle will be a bless<strong>in</strong>g, and you<br />

will be stronger, wiser and more strategic than ever. You may physically<br />

and energetically feel a transformation. It wasn’t easy, but <strong>the</strong> life lessons<br />

you collect along <strong>the</strong> way, and <strong>the</strong> payout is worth it.<br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

1. Consider<strong>in</strong>g all <strong>the</strong> seasons, which one are you currently <strong>in</strong>? What<br />

are some signs that tell you this? Please expla<strong>in</strong>:<br />

2. What is <strong>the</strong> one truth about your past that you must accept? Be brave:<br />

3. Where do you want to be 1 year from now? What support do you<br />

need?<br />

62 63

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

4. What is <strong>the</strong> next step you can take today, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> present moment,<br />

to drive your career forward?<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: David Schuler,<br />

Award-W<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Music</strong> Producer<br />

Chapter 3 Affirmation: First Steps<br />

“I have a complete clarity on who I am and what I have<br />

been through. The journey is perfectly arranged because it<br />

has only made me stronger and wiser. I accept <strong>the</strong> lessons<br />

of my past, for it has made me brave. I own <strong>the</strong> moment<br />

that is now, and only I design my future as that comes from<br />

with<strong>in</strong>. With my creative armor raised high, a vibration of<br />

protection around my creative gifts and my true supporters,<br />

I fight for my dreams to come true. I am start<strong>in</strong>g now.”<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: We are excited to feature our first <strong>in</strong>terview <strong>in</strong> a new year<br />

(This was done January 2014). It’s number 301 for us at Creative<br />

<strong>Spotlight</strong>s with Grammy-nom<strong>in</strong>ated and multi-plat<strong>in</strong>um, worldwide<br />

sell<strong>in</strong>g record producer, songwriter and artist, David Shuler.<br />

How are you?<br />

David: I’m good. That was quite an <strong>in</strong>troduction, wow!<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: At Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s, we appreciate all your years of experience<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry. You most recently worked with<br />

John Legend and P<strong>in</strong>k as <strong>the</strong>ir producer. So <strong>the</strong> focus of this <strong>in</strong>terview<br />

is to provide your perspective on what it takes for a music<br />

artist to succeed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

This <strong>in</strong>formation will help countless readers of our Creative<br />

<strong>Spotlight</strong>s site, get an edge around what <strong>the</strong>y need to stand out,<br />

and make a good impression with <strong>the</strong> fans.<br />

64 65

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

So my first question for you was; if you could express your journey<br />

<strong>in</strong> music over <strong>the</strong> years <strong>in</strong>to one sentence to share with your<br />

fans, what would it be and why?<br />

David: <strong>In</strong> one sentence and why. Let me see, I would say passion, not<br />

permission.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Wow! Passion, not permission!<br />

David: The reason that I would say that is because <strong>the</strong>re’s gonna be<br />

a lot of people that are go<strong>in</strong>g to say to whoever’s read<strong>in</strong>g this that<br />

<strong>the</strong>y’re foolish for want<strong>in</strong>g to pursue a career <strong>in</strong> music and that it’s unachievable,<br />

it’s unatta<strong>in</strong>able. A lot of people are go<strong>in</strong>g to tell you that<br />

you just can’t do it, period.<br />

Mak<strong>in</strong>g a life <strong>in</strong> music, you have to make it without ask<strong>in</strong>g anyone. You<br />

just have to do it because you’re never go<strong>in</strong>g to get <strong>the</strong> answers that<br />

you seek from anyone else but yourself. You only get what you put <strong>in</strong>,<br />

which I feel goes along with anyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> life. It really is a long, challeng<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

excit<strong>in</strong>g journey, but I th<strong>in</strong>k that seek<strong>in</strong>g validation <strong>in</strong> what o<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k, is just go<strong>in</strong>g to yield noth<strong>in</strong>g but negative results 9 times out of<br />

10 unless you’re deal<strong>in</strong>g with your peers.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: So one of <strong>the</strong> keys to success, you would say, is hav<strong>in</strong>g this<br />

<strong>in</strong>st<strong>in</strong>ct that you’re meant to be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry, <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>tuition<br />

on who you are to listen to for advice, and listen clearly to yourself.<br />

David: Yeah! I mean, be passionate about what you do, <strong>in</strong> that it has<br />

to show every ounce of your character and even more importantly<br />

<strong>in</strong> your work. Your music should be able to speak to people, and it<br />

should speak for itself. There should never have to be any k<strong>in</strong>d of a<br />

disclaimer.<br />

I feel like that’s <strong>the</strong> secret <strong>in</strong>gredient. When you can f<strong>in</strong>d a way to create<br />

music that just speaks to people without any excuse or any k<strong>in</strong>d of pretense,<br />

that’s really what I th<strong>in</strong>k every musician should strive to achieve.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: When you first started back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry, you probably<br />

had a totally different perspective than where you’re at right<br />

now, about how you see <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. What do you wish you knew<br />

back <strong>the</strong>n, when you started, about be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> this <strong>in</strong>dustry?<br />

David: It’s great because I played <strong>in</strong> bands for years. I really started<br />

when I was <strong>in</strong> my junior high school. Honestly, if I had one wish, it<br />

would’ve been to spend my time a little bit wiser.<br />

At first, I was <strong>the</strong> guitarist, and I was conv<strong>in</strong>ced that if I can learn every<br />

metallic song <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> catalog that I would be <strong>the</strong> best guitar player <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> world. I did that, and I was like, “Oh, I’m still here. What am I go<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to do now?” It’s like if I could jo<strong>in</strong> a band and it sounds a certa<strong>in</strong> way,<br />

<strong>the</strong>n that’s go<strong>in</strong>g to be it.<br />

I went and I found that band, and I was still k<strong>in</strong>d of <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same place.<br />

You set goals for yourself along <strong>the</strong> way because that’s what you have<br />

to do to get <strong>by</strong>, but I wish that I was a little bit more reasonable with<br />

<strong>the</strong> goals that I had set as opposed to be<strong>in</strong>g so immediate.<br />

I mean, I’m 31 now, and it took me a long time to really make a commitment<br />

to just let go of everyth<strong>in</strong>g that I was hold<strong>in</strong>g onto that was<br />

hold<strong>in</strong>g me back and really commit to mak<strong>in</strong>g music professionally for<br />

a liv<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I feel like <strong>the</strong>re’s plenty of o<strong>the</strong>r producers out <strong>the</strong>re. They’re a lot<br />

younger than I am that are break<strong>in</strong>g it down <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> numbers and be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

66 67

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

successful <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess, and you always th<strong>in</strong>k, “What could I have<br />

done better?” But I th<strong>in</strong>k it’s almost important to not th<strong>in</strong>k that way<br />

because everybody’s story is different.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I coach artists and a lot of times, it is about hav<strong>in</strong>g a focus.<br />

It’s this serious drive for who you are as an artist and your purpose<br />

<strong>in</strong> this life and express<strong>in</strong>g your art, but a lot of times, a lot<br />

of it has to do with k<strong>in</strong>d of surrender<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> fact that you’re an<br />

artist and that you can’t control everyth<strong>in</strong>g around you. Just have<br />

faith and confidence at <strong>the</strong> same time that as you go along <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

journey, <strong>the</strong> right people will come your way, you’re au<strong>the</strong>ntically<br />

express<strong>in</strong>g your art, you develop yourself, you learn from mistakes<br />

and on and on, you know?<br />

David: Yes, def<strong>in</strong>itely.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: So what do you th<strong>in</strong>k it takes for a music artist to really<br />

succeed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry that we have right now <strong>in</strong> 2014 where<br />

everyth<strong>in</strong>g is so competitive?<br />

David: I th<strong>in</strong>k first, <strong>the</strong> most important th<strong>in</strong>g is that success is determ<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

<strong>by</strong> an <strong>in</strong>dividual always. There’s so many ways to break through<br />

<strong>the</strong> noise of today <strong>in</strong> music because you can get music on your watch…<br />

There’s a watch now that you can get with a phone and an mp3 player.<br />

<strong>Music</strong> is com<strong>in</strong>g at you from every possible format of media that <strong>the</strong>re<br />

is. It’s really about f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g where your music lives and who you’re try<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to speak to and f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> best format to reach those people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

biggest way whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s on a specific blog.<br />

If you’re mak<strong>in</strong>g EDM music, <strong>the</strong>n you know you should go to Fresh New<br />

Tracks, and you should be send<strong>in</strong>g your music to that blog or anybody<br />

who writes for that blog. If you’re <strong>in</strong> hip hop and you’re a musical director,<br />

you should be send<strong>in</strong>g your videos out too… If you’re just a guitar<br />

player, you should be mak<strong>in</strong>g YouTube videos of you—just start play<strong>in</strong>g<br />

guitar and o<strong>the</strong>r songs and host<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m. There’s just endless ways. As<br />

far as success, overall, to break through, I mean aga<strong>in</strong>, I feel like it’s a<br />

relative term because it really is def<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dividual.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Right. Some artists would be satisfied just be<strong>in</strong>g a local<br />

band or just be<strong>in</strong>g a local famous artist. That’s good enough for<br />

<strong>the</strong>m. They want to have kids and a family because that’s success<br />

for <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

David: Yeah, totally! And I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong>re’s formulas that work for producers.<br />

There are formulas that work for songwriters. There are formulas<br />

that work for s<strong>in</strong>gers, for tour<strong>in</strong>g musicians.<br />

It’s like <strong>the</strong>re’s so many different ways to make a liv<strong>in</strong>g off of music that<br />

it really depends on what you do and what you see yourself do<strong>in</strong>g for<br />

however long. It’s just endless. There’s so many opportunities <strong>in</strong> music,<br />

just like anyth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s good to hear for anyone who is a musician or a music<br />

artist and <strong>the</strong>y maybe want to get to <strong>the</strong> beh<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> scenes<br />

side of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. You’ve been <strong>the</strong>re, both musician and on <strong>the</strong><br />

bus<strong>in</strong>ess side as a producer. How is <strong>the</strong> view different from each<br />

perspective for you?<br />

David: Well, <strong>the</strong> only difference <strong>in</strong> produc<strong>in</strong>g a record is that you have<br />

to deal more with personalities. When you produce a record, you have<br />

to make a) everybody happy and b) <strong>the</strong> record everyone wants and<br />

that <strong>in</strong>cludes <strong>the</strong> artist, <strong>the</strong> label, <strong>the</strong> artist’s manager, whoever works<br />

for <strong>the</strong> artist, everyone at <strong>the</strong> record company.<br />

68 69

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

At <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> day, everyone is just go<strong>in</strong>g to have <strong>the</strong>ir creative<br />

<strong>in</strong>put, but nobody knows really what <strong>the</strong>y want to hear until <strong>the</strong>y<br />

hear it. That <strong>in</strong>cludes <strong>the</strong> artist and <strong>the</strong> producer and <strong>the</strong> songwriters<br />

at <strong>the</strong> same time. You set out to realize this musical journey, but<br />

you really don’t know what it’s go<strong>in</strong>g to sound like until you start to<br />

make some noise <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> studio and figure out what <strong>the</strong> sounds are<br />

and everyth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

It really comes toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong> such a strange way, but as a producer, it’s<br />

most important to make sure that you’re spend<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> money for <strong>the</strong><br />

budget of <strong>the</strong> record wisely, that it’s not gett<strong>in</strong>g blown on shirtless<br />

nights <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> studio, like <strong>the</strong> liquor or whatever <strong>the</strong> artists wants to<br />

do. You have to really k<strong>in</strong>d of steer <strong>the</strong> creative work but also create a<br />

space that <strong>the</strong> artist feels safe and open to try th<strong>in</strong>gs, but also understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that <strong>the</strong>y have an obligation to <strong>the</strong> record company to deliver<br />

a record.<br />

It’s really just k<strong>in</strong>d of a juggl<strong>in</strong>g th<strong>in</strong>g. And it’s much different. I th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

a lot of people th<strong>in</strong>k that—like movie producers, for <strong>in</strong>stance, it’s like<br />

<strong>the</strong>y’re produc<strong>in</strong>g a film, <strong>the</strong>ir job is entirely different than that of a<br />

record producer. It means two totally different th<strong>in</strong>gs. <strong>In</strong> TV, aga<strong>in</strong>, it’s<br />

totally different.<br />

And I feel like you should also—I guess <strong>in</strong> today’s landscape, we’ll call<br />

it be<strong>in</strong>g a record producer—I really feel like musically, you should have<br />

an arsenal of ideas and abilities. I mean, 95 percent of <strong>the</strong> records that<br />

I produce, I play every <strong>in</strong>strument. I do a lot of <strong>the</strong> eng<strong>in</strong>eer<strong>in</strong>g. I do a<br />

lot of <strong>the</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k with <strong>the</strong>se guys who work <strong>in</strong> recruitment, <strong>the</strong>y don’t necessarily<br />

play <strong>in</strong>struments or touch-and-gear anyth<strong>in</strong>g anymore, but <strong>the</strong>y have<br />

that ear. There’s a new wave of producers on <strong>the</strong> rise that do everyth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

They play everyth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I feel like you should be able—at any given moment, if th<strong>in</strong>gs are go<strong>in</strong>g<br />

well <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> studio and suddenly, you need that guitar recorded and<br />

nobody is <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> room that can play guitar—you should be able to pick<br />

up <strong>the</strong> guitar and play that guitar quite right, <strong>the</strong> way <strong>the</strong> song needs<br />

it. That’s just my op<strong>in</strong>ion though.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, it sounds awesome because you’re basically say<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that because you’ve been <strong>the</strong>re, done that, you’ve been a musician<br />

and that you got your start <strong>in</strong> high school play<strong>in</strong>g guitar, and<br />

it’s part of who you are.<br />

You’re able to, as a producer, have <strong>the</strong> edge, <strong>the</strong> extra th<strong>in</strong>g that<br />

you need to create all <strong>the</strong> success and <strong>the</strong> successful records<br />

that you’ve done so far. You can contribute and have that vision<br />

and just really put your amaz<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>put <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> work that you’ve<br />

done. You know, John Legend and P<strong>in</strong>k and <strong>the</strong> Backstreet Boys.<br />

Awesome!<br />

What are some of <strong>the</strong> th<strong>in</strong>gs that you noticed that can ru<strong>in</strong> an<br />

artist try<strong>in</strong>g to make it? Because you know, it’s a lot. A lot of<br />

pressure you have on your team and on you, you have your own<br />

creative ideas, you’re try<strong>in</strong>g to keep <strong>the</strong> ideas with <strong>the</strong> management<br />

and all.<br />

David: <strong>In</strong> any situation, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care who it is, if it’s a<br />

massive star to an unknown s<strong>in</strong>ger, <strong>the</strong> most vulnerable person <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

entire equation throughout <strong>the</strong> entire journey of anyone’s career is<br />

<strong>the</strong> artist. It isn’t <strong>the</strong> manager. It’s not <strong>the</strong> A&Rs. It’s not anybody but<br />

<strong>the</strong> artist. And because of that, a lot of times, <strong>the</strong>y’re also <strong>the</strong> most<br />

impressionable.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k that <strong>the</strong>y forget that an artist is <strong>the</strong> one, that if <strong>the</strong> rest of <strong>the</strong><br />

world looks at you, it’s like, “I want to be like that girl… or that guy.<br />

70 71

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

They are awesome for what <strong>the</strong>y say. They’re awesome for what <strong>the</strong>y<br />

wear, what <strong>the</strong>y stand for.”<br />

A lot of times, record<strong>in</strong>g artists will let <strong>the</strong> music k<strong>in</strong>d of float around<br />

a bit, and <strong>the</strong>y’ll seek op<strong>in</strong>ions that <strong>the</strong>y may not want to hear. I just<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k that lead<strong>in</strong>g <strong>by</strong> example as an artist as opposed to lett<strong>in</strong>g<br />

someone at a record company determ<strong>in</strong>e whe<strong>the</strong>r or not you like<br />

your own song is—it’s someth<strong>in</strong>g that I’ve experienced that is a<br />

shame because you th<strong>in</strong>k if <strong>the</strong> artists say, “Look, this is music. Get<br />

onboard or get out of <strong>the</strong> way” because I know artists that are like<br />

that as well. P<strong>in</strong>k is one of those people. I mean, that’s really how<br />

it should be because at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> day, everyone’s work<strong>in</strong>g for<br />

that p<strong>in</strong>nacle of what <strong>the</strong> artist is do<strong>in</strong>g which is songs. If <strong>the</strong>y can’t<br />

rally up beh<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong>ir own music and lead, that doesn’t really work<br />

well.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k be<strong>in</strong>g confident is <strong>the</strong> most important th<strong>in</strong>g. When you record a<br />

song and you’re like, “I love this song,” and three weeks later, no matter<br />

how many people told you <strong>the</strong>y’ve hated it, it shouldn’t change <strong>the</strong><br />

fact that you love that song.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I love that. Yeah, a musician should also be timeless <strong>in</strong> a<br />

way. <strong>Music</strong>, I feel, should be such that 20 years from now, it’s still<br />

a great song. People go, “Oh, okay! That song is great. I remember<br />

it back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> day, and it’s still good. Let’s listen to it…” When<br />

it’s timeless like that, it creates a form of a musical masterpiece.<br />

So what do you feel is <strong>the</strong> future of music <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> next five years?<br />

David: Honestly? Spotify. It pa<strong>in</strong>s me to say that as a songwriter because<br />

<strong>the</strong>y’re not pay<strong>in</strong>g what <strong>the</strong>y should for <strong>the</strong> music that <strong>the</strong>y service,<br />

but that’s a debate that will probably never end. Companies like<br />

Spotify, <strong>the</strong>y are offer<strong>in</strong>g massive amounts of stream<strong>in</strong>g music for literally<br />

free with <strong>the</strong> exception of a few advertisements that you have to<br />

listen to unless you want to pay a subscription.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Wow! That’s a challenge. <strong>Music</strong>ians worry about <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

creativity, <strong>the</strong>ir brand<strong>in</strong>g, social media and fans, but also how<br />

technology has changed <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry and will cont<strong>in</strong>ue<br />

to rapidly change how music is heard and what k<strong>in</strong>d of music<br />

keeps <strong>the</strong> attentions of <strong>the</strong> market. So I agree with that po<strong>in</strong>t.<br />

David: I th<strong>in</strong>k that’s probably where everyth<strong>in</strong>g is head<strong>in</strong>g. I th<strong>in</strong>k that<br />

<strong>the</strong> day of <strong>the</strong> album is numbered as well, at least when it comes to<br />

pop music because <strong>the</strong>re’s so much noise. You have to release a new<br />

song like every three months or else people forget.<br />

It went from a day and age where you would buy an album, open that<br />

pamphlet, see that person and be like, “Oh my God! This Bon Jovi<br />

is like a legend.” You would go to <strong>the</strong> concert and see Bon Jovi and<br />

almost be able to touch him, but that’s as close as you could ever get<br />

and ever imag<strong>in</strong>e to get unless you’ve got some meet-and-greet pastry<br />

radio station or someth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Now, if Bon Jovi doesn’t tweet you back, you’re not a fan. If he doesn’t<br />

reach out directly and speak to you and connect, <strong>the</strong>n it’s almost like<br />

Bon Jovi loses that fan.<br />

So <strong>the</strong> entire mystery has k<strong>in</strong>d of been stripped, but that’s <strong>the</strong> world<br />

that we live <strong>in</strong> because people want th<strong>in</strong>gs now and <strong>the</strong>y don’t want<br />

to wait. And when <strong>the</strong>y get someth<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>y get it and <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>y want<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g new. It’s <strong>the</strong> day and age that we live <strong>in</strong>. If that’s what everybody<br />

else is do<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>in</strong> that sense, it is a race and you have to<br />

keep up or else… I’ve seen it happen.<br />

72 73

First Steps<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g advice for <strong>the</strong> readers. As an artist, it is important<br />

to stay ahead of <strong>the</strong> curve and observe <strong>the</strong> trends. Social<br />

media network<strong>in</strong>g and it’s <strong>in</strong>fluence, gett<strong>in</strong>g close to one’s fans is<br />

really where it’s at. The walls fade a lot every few years. What are<br />

some key success habits that you recommend that a music artist<br />

or musician commit to?<br />

David: That’s a tricky one. It really depends on what you do. I mean,<br />

I feel like you should be practic<strong>in</strong>g if you’re a musician. You should<br />

constantly be practic<strong>in</strong>g and perform<strong>in</strong>g if that’s what you want to be<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g. You should be book<strong>in</strong>g shows. You should be tweet<strong>in</strong>g your ass<br />

off if you’re <strong>the</strong> artist, if you’re <strong>the</strong> s<strong>in</strong>ger of <strong>the</strong> band or just a s<strong>in</strong>ger.<br />

You should be mak<strong>in</strong>g it known to <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet that you’re out <strong>the</strong>re<br />

and that you’re <strong>the</strong>re to f<strong>in</strong>d if people look for you.<br />

But at <strong>the</strong> same time, I feel like you should only pay so much attention<br />

to <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet because it’s also a very cruel and unforgiv<strong>in</strong>g place.<br />

It can be a lot of negativity at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> day. So it’s like you really<br />

have to commit to who you are and just let that be that and give<br />

people <strong>the</strong>ir right to free speech, but try not to look at it because it<br />

gets pretty ugly.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: What do you feel fans really want from <strong>the</strong> artist now?<br />

What are <strong>the</strong>y really look<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>in</strong> 2014?<br />

David: Someth<strong>in</strong>g new. Everybody knows how much <strong>the</strong>y hate to turn<br />

on <strong>the</strong> radio. Now radio is still <strong>the</strong> biggest format, but it’s also <strong>the</strong><br />

slowest. I th<strong>in</strong>k guys that are break<strong>in</strong>g through, whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s…(th<strong>in</strong>ks<br />

about it) oh man, I don’t know, like I do like Zed or a band like The<br />

1975 or like this band, Joywave, (that I’m a huge fan of and friends<br />

from my hometown)—<strong>the</strong>se people are mak<strong>in</strong>g music that just doesn’t<br />

sound like anyth<strong>in</strong>g else, but it also has that home-cooked feel<strong>in</strong>g at<br />

<strong>the</strong> same time.<br />

When you listen to it, you love it. It takes you somewhere, but you don’t<br />

know where it is. But you gravitate toward it because it seems familiar<br />

because <strong>the</strong> songs are good. I th<strong>in</strong>k that that’s what everybody wants.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: <strong>Music</strong> is basically, out of all <strong>the</strong> arts (act<strong>in</strong>g, danc<strong>in</strong>g and all<br />

of it), <strong>the</strong> one that hits you <strong>the</strong> deepest because it’s just vibration-<br />

al, and it connects to your subconscious and your spirit. I feel that<br />

music is so <strong>in</strong>fluential because of that, because it has that power.<br />

David: Also, I will say I’m a huge c<strong>in</strong>ephile. I’m a massive fan of c<strong>in</strong>ema.<br />

I see pretty much everyth<strong>in</strong>g that comes out. I th<strong>in</strong>k that when it’s<br />

paired with film that it’s very powerful.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: For example, like music videos. You get a combo of both<br />

and that <strong>in</strong>fluences you.<br />

David: Yeah, whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s a music video or if it’s a movie or whatever. I<br />

agree. I th<strong>in</strong>k that it’s like you’re go<strong>in</strong>g to listen to music on a tone and<br />

you can watch a movie that has no music, but when you watch a movie<br />

that does have music, <strong>the</strong>n it has everyth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

But at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> day, who doesn’t want a new favorite band or<br />

a new favorite s<strong>in</strong>ger though? I mean, every time you discover new<br />

music, it’s like be<strong>in</strong>g born aga<strong>in</strong> or someth<strong>in</strong>g. It’s a whole new experience<br />

<strong>in</strong> itself.<br />

74 75

CHAPTER 4<br />

Creative Belief<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

I BELIEVE HAVING A POSITIVE m<strong>in</strong>dset <strong>in</strong> your music career can make or break<br />

your success. If you don’t believe <strong>in</strong> yourself, why should anyone else<br />

believe <strong>in</strong> you?<br />

Throughout my music journey I have chosen to focus on <strong>the</strong> positive<br />

and it has resulted <strong>in</strong> some <strong>in</strong>credible opportunities. I have had<br />

<strong>the</strong> opportunity to s<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> front of a music producer who has worked<br />

with stars like Madonna and Will Smith. I’ve managed to build an enterta<strong>in</strong>ment<br />

site which has featured over 300 <strong>in</strong>terviews with people<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry over five years. I’ve also been able to work with<br />

a very successful voice coach. I believe it takes more than luck to be<br />

where I am today.<br />

I meditate and pray to God all <strong>the</strong> time to br<strong>in</strong>g people <strong>in</strong>to my life<br />

that can help me build CS to ultimately help artists around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

I believe God has played a huge part <strong>in</strong> what I have been able to accomplish<br />

so far with CS.<br />

Hav<strong>in</strong>g gratitude is also an important step to creat<strong>in</strong>g success. Be<br />

grateful for what you have. I can’t tell you how many times I have said<br />

“thank you” for everyth<strong>in</strong>g that has been brought <strong>in</strong>to my life.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r important step I like is visualization. You need to be able<br />

to see <strong>in</strong> your m<strong>in</strong>d whatever you want to br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to your reality. When<br />

I was liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Pennsylvania, I pictured myself liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> New York City.<br />

I created a vision board with pictures of NYC apartments and moved<br />

<strong>the</strong>re without a job but with a little faith and a sav<strong>in</strong>gs account.<br />


Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

I believe th<strong>in</strong>gs happen for a reason. If I had not taken a chance,<br />

mov<strong>in</strong>g to NYC, I would have never met <strong>Emily</strong>, my Co-Founder, who<br />

help kickstart this book with me and our new artist development program<br />

on our site. Or have met all <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong>credible people I have<br />

been blessed to get acqua<strong>in</strong>ted with so far. I knew I wanted to move<br />

to NYC. I pictured f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g jobs day after day. I found a job, I found an<br />

apartment but most importantly, I believed it would all come toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

So I took a chance to make it happen.<br />

Keys To Success:<br />

Positive M<strong>in</strong>dset: Th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g positive is a huge key to be<strong>in</strong>g successful<br />

and ga<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g way better results. It actually enhances your luck, which<br />

you def<strong>in</strong>itely need <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry. Every time I walk <strong>in</strong>to a music<br />

network<strong>in</strong>g event and I am th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g positively about who I am go<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to meet, <strong>the</strong> most amaz<strong>in</strong>g th<strong>in</strong>gs happen to me. The right people are<br />

stand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> front of me wait<strong>in</strong>g to speak to me about whatever I was<br />

excited to speak to <strong>the</strong>m about. This has a great deal to do with be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

positive <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> first place.<br />

Stay Open M<strong>in</strong>ded: You never know when <strong>the</strong> people you’ve met<br />

throughout your life will come <strong>in</strong>to play, or how, for that matter. Never<br />

expect an artist to still be right where <strong>the</strong>y are now, <strong>in</strong> five years. Always<br />

build a relationship and be open to learn, grow and change. Try to f<strong>in</strong>d<br />

a way to provide support for o<strong>the</strong>rs too. You never know who knows<br />

that person who can help launch your career <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> right direction.<br />

“If you don’t believe <strong>in</strong> yourself, you’ll never push yourself to get better.<br />

If you don’t push yourself to get better, you’ll never grow as a musician.<br />

If you don’t grow as a musician, you’ll never make it <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. If<br />

you don’t believe <strong>in</strong> yourself, no one else will.” - Brian Hull, Dallas, TX<br />

“Listen to yourself, believe <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> possibility of your dreams, do what<br />

makes YOU feel happy, not what you someone says you SHOULD do,<br />

and always live <strong>in</strong> joy. Anyth<strong>in</strong>g is possible.” - Alexa Falk, One Half of<br />

Country Duo: Falk, UT<br />

“With so many gadgets and devices all bark<strong>in</strong>g and nipp<strong>in</strong>g at our<br />

heels for attention, tak<strong>in</strong>g time to analyze your own needs and goals<br />

is vital.” - Dion Roy from Fire and <strong>the</strong> Romance, NYC<br />

“It is important to have a positive attitude. Regardless of an <strong>in</strong>dividual’s<br />

success, <strong>the</strong>re will always be people who disagree with certa<strong>in</strong><br />

career decisions. That’s what makes this creative bus<strong>in</strong>ess so great<br />

and excit<strong>in</strong>g. Keep<strong>in</strong>g a positive attitude allows you to have faith <strong>in</strong><br />

yourself, and to press forward. Oftentimes, positive forward progress<br />

is <strong>the</strong> key to navigat<strong>in</strong>g this rocky <strong>in</strong>dustry.” - Jacob Kup<strong>in</strong>, Artist<br />

Manager/Promotions Coord<strong>in</strong>ator, Nashville, TN<br />

“The faithful muse that always <strong>in</strong>spires me is my vivid imag<strong>in</strong>ation.<br />

Liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a world of dreams br<strong>in</strong>gs me to <strong>the</strong> most unchartered and<br />

wildest territories imag<strong>in</strong>ed. I know that for a fact and teach that concept<br />

to all of my students, that visualiz<strong>in</strong>g your dreams <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> most<br />

precise details will br<strong>in</strong>g tremendous amounts of creative results and<br />

<strong>in</strong>spiration. Try dream<strong>in</strong>g big. Put yourself <strong>in</strong> a place where you are<br />

happy do<strong>in</strong>g what you love. Imag<strong>in</strong>e <strong>the</strong> scent, <strong>the</strong> colors, people<br />

around you. Then go sit at <strong>the</strong> piano and watch magic happen!<br />

Also...I always knew I was born to change this world with my art. When<br />

I see poor children struggl<strong>in</strong>g to survive, I get an adrenal<strong>in</strong>e rush, and<br />

voila! ano<strong>the</strong>r benefit concert is on its way. It is someone’s misfortune<br />

that kicks me hard, scream<strong>in</strong>g, ”Get up and go! They are wait<strong>in</strong>g, and<br />

you can help <strong>the</strong>m!” - - Elena Ryepk<strong>in</strong>a, Classical Pianist and Vocalist,<br />

NYC<br />

78 79

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“Everyone is liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir own movie. The visions you create, <strong>the</strong> beliefs<br />

you hold, dictate <strong>the</strong> next scene <strong>in</strong> your movie. Dream beautifully,<br />

dream big, dream with love and watch your life become better than<br />

your dreams.” - Wendy Parr, Vocal Coach, NYC<br />

“A<br />

positive m<strong>in</strong>dset is important to be<strong>in</strong>g successful <strong>in</strong> any area of<br />

life, not only as a musician. Nobody really wants to be around Debbie<br />

Downer. The energy <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> room gets dra<strong>in</strong>ed when <strong>the</strong>y are <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

Unfortunately some people just have that energy about <strong>the</strong>m. One<br />

th<strong>in</strong>g I have to give credit to this country is <strong>the</strong> yes-we-can attitude towards<br />

everyth<strong>in</strong>g. O<strong>the</strong>r countries start with “no, we can’t and slowly<br />

change <strong>the</strong>ir m<strong>in</strong>d to “ok, we can do this.” As far as visualiz<strong>in</strong>g or meditat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

goes, every artist has <strong>the</strong>ir way of f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g that special creative<br />

place. Michael Jackson for example, loved hav<strong>in</strong>g stuffed animals <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> studio when he recorded. It made him feel good, it found him a<br />

happy place that <strong>in</strong>spired him. Every artist is different. Some need <strong>the</strong><br />

Nag Champa, o<strong>the</strong>rs need a spot to meditate, some need a place to<br />

exercise.<br />

The important th<strong>in</strong>g is to f<strong>in</strong>d that place that opens up your creativity<br />

and allows you to br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> best out of you. When you are <strong>in</strong> that<br />

spot, you make some of your best work. An artist needs to be <strong>in</strong> that<br />

space to be successful. When you have a positive outlook on life and<br />

work, you swim with a direction. When you lack this concentration, it<br />

is like be<strong>in</strong>g stranded out at sea. You can swim and swim and swim,<br />

but you have no idea what direction you are go<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>.” - Pablo Arraya,<br />

Producer, NYC<br />

“If you want someth<strong>in</strong>g, go out, get it. Manifestation turns <strong>in</strong>to reality.”<br />

- Adam Lasher, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Creative belief is key to survive [<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry]. My <strong>in</strong>tention is to<br />

live a life of joy and creativity, <strong>in</strong>spir<strong>in</strong>g hope <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs. It’s a daily<br />

process of confront<strong>in</strong>g yourself, and ask<strong>in</strong>g yourself what would br<strong>in</strong>g<br />

you happ<strong>in</strong>ess.” - Michelle Anderson, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Give yourself to this <strong>in</strong>dustry at all times. If you are only go<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

give 50%, it isn’t worth it. When I started out, I made a decision not to<br />

stop, and I haven’t looked back yet. You have to be ready to kick down<br />

every door that gets closed <strong>in</strong> your face, and be able to see that light<br />

at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> tunnel.” - Daniel R<strong>in</strong>aldi, MA<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> is a very personal th<strong>in</strong>g that br<strong>in</strong>gs people toge<strong>the</strong>r. If you<br />

don’t believe <strong>100</strong>% <strong>in</strong> what you are do<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>n you are wast<strong>in</strong>g your<br />

time. You could be <strong>the</strong> most talented person <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world, but if what<br />

you are express<strong>in</strong>g isn’t from <strong>the</strong> heart, <strong>the</strong>n you can’t touch people’s<br />

lives.” - DJ Axis from Sh<strong>in</strong>obi N<strong>in</strong>ja, NYC<br />

“Believe <strong>in</strong> yourself, and do one th<strong>in</strong>g every day that will help you towards<br />

your goal.” - Alex Flanigan, Nashville, TN<br />

“Any<br />

k<strong>in</strong>d of spiritual practice that puts you <strong>in</strong> l<strong>in</strong>e with your vision,<br />

and opens you up to life’s possibilities is a key. You have to to let go<br />

of th<strong>in</strong>gs that are not serv<strong>in</strong>g you and focus on manifest<strong>in</strong>g what you<br />

want to create. If <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>tention is good, <strong>the</strong> how is unimportant. It will<br />

happen.” - Tatyana Kalko, NYC<br />

“Stick with it. It’s not go<strong>in</strong>g to be easy, and it won’t always be fun. If<br />

it’s what you want to do beyond anyth<strong>in</strong>g else, stick with it.” – Greg<br />

Burroughs, Nashville, TN<br />

“You have to tell yourself everyday that you know what you want, how you<br />

can get it, and that no one can stop you.” - Carly L<strong>in</strong>d, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“As<br />

an artist, you will encounter every obstacle imag<strong>in</strong>able and hear<br />

a thousand ‘No’s’ before you hear a ‘Yes’. You have to endure <strong>the</strong><br />

80 81

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

journey. Sometimes, persistence and work ethic trumps everyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

else.” - Ahmir, Boston, MA<br />

“There have been times throughout life, where I’ve had a vision or<br />

dream reaffirm<strong>in</strong>g a simple truth. I believe that what you imag<strong>in</strong>e becomes<br />

reality.” - Christian Holl<strong>in</strong>gsworth, Entrepreneur, Model, S<strong>in</strong>ger/<br />

Songwriter, CA<br />

“If no one knows who you are, no one can hire you. Even if you don’t<br />

know anyone <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry now, reach out. Many people have been<br />

<strong>in</strong> your shoes and would love to help. You will be amazed at how k<strong>in</strong>d<br />

most people are <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry.” - Brian Hull, Dallas, TX<br />

“Dreams are art, <strong>the</strong>y come from <strong>in</strong>side. One must be true to <strong>the</strong><br />

purity of both. The art that is released to <strong>the</strong> world is a dream that<br />

one has realized for o<strong>the</strong>rs to use <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir dreams.” - Manic Mike from<br />

Sh<strong>in</strong>obi N<strong>in</strong>ja, NYC<br />

“Tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> time to meditate, <strong>in</strong> whatever form, is best for you, whe<strong>the</strong>r<br />

it’s yoga, a quiet moment, listen<strong>in</strong>g to music, go<strong>in</strong>g for a run etc. it<br />

always helps us come back to our true and simplistic selves. It helps us<br />

f<strong>in</strong>d our breath and be present <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> moment. When it comes to play<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and perform<strong>in</strong>g music, that is a necessity. We want to be honest<br />

and au<strong>the</strong>ntic <strong>in</strong> what we put out <strong>the</strong>re.” - 5j Barrow,<br />

NYC<br />

“If you are giv<strong>in</strong>g up, <strong>the</strong>n a part of you doesn’t want it. Hav<strong>in</strong>g a plan<br />

B is only right, when you’re not certa<strong>in</strong>. <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> life of a successful person,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re is plan ‘A’ and that’s it. You just do that until you have done<br />

it <strong>the</strong> way you wanted to do it.” - Stephen Rivera, Rock Vocalist and<br />

Producer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Creative belief is essential for any artist to cultivate or have. Because<br />

<strong>the</strong> first step to create anyth<strong>in</strong>g, is to believe, or to see it, envision it with<br />

<strong>the</strong> imag<strong>in</strong>ation, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> creative medium usually creates itself.” - Dani<br />

Ters<strong>in</strong>i, NYC<br />

“Creative Belief expresses who you are, helps to open your creative<br />

m<strong>in</strong>dset and, last but not least, it def<strong>in</strong>es you.” - ‘JC Stang’, Lead s<strong>in</strong>ger<br />

of ‘Wysteria’, NYC<br />

“Visualization helps us strive for our goals. It keeps us motivated. It<br />

puts our goals <strong>in</strong>to a realistic perspective. We watch old NSYNC concerts<br />

and take time to figure out how, what, where <strong>the</strong>y were at that<br />

stage of <strong>the</strong>ir careers to get to that status. Then visualization helps us<br />

apply <strong>the</strong>se occurrences to our own band. All of <strong>the</strong>se methods are<br />

crucial for us as artists!” - Phase Five, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Without determ<strong>in</strong>ation your goal has no fuel. Without fuel, a goal is<br />

just a wish. Determ<strong>in</strong>ation must be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> picture. Faith, I believe, is<br />

your moral compass to what you are, and what you are not, will<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

do to achieve your goal. It sets boundaries and parameters that let<br />

you sleep at night.” - Eric G., NYC<br />

“We are formed <strong>by</strong> what we do. It is our actions that ultimately make<br />

us. What we do slowly becomes <strong>the</strong> creator of our lives and our souls.<br />

What we are do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> life decides how we are creat<strong>in</strong>g ourselves.<br />

What our behavior is <strong>in</strong> life decides <strong>the</strong> directions our soul will travel,<br />

<strong>the</strong> paths it will move on, <strong>the</strong> new worlds it will explore.” - Ghastly City<br />

Sleep, NY<br />

“I actually do a lot of yoga and it really helps to center me. I’m a pretty<br />

energetic guy with lots of ideas fly<strong>in</strong>g around. I’ve found that my meditative<br />

practice comb<strong>in</strong>ed with yoga helps my creativity immensely.<br />

Check out www.mogam<strong>in</strong>d.com, fantastic friends of m<strong>in</strong>e are start<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own meditative revolution right here <strong>in</strong> Chicago.” - Avi Dell from<br />

AyOH, Chicago<br />

82 83

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“Self-belief is crucial <strong>in</strong> an <strong>in</strong>dustry that is hyper critical and often<br />

cruel. You need a ‘game plan’ and you need to stick to it. If negative<br />

comments or bad reviews make you want to quit <strong>the</strong>n you probably<br />

should. Successful artists are generally loved and hated <strong>in</strong> equal measures.<br />

Both Liam Gallagher and Bono fit <strong>in</strong>to that category, and I have<br />

worked with both. They thrive on <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>sults and negative comments<br />

thrown <strong>the</strong>ir way. Stay strong and focused and believe <strong>in</strong> yourself.” -<br />

Pete Maher, Master Eng<strong>in</strong>eer, UK<br />

“Visualization and meditation and different th<strong>in</strong>gs is really better than<br />

prayer because we live <strong>in</strong> a thought world. Everyth<strong>in</strong>g is thought out<br />

<strong>in</strong> your m<strong>in</strong>d first and <strong>the</strong>n that`s what goes out. Your m<strong>in</strong>d is a very<br />

powerful th<strong>in</strong>g. That`s what goes out to <strong>the</strong> universe. The first th<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with visualization is you can’t doubt. It takes practice. It has helped<br />

me a great deal. Once you put your m<strong>in</strong>d to someth<strong>in</strong>g and put it out<br />

<strong>the</strong>re <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> universe, you have to know it, you have to feel it. It`s called<br />

laws of attraction. That is <strong>the</strong> key to life. Never second guess yourself.<br />

Your first m<strong>in</strong>d is what we call God’s m<strong>in</strong>d, <strong>the</strong> second time it’s on you.<br />

As soon as you have one <strong>in</strong>kl<strong>in</strong>g of doubt come to you <strong>in</strong> your m<strong>in</strong>d,<br />

<strong>the</strong>n you have to start all over aga<strong>in</strong>. It works for me.” - Daryl Brown,<br />

son of <strong>the</strong> “godfa<strong>the</strong>r of soul”, James Brown, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Th<strong>in</strong>k of every little failure or obstacle as tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. As your skills develop<br />

and your experience accumulates, your abilities streng<strong>the</strong>n.<br />

Visualize <strong>the</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ish l<strong>in</strong>e. You may not get <strong>the</strong>re first and hurt yourself<br />

on <strong>the</strong> way, but you will cross it.” - Meghann Wright, NYC<br />

“I believe that truly anyth<strong>in</strong>g can make you creative, you just have<br />

to open your m<strong>in</strong>d to it. Anyth<strong>in</strong>g and everyth<strong>in</strong>g can make you create,<br />

and should make you feel creative.” - Greg Baughman Jr., The<br />

Deadlight Projects, Nashville, TN<br />

“Hav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> desire and expectation that I create someth<strong>in</strong>g timeless<br />

and worthwhile is important to me, but equally important is visualiz<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that I have already achieved that goal <strong>by</strong> allow<strong>in</strong>g myself to know<br />

success has already taken place. Hav<strong>in</strong>g faith <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> creative process<br />

and know<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>re is no such demon as ‘writer’s block’ is <strong>the</strong> best<br />

mantra for meditation.” - Rob Hegel, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Early on, <strong>the</strong> world of songwrit<strong>in</strong>g was so fresh that I could dive <strong>in</strong>to<br />

each composition without any fear of retread<strong>in</strong>g melodic or lyrical<br />

ground, but now greater forethought is required to ensure that I’m<br />

keep<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> process fresh.” - Matt Jaffe, Matt Jaffe & The Distractions,<br />

San Francisco, CA<br />

“Pursu<strong>in</strong>g a life <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> arts requires a bl<strong>in</strong>d k<strong>in</strong>d of determ<strong>in</strong>ation. You<br />

have to ignore all of <strong>the</strong> naysayers, haters, doubt and evidence-to<strong>the</strong>-contrary<br />

and just go for it. <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> end, a life lived with purpose,<br />

focus and dedication is so much richer and more dynamic than a life<br />

sacrificed to <strong>the</strong> daily gr<strong>in</strong>d out of fear of failure.” - Alexis Hightower,<br />

NYC<br />

“Believe endlessly <strong>in</strong> your pool of water or it will dry up. People will<br />

dr<strong>in</strong>k your water and tell you <strong>the</strong>y are still thirsty. You are dehydrated<br />

and can’t make more water. You decide what goes <strong>in</strong> your water recipe.<br />

If o<strong>the</strong>rs don’t like <strong>the</strong> taste, ei<strong>the</strong>r make <strong>the</strong>m some water <strong>the</strong>y’ll<br />

like, or tell <strong>the</strong>m to spit it out.” - Duke Sims from Sh<strong>in</strong>obi N<strong>in</strong>ja, NYC<br />

“The great and universal truth <strong>in</strong> all art is that it is def<strong>in</strong>ed 50/50 between<br />

creator and audience. The artist channels someth<strong>in</strong>g or works<br />

to express an idea, <strong>the</strong>n gives it up entirely to <strong>the</strong> viewer to def<strong>in</strong>e<br />

and understand. It’s a subtle but deep relationship. It’s really <strong>the</strong> most<br />

sublime form of conversation.” - Alec Gross, NYC<br />

84 85

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“There is a virtually limitless amount of th<strong>in</strong>gs that <strong>in</strong>spire me.<br />

Almost every day, I f<strong>in</strong>d someth<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>in</strong>spires me to write a<br />

new song. Whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s generic <strong>in</strong>spirations or whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s based<br />

on events <strong>in</strong> my life, <strong>the</strong>re’s always someth<strong>in</strong>g.” - Diary Of Snow,<br />

Atlanta, GA<br />

“True art is real. True art can be sad, ugly and twisted. Much of <strong>the</strong><br />

ma<strong>in</strong>stream music we hear today has been chopped down, so <strong>the</strong><br />

listener does not have to th<strong>in</strong>k, <strong>in</strong>terpret or struggle to f<strong>in</strong>d mean<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong>side. The artistry is fad<strong>in</strong>g away, and if listeners keep seek<strong>in</strong>g out<br />

this music, <strong>the</strong> art will soon be gone.” - Adam Christopher, IN<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> is always chang<strong>in</strong>g so it will def<strong>in</strong>itely be different <strong>in</strong> five years.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k it will go back toward more musical live performances with<br />

<strong>in</strong>struments ra<strong>the</strong>r than people push<strong>in</strong>g buttons on huge stages with<br />

big lights.” - DJ Axis from Sh<strong>in</strong>obi N<strong>in</strong>ja, NYC<br />

“The ma<strong>in</strong> source (likely <strong>the</strong> only source) of musicians’ <strong>in</strong>come will<br />

be entirely on merchandise and live ticket sales. I believe a new<br />

way to sell music and profit off of music sales will come to <strong>the</strong><br />

forefront.”<br />

- Rick Rocker, Queens, NY<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> is <strong>the</strong> th<strong>in</strong>g. It is <strong>the</strong> connect<strong>in</strong>g po<strong>in</strong>t. It’s <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational language.<br />

It is someth<strong>in</strong>g that gives me purpose.” - Dan Kimpel, Author,<br />

Educator, Journalist, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Songwrit<strong>in</strong>g and produc<strong>in</strong>g are partially <strong>in</strong>st<strong>in</strong>ctive endeavors. <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

moment of creation, you go with what feels right. That said, <strong>the</strong> more<br />

tools <strong>in</strong> your toolbox, and <strong>the</strong> more you’ve studied o<strong>the</strong>r ideas, <strong>the</strong><br />

more successful you can be at piec<strong>in</strong>g toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> puzzle that is a<br />

song, a cue, or a piece of music.” - David Das, Composer/Producer,<br />

Los Angeles, CA<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Design<strong>in</strong>g Your Vision<br />

Why do you create your music? What guides your m<strong>in</strong>d when<br />

you are creat<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

Some artists are pulled <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> fame. The anticipated riches. Awards.<br />

Popularity. All of it! But if you are a true artist, one that is on an au<strong>the</strong>ntic<br />

life path, you will pursue music for someth<strong>in</strong>g way greater. How<br />

about: To express your heart, m<strong>in</strong>d and spirit to <strong>the</strong> world and<br />

change <strong>the</strong> lives of countless of your fans <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> process?<br />

Want to make your art last? Leave beh<strong>in</strong>d a legacy? Then speak<br />

through your art to <strong>the</strong> hearts of your fans! Stay committed to your<br />

own vision of success. Most of all know you deserve it all; prosperity,<br />

love, friendship, wisdom, health, truth… but all <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> right ways without<br />

sell<strong>in</strong>g yourself <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> process. Stay strong and see th<strong>in</strong>gs clearly!<br />

A cycle for <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g your <strong>in</strong>ner power:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Accept <strong>the</strong> greatness of all your past accomplishments. Yes,<br />

you did all of that!<br />

Reflect on hidden life lessons and gifts that arise from your trials<br />

and tribulations. See <strong>the</strong>ir worth to your learn<strong>in</strong>g and development.<br />

Design a vision for <strong>the</strong> future, preferably <strong>in</strong> writ<strong>in</strong>g, and stay faithful<br />

to it, and you will receive. Never give up for nobody or noth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Stay positive and strong with laser focus on your goals, while<br />

liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> moment to fight fear and stagnation.<br />

Have gratitude for who you are and what you have been through<br />

+ accomplished <strong>in</strong> that same moment. Do this on a regular basis.<br />

Meditate and take time away from distractions to release negative<br />

energy and to learn to hear <strong>the</strong> voice of your <strong>in</strong>ner light.<br />

Ultimately, forgive o<strong>the</strong>rs, forgive yourself, and let go of <strong>the</strong><br />

past. Know all human emotions are valuable and just a sign<br />

that you are alive.<br />

86 87

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Hav<strong>in</strong>g a strong creative belief <strong>in</strong> your work + us<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> above balanc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

methods will enhance your <strong>in</strong>tuition. This is like hav<strong>in</strong>g a deeper<br />

level of hear<strong>in</strong>g, see<strong>in</strong>g, feel<strong>in</strong>g and know<strong>in</strong>g about your environment<br />

that will lead you through <strong>the</strong> right doors. Little <strong>by</strong> little, you will have<br />

a special feel<strong>in</strong>g when you meet <strong>the</strong> right people and get <strong>in</strong>spired with<br />

fresh, new ideas for lyrics and beats. As your trust <strong>in</strong> your <strong>in</strong>ner voice<br />

grows, so will your self-awareness, confidence and <strong>in</strong>ner peace.<br />

The opposite effect, <strong>the</strong> decrease of your creative power through<br />

self-created drama, chaos, drug and alcohol abuse, sex addiction, lies,<br />

manipulation etc. will shift a shutdown of your <strong>in</strong>ner resources. It can<br />

really make you go astray <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry or just about any creative<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry. You see, <strong>the</strong>re is a magic that exists <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> vibration<br />

of music. One that can heal and shift society, <strong>in</strong>spire <strong>the</strong> masses for<br />

amaz<strong>in</strong>g action and collaboration. Or you can do <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r route with<br />

your gifts, be self-seek<strong>in</strong>g and express music for <strong>the</strong> fame. The energy<br />

goes <strong>in</strong> totally different directions. Where is your middle ground and<br />

how do you keep your <strong>in</strong>ner voice clear?<br />

3. What is <strong>the</strong> biggest lesson you learned through your trials? How<br />

has it made you stronger?<br />

4. What are you truly grateful for? Ready to let go of? Who will you<br />

forgive?<br />

5. Liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> moment you know this:<br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

1. Why were you made to be an artist? What is your purpose?<br />

Chapter 4 Affirmation: Creative Belief<br />

2. How does your music change <strong>the</strong> world?<br />

“There is a greatness <strong>in</strong> my music. I am here to shift <strong>the</strong><br />

world. Through thick and th<strong>in</strong>, I have strived for my best<br />

and I accept my past, know<strong>in</strong>g that only I have ultimate<br />

power over my future. I forgive it all, mov<strong>in</strong>g on towards<br />

my blessed future. I am healed. I am grateful. I am free”.<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

88 89

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Steven Memel,<br />

Celebrity Vocal Coach<br />

<strong>the</strong> teacher said, “Okay, what are you do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> this class?” Well, I was<br />

honest and I said, “I need <strong>the</strong> units.” She knew my teacher. She said,<br />

“Okay, you can stay <strong>in</strong> this class if on <strong>the</strong> day that I split up <strong>the</strong> men<br />

and <strong>the</strong> women, I’ll take <strong>the</strong> women, I’ll give you <strong>the</strong> classroom and<br />

you teach <strong>the</strong> men.”<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: “You teach <strong>the</strong> men?” Great start! Tell us more..<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Today on Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s, we’re featur<strong>in</strong>g Steven<br />

Memel, a celebrity vocal and performance coach based out of L.A.<br />

Steven has worked with many s<strong>in</strong>gers <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Adam Lev<strong>in</strong>e and<br />

Jesse McCartney and also actors Drew Barrymore, Just<strong>in</strong> Long,<br />

and Isabella Rossell<strong>in</strong>i, to say <strong>the</strong> least. The goal of this <strong>in</strong>terview<br />

is to get your perspective as a coach on what it takes for a music<br />

artist to express himself fully and get <strong>the</strong> success <strong>the</strong>y seek <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

enterta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

My first question is what pulled you to become a coach and help<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>in</strong>dustry?<br />

Steven: Good question, well people wanted my help. It’s a strange<br />

th<strong>in</strong>g. I say sometimes [that] it “chased” me down. I had a ra<strong>the</strong>r auspicious<br />

beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g, as <strong>in</strong> I needed to graduate from college and I needed<br />

two extra units. I had already been s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g for a couple of years, I was<br />

19 and so I took a beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g voice class. On <strong>the</strong> first day, I sang and<br />

Steven: I know! I got my own classroom and a bunch of students.<br />

That k<strong>in</strong>d of th<strong>in</strong>g kept happen<strong>in</strong>g. I studied with an act<strong>in</strong>g teacher<br />

and <strong>the</strong>y’d say, “Do you teach voice?” My voice teachers that I had<br />

worked with, <strong>the</strong>y’d say, “I want to send you my overflow students.”<br />

So I guess people were see<strong>in</strong>g someth<strong>in</strong>g and so I k<strong>in</strong>d of fell <strong>in</strong>to<br />

it like that. Then I left it for a while and <strong>the</strong>n, several years later (ten<br />

years later or whatever), somebody started really ask<strong>in</strong>g me aga<strong>in</strong><br />

and I just went, “Okay... I yield.” I hung up my sh<strong>in</strong>gle and <strong>the</strong> rest<br />

is history.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That sounds really amaz<strong>in</strong>g. Tell me about your ‘Science of<br />

Switch<strong>in</strong>g On’ technique and how it attracts artists to you and<br />

just anyth<strong>in</strong>g you want to share about that.<br />

Steven: Sure, <strong>the</strong> ‘Science of Switch<strong>in</strong>g On’ – well, let me backtrack<br />

and say that <strong>the</strong> only th<strong>in</strong>g that drew me to teach<strong>in</strong>g was not this fortuitous<br />

stuff. It was also [that] I had a real love of see<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> underly<strong>in</strong>g<br />

structure of th<strong>in</strong>gs. And so if I really look at it, it was always a lean<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of m<strong>in</strong>e to break th<strong>in</strong>gs down and expla<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>m to o<strong>the</strong>r people. I th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

teachers just have that desire.<br />

And so, <strong>the</strong> ‘Science of Switch<strong>in</strong>g On’ k<strong>in</strong>d of came to me when I was<br />

21, but I didn’t really codify it and call it that until many, many years<br />

later.<br />

90 91

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

I’m <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> so many arts. I’m a dancer. I’m an actor. I’ve directed.<br />

I’ve done film/television, and recorded <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> record<strong>in</strong>g studio. I’ve<br />

done voiceover. I’ve produced. I mean, you name it, I’ve done it.<br />

What became extremely clear is that <strong>the</strong>re’s really one set of pr<strong>in</strong>ciple<br />

that lead to mastery. The channel just is different depend<strong>in</strong>g upon<br />

what discipl<strong>in</strong>e you’re <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong>.<br />

So <strong>in</strong> s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g, which is where I orig<strong>in</strong>ally made my mark as a coach,<br />

<strong>in</strong> s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> voice is <strong>the</strong> channel. And <strong>the</strong>refore, hav<strong>in</strong>g an understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of <strong>the</strong> channel and <strong>the</strong> mechanics <strong>in</strong>volved and <strong>the</strong> ability to<br />

remov<strong>in</strong>g obstacles towards its greatest expression of not only your<br />

feel<strong>in</strong>gs, but its created expression of color and tone and dynamics,<br />

that is an important piece.<br />

But also be<strong>in</strong>g equally versed as an actor and a director and hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

studied an enormous amount of psychology, spirituality, personal development<br />

with be<strong>in</strong>g a movement person, because I have been a<br />

dancer, all <strong>the</strong>se th<strong>in</strong>gs came toge<strong>the</strong>r and I saw that <strong>the</strong>re were <strong>the</strong>se<br />

elements that were <strong>in</strong>extricably unified to be able to be a master at<br />

any discipl<strong>in</strong>e.<br />

Now because you have to make an entry somewhere, s<strong>in</strong>ce I was<br />

teach<strong>in</strong>g s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g and s<strong>in</strong>ce I was coach<strong>in</strong>g performance of s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g<br />

also, that’s where I decided to orig<strong>in</strong>ally beg<strong>in</strong>. The differentiation of<br />

what I do <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> ‘science of switch<strong>in</strong>g on’ is most people have a big<br />

understand<strong>in</strong>g of performance or act<strong>in</strong>g or <strong>the</strong>y have a big understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of real deep skill set at <strong>the</strong> technical aspects and a moderate<br />

understand<strong>in</strong>g of performance.<br />

Because I come from where <strong>the</strong>y are completely unified, <strong>in</strong>extricably<br />

l<strong>in</strong>ked, <strong>the</strong>n that’s <strong>the</strong> uniqueness of <strong>the</strong> work I do with s<strong>in</strong>gers and<br />

performers. There is really no cl<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g separation l<strong>in</strong>e between <strong>the</strong><br />

technique and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ner work; between <strong>the</strong> outside and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ner. The<br />

simplest demonstration of that is ask<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> question, “Is your body<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g to be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same state when you’re stand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> front of a teacher,<br />

<strong>in</strong> front of a piano, and you’re do<strong>in</strong>g vocal exercises that it’s <strong>in</strong> when<br />

you’re <strong>in</strong> stage <strong>in</strong> front of a thousand people?” Of course not.<br />

“Is it <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same state dur<strong>in</strong>g that moment when you’re <strong>in</strong> front of<br />

<strong>the</strong> teacher as when you’re express<strong>in</strong>g anger, when you’re express<strong>in</strong>g<br />

joy?” No, <strong>the</strong> body is consequently <strong>in</strong> a dynamic state.<br />

Therefore, to practice technique only as a mechanical attribute, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

it’s not <strong>the</strong> same because <strong>in</strong>tention needs to move <strong>the</strong> body and shift<br />

<strong>the</strong> body and shift <strong>the</strong> physiology and shift <strong>the</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d. And so <strong>the</strong>se<br />

th<strong>in</strong>gs have to be brought toge<strong>the</strong>r as a unified whole to really have<br />

that extraord<strong>in</strong>ary “it” factor/hit <strong>the</strong> zone/lose <strong>the</strong> self/become <strong>the</strong><br />

character, whatever it is.<br />

So that’s <strong>the</strong> ‘Science of Switch<strong>in</strong>g On’.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s an amaz<strong>in</strong>g explanation. It def<strong>in</strong>itely sounds like <strong>the</strong><br />

artist needs to have an extreme self-awareness, a sense of selfawareness<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>tention with <strong>the</strong>ir technical gifts or skills, to<br />

create that creative performance for <strong>the</strong>mselves. And also, <strong>the</strong><br />

environment is really important.<br />

Steven: Exactly. And not only that, over <strong>the</strong> last couple of years, my<br />

<strong>in</strong>tention was always to develop it <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> arts, but <strong>the</strong>n move it <strong>in</strong>to<br />

bus<strong>in</strong>ess and expand <strong>in</strong>to o<strong>the</strong>r areas.<br />

I’ve been work<strong>in</strong>g with entrepreneurs and bus<strong>in</strong>ess owners and just<br />

people <strong>in</strong> all walks of life br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> same pr<strong>in</strong>ciples toge<strong>the</strong>r of<br />

mastery. The pr<strong>in</strong>ciples that enable one to become a high-performer,<br />

a top performer <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> arts, those are <strong>the</strong> same pr<strong>in</strong>ciples that enable<br />

92 93

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

people to become a high-performer <strong>in</strong> any area of endeavor, human<br />

endeavor.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Right. Even <strong>in</strong> a professional sett<strong>in</strong>g as well.<br />

Steven: Yes, because if you even th<strong>in</strong>k about what are <strong>the</strong> levels of<br />

communication, “Am I communicat<strong>in</strong>g au<strong>the</strong>ntically?” If it’s about my<br />

bus<strong>in</strong>ess, if it’s about my brand, what is my voice, what’s <strong>the</strong> story that<br />

my voice is tell<strong>in</strong>g, is it that I’m a powerful person while I’m talk<strong>in</strong>g<br />

about power, or is it communicat<strong>in</strong>g some underm<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g o<strong>the</strong>r impression<br />

that, “Oh, he’s got a weak voice,” you know?<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: How do you like your clients to come to you? As an ideal<br />

client, what do you look for when <strong>the</strong>y come to you? Do you like<br />

<strong>the</strong>m to be very experienced, or do you like <strong>the</strong>m to have an open<br />

m<strong>in</strong>d or <strong>the</strong>y have <strong>the</strong>ir own techniques?<br />

Steven: That’s a great question. You ask good questions, <strong>Emily</strong>. Well,<br />

what I’m look<strong>in</strong>g for, what I’m always <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong>, is somebody with<br />

desire, somebody who has a passion to develop fur<strong>the</strong>r, to get <strong>the</strong><br />

competitive edge, to grow, to expand.<br />

Some people come to me with major obstacles like this gentleman<br />

that I work with who was sent to me <strong>by</strong> a laryngologist, a Beverly Hills<br />

guy who does all <strong>the</strong> American Idol people and all that. This gentleman<br />

had vocal nodules.<br />

So <strong>in</strong>stead of surgery, I worked with him to build his technique. So<br />

whatever was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> way, whatever friction was occurr<strong>in</strong>g to create that<br />

impasse, that bottleneck, it goes away. And <strong>in</strong> a matter of let’s say<br />

about two months, his nodules completely disappeared.<br />

And that’s not because I’m hear<strong>in</strong>g it, it’s because you see <strong>the</strong> film.<br />

You see <strong>the</strong> film with <strong>the</strong> nodules when he has <strong>the</strong>m and <strong>the</strong>n you see<br />

<strong>the</strong> film with <strong>the</strong>m gone.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: So what caused more of a difference? Was it more <strong>the</strong><br />

technical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g that you provided to him as a coach or was it<br />

more <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternal stuff that you helped him with or was it a comb<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

of both?<br />

Steven: I was go<strong>in</strong>g to say yes, because first of all, technical [issue] has to<br />

be resolved. You can be as developed or expanded as you want, on your<br />

<strong>in</strong>ternal level, your chakras can be beautifully ordered. But if <strong>the</strong> channel<br />

(which <strong>in</strong> this particular case is <strong>the</strong> voice, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> case of an accountant, it’s<br />

<strong>the</strong> spreadsheet), <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ner world can be as well-expanded and full as you<br />

wanted it to, but if <strong>the</strong> channel is blocked, it a<strong>in</strong>’t gett<strong>in</strong>g out.<br />

Now what happens is <strong>the</strong>re is a psychological, emotional and energetic<br />

ramification of <strong>the</strong> blockage. Here we are want<strong>in</strong>g to express<br />

ourselves without care, without hold<strong>in</strong>g back and yet, we hit this obstacle<br />

and it draws our attention and it distracts us and we’re no longer<br />

able to be free. We’re no longer able to release because we hit this<br />

impasse or stricture.<br />

And so yes, <strong>the</strong>y’re both [necessary] component[s]. One has to f<strong>in</strong>d<br />

center and peace to even affect <strong>the</strong> musculature and all <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

physiological aspects to be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir most responsive state, because it’s<br />

no mystery that I’ve <strong>in</strong>vented that when one’s m<strong>in</strong>d is tense or when<br />

it’s do<strong>in</strong>g anxious, your muscles are <strong>in</strong> a compromised state.<br />

So both chang<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> musculature, mov<strong>in</strong>g away from <strong>the</strong> attachment<br />

to <strong>the</strong> results releases <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ner world. Chang<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ner world can<br />

94 95

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

release <strong>the</strong> musculature. So it’s a constant flow<strong>in</strong>g of mechanics and<br />

energy back and forth.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s great because it expla<strong>in</strong>s your philosophy, which is<br />

also what I was go<strong>in</strong>g to ask next: what’s your key philosophy <strong>in</strong><br />

life?<br />

Right <strong>the</strong>re it was so philosophical on how you see <strong>the</strong> world<br />

spiritually, <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ner energy and <strong>the</strong> outer stuff too. It’s just a<br />

perfect, nice answer to showcase your philosophy. Your style is<br />

beautiful.<br />

Steven: We all as human be<strong>in</strong>gs (or most of us I should say) vastly,<br />

dramatically, underestimate ourselves and undervalue ourselves. If we<br />

only knew how amaz<strong>in</strong>g we were, we would have so much more of that<br />

‘amaz<strong>in</strong>g’ at our disposable.<br />

One of my basic philosophies and obviously, if somebody walks <strong>in</strong><br />

my studio, I’m not go<strong>in</strong>g to throw this at <strong>the</strong>m, we’ll start with <strong>the</strong><br />

scales, but ultimately, whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s ever spoken or whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s tacitly<br />

understood through <strong>the</strong> sense of wholeness that one has when you<br />

f<strong>in</strong>ally embrace your ability, we are <strong>in</strong>tr<strong>in</strong>sically so valuable that noth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

we ever do <strong>in</strong> our life can add to that one bit and noth<strong>in</strong>g we ever<br />

fail to do can detract from it one bit. It’s a done deal that <strong>the</strong>y were<br />

born (and some would say, from <strong>the</strong> day before <strong>the</strong> day we were<br />

born).<br />

So what life is about, is own<strong>in</strong>g that unbelievable vast value and that<br />

unbelievable understand<strong>in</strong>g of <strong>the</strong> beauty of human life and our life<br />

and <strong>the</strong>n say<strong>in</strong>g, “While I have this time here on earth, what do I want<br />

to create? What do I want to make it about?”<br />

If we can ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> that position, much better. What is not a joy can<br />

become a joy.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I want to ask, you’re <strong>in</strong> L.A, you see <strong>the</strong> act<strong>in</strong>g scene and<br />

music scene, how is it? What do you see go<strong>in</strong>g five years from<br />

now?<br />

Steven: Wow! Yeah. Well, it’s <strong>the</strong> wild west. I like to say it’s <strong>the</strong> wild<br />

west.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, I’ve heard that before.<br />

Steven: Yeah, I’m sure. The reality is that <strong>the</strong> acceleration of change<br />

is so <strong>in</strong>tense that <strong>the</strong> one th<strong>in</strong>g we have to become good at now is<br />

change and navigat<strong>in</strong>g our way through th<strong>in</strong>gs that will not rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

same most likely, and that are <strong>in</strong>credibly volatile and dynamic.<br />

So <strong>the</strong> more capable we are of do<strong>in</strong>g that, <strong>the</strong> better we’re go<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

survive <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. And if you want to put it down to street terms, I<br />

say, “You have to be scrappy.” You just have to say, “You just have to<br />

be scrappy. How do I make it work?”<br />

So ultimately, right now, it’s about people develop<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir own audiences,<br />

people build<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir fan base. And when you have visibility,<br />

when people see you, <strong>the</strong>n you have a good shot. But you need <strong>the</strong><br />

o<strong>the</strong>r element of be<strong>in</strong>g a real hardcore entrepreneur. It’s not a day’s<br />

work where you can say... I mean, some people still can walk <strong>in</strong>to this.<br />

There’s no rule or anyth<strong>in</strong>g, but it’s not <strong>the</strong> same way that most people<br />

can expect somebody to go and take <strong>the</strong>m and <strong>the</strong>n make it happen<br />

for <strong>the</strong>m. You are lucky if you get that. But for most of us as artists,<br />

we have to be an entrepreneur at <strong>the</strong> same time. Know our bus<strong>in</strong>ess.<br />

96 97

Creative Belief<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Spend 50% of <strong>the</strong> time on understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess, understand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

what impacts fans, understand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> channels you can use, be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

able to measure so that you’re not go<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>in</strong>st<strong>in</strong>ct.<br />

“Well, I like do<strong>in</strong>g this channel.”<br />

Well, what’s <strong>the</strong> result you’re gett<strong>in</strong>g and are you able to convert that<br />

<strong>in</strong>to hard cash, because if you want to make a liv<strong>in</strong>g as an artist, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

you have to understand your sources of <strong>in</strong>come and how to create<br />

<strong>the</strong>m and turn your streams on for yourself. It’s not that it can’t happen<br />

any o<strong>the</strong>r way, but that’s <strong>the</strong> way it happen[s].<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: And your work is def<strong>in</strong>itely about it, as well. Artists should<br />

def<strong>in</strong>itely surround <strong>the</strong>mselves with someone like a coach, a manager,<br />

hav<strong>in</strong>g an agent and on and on, <strong>the</strong> right cha<strong>in</strong>.<br />

Steven: Yeah. And you have to learn how to manage <strong>the</strong> team. The<br />

skills of management has[sic] sic] to be – you know, people skills, social<br />

skills. How do you <strong>in</strong>fluence o<strong>the</strong>rs and I’m not say<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a manipulative<br />

way, but how do you <strong>in</strong>fluence o<strong>the</strong>rs – you understand what I’m<br />

say<strong>in</strong>g because...<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Absolutely, yeah. Au<strong>the</strong>ntically and powerfully to <strong>in</strong>fluence<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

Steven: Exactly, au<strong>the</strong>ntically and powerfully. And I’m sure that’s what<br />

you do a lot <strong>in</strong> your work.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Love it! My f<strong>in</strong>al question is regard<strong>in</strong>g legacy. At <strong>the</strong> end<br />

of <strong>the</strong> day, what do you want <strong>the</strong> people you work with, what do<br />

you want to leave beh<strong>in</strong>d for <strong>the</strong>m? At <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> day, how do<br />

you want <strong>the</strong>m to remember your work?<br />

Steven: Legacy, if we’re go<strong>in</strong>g from a general place, <strong>the</strong> legacy I want<br />

is to leave my son thriv<strong>in</strong>g and healthy. Of course, every parent would<br />

say that, but that’s <strong>the</strong> impact I would like to make.<br />

And <strong>the</strong>n on <strong>the</strong> world, what I’d like to leave is <strong>the</strong> impact of hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

contributed a set of tools to which I’m hop<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>re’s some orig<strong>in</strong>ality<br />

or if not even orig<strong>in</strong>ality, that it’s just ano<strong>the</strong>r voiced th<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a new way<br />

that would affect people’s lives, and help <strong>the</strong>m achieve <strong>the</strong>ir goals <strong>in</strong> a<br />

powerful way. I’m sure you’ve heard this. This is:<br />

To laugh often and much<br />

To w<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> respect of <strong>in</strong>telligent people and <strong>the</strong> affection of<br />

children<br />

To earn <strong>the</strong> appreciation of honest critics and endure <strong>the</strong> betrayal<br />

of false friends<br />

To appreciate beauty<br />

To f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> best <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

To leave <strong>the</strong> world a bit better whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>by</strong> a healthy child, a<br />

garden patch or a redeemed social condition<br />

To know even one life has brea<strong>the</strong>d easier because you lived<br />

This is to have succeeded.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I love that one. Emerson, yeah. He’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Steven: Isn’t that beautiful? Someth<strong>in</strong>g that’s really, really important is<br />

people must take <strong>the</strong> long view. They must keep <strong>the</strong>ir vision.<br />

Too many of us allow ourselves to be swayed <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> momentary ups<br />

and downs that happen along any journey. My difficulties as a young<br />

artist was[sic] sic] that that’s exactly what I did. If I had know[<br />

sic] that <strong>the</strong><br />

world was really understood – not just heard, but really understood<br />

98 99

Creative Belief<br />

– that <strong>the</strong> world [was] built on relationships and that those relationships<br />

come to you <strong>in</strong> ways that you could never imag<strong>in</strong>e and you just<br />

treat people decently.<br />

And this doesn’t mean to say, “Well, I’ll do that for free” because you<br />

also deserve to be compensated. And maybe sometimes you do it for<br />

free… Because it takes care of you, right? Isn’t that true? So you take<br />

care of yourself, but you’ve got to take <strong>the</strong> long view.<br />

And also <strong>in</strong> that, you’ve got to be able to survive. So f<strong>in</strong>d additional<br />

methods that br<strong>in</strong>g you an <strong>in</strong>come that leave you <strong>the</strong> most time. Live<br />

as modestly as you can so that you don’t put a noose around your<br />

neck. And cont<strong>in</strong>ue to just create th<strong>in</strong>gs. Just cont<strong>in</strong>ue to create.<br />


CHAPTER 5<br />

Power Relationships<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />


I WOULD SAY THE MOST important th<strong>in</strong>g I have learned so far is <strong>the</strong> importance<br />

of network<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong> right people.<br />

The first time I really had <strong>the</strong> opportunity to network was dur<strong>in</strong>g my<br />

freshman year at University of New Haven. That was back when I was <strong>in</strong><br />

a music organization for students called MEISA. I had ordered bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

cards for myself that promoted my music website. The MEISA conference<br />

was com<strong>in</strong>g up, and I had to go. I had never been to an event like<br />

it, so naturally, I was quite nervous to try network<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> first time. I<br />

took a deep breath and told myself to meet as many people as possible.<br />

When I got <strong>the</strong>re, I started walk<strong>in</strong>g up to everyone. With a great,<br />

big smile across my face, I handed people my bus<strong>in</strong>ess card and <strong>in</strong>troduced<br />

myself. I gave <strong>the</strong>m my card with such confidence that I was<br />

sure <strong>the</strong>y were all go<strong>in</strong>g to contact me. This was not true. Years later,<br />

I realized that <strong>the</strong> key to effective network<strong>in</strong>g is not <strong>the</strong> amount of<br />

people you talk to, but how strong <strong>the</strong> relationship you build with<br />

<strong>the</strong>m becomes over time.<br />

<strong>Over</strong> <strong>the</strong> years, I started attend<strong>in</strong>g events to network more <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

music <strong>in</strong>dustry. I started really pay<strong>in</strong>g attention to those I had an immediate<br />

connection to versus those I didn’t. If I felt that I couldn’t help<br />

<strong>the</strong>m, <strong>the</strong>n I would move on because my time was valuable. I thought<br />

to myself, “no wast<strong>in</strong>g time.”<br />


Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

There are many ways you can go about strategiz<strong>in</strong>g at a network<strong>in</strong>g<br />

event. One might be go<strong>in</strong>g to it with a purpose <strong>in</strong> m<strong>in</strong>d, such as<br />

look<strong>in</strong>g to connect with a graphic designer. Ano<strong>the</strong>r way you can go<br />

about it is go<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong> flow, be<strong>in</strong>g open to meet<strong>in</strong>g everyone and<br />

see<strong>in</strong>g where it takes you.<br />

The part people probably have <strong>the</strong> most trouble with is what to<br />

say to <strong>the</strong> potential contact. I always <strong>in</strong>troduce myself to <strong>the</strong>m, “Hi,<br />

I’m Dani.” I always try to smile at <strong>the</strong>m to make <strong>the</strong>m feel comfortable.<br />

Then, I ask <strong>the</strong>m what <strong>the</strong>y do. I cut to <strong>the</strong> chase. What I say next<br />

depends on <strong>the</strong> answer <strong>the</strong>y give me. The conversation should feel<br />

natural and fulfill <strong>the</strong> purpose of support<strong>in</strong>g each o<strong>the</strong>rs’ careers.<br />

It’s also a good idea to practice your 30 second elevator speech.<br />

It is a hypo<strong>the</strong>tical scenario of what you would say to a good contact<br />

about yourself if you only had an elevator ride with <strong>the</strong>m. This is basically<br />

your pitch.<br />

It’s also really important, after an event, to follow up via email with<br />

<strong>the</strong> people you really want to build a connection with. It`s really good<br />

to do this with<strong>in</strong> three days. O<strong>the</strong>rwise people will forget about you.<br />

People are super busy. I believe <strong>the</strong> right people will connect with you,<br />

depend<strong>in</strong>g on your <strong>in</strong>tention.<br />

One great way to meet new people is us<strong>in</strong>g sites like www.meetup.<br />

com or www.eventbrite.com. I have met some great people like my cowriter<br />

<strong>Emily</strong> who hosted her own artistic Meetup group where we were<br />

<strong>in</strong>troduced. However, I don’t limit myself to where I meet new people.<br />

If I’m on <strong>the</strong> tra<strong>in</strong> and I see a younger guy with a guitar, I ask him about<br />

what k<strong>in</strong>d of music he does and how long he has been play<strong>in</strong>g. If it feels<br />

right, I will have no problem hand<strong>in</strong>g out my bus<strong>in</strong>ess card out almost<br />

anywhere.<br />

Keys To Success:<br />

Network<strong>in</strong>g: When it comes to network<strong>in</strong>g, it is imperative to be yourself.<br />

People will feel uncomfortable around you if you have issues<br />

be<strong>in</strong>g who you are. They will feel that awkwardness of you try<strong>in</strong>g to be<br />

someone who you are not. Therefore, don’t say th<strong>in</strong>gs just to impress<br />

people. If you are new to network<strong>in</strong>g events, it is better to tell people<br />

that it is your first time than to pretend you’ve been to <strong>the</strong>m before.<br />

Pretend<strong>in</strong>g to know everyth<strong>in</strong>g gives a false impression. Once people<br />

start to call you out, you are done—your reputation is ta<strong>in</strong>ted. Do not<br />

proceed on <strong>the</strong> fake route; it is not worth it. People will know when you<br />

are ly<strong>in</strong>g. Just smile, be friendly and be curious about o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

Listen First: Always f<strong>in</strong>d out about <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r person. Try to listen more than<br />

speak. I admit, this is one of my faults, as I am so passionate about what I<br />

am do<strong>in</strong>g that sometimes I can go on and on about it. When people get<br />

bored or annoyed, I know I just lost that potential relationship. Learn from<br />

me: It’s not worth it. Rant to your best friend, sibl<strong>in</strong>g or parents <strong>in</strong>stead.<br />

Create <strong>In</strong>trigue: When it comes to bus<strong>in</strong>ess, try to keep it short; make<br />

people feel <strong>in</strong>trigued. Th<strong>in</strong>k of it like a first date. You don’t want to give<br />

out all <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>formation about yourself at once. O<strong>the</strong>rwise, why would<br />

people need to follow up with you to learn more? You want to say<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g to catch <strong>the</strong>ir attention. You may also want to market yourself<br />

and your work differently to different people. Pay attention and<br />

listen for what <strong>the</strong>ir need or want is. For example, if you hear someone<br />

say <strong>the</strong>y just started a new company and you are a web designer, see<br />

if <strong>the</strong>y are look<strong>in</strong>g for a new website. F<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong>ir ache or pa<strong>in</strong> and <strong>the</strong>n<br />

provide <strong>the</strong> needed medication/treatment, aka your services.<br />

“There are so many talented musicians <strong>in</strong> this world, so network<strong>in</strong>g is<br />

very important.” - G<strong>in</strong>a Cimmelli, NYC<br />

“<strong>In</strong> a competitive environment, whenever you’re successful, you’re fill<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a spot that everyone wants-- so you want to build relationships<br />

that take o<strong>the</strong>rs up with you. So your friends and connections are<br />

root<strong>in</strong>g for you as well as <strong>the</strong>mselves, and you’re root<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong>m,<br />

too. Renegade artists don’t climb far.” - Tom & Hebron, Nashville, TN<br />

104 105

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g is everyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> music. I always tell my fellow musician<br />

friends that <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry is sadly 20 % about talent, 80 % about bus<strong>in</strong>ess.”<br />

- Leo Freire, Session Drummer, Queens, NYC<br />

“Artists<br />

should care because those one off encounters and meet<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

can lead to someth<strong>in</strong>g major years later.” - Robert Ballesteros, Talent<br />

Handler/Photographer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Your network<strong>in</strong>g should be as dated and consistent as your experience<br />

<strong>in</strong> your <strong>in</strong>dustry. A good network is <strong>the</strong> <strong>by</strong>-product of positive,<br />

supportive relationships nurtured thus far, and a safe haven for <strong>the</strong><br />

progression of one’s career.” - Maniak Mike from Sh<strong>in</strong>obi N<strong>in</strong>ja, NYC<br />

“Relationships are <strong>the</strong> most important tools <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

Without know<strong>in</strong>g at least one or two people to open doors for you,<br />

it is damn near impossible to break <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess. A very small,<br />

seem<strong>in</strong>gly <strong>in</strong>significant relationship could blossom <strong>in</strong>to you meet<strong>in</strong>g<br />

that one person that could change your life forever.” - Jesea, <strong>Music</strong>ian/<br />

Publicist, NYC<br />

“Look past fear. Express yourself if you have someth<strong>in</strong>g you need to<br />

share.” - Maggie Szabo, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“You can jo<strong>in</strong> all <strong>the</strong> music organizations <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world, attend a million<br />

music sem<strong>in</strong>ars about how to succeed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess, and have<br />

a thousand people critique your music, but <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> end what matters<br />

is that you are happy and proud with what you have created. Please<br />

yourself first, have high standards, all else will follow.” - David Harrison,<br />

Songwriter/Owner of Get Me Out of Here Publish<strong>in</strong>g, NYC<br />

“Because of network<strong>in</strong>g, I’ve been able to s<strong>in</strong>g on o<strong>the</strong>r artists’ tracks<br />

or even do some songs toge<strong>the</strong>r. There’s no one way to market yourself<br />

anymore, and connections are vital. I used to work as a stand <strong>in</strong><br />

on Pretty Little Liars when I first was gett<strong>in</strong>g started record<strong>in</strong>g music,<br />

that was pretty much <strong>the</strong> lowest position on <strong>the</strong> totem pole, but because<br />

of <strong>the</strong> relationships I made <strong>the</strong>re, I was contacted about hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

one of my songs played on <strong>the</strong> show, four years later! You just never<br />

know.” - Michelle Anderson, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g keeps you relevant. If you don’t have new music to put<br />

out, network<strong>in</strong>g is <strong>the</strong> closest th<strong>in</strong>g you can [do] to putt<strong>in</strong>g out music.”<br />

- Dion Roy from Fire <strong>In</strong> The Romance, NYC<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g is vital. It’s your way of lett<strong>in</strong>g people know, “Hey this is<br />

what I do and I’m darn good at it!” and <strong>in</strong> turn you get to know about<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r people and what makes <strong>the</strong>m tick. Maybe help yourselves along<br />

<strong>the</strong> way.” - Eric G., NYC<br />

“Life is all about experiences shared with people. It’s not only your<br />

skills that get you a gig, it’s a good hang.” - Wendy Parr, Vocal coach,<br />

NYC<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g allows doors to open for you when you need <strong>the</strong>m most.<br />

Everyone is look<strong>in</strong>g for someth<strong>in</strong>g. I need tomatoes - you sell <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

<strong>Music</strong> is all about connect<strong>in</strong>g with people. As a musician, eng<strong>in</strong>eer,<br />

producer, or even stagehand, you have to build relationships with <strong>the</strong><br />

people you work with. They need to trust you and know what your<br />

strengths are. The most qualified person for <strong>the</strong> job doesn’t always<br />

get it. The one with strong relationships does. How will people know<br />

what you are capable of if <strong>the</strong>y don’t know who you are, or what you<br />

can do?” - Pablo Arraya, Producer, NYC<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> an organic way has been one of <strong>the</strong> many factors <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> success of our band. We love people. We love meet<strong>in</strong>g music lovers,<br />

artists and o<strong>the</strong>r bands. Naturally <strong>by</strong> support<strong>in</strong>g o<strong>the</strong>r’s work, collaborat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with o<strong>the</strong>r artists, and connect<strong>in</strong>g with our audiences, we<br />

106 107

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

have been ‘network<strong>in</strong>g’. These connections have led to some great<br />

opportunities and most importantly fruitful collaborations and friendships.”<br />

- 5j Barrow, NYC<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g is very important because that is what best gets to<br />

<strong>the</strong> grassroots of people. It is <strong>the</strong> grass roots that are gonna spread<br />

your name. That spreads quicker than <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternet. Word gets<br />

around fast. Once you get <strong>the</strong> word out <strong>the</strong>re about what you are<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>n it spreads like wildfire. The <strong>In</strong>ternet is ano<strong>the</strong>r source<br />

of that. It`s used <strong>the</strong> same way. If you don’t, <strong>the</strong>n you will just be<br />

lost.” - Daryl Brown son of <strong>the</strong> godfa<strong>the</strong>r of soul James Brown, Los<br />

Angeles, CA<br />

“We have to learn from each o<strong>the</strong>r how to communicate, how to hunt,<br />

how to care for o<strong>the</strong>rs. Th<strong>in</strong>k of everyone you meet as a teacher.” -<br />

Meghann Wright, NYC<br />

“For me, <strong>the</strong> l<strong>in</strong>e between fans and friends has always been blurry. I<br />

hate feel<strong>in</strong>g like I am shill<strong>in</strong>g for someth<strong>in</strong>g onl<strong>in</strong>e, when I am try<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

get my friends to come out to a show or listen to a new song. It can<br />

feel like a delicate tight-rope walk, but I’ve been learn<strong>in</strong>g not to let it<br />

bo<strong>the</strong>r me. Anyone I really consider a friend will understand why I do<br />

<strong>the</strong>se th<strong>in</strong>gs and encourage me to press on.” - Arison Ca<strong>in</strong>, NYC<br />

“You have to <strong>in</strong>teract with fans; <strong>the</strong> days of distant rock stars are over.<br />

You are expected to connect with people and build relationships with<br />

<strong>the</strong>m. I see <strong>the</strong> modern music <strong>in</strong>dustry as a two way street: if you want<br />

fans to <strong>in</strong>vest <strong>in</strong> you, you need to <strong>in</strong>vest <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>m. If you th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>in</strong>vest<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

your fans just means provid<strong>in</strong>g new music for <strong>the</strong>m, you are mistaken.<br />

Fans don’t just <strong>in</strong>vest money <strong>in</strong> your artistry, <strong>the</strong>y <strong>in</strong>vest <strong>the</strong>ir time and<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir emotions. It’s only fair that you do <strong>the</strong> same for <strong>the</strong>m.” - Michael<br />

Flayhart, Nashville, TN<br />

“You’re only as successful as <strong>the</strong> people who can help you. Everyone<br />

starts out <strong>in</strong>dependent, but <strong>in</strong> order to become a superstar you<br />

have to lean on people who have <strong>the</strong> ability and resources to help<br />

you <strong>in</strong> a multitude of areas. <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g, people don’t know<br />

who you are, so start small and beg<strong>in</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g connections until you<br />

have cast a wide net. Out of 50 people you meet, maybe only one<br />

of <strong>the</strong>m can actually help you, so you have to be relentless.” - Ahmir,<br />

Boston, MA<br />

“You never know who is go<strong>in</strong>g to be <strong>the</strong> person who leads you to your<br />

next break. It’s always a good idea to get out <strong>the</strong>re and just be nice<br />

to people. Be <strong>in</strong>terested and be au<strong>the</strong>ntic. Sometimes it’s <strong>the</strong> unsuspected<br />

neighbor or corner store clerk who holds <strong>the</strong> keys to your<br />

fate.” - Alexis Hightower, NYC<br />

“The music <strong>in</strong>dustry is a bus<strong>in</strong>ess based on relationships. I always joke<br />

that any success I have is probably because I bug agents and managers<br />

to death until <strong>the</strong>y answer my questions.” - Zach Falkow, NYC<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g and social media is your <strong>in</strong>troduction to <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. It’s<br />

your way of lett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> world know you exist and if worked correctly,<br />

can lead to a successful career. My success as a lead<strong>in</strong>g master<strong>in</strong>g<br />

eng<strong>in</strong>eer can be traced back to <strong>the</strong> contacts I made <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> early days<br />

of MySpace (2002). As a complete outsider work<strong>in</strong>g with unsigned<br />

artists all <strong>the</strong> way up to master<strong>in</strong>g U2, The Killers, Jack White etc. was<br />

all down to network<strong>in</strong>g.” - Pete Maher, Master Eng<strong>in</strong>eer, UK<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g helps build relationships and connections to develop<br />

and share wisdom with o<strong>the</strong>rs. Without network<strong>in</strong>g, some of <strong>the</strong> most<br />

successful artists of our generation wouldn’t be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> place <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

at. Creat<strong>in</strong>g this new family helps ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> a healthy career!”<br />

- Phase<br />

Five, Los Angeles, CA<br />

108 109

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“The most vital network<strong>in</strong>g is done <strong>in</strong> person out <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world. The<br />

social media aspect is important but <strong>the</strong> most important th<strong>in</strong>g is a<br />

handshake and an <strong>in</strong>credible audience experience. If you can make<br />

your content emulate that, <strong>the</strong>n you’re start<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> right place.” -<br />

George Woods, Boston, MA<br />

“It comes down to how you make use of opportunities and how you<br />

put yourself <strong>in</strong> a place to succeed. To me, once you have <strong>the</strong> talent,<br />

it’s all about creat<strong>in</strong>g networks.” - John McCracken, Producer, NYC<br />

“I moved from a small town <strong>in</strong> Canada to LA and I didn’t know anyone<br />

when I got here. Network<strong>in</strong>g, meet<strong>in</strong>g new people, and gett<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong>spired and motivated <strong>by</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess has been<br />

helpful to me. Even though it can be scary and <strong>in</strong>timidat<strong>in</strong>g sometimes,<br />

we all have to put on a brave face and be open to meet<strong>in</strong>g new<br />

people. I’ve been lucky enough to have met some amaz<strong>in</strong>g people<br />

that support my music and I’m grateful for that.” - Maggie Szabo, Los<br />

Angeles, CA<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g is important <strong>in</strong> every aspect of life. These days <strong>the</strong> world<br />

is a constant experiment <strong>in</strong> crowdsourc<strong>in</strong>g. From f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g a roommate<br />

to buy<strong>in</strong>g technology to listen<strong>in</strong>g to music and <strong>the</strong> more your can be<br />

relevant <strong>in</strong> different networks <strong>the</strong> more likely you are to be noticed.” -<br />

Avi Dell from AyOH, Chicago<br />

“Talk to everyone; no one is a waste of time. You never know how someone<br />

can help you and how you can help <strong>the</strong>m. Always extend a help<strong>in</strong>g<br />

hand, and you might receive one back.” - Rick Rocker, Queens, NYC<br />

“I feel that good music and true artists will surface with time, but <strong>the</strong><br />

people who seem to take off overnight always end up know<strong>in</strong>g someone,<br />

or be<strong>in</strong>g some famous actress’s sister. That is what I don’t understand<br />

about major labels; ‘Oh, she’s <strong>the</strong> daughter of two celebrities?<br />

Does she write good songs? Who cares! Let’s sign her!’ Yuck!” - Keeley<br />

Bumford from Hotel C<strong>in</strong>ema, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Network to get where you want, just always remember who got you<br />

<strong>the</strong>re.” - Lawrence Bray, UK<br />

“Strive to create AUTHENTIC relationships. We’ve been fortunate<br />

enough to keep <strong>the</strong> flame of creative passion burn<strong>in</strong>g for over 2/3rds<br />

of our lives. <strong>Over</strong> this time, we have built and ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed lov<strong>in</strong>g, helpful<br />

and au<strong>the</strong>ntic relationships with tremendous numbers of people.<br />

Watch<strong>in</strong>g our friendships with <strong>the</strong>m blossom, see<strong>in</strong>g how <strong>the</strong>ir existence<br />

has made our creative existence possible, is just as gratify<strong>in</strong>g as<br />

<strong>the</strong> art itself.” - Ghastly City Sleep, NYC<br />

“There are many great programs at plenty of universities around <strong>the</strong><br />

world that can teach you <strong>the</strong> fundamentals of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. However,<br />

NOTHING can teach you how to be a professional o<strong>the</strong>r than be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

around o<strong>the</strong>r professionals and hav<strong>in</strong>g enough sense to listen<br />

more than talk. You have to surround yourself with truly great, car<strong>in</strong>g<br />

people <strong>in</strong> order to exude that yourself. And don’t worry, you’ll f<strong>in</strong>d<br />

<strong>the</strong>m, or <strong>the</strong>y’ll f<strong>in</strong>d you. It’s just <strong>the</strong> way it works.” - Dom Liberati,<br />

Los Angeles<br />

“Everyth<strong>in</strong>g revolves around creat<strong>in</strong>g and build<strong>in</strong>g relationships, <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry especially, as we are all <strong>in</strong>terconnected. It is important<br />

to build healthy relationships <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess. Whe<strong>the</strong>r you are<br />

an artist, manager, agent, song-writer or <strong>the</strong> CEO of a record label, it<br />

is good to stick to appo<strong>in</strong>tments, be very clear with <strong>in</strong>tentions and to<br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ue to cultivate relationships <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess.” - Dani Ters<strong>in</strong>i, NYC<br />

“My network is conformed <strong>by</strong> those people that, if I call out of <strong>the</strong><br />

blue, <strong>the</strong>y answer. We’ll start talk<strong>in</strong>g about <strong>the</strong> wea<strong>the</strong>r, we’ll start<br />

talk<strong>in</strong>g about anyth<strong>in</strong>g and <strong>the</strong> next th<strong>in</strong>g we know, it’s a two-hour<br />

110 111

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

conversation. They are <strong>the</strong> same people that have been <strong>the</strong>re s<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

day one.” - Adam Clark, Rochester, NYC<br />

“Truly hav<strong>in</strong>g vision doesn’t just mean th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g ahead and hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

goals. It’s know<strong>in</strong>g what parts of <strong>the</strong> picture are replaceable and<br />

which parts are absolutely necessary. Life will happen and chances are<br />

you’ll change a few th<strong>in</strong>gs here and <strong>the</strong>re based on your experiences,<br />

but some th<strong>in</strong>gs should be held steady. Identify those th<strong>in</strong>gs. That’s<br />

vision.” - Just<strong>in</strong> Howard from VYD, NYC<br />

“Network<strong>in</strong>g is <strong>the</strong> one th<strong>in</strong>g I didn’t th<strong>in</strong>k would be as big of an <strong>in</strong>fluence<br />

<strong>in</strong> my career as it turned to be. The music world gets exponentially<br />

smaller with each musician I meet.” - Cassandra House, NYC<br />

The Coach’s Perspective:<br />

Build<strong>in</strong>g your Network<br />

How are your network<strong>in</strong>g skills? From 1-10, 10 be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> best<br />

you can be and 1 be<strong>in</strong>g not at all good at network<strong>in</strong>g, where<br />

would you mark your score?<br />

Be<strong>in</strong>g a good networker is vital to success <strong>in</strong> life, especially if you are a<br />

music artist. The music <strong>in</strong>dustry is about relationships, collaborations,<br />

trust and teamwork. But how did I become so passionate about <strong>the</strong><br />

topic of network<strong>in</strong>g when I was a serious skeptic on it? I had <strong>the</strong> best<br />

mentor via my sister, a certified career coach that over <strong>the</strong> last 10+<br />

years has worked with youth.<br />

My whole life my older sister Lynette, a CEO of www.CC4Kidz.com,<br />

was a true career <strong>in</strong>spiration for me. She has an impressive network from<br />

all levels of academia, youth activism and community outreach, and she<br />

got that way from always attend<strong>in</strong>g events and jo<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g advisory boards.<br />

Enter<strong>in</strong>g college for my psychology/sociology degree, she was<br />

adamant about me gett<strong>in</strong>g out <strong>the</strong>re with her to network<strong>in</strong>g events at<br />

<strong>the</strong> key colleges of Boston; at Harvard University, Nor<strong>the</strong>astern, Umass<br />

Boston, Lesley, Boston University, <strong>the</strong> list goes on.<br />

Attend<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>se events and observ<strong>in</strong>g this powerhouse was truly<br />

<strong>in</strong>spirational. Be<strong>in</strong>g two strong Lat<strong>in</strong>as, we always chose events related<br />

to leadership, women empowerment, diversity and entrepreneurship.<br />

I learned from her how to “confidently approach <strong>the</strong> host <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> room”<br />

and just about anyone <strong>in</strong> power without much <strong>in</strong>timidation.<br />

One day my graduate school, Suffolk University was hold<strong>in</strong>g an<br />

amaz<strong>in</strong>g event for <strong>the</strong> Entrepreneur’s Club, I was <strong>in</strong>vited as a guest<br />

and had submitted a bus<strong>in</strong>ess idea for <strong>the</strong>ir contest.<br />

My sister was to jo<strong>in</strong> me, she already knew <strong>the</strong> host and a couple of<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r key people at this event and it was her goal to formally <strong>in</strong>troduce<br />

me to <strong>the</strong>m. The day arrived f<strong>in</strong>ally, and guess what, she couldn’t go!<br />

She had a meet<strong>in</strong>g and urged me to go <strong>by</strong> myself, for my first time solo,<br />

not let my <strong>in</strong>troductory meet<strong>in</strong>gs down, and just to stay open and learn.<br />

112 113

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

I did go and for <strong>the</strong> first time I navigated that room <strong>by</strong> myself.<br />

I met <strong>the</strong> hosts and added <strong>the</strong>m on my grow<strong>in</strong>g L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong>. I felt <strong>in</strong>credibly<br />

<strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> life and bus<strong>in</strong>ess lessons of several CEOs<br />

who were on <strong>the</strong> panel. Most of all, I totally had an epiphany while<br />

sitt<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> that room with over <strong>100</strong> aspir<strong>in</strong>g entrepreneurs, that energetically,<br />

spiritually and mentally I was truly just like <strong>the</strong>m! I decided<br />

<strong>the</strong>n and <strong>the</strong>re that I was go<strong>in</strong>g to go down some sort of entrepreneurial<br />

path. I didn’t know it would be a certified life/bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

coach myself, an enterta<strong>in</strong>ment writer and Co-Founder of Creative<br />

<strong>Spotlight</strong>s.<br />

I was just a student, but I had as much potential as anyone. With<br />

<strong>the</strong> right outfit, a friendly smile and a great confident handshake, attend<strong>in</strong>g<br />

events started to become fun for me, and my L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong> grew to<br />

over 1,000 connections. I succeeded <strong>in</strong> expand<strong>in</strong>g my network quickly.<br />

A few years later, post my Masters degree, I took <strong>the</strong>se skills to NYC<br />

and built a huge network of those <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> arts too.<br />

KEY TIPS:<br />

The po<strong>in</strong>t of network<strong>in</strong>g is not “to meet everyone <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> room.”<br />

That will just deplete your energy, and you will come across as<br />

<strong>in</strong>au<strong>the</strong>ntic.<br />

When I network, it is about <strong>the</strong> energy surround<strong>in</strong>g a person and<br />

how that energy can flow positively with my own. Observe body<br />

language + <strong>the</strong> energy <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir aura first. Look for a “vibrational<br />

match”.<br />

When I enter a room full of art & enterta<strong>in</strong>ment people, I know my<br />

own power and presence is attractive, but I only seek to attract<br />

positive, like-m<strong>in</strong>ded people. Let <strong>the</strong> right people also come to<br />

you.<br />

P<strong>in</strong>po<strong>in</strong>t <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> people of <strong>the</strong> event; like <strong>the</strong> host, <strong>the</strong> event photographer,<br />

<strong>the</strong> DJ, whoever was part of event plann<strong>in</strong>g, and have a<br />

quick conversation with <strong>the</strong>m and get <strong>the</strong>ir card. You want to know<br />

<strong>the</strong> top organizers to build your reputation! Then spend <strong>the</strong> rest of<br />

<strong>the</strong> time attract<strong>in</strong>g like-m<strong>in</strong>ded people.<br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

1. Consider <strong>the</strong> top five people you spent <strong>the</strong> most time with over <strong>the</strong><br />

course of <strong>the</strong> last 3 months. Who are <strong>the</strong>y, and what do <strong>the</strong>y do?<br />

2. For each person, write out five adjectives to describe him or her:<br />

Person 1:<br />

Person 2:<br />

Person 3:<br />

Person 4:<br />

Person 5:<br />

114 115

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

3. What are <strong>the</strong> most common words you see? You are “<strong>the</strong> company<br />

you keep”, so this is a clue of how you come across to o<strong>the</strong>rs!<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: David Dufresne, CEO of Bandzoogle<br />

4. Know<strong>in</strong>g this, what can you do to improve who you network with +<br />

<strong>in</strong>vite <strong>in</strong>to your <strong>in</strong>ner circle?<br />

Chapter 5 Affirmation: Power Relationships<br />

“My art is a gift to <strong>the</strong> world, and I only attract <strong>the</strong> right<br />

people <strong>in</strong>to my <strong>in</strong>ner circle for <strong>the</strong> right reason, for a<br />

season or for a lifetime. I release <strong>the</strong> wrong people<br />

swiftly and surely. Look<strong>in</strong>g outward, I can see who is<br />

right and wrong for me <strong>by</strong> observ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> signs. I am<br />

protected and blessed. When I meet <strong>the</strong> right vibrational<br />

match, I <strong>in</strong>vite <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong>to my creative, spiritual family. I<br />

w<strong>in</strong>, <strong>the</strong>y w<strong>in</strong>, we all w<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> prosperity and peace.”<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Today on Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s we are featur<strong>in</strong>g Bandzoogle,<br />

an awesome artist website development platform that allows music<br />

artists to develop <strong>the</strong>ir brand<strong>in</strong>g through onl<strong>in</strong>e promotion,<br />

merchandise sales and social media. I’m here with David Dufresne,<br />

<strong>the</strong> CEO of Bandzoogle. My first question for you is: <strong>the</strong>re are a<br />

lot of sites out <strong>the</strong>re that works to support artists. What makes<br />

Bandzoogle stand out?<br />

David: The core th<strong>in</strong>g that makes us stand out or differentiates us from<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r website-build<strong>in</strong>g platforms is that we are a platform that is made<br />

FOR musicians and made BY musicians.<br />

We are a team of about 20 people, almost everyone is a musician or a<br />

s<strong>in</strong>ger or <strong>in</strong> my case, a huge music geek.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> past 10 years, we’ve been ref<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g our platform, work<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

tens of thousands of musicians, tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir questions, <strong>the</strong>ir suggestions,<br />

etc. So everyth<strong>in</strong>g that we build, every new feature or action<br />

that we add comes from an actual need that some of our users and<br />

members have asked us for.<br />

And if you ask how Bandzoogle compares to o<strong>the</strong>r music platforms,<br />

we’re a platform that anyone can use to first build <strong>the</strong>ir own website.<br />

It’s extremely easy to use. You don’t need to code anyth<strong>in</strong>g, you don’t<br />

need to hire anyone. We have all <strong>the</strong> features you need to build a<br />

116 117

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

professional artist website – music players, photo galleries, advanced<br />

calendars.<br />

We have a blogg<strong>in</strong>g platform as well. We also have a store feature, so<br />

you can sell ei<strong>the</strong>r your digital music or your CD or your merchandise<br />

directly to your fans. You actually get to keep <strong>100</strong>% of your sales. We<br />

don’t take any cut from your sales.<br />

We have that built <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> platform. We also have a mail<strong>in</strong>g list tool<br />

built <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> platform. If you want to send out newsletters to different<br />

groups of emails you’ve acquired.<br />

You can also do th<strong>in</strong>gs like send geo-targeted emails if you’re tour<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and want to email, for example, your fans that are with<strong>in</strong> a hundred<br />

miles of Nashville. You can do that us<strong>in</strong>g our platform.<br />

So overall, it’s an all-<strong>in</strong>-one solution that is easy, but also powerful and<br />

professional and very affordable that musicians can use to build <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

home base and <strong>the</strong> hub for <strong>the</strong>ir onl<strong>in</strong>e strategy.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: The company def<strong>in</strong>itely sounds progressive and a fierce<br />

leader <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> market. You have ten years of really respond<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

your clients and develop<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> company <strong>in</strong> a way that <strong>the</strong> artist is<br />

super creative and if <strong>the</strong>y don’t have that bus<strong>in</strong>ess side developed<br />

as much, Bandzoogle provides this awesome opportunity for <strong>the</strong>m<br />

to manage <strong>the</strong>ir career us<strong>in</strong>g technology, to really develop <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

career <strong>in</strong>to a creative bus<strong>in</strong>ess like it has to be. It has to be a 360°<br />

management of <strong>the</strong>ir career and this is a great direction for <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

David: Yeah. I mean, it’s <strong>the</strong> west side. There’s many o<strong>the</strong>r sides to<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir career, we def<strong>in</strong>itely try to make that part as easy and as pa<strong>in</strong>less<br />

as possible and as affordable as possible.<br />

I still see too many artists that ei<strong>the</strong>r don’t have control over <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

website because sometimes, someone else built it for <strong>the</strong>m and <strong>the</strong>y<br />

have to contact <strong>the</strong>m as soon as <strong>the</strong>y want to update it or if <strong>the</strong>y want<br />

to change someth<strong>in</strong>g, add a new section, change a design. We give<br />

that power back to <strong>the</strong> artist so that <strong>the</strong>y can easily and quickly do it<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves. And <strong>the</strong>n we let <strong>the</strong>m manage <strong>the</strong>ir part of <strong>the</strong> market<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I mean, def<strong>in</strong>itely <strong>the</strong> mail<strong>in</strong>g list is extremely important as you must<br />

know. We let <strong>the</strong>m manage <strong>the</strong>ir commerce. It’s a big part of what <strong>the</strong>y<br />

need to do. That saves <strong>the</strong>m money for what I th<strong>in</strong>k are more important<br />

th<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

Aga<strong>in</strong>, I still see too many artists that spend thousands of dollars to<br />

get a website. That’s thousands of dollars that <strong>the</strong>y should be spend<strong>in</strong>g<br />

on gett<strong>in</strong>g professional photography done, gett<strong>in</strong>g professional<br />

video shot and/or pay <strong>the</strong> rent, buy gas for <strong>the</strong> van and buy some new<br />

<strong>in</strong>struments. But yeah, def<strong>in</strong>itely <strong>the</strong> website part should be easy and<br />

very affordable.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I love it. Now, how did Bandzoogle start its journey?<br />

David: The short version of <strong>the</strong> story is that <strong>the</strong> founder of <strong>the</strong> company<br />

is actually my partner, Chris. His name is Chris V<strong>in</strong>son, he’s now<br />

our CTO. So he takes care of <strong>the</strong> technology, chief of technology.<br />

But Chris, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> late ‘90s used to play bass <strong>in</strong> a grunge band here <strong>in</strong><br />

Montreal. He had learned how to build a website back <strong>in</strong> those days.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> band, he had built one of <strong>the</strong> first websites where <strong>the</strong>y had fan<br />

forums where a lot of <strong>the</strong>ir fans were super active <strong>in</strong> those community<br />

forums – organiz<strong>in</strong>g ride shares to go see <strong>the</strong>ir gigs out of town and<br />

th<strong>in</strong>gs like that. I know some couples were made and unmade through<br />

<strong>the</strong> community of that band. Their website helped <strong>the</strong>m get signed <strong>by</strong><br />

one of <strong>the</strong> big labels here <strong>in</strong> Canada.<br />

118 119

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

So <strong>the</strong>y did a record, <strong>the</strong>y toured, lived <strong>the</strong> rock star life for a couple<br />

of years I th<strong>in</strong>k and <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> band decided to break up. After <strong>the</strong> band<br />

broke up, <strong>the</strong> label hired Chris as <strong>the</strong> webmaster for all <strong>the</strong>ir websites –<br />

so all <strong>the</strong> websites of all of <strong>the</strong>ir artists. That was k<strong>in</strong>d of a big task, so<br />

Chris built a platform that would let ei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> managers or <strong>the</strong> artists<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves update <strong>the</strong> website. If <strong>the</strong>y wanted to add a new photo or<br />

a new track, or a new tour date.<br />

People loved it. A lot of his friends and people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry started<br />

ask<strong>in</strong>g him if <strong>the</strong>y could use <strong>the</strong>ir platform for <strong>the</strong>ir own <strong>in</strong>die bands.<br />

So that’s how he got <strong>the</strong> idea of Bandzoogle and launch<strong>in</strong>g it as a<br />

start-up. He got a small loan back <strong>the</strong>m from his boss and went on his<br />

own. I mean, it started just <strong>by</strong> himself with no employees.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Most great companies start organically like that, with all<br />

<strong>the</strong> efforts placed at <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g from a smaller team, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

build<strong>in</strong>g upwards from <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

David: Yeah, I mean, ten years later, we’re a team of about twenty. We<br />

have over 20,000 pay<strong>in</strong>g customers. It’s been a very organic growth.<br />

We’ve never had big venture capital or outside <strong>in</strong>vestors. So it’s a very<br />

healthy growth and yeah, we have to thank our members for it.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: What does it take for an artist to truly have an <strong>in</strong>credible<br />

website that helps develop <strong>the</strong>ir career?<br />

David: Well, <strong>the</strong> first th<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y need is amaz<strong>in</strong>g music. Even if you<br />

have <strong>the</strong> best website ever and your music is not so good, or your<br />

performance is not so good, it won’t really help you.<br />

<strong>Music</strong> is also great content. You need to have great songs, but also really<br />

great professionally shot photos. If you can have great videos, it’s<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g to make a better website.<br />

Then you need to give reasons for people to visit <strong>the</strong> website and reasons<br />

for people to come back to it. So you need to regularly update<br />

<strong>the</strong> contents.<br />

The website is your opportunity to really connect with your fans because<br />

that’s an environment – like if you compare that to Facebook<br />

and Twitter where you compete with tab videos and ‘news of <strong>the</strong><br />

day’ and tons of o<strong>the</strong>r updates from strangers, if you’re able to get<br />

people to visit your website, you control <strong>the</strong> narrative, you control<br />

<strong>the</strong> design, you control <strong>the</strong> call-to-action. If you want people to<br />

focus on your new EP, you can put that right on <strong>the</strong> homepage and<br />

make sure that people check it out. If it’s a new video, you can also<br />

make that your ma<strong>in</strong> call-to-action if you’re build<strong>in</strong>g your mail<strong>in</strong>g<br />

list.<br />

So it’s only on your website that you have full control over that. That’s<br />

where people are one-click away from visit<strong>in</strong>g your store. And if <strong>the</strong>y’re<br />

<strong>in</strong> your store and <strong>the</strong>y download music ei<strong>the</strong>r for free or to buy someth<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

you can get <strong>the</strong>m to sign up to <strong>the</strong> mail<strong>in</strong>g list.<br />

Those are all th<strong>in</strong>gs that happen <strong>in</strong> a website, so you need to give<br />

<strong>the</strong>m reasons to come back, so that means if you can have regular<br />

blog updates or new videos and new photos that <strong>the</strong>n you can promote<br />

on Facebook and Twitter and get people to come and visit your<br />

website. If your content is great, you’re go<strong>in</strong>g to have a great website.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: It def<strong>in</strong>itely sounds very <strong>in</strong>teractive. I love all <strong>the</strong> calls-toaction<br />

because that’s <strong>the</strong> best way to connect to your fans and<br />

provide with different opportunities to connect with <strong>the</strong>ir fans<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s a blog or look at a video or buy merchandise from<br />

<strong>the</strong> site.<br />

I wanted to ask you. How does merchandise sales help <strong>the</strong> artist?<br />

120 121

Power Relationships<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

David: It depends on <strong>the</strong> artist, but I th<strong>in</strong>k it’s extremely important<br />

because I th<strong>in</strong>k everyone knows that <strong>the</strong>re’s more and more music<br />

available. So as an artist nowadays, you’re compet<strong>in</strong>g for attention<br />

with thousands of musicians, right?<br />

What I’m try<strong>in</strong>g to say is we moved from an <strong>in</strong>dustry that was based<br />

on volume where <strong>the</strong> name of <strong>the</strong> game was to get as many fans as<br />

possible, many thousands or even millions and <strong>the</strong>n sell <strong>the</strong>m a little<br />

marg<strong>in</strong>, undifferentiated product that was ei<strong>the</strong>r a CD or <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> last<br />

two years, <strong>the</strong> ¢99 or <strong>the</strong> $9.99 album.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k we’re mov<strong>in</strong>g now toward an <strong>in</strong>dustry where you probably won’t<br />

get as many fans, but you have to focus on quality so that <strong>the</strong> fans that<br />

you’re able to get and that you’re able to engage with, you have to<br />

stop th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g that your goal is to sell <strong>the</strong>m ¢99 and <strong>the</strong> occasional gig<br />

ticket, concert ticket when you f<strong>in</strong>ally get to <strong>the</strong>ir town.<br />

So hav<strong>in</strong>g nice options of merch, giv<strong>in</strong>g people <strong>the</strong> opportunity to<br />

buy v<strong>in</strong>yl records, to buy your t-shirts and I don’t know, your books of<br />

poetry – you can make it up.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah! It’s more horizontal market<strong>in</strong>g and brand<strong>in</strong>g at that<br />

po<strong>in</strong>t.<br />

I have access to all <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world for $10 a month or even for<br />

free with some services.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> artist, aga<strong>in</strong>, it means that you’re compet<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong> hundreds<br />

of millions of tracks that are on <strong>the</strong>re and you’re probably not go<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

make tons of money with people just listen<strong>in</strong>g to your music. So you<br />

have, aga<strong>in</strong>, to f<strong>in</strong>d new products. So f<strong>in</strong>d new th<strong>in</strong>gs that people are<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g to be will<strong>in</strong>g to pay for.<br />

I like to see th<strong>in</strong>gs like crowdfund<strong>in</strong>g becom<strong>in</strong>g more of a th<strong>in</strong>g, more<br />

of an accepted behavior. I th<strong>in</strong>k people more and more are go<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

be pay<strong>in</strong>g for experiences that <strong>in</strong>volves music, but not necessarily music<br />

itself – concerts, private concerts, house concerts, onl<strong>in</strong>e, limited.<br />

Anyth<strong>in</strong>g limited edition that is made for your top fans, I th<strong>in</strong>k –<br />

I don’t th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong>re’s go<strong>in</strong>g to be one music <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong>re’s go<strong>in</strong>g to be tons of small music <strong>in</strong>dustries, so you k<strong>in</strong>d<br />

of have to make your own.<br />

And our job as technology providers is to give you <strong>the</strong> tools to make<br />

that happen and <strong>the</strong>re’s more and more tools that are extremely excit<strong>in</strong>g<br />

for that.<br />

David: The whole idea is that <strong>the</strong> quality of each relationship you have<br />

with your fans should be better. So <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ory, <strong>the</strong>y should be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

best sense. You should be ready to <strong>in</strong>vest and spend some money on<br />

what you have to offer. So it’s important to have someth<strong>in</strong>g to offer.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Where do you see <strong>the</strong> future of music go<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> five years?<br />

David: Well, more of what I just described. The future of music is mov<strong>in</strong>g<br />

towards stream<strong>in</strong>g, which is for a music fan, it’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g because<br />

122 123

CHAPTER 6<br />

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Your Artistic Armor<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

WHEN I WAS IN SEVENTH grade, I decided to try out as a s<strong>in</strong>ger for my<br />

middle school talent show. I was speak<strong>in</strong>g to a classmate who was an<br />

amaz<strong>in</strong>g s<strong>in</strong>ger. She had asked me what song I had selected to audition<br />

with. Not th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g twice, I told her <strong>the</strong> song. I was really excited<br />

and proud of my choice. At this young age I didn’t know anyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

about how competitive <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry is, I was naive.<br />

One week later, I spoke with her aga<strong>in</strong> about <strong>the</strong> talent show. I<br />

asked her about what songs she was consider<strong>in</strong>g do<strong>in</strong>g. I was shocked<br />

and horrified when she had chosen <strong>the</strong> song I was go<strong>in</strong>g to do! I was<br />

extremely angry and felt completely betrayed. How could she do this<br />

to me? She seemed so nice! The next week I spoke with <strong>the</strong> director of<br />

<strong>the</strong> talent show and told him what had happened. He called her <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

office to talk and decided she had to choose a different audition song.<br />

I didn’t end up mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> talent show. I was so upset. Aside from<br />

my disappo<strong>in</strong>tment, she had spread a rumor that I had stolen her<br />

song, which caused everyone to look down on me. From that po<strong>in</strong>t<br />

on, I realized not everyone is as nice as <strong>the</strong>y seem, and you should be<br />

really careful who you trust. S<strong>in</strong>ce that day, I have kept my guard up.<br />

A few years later, I was really passionate about my music and all I<br />

could th<strong>in</strong>k about was be<strong>in</strong>g famous. One day, I received a message<br />


Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

from a producer tell<strong>in</strong>g me he had enjoyed my music and that he<br />

would love to talk fur<strong>the</strong>r about collaborat<strong>in</strong>g. I was beyond excited.<br />

He had told me how he really appreciated my music and wanted<br />

me to s<strong>in</strong>g on a track he wrote, so he could pitch it to A&R companies<br />

and shop it around.<br />

Naturally, I recorded it and sent him <strong>the</strong> track. He loved it and told<br />

me that he wanted to beg<strong>in</strong> shopp<strong>in</strong>g my music around. He named<br />

some people he had worked with, but when I googled <strong>the</strong>ir names<br />

with his name, I was not able to f<strong>in</strong>d much <strong>in</strong>formation. I thought noth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of this, though, and kept a happy m<strong>in</strong>dset <strong>in</strong>stead. One day, he<br />

told me my music was go<strong>in</strong>g to be played on <strong>the</strong> radio. Words could<br />

not describe how excited I was. “My music was go<strong>in</strong>g to be played on<br />

<strong>the</strong> radio—that’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g,” I thought.<br />

I started to get advice from different people just to f<strong>in</strong>d out more<br />

about him and ask questions. Nobody I spoke with had heard of him.<br />

F<strong>in</strong>ally, I asked him when my songs would be played on <strong>the</strong> radio. He<br />

told me my music would be played <strong>the</strong> same time I had planned to go<br />

abroad to London that summer for a music <strong>in</strong>ternship. So I would not<br />

be able to hear <strong>the</strong> track on <strong>the</strong> radio. I thought it was super weird that<br />

he happened to want my music to be played dur<strong>in</strong>g that particular time.<br />

That was <strong>the</strong> last straw, I thought to myself. From <strong>the</strong>n on, I ignored<br />

his emails and phone calls. Weeks later, when I was <strong>in</strong> London, I got a<br />

phone call from someone from his company. I never called <strong>the</strong>m back.<br />

Keys To Success:<br />

Protect Yourself: There are a plethora of people out <strong>the</strong>re look<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

screw artists, to trick <strong>the</strong>m and take advantage of <strong>the</strong>m. If someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

seems too good to be true, odds are it is. Do th<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>the</strong> legitimate way<br />

and be careful of who you trust. Always stay grounded and around a<br />

team of people who care about you and want you to succeed. Be extremely<br />

wary of people who seem to make amaz<strong>in</strong>g promises without<br />

proof or credentials. Lastly, always make sure people sign non-disclosure<br />

agreements. You can f<strong>in</strong>d free templates for different NDA agreements<br />

onl<strong>in</strong>e. No matter how nice people seem, you don’t know what<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir agenda is, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry!<br />

Ask Questions: Always check people’s credentials. Make sure you have<br />

proof of what <strong>the</strong>y say <strong>the</strong>y’ve done. There are a lot of professional<br />

liars <strong>in</strong> this <strong>in</strong>dustry. Make sure to go with your gut. If you have a weird<br />

feel<strong>in</strong>g about people, don’t trust <strong>the</strong>m. On <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand, if you meet<br />

people and you feel great energy around <strong>the</strong>m, it’s probably better<br />

to build a relationship with <strong>the</strong>m and let <strong>the</strong>m prove <strong>the</strong>mselves to<br />

you. Some people are braggers, and try to get your trust <strong>by</strong> quickly<br />

impress<strong>in</strong>g you. If anyone tells you <strong>the</strong>y are go<strong>in</strong>g to make you famous<br />

overnight, you should ask <strong>the</strong>m questions. There are many scammers<br />

out <strong>the</strong>re just prey<strong>in</strong>g on people who have a dream.<br />

“The most challeng<strong>in</strong>g th<strong>in</strong>g for me used to be when I was told how<br />

to sound, what to do, what to wear, what to say, how much I should<br />

weigh. And it was exhaust<strong>in</strong>g because it was all based on ever-chang<strong>in</strong>g<br />

op<strong>in</strong>ions. One of our greatest songs, ‘Deadly Beauty,’ wasn’t even<br />

considered as a song that we could record because <strong>the</strong> producers<br />

thought it was not ‘radio friendly.’ We decided to trust ourselves and<br />

played it live on 97.1 <strong>in</strong>stead of <strong>the</strong> song we were supposed to promote.<br />

It is now our top seller on iTunes. My sister and I took <strong>the</strong> risk<br />

of our lives when we decided to move back to Utah. We left all <strong>the</strong><br />

big-named people we had worked with beh<strong>in</strong>d and decided we were<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g to get back to our roots and make music that meant someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to us. We f<strong>in</strong>ally said ‘Hell no’ to record<strong>in</strong>g any more manufactured<br />

bullshit. It was liberat<strong>in</strong>g and terrify<strong>in</strong>g. The two of us had to<br />

completely start over, without a record company, money, producers,<br />

managers, agents, etc. All we had was faith <strong>in</strong> ourselves and each<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r. Here we are two years later: ambassadors for NEDA, co-owners<br />

of NaShea records, liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Nashville, mix<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> last few songs for<br />

126 127

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

our album, gett<strong>in</strong>g ready for a big show at CMA’s Fan Fest and hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

more fun and success than ever. Now we’re free and liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

dream!” - Alexa Falk, One Half of Country Duo: Falk, Utah<br />

“Waste no time and spend every wak<strong>in</strong>g moment mak<strong>in</strong>g moves toward<br />

your goal. Walk <strong>the</strong> path. Be bold and confident, not afraid of criticism.<br />

Be different. Don’t change yourself <strong>in</strong>to someth<strong>in</strong>g you’re not, but f<strong>in</strong>d<br />

a unique quality <strong>in</strong> yourself and your writ<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>n put <strong>the</strong> spotlight on<br />

that. Be true to yourself, but be aware that you will need to make hard<br />

decisions down <strong>the</strong> l<strong>in</strong>e concern<strong>in</strong>g image and your market. Learn who<br />

you play for, what <strong>the</strong>y enjoy and how to expand <strong>the</strong>ir musical horizons<br />

while br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m along for <strong>the</strong> ride.” - Robert Gillies, CA<br />

“Whe<strong>the</strong>r you’re a struggl<strong>in</strong>g artist or you’re do<strong>in</strong>g amaz<strong>in</strong>g, if you’re<br />

happy with yourself and what decisions you’ve made, <strong>the</strong>n I consider<br />

that a success.” - Ryan Cabrera, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“People who offer you INSTANT success or recognition are liars. Do<br />

not give <strong>the</strong>m money. To protect yourself, work hard, and earn your<br />

keep. Also learn about what you are pay<strong>in</strong>g o<strong>the</strong>rs to do.” - George<br />

Woods, Boston, MA<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k anyone can be <strong>in</strong> music production, but you have to have thick<br />

sk<strong>in</strong>, take criticism well, stay focused and make sacrifices—especially<br />

at first. All your time and money should go <strong>in</strong>to your craft, not your<br />

car.” - Doug Fenske Producer, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Sometimes your dreams seem like <strong>the</strong>y are unreachable, and sometimes<br />

it’s because you can’t reach <strong>the</strong>m at that moment. You want to<br />

become a professional skateboarder, <strong>the</strong>n you break your leg, tough<br />

break. Sometimes those hard times help fuel passion you didn’t even<br />

know you had, for someth<strong>in</strong>g you didn’t even know you wanted. Sharp<br />

turn, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> road seems straight aga<strong>in</strong>. Suddenly, you realize that<br />

old dream wasn’t what you were supposed to do <strong>in</strong> this life. Your new<br />

passion is your call<strong>in</strong>g.” - Matt Costa, CA<br />

“Be tenacious and keep your level of <strong>in</strong>tensity at <strong>100</strong> percent at all<br />

times. You only get out what you put <strong>in</strong>. Success is never handed to<br />

anyone. F<strong>in</strong>d genu<strong>in</strong>e people to work with, and know that noth<strong>in</strong>g is<br />

accomplished alone.” - Esnavi, NYC<br />

“Be nice to everyone, don’t expect anyth<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong>m and above<br />

all, never trap yourself <strong>in</strong> bitterness <strong>by</strong> th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g that you deserve anyth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Make <strong>the</strong> best music you can and only make th<strong>in</strong>gs you really<br />

believe <strong>in</strong>. If you don’t believe <strong>in</strong> what you’re do<strong>in</strong>g, get out of everyone<br />

else’s way.” - Michael Epste<strong>in</strong>, MA<br />

“Understand <strong>the</strong> cost of what you’re gett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to. I’m not talk<strong>in</strong>g about<br />

money ei<strong>the</strong>r. There’s a sacrifice that comes with pursu<strong>in</strong>g what you’re<br />

passionate about. There’s a deeper commitment to be<strong>in</strong>g yourself<br />

that has to be made <strong>in</strong> order to create <strong>the</strong> most genu<strong>in</strong>e art. People<br />

want to be a part of that. It may cost you relationships. It may cost you<br />

your job. It may cost you what you thought your sound was. But at <strong>the</strong><br />

end of <strong>the</strong> day, be<strong>in</strong>g a part of this <strong>in</strong>dustry is really all about be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> best you that you can be. F<strong>in</strong>d your song. Don’t try and become<br />

someone else’s. People who want to enterta<strong>in</strong> have to realize that<br />

<strong>the</strong>y’re walk<strong>in</strong>g brands. Know what you’re advertis<strong>in</strong>g, and what it is<br />

that you want to be known for. Live it, eat it, brea<strong>the</strong> it and wear it. Get<br />

ready to work! You are your bus<strong>in</strong>ess. As a musical artist, you can no<br />

longer just be ‘creative’ anymore; it’s really important to understand<br />

how to market or brand your art.” - Afterlife Parade, Nashville, TN<br />

“Always<br />

be true to yourself. Never conform to anyth<strong>in</strong>g, never. Hard<br />

work does pay off. When you work hard and are committed, when you<br />

keep your head on <strong>the</strong> prize, that’s when success comes <strong>in</strong>to play.” -<br />

MJ Rodriguez, NJ<br />

128 129

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“It <strong>in</strong>spires you to trust your own <strong>in</strong>st<strong>in</strong>cts and take chances. The best<br />

music challenges <strong>the</strong> trends and is ultimately different. That’s why<br />

it’s important to follow your creative impulses and break <strong>the</strong> rules.<br />

Follow<strong>in</strong>g trends will get you nowhere.” - Boy Pierce, NYC<br />

“Master your own assets. When you can look yourself <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> mirror<br />

and announce who you are with clarity and confidence, your <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

worth just became <strong>in</strong>valuable. Who doesn’t want to work with someone<br />

who owns a wealth of talent and knows how to use it? Also, own<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a baseball bat and some knockout jokes can be helpful when <strong>the</strong><br />

competition gets rough.” - Neara Russell, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“It’s challeng<strong>in</strong>g to stay relevant <strong>in</strong> an ever-chang<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>dustry. The<br />

way I deal with it is try<strong>in</strong>g to be as out of <strong>the</strong> box as I can. You need to<br />

be different to reach your fans and also reach out to new ones… You<br />

need to give excitement, energy, urgency and identity so that at <strong>the</strong><br />

end of <strong>the</strong> day you are <strong>the</strong> right artist for right now.” - Daniel R<strong>in</strong>aldi,<br />

MA<br />

“Car<strong>in</strong>g is what pushes me forward so hav<strong>in</strong>g overly thick sk<strong>in</strong> can be<br />

counterproductive. Half <strong>the</strong> reason I do this is for myself. The o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

half is to connect with people. I do f<strong>in</strong>d, though, that if I really get that<br />

first 50 percent right, I’m more at peace with what people th<strong>in</strong>k. If it’s<br />

any less than 50, I’m <strong>in</strong> trouble.” – Adam Watts, CA<br />

“Take it all with a gra<strong>in</strong> of salt. Don’t just negate what people give you<br />

as criticism. Understand how to absorb it and let it make you stronger.”<br />

- Dan Kimpel, Author/Educator/ Journalist, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“The <strong>in</strong>itial challenge is becom<strong>in</strong>g a legitimate artist, but ultimately it<br />

comes down to: does everyone else believe that you are a legitimate<br />

artist?” - The Icarus Account, FL<br />

“My th<strong>in</strong>g so far is I’ve done over 60 personal house concerts. I told<br />

my fans I would come play a show <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir liv<strong>in</strong>g room if <strong>the</strong>y can<br />

get 25 or more friends to attend (<strong>in</strong> addition to cover<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> gas).<br />

I’ve toured all across <strong>the</strong> country this way. I’ve also focused a lot on<br />

build<strong>in</strong>g an onl<strong>in</strong>e fan base through social network<strong>in</strong>g sites. That led<br />

to a pretty cool feature on <strong>the</strong> YouTube homepage. It’s all been very<br />

grassroots but effective.” - Mikey Wax, NYC<br />

“Some musicians th<strong>in</strong>k licens<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir music to commercials and brand<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves with a product is sell<strong>in</strong>g out, so <strong>the</strong>y refuse to do that.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k it is hard to generalize like that. I would not have really discovered<br />

Leslie Feist if it wasn’t for that Apple commercial.” - Kailynn West<br />

from T<strong>in</strong>y Stills, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I would like to say that <strong>in</strong>dependent is <strong>the</strong> way to go, but <strong>the</strong> truth is,<br />

pay<strong>in</strong>g out of your pocket for th<strong>in</strong>gs like tour<strong>in</strong>g, merch, etc. is really<br />

tough. You’re expected to run all <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess aspects of your band,<br />

work a full time job AND write/create good songs? I th<strong>in</strong>k that every<br />

band needs a sugar daddy, of which we are fully open to applications…<br />

But <strong>in</strong> all seriousness, I’m hop<strong>in</strong>g that someth<strong>in</strong>g will surface<br />

and br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>in</strong> a new direction.” - Keeley Bumford<br />

from Hotel C<strong>in</strong>ema, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Really good venues could become like labels, build a stable of performers,<br />

really take ownership of an artist and his/her career. I’d trade<br />

play<strong>in</strong>g at o<strong>the</strong>r clubs for steady work and steady pay. For sure.” - Alec<br />

Gross, NYC<br />

“I once wrote to several <strong>in</strong>fluential acoustic guitar players ask<strong>in</strong>g if I<br />

would be able to study under <strong>the</strong>m and learn <strong>the</strong>ir techniques. The list<br />

<strong>in</strong>cluded Tommy Emmanuel, Don Ross and Erik Mongra<strong>in</strong>, and I didn’t<br />

expect much <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> way of responses. Every one of <strong>the</strong>m but one,<br />

130 131

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

wrote back. It just goes to show how far a well-written, well-sourced<br />

and honest email can go.” - Robert Gillies, CA<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> hardest th<strong>in</strong>g about be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music world is that <strong>the</strong>re<br />

is so much pressure to be someth<strong>in</strong>g that we just aren’t and never<br />

will be. For artists <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>the</strong>re’s a huge pressure from<br />

<strong>the</strong> media that makes it seem like <strong>the</strong> only way to get noticed is to<br />

be a sex symbol which is completely false and untrue. There are def<strong>in</strong>itely<br />

many o<strong>the</strong>r ways to get noticed.” - Danielle from Danielle and<br />

Jennifer, NYC<br />

“We protect ourselves <strong>by</strong> just stay<strong>in</strong>g true to who we are and stay<strong>in</strong>g<br />

grounded. People seem to be really respond<strong>in</strong>g and respect<strong>in</strong>g<br />

us for that, which makes us very grateful. It’s def<strong>in</strong>itely a scary world<br />

out <strong>the</strong>re but we are prepared for it.” - Jennifer from Danielle and<br />

Jennifer, NYC<br />

“I like to get <strong>in</strong>to a zone with <strong>the</strong> band before every show. We talk<br />

about <strong>the</strong> set. We talk about what we’re go<strong>in</strong>g to do. Everybody has—<br />

somebody—may have a new idea... ‘Hey, let’s try this…’ and just get<br />

us pumped up and psyched. I’ll do 20 push ups with everybody <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

band, just to get us <strong>in</strong> a real good frame of m<strong>in</strong>d and to go out <strong>the</strong>re<br />

at our best.” - Eddie G<strong>in</strong>di, lead vocalist from Men <strong>In</strong> My Head, NYC<br />

“As<br />

a composer and arranger, <strong>the</strong> priority is to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> way to write<br />

<strong>the</strong> music that makes <strong>the</strong> visuals work right. That can mean Beethoven<br />

one day, Strav<strong>in</strong>sky <strong>the</strong> next, and Weird Al <strong>the</strong> next. As a producer, <strong>the</strong><br />

key is to work with <strong>the</strong> artist and figure out <strong>the</strong> music that’s <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>m<br />

to make. Figure out who <strong>the</strong>y are, what <strong>the</strong>y’re try<strong>in</strong>g to say and <strong>the</strong>n<br />

translate that <strong>in</strong>to a recorded document. Sometimes that means an<br />

acoustic guitar and vocals; o<strong>the</strong>r times it means a large orchestra.” -<br />

David Das, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“Be <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry if you’re compelled to, but it’s not an easy<br />

path to riches or fame or anyth<strong>in</strong>g. It’s just ano<strong>the</strong>r way of work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependent artist community.” - Brian Felsen, Former<br />

President at AdRev; CD Ba<strong>by</strong>, BookBa<strong>by</strong>, HostBa<strong>by</strong>, Los Angeles,<br />

CA<br />

“Just<br />

like any job <strong>the</strong>re are many pros and cons. Be<strong>in</strong>g a freelance<br />

Producer/Eng<strong>in</strong>eer I believe <strong>the</strong> highs and lows are extreme. Work<br />

begets work so you never try to say “no” to anyth<strong>in</strong>g, this leads to<br />

<strong>the</strong> sacrifice of personal time. The way to protect yourself is try to<br />

be <strong>the</strong>re when you are and live <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> moment. It also applies to<br />

when you are work<strong>in</strong>g with an artist, <strong>the</strong>y should feel like <strong>the</strong>y have<br />

your undivided attention even though you might have several ongo<strong>in</strong>g<br />

projects, make <strong>the</strong>m feel like this is all you th<strong>in</strong>k about, this <strong>in</strong><br />

turn will get you complete trust from an artist.” - Andy Manganello,<br />

Producer,<br />

NYC<br />

“Be tenacious and keep your level of <strong>in</strong>tensity at <strong>100</strong> percent at all<br />

times. You only get out what you put <strong>in</strong>. Success is never handed to<br />

anyone. F<strong>in</strong>d genu<strong>in</strong>e people to work with who believe <strong>in</strong> you. And<br />

know that noth<strong>in</strong>g is accomplished alone.” - Esnavi, NYC<br />

“Artists<br />

out <strong>the</strong>re, <strong>the</strong>y do half <strong>the</strong> work, and <strong>the</strong>y don’t follow through,<br />

which I used to do back <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> day. But as I’ve grown, I’ve learned how<br />

to put my best foot forward and follow through. That also has a lot<br />

to do with determ<strong>in</strong>ation. Some artists have what it takes, and some<br />

artists don’t.” - Adam Clark Rochester, NY<br />

“If you have <strong>the</strong> money, <strong>in</strong>vest <strong>in</strong> advertis<strong>in</strong>g. If not, <strong>in</strong>vite friends to like<br />

your page and create profiles on different social media sites and utilize<br />

free ways to spread word of mouth. The object is to go viral.” - Eric<br />

Olson, ME<br />

132 133

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k it’s hard not to get distracted <strong>by</strong> compar<strong>in</strong>g yourself to <strong>the</strong><br />

success of o<strong>the</strong>rs. I pray and try to stay focused on <strong>the</strong> real goal, which<br />

is to make good music.” - Marie Miller, Virg<strong>in</strong>ia<br />

“As<br />

an undiscovered talent, you must ei<strong>the</strong>r spend hundreds build<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a decent record<strong>in</strong>g studio <strong>in</strong> your home or pay <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> hour to have<br />

your music recorded <strong>in</strong> a studio, which may end up be<strong>in</strong>g just as expensive.<br />

As an artist who has explored both options, my best advice<br />

is to create a simple setup <strong>in</strong> your home: microphone, <strong>in</strong>terface, and<br />

digital audio workstation, such as Mixcraft, Pro Tools, even Audacity,<br />

which is free. This way, even if later on you want to record your songs<br />

<strong>in</strong> a professional studio, you can make <strong>the</strong> rough draft right at home<br />

us<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> equipment you already have.” - Diary Of Snow, Atlanta, GA<br />

“There is an <strong>in</strong>comparable rush to be<strong>in</strong>g on stage. The po<strong>in</strong>t of creat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

is to br<strong>in</strong>g light to <strong>the</strong> ears, eyes and m<strong>in</strong>ds of <strong>the</strong> audience. The<br />

music <strong>in</strong>dustry can do as it pleases—I don’t try to let it limit me. I<br />

don’t want to take all <strong>the</strong> conventional routes to success. Don’t get<br />

me wrong, I’ll take some of <strong>the</strong>m. But I’m go<strong>in</strong>g to do it my way. I truly<br />

believe that <strong>the</strong> artist of today can really take over his brand and be<br />

his own boss while be<strong>in</strong>g successful.” - Danny Severance, NYC<br />

The Coach’s Perspective:<br />

Hold Your Armor High<br />

Back when I was crazy passionate about act<strong>in</strong>g, I had seen my share of<br />

<strong>the</strong> scams that existed out <strong>the</strong>re, from pay<strong>in</strong>g hundreds of dollars to be<br />

listed on fake audition<strong>in</strong>g sites, to wait<strong>in</strong>g hours for lame cast<strong>in</strong>g calls<br />

and to not gett<strong>in</strong>g copies of my work. It’s such a stressful, fickle field<br />

that can be a huge time waster! The arts and enterta<strong>in</strong>ment bus<strong>in</strong>ess is<br />

at times such a mess, so that’s why it is important to have <strong>the</strong> right, supportive<br />

team around you at all times to provide guidance and support.<br />

The worst scam I’ve encountered was when I teamed up with a bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

alliance named Eli to develop a model<strong>in</strong>g management as Co-founder.<br />

For about 4 years, I was a lead model<strong>in</strong>g/act<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>structor at a model<strong>in</strong>g<br />

school. I had tra<strong>in</strong>ed over 1,000 young women on personal development,<br />

beauty, and <strong>the</strong> facts of a career <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

This bus<strong>in</strong>ess alliance met me while travell<strong>in</strong>g to NYC, discovered<br />

my background <strong>in</strong> our conversation and became very <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong><br />

form<strong>in</strong>g a model<strong>in</strong>g management company with me. I was work<strong>in</strong>g on<br />

my master’s degree at <strong>the</strong> time, <strong>the</strong>refore, I also knew how to design<br />

workshops and curriculums, a skill he needed.<br />

We spent five months hav<strong>in</strong>g meet<strong>in</strong>gs, while I started to develop<br />

an ideal curriculum of enterta<strong>in</strong>ment-based classes with <strong>in</strong>dustry professionals/agents,<br />

etc. He was very smart and kept record<strong>in</strong>gs every<br />

time we met on everyth<strong>in</strong>g we discussed. I felt empowered and flattered,<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g this was my career path; do<strong>in</strong>g someth<strong>in</strong>g I loved, educat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs. The potential as Co-founder was amaz<strong>in</strong>g; I was told<br />

that I was go<strong>in</strong>g to be <strong>the</strong> lead spokesperson for this management at<br />

various locations, lead tra<strong>in</strong>er and a cast<strong>in</strong>g director. He even set me<br />

up with top photographers to get promotional pictures for my own<br />

use and for <strong>the</strong> site. I was very excited and positive that all my experience<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> arts was go<strong>in</strong>g to go to good use.<br />

But <strong>the</strong>n one day I tried to contact him and his phone was<br />

disconnected.<br />

134 135

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

He had disappeared with all my basically free consult<strong>in</strong>g advice,<br />

curriculum work and even my pictures. Now, I had studied bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

law previously and read all our contracts carefully, so I couldn’t believe<br />

it. But I wasn’t go<strong>in</strong>g to just walk away. I did my research and I was able<br />

to locate <strong>the</strong> photographer who was still work<strong>in</strong>g with him and didn’t<br />

know he did this. I confronted <strong>the</strong>m both at <strong>the</strong> studio and threatened<br />

him with a lawsuit. When he saw how serious I was, he gave me my<br />

pictures as settlement and I walked away.<br />

Now what was his excuse for cutt<strong>in</strong>g ties? A bogus excuse that I didn’t<br />

produce <strong>the</strong> work he requested fast enough. He was try<strong>in</strong>g to take absolutely<br />

all of my ideas, and have me write tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g manuals next, but I felt<br />

uncomfortable and wanted my copies of my pictures first. I trusted my<br />

<strong>in</strong>st<strong>in</strong>cts, but ultimately he was able to walk away with all my <strong>in</strong>tellectual<br />

property and waste many hours of my life, m<strong>in</strong>d and heart for noth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I got burned badly <strong>by</strong> this, but it made me way more careful<br />

with legal agreements and mak<strong>in</strong>g sure my own priorities are clearly<br />

stated and protected. I became way more attentive to ulterior motives<br />

<strong>in</strong> all new connections and potential alliances. I learned to trust<br />

my <strong>in</strong>ner voice right from <strong>the</strong> beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g of a bus<strong>in</strong>ess relationship,<br />

and over <strong>the</strong> years s<strong>in</strong>ce, really shook out <strong>the</strong> fakeness from many<br />

more characters <strong>in</strong> this <strong>in</strong>dustry. I’m happy to say <strong>the</strong> lesson may<br />

have been worth it.<br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

1. What are 2 th<strong>in</strong>gs you need to keep an eye on <strong>in</strong> your life or career,<br />

and maybe even protect?<br />

2. What is a lesson you learned from a past negative experience?<br />

3 . . What are three signs that a possible alliance is good for you?<br />

4. Why is your art worth protect<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

Chapter 6 Affirmation: Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise<br />

“I am aware of my boundaries and share <strong>the</strong>m without<br />

fear. When it’s meant to work with someone, it will just<br />

flow. I see <strong>the</strong> realities <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry clearly. I can<br />

learn my life lessons from positive experiences. I trust<br />

myself and my <strong>in</strong>st<strong>in</strong>cts. I watch and observe, know<strong>in</strong>g<br />

when I encounter <strong>the</strong> wrong vibrational match, I will<br />

just know and test it for truth. I am not easily swayed<br />

<strong>by</strong> false promises. I grow stronger each day.”<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

136 137

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Steve Gordon,<br />

Famed Enterta<strong>in</strong>ment Lawyer<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Today, Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s is excited and honored to <strong>in</strong>terview<br />

Steve Gordon. The goal of this <strong>in</strong>terview is to share Steve’s<br />

perspective on what it takes for a music artist to succeed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry and stay <strong>in</strong>spired.<br />

Steve, my first question is: how did your journey <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

beg<strong>in</strong>?<br />

Steve: I studied enterta<strong>in</strong>ment law at NYU Law School, and my first<br />

job was with my enterta<strong>in</strong>ment law professor. He was a litigator and<br />

we worked on a variety of legal disputes <strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g enterta<strong>in</strong>ment bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

contracts, copyrights and trademarks. Some of <strong>the</strong> cases were<br />

<strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g, but I wanted to be <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g projects successful<br />

<strong>in</strong>stead of engag<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> legal battles. So I took a job <strong>in</strong> LA as <strong>the</strong> music<br />

lawyer for a Hollywood studio, De Laurentiis films.<br />

Steve Gordon is an enterta<strong>in</strong>ment attorney, educator, and consultant<br />

based <strong>in</strong> New York City specializ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> music, television, film<br />

and digital enterta<strong>in</strong>ment projects. His clients <strong>in</strong>clude music artists,<br />

songwriters, managers, record companies, music publishers as well<br />

as television and film producers, TV, web networks and digital startups.<br />

Steve also operates a music-clearance service for producers<br />

and production companies who wish to use music <strong>in</strong> documentaries,<br />

feature films, ad campaigns, live <strong>the</strong>atre, digital stand-alone<br />

projects and more. A Fulbright Scholar, he has taught courses<br />

at universities <strong>in</strong> Europe and Israel. Steve served as Director of<br />

Bus<strong>in</strong>ess Affairs/TV & Video at Sony <strong>Music</strong> for over a decade, and<br />

previously worked as an attorney for Atlantic Records as well as<br />

a major Hollywood movie studio. He is a graduate of New York<br />

University Law School.<br />

Eventually, I realized that I did not want to spend my life <strong>in</strong> LA, and decided<br />

to return to New York. The best job I could f<strong>in</strong>d was with a small music<br />

public performance organization (“PRO”) called SESAC, which, at <strong>the</strong><br />

time, stood for <strong>the</strong> “Society of European Stage Authors and Composers.”<br />

I enjoyed work<strong>in</strong>g at SESAC, but I wanted to be more engaged <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

“real” music bus<strong>in</strong>ess. I landed a job at <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>-house law firm for Atlantic<br />

Records. After that, I got what was <strong>the</strong>n my dream job: Director of Bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

Affairs at Sony <strong>Music</strong>. There, I specialized <strong>in</strong> television and video, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> contract work for over 250 music videos each year plus dozens<br />

of concerts videos and music based documentaries for artists such<br />

as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Bruce Spr<strong>in</strong>gsteen, and many o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

Dur<strong>in</strong>g my time at Sony from 1991 to 2001, <strong>the</strong> record bus<strong>in</strong>ess was do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

great. And my position was extremely secure. Now, unfortunately,<br />

<strong>the</strong> situation for people work<strong>in</strong>g at major labels is quite different. <strong>In</strong>come<br />

from recorded music has decl<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> almost every year from an all time<br />

high <strong>in</strong> 1999 of 14.5 billion to less than 7 billion <strong>in</strong> 2014, and that <strong>in</strong>come<br />

138 139

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

cont<strong>in</strong>ues to decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> 2015. No one is absolutely sure if <strong>the</strong> lights will stay<br />

on, or at least, <strong>the</strong> lights <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir own office.<br />

Five or six years after I started at Sony, <strong>the</strong>y decided to create an <strong>in</strong>house<br />

production company called Automatic. I became Automatic’s<br />

lawyer and handled <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess affairs for three different TV shows<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Sessions at West 54 th , a concert series which was named after<br />

Sony’s studio on 54 th street near 10 th avenue. That build<strong>in</strong>g is now a<br />

condo – which gives you an idea of <strong>the</strong> state of <strong>the</strong> record<strong>in</strong>g bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

today. That is, not as great as it was <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> 90’s!<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: For those artists, who haven’t really worked with an enterta<strong>in</strong>ment<br />

attorney of your caliber, how does your service support<br />

<strong>the</strong>m?<br />

Steve: Enterta<strong>in</strong>ment lawyers perform a number of services. Contract<br />

negotiation and draft<strong>in</strong>g are a music lawyer’s ma<strong>in</strong> job, but he can<br />

also set up your record or publish<strong>in</strong>g company, give strategic bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

advice, file trademark registrations to protect your name, guide<br />

you on how to properly file copyright registrations for your songs and<br />

masters, and perform many o<strong>the</strong>r necessary legal functions. Perhaps<br />

most importantly, though, an established music lawyer has relationships<br />

with all k<strong>in</strong>ds of people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess who can help <strong>the</strong>ir clients<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>vestors, managers, producers, labels (both large and<br />

small), music publishers, PROs, etc.<br />

But before reach<strong>in</strong>g out to a music lawyer, you should always try to f<strong>in</strong>d<br />

out as much as you can on who you are call<strong>in</strong>g. Also th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>in</strong> advance<br />

about what you are call<strong>in</strong>g for. <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess, no one has time<br />

to waste, and that’s especially true of lawyers who are try<strong>in</strong>g to make<br />

a liv<strong>in</strong>g based on <strong>the</strong>ir time. So f<strong>in</strong>d out about a lawyer’s practice <strong>by</strong><br />

check<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir website, and <strong>the</strong>n ask yourself why you need a lawyer<br />

and whe<strong>the</strong>r that lawyer would be able to help you. <strong>In</strong> fact, it’s almost<br />

always better to email before call<strong>in</strong>g, so <strong>the</strong> lawyer you are try<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

connect with can evaluate whe<strong>the</strong>r he can help you. Some lawyers will<br />

listen to your music and give feedback for a fee. Personally, I never<br />

charge money for that. I’m an attorney, not an A&R.<br />

<strong>In</strong> terms of how I can help a client, I’ll give you two recent examples.<br />

A young man who had a hit song on <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet but who had no idea<br />

about <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess called me and showed me a contract that he was<br />

offered. He didn’t understand what <strong>the</strong> contract meant because it was<br />

written almost entirely <strong>in</strong> “legalese.” But I saw immediately what <strong>the</strong><br />

contract really provided. As I expla<strong>in</strong>ed to <strong>the</strong> artist, if he had signed<br />

it, he would owe over 50% of his <strong>in</strong>come from <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

to <strong>the</strong> company for <strong>the</strong> rest of his life. There was no money for<br />

him upfront, and <strong>the</strong> contract did not specifically require <strong>the</strong> company<br />

to do anyth<strong>in</strong>g, except f<strong>in</strong>d a “distribution deal.” That term was<br />

def<strong>in</strong>ed so broadly that all <strong>the</strong> company had to do would have been<br />

record a few tracks and upload <strong>the</strong>m to iTunes through CD Ba<strong>by</strong> or<br />

TuneCore. I prevented <strong>the</strong> client from sign<strong>in</strong>g what I like to refer as<br />

<strong>the</strong> “contract from hell.” Then I hooked him up with a lead<strong>in</strong>g management<br />

company. That led to a series of meet<strong>in</strong>gs with major labels.<br />

Negotiations are now underway, and so is his brilliant future.<br />

Last week I helped two gentlemen set up <strong>the</strong>ir own label <strong>by</strong> register<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> LLC, draft<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Operat<strong>in</strong>g Agreement for <strong>the</strong> management<br />

of <strong>the</strong> company, protect<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir name with a trademark registration,<br />

prepar<strong>in</strong>g an exclusive record<strong>in</strong>g contract that <strong>the</strong> label can use for all<br />

three of <strong>the</strong>ir artists with m<strong>in</strong>or modifications, and writ<strong>in</strong>g a producer<br />

agreement with <strong>the</strong> guy that makes beats for <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s great. You pa<strong>in</strong>ted a very good picture of <strong>the</strong> different<br />

areas that an enterta<strong>in</strong>ment lawyer could be <strong>in</strong>volved with,<br />

and how an artist can connect to each area whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>y’re a<br />

songwriter or a s<strong>in</strong>ger etc.…<br />

140 141

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Steve: To add a personal note, I was a little shy when I was at Sony.<br />

At parties and o<strong>the</strong>r events, I would have chance encounters with<br />

managers and producers of very successful artists. But I wasn’t really<br />

<strong>in</strong>to socializ<strong>in</strong>g with o<strong>the</strong>r music bus<strong>in</strong>ess folks. Now I nurture all my<br />

relationships with people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess because hav<strong>in</strong>g good relationships<br />

with <strong>the</strong>m is crucial to help<strong>in</strong>g my clients.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yes, it’s all about relationships, especially <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry. <strong>In</strong> our book, we have a whole chapter about this<br />

topic.<br />

Steve: Yes, relationships are all important <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment bus<strong>in</strong>ess<br />

– even <strong>in</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment law. For <strong>in</strong>stance, I worked at a couple<br />

of “boutique” music law firms before Sony. There were partners who<br />

used to “schmooze” all day, and <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>re were worker bee lawyers.<br />

Those were <strong>the</strong> guys and gals <strong>in</strong> small offices who drafted and negotiated<br />

<strong>the</strong> details of <strong>the</strong> 80 page plus standard record<strong>in</strong>g contracts. <strong>In</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> meantime <strong>the</strong> partner lawyers <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> corner offices were just talk<strong>in</strong>g<br />

on <strong>the</strong> phone all day -- gett<strong>in</strong>g and mak<strong>in</strong>g deals happen. Basically<br />

<strong>the</strong>re are two k<strong>in</strong>ds of music lawyers: <strong>the</strong> deal makers, and <strong>the</strong> ones<br />

who do <strong>the</strong> “legal” work. It’s great to have somebody who’s good at<br />

both!<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s right. Be<strong>in</strong>g versatile <strong>in</strong> your career track is so vital,<br />

just to be flexible. For example, I’m a life AND a bus<strong>in</strong>ess coach<br />

because my expertise lies <strong>in</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess, but due to my own life experience<br />

as an artist and a classically tra<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>the</strong>ater actress, I’m<br />

able to bounce back and forth with my clients, depend<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

preferences. What would you say are <strong>the</strong> top three th<strong>in</strong>gs that an<br />

artist must do to break through to <strong>the</strong> top of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry?<br />

Steve: Well, an artist can make it <strong>in</strong> all k<strong>in</strong>ds of ways.<br />

It’s great to start when you’re 12 and you’re on Disney. That’s a huge<br />

head start. I mean, ask Britney Spears, Just<strong>in</strong> Timberlake, Christ<strong>in</strong>a<br />

Aguilera, and, more recently, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi<br />

Lovato. Ariana Grande fits <strong>in</strong> that category too, although she was on<br />

Nickelodeon. Their TV career brought <strong>the</strong>m to <strong>the</strong> attention to people<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess, as well a huge number of kids. Now, if you take somebody<br />

like Beyonce, who’s just loaded with talent and looks so great,<br />

she got her first break when her fa<strong>the</strong>r got <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music<br />

bus<strong>in</strong>ess, and helped launch her career <strong>by</strong> cast<strong>in</strong>g for Dest<strong>in</strong>y’s Child<br />

which he build around her. Taylor Swift’s parents supported her decision<br />

to move to Nashville and supported her until she took off. And if<br />

you look at Lorde, <strong>in</strong> fact, my knowledge is that when she was 12, her<br />

dad found a guy from Universal <strong>Music</strong>/New Zealand to work with her.<br />

She didn’t happen overnight. The po<strong>in</strong>t is it’s good to start young,<br />

and have great support from ei<strong>the</strong>r a corporate behemoth and/or your<br />

family.<br />

But <strong>the</strong>n – look at Jay Z. He didn’t start on Disney, and he didn’t have<br />

a rich daddy. He really did do it on his own. He booked his own gigs<br />

and released his first record on his own. Kanye is ano<strong>the</strong>r example of a<br />

“self-made” artist. He got his big break produc<strong>in</strong>g tracks for Jay.<br />

That br<strong>in</strong>gs to my m<strong>in</strong>d someth<strong>in</strong>g Donald Passman, <strong>the</strong> great music<br />

lawyer, told me. He said <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> course of my podcast <strong>in</strong>terview<br />

with him that he had a lot of different famous artist clients, but <strong>the</strong><br />

one th<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y all had <strong>in</strong> common is that <strong>the</strong>y all would have “broken<br />

down walls” to become successful. I th<strong>in</strong>k that that’s <strong>the</strong> key –<br />

you have to really want it, <strong>in</strong> addition to be<strong>in</strong>g talented. So it’s a<br />

comb<strong>in</strong>ation of a lot of th<strong>in</strong>gs – be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>credibly talented, gifted,<br />

beautiful are all great, but most of all though, whe<strong>the</strong>r you’re born<br />

with connections or not, you’ve got to really, really want it and work<br />

hard.<br />

142 143

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Who are <strong>the</strong> top artists that you loved work<strong>in</strong>g with, who<br />

just really <strong>in</strong>spired you with hav<strong>in</strong>g a hunger for be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry?<br />

Steve: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>the</strong> years I’ve worked with various famous artists <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Mariah Carey, JLo, Billy Joel, Bruce Spr<strong>in</strong>gsteen and Michael Jackson.<br />

That was at Sony. Now I work with a lot of talented emerg<strong>in</strong>g artists,<br />

songwriters, and producers, as well as managers, <strong>in</strong>die labels, and<br />

publishers.<br />

One of <strong>the</strong> th<strong>in</strong>gs I enjoy most about my current practice is <strong>the</strong> diversity<br />

of <strong>the</strong> matters I work on. Currently I’m putt<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ish<strong>in</strong>g<br />

touches on an offer<strong>in</strong>g memorandum <strong>in</strong> a limited partnership deal for<br />

an <strong>in</strong>die movie. Yesterday, I f<strong>in</strong>alized a deal for use of music <strong>in</strong> a new<br />

app. The day before that, I was clear<strong>in</strong>g music for a Broadway musical.<br />

Who knows what tomorrow will br<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

But perhaps I get <strong>the</strong> greatest satisfaction from help<strong>in</strong>g new talent. A<br />

young s<strong>in</strong>ger songwriter I work with has been approached <strong>by</strong> a very<br />

famous producer who could make her a star if he puts his m<strong>in</strong>d and<br />

talent to it. But <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> meantime, I helped get her PRO to put her <strong>in</strong> a<br />

major concert for <strong>the</strong>ir best new talent of <strong>the</strong> year. And I am hook<strong>in</strong>g<br />

her up with o<strong>the</strong>r talented producers who can hone her sound. One<br />

way or ano<strong>the</strong>r this girl is go<strong>in</strong>g to make it, and I am go<strong>in</strong>g to do everyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

I can to make that happen.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Now, I saw your podcast on your site – it’s awesome –<br />

about all <strong>the</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>esses that came out s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong> sales of CD’s<br />

have dropped, over <strong>the</strong> years, and how digital music has provided<br />

opportunities for new bus<strong>in</strong>esses to come out, like ReverbNation,<br />

Bandzoogle, Pledge<strong>Music</strong> and Apple iTunes.<br />

Steve: My po<strong>in</strong>t is actually that digital has created better opportunities<br />

for entrepreneurs than <strong>the</strong>y have for musicians. Let me expla<strong>in</strong>.<br />

To give you an example, aggregators such as CD Ba<strong>by</strong> makes money<br />

from each download of a track on iTunes or ano<strong>the</strong>r Web store. CD<br />

Ba<strong>by</strong>’s cut is 9% of what <strong>the</strong> artist would o<strong>the</strong>rwise receive. iTunes<br />

pays 70 cents for each 99 cent download, so CD collects approximately<br />

6 cents for each sale. The majority of artists who use <strong>the</strong> service<br />

sell very few units. But s<strong>in</strong>ce CD Ba<strong>by</strong> has over two million tracks, all<br />

those pennies add up to a good bus<strong>in</strong>ess model -- for CD Ba<strong>by</strong>. I am<br />

not knock<strong>in</strong>g CD Ba<strong>by</strong>, I am just say<strong>in</strong>g that <strong>the</strong> digital middlemen<br />

sometimes do a lot better f<strong>in</strong>ancially than <strong>the</strong> talent.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r example: Beats <strong>Music</strong>. When started, <strong>the</strong> service, I thought<br />

Dr Dre and Jimmy Iov<strong>in</strong>e, who is also <strong>the</strong> president of <strong>In</strong>terscope, were<br />

foolish. Why roll out ano<strong>the</strong>r on-demand stream<strong>in</strong>g service when even<br />

Spotify and Rhapsody, though established, are still struggl<strong>in</strong>g f<strong>in</strong>ancially?<br />

Then Dre and Jimmy turned around and sold Beats, along with<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir headphone bus<strong>in</strong>ess, to Apple, for $3 billion. Most of that was for<br />

<strong>the</strong> music service, as Apple now wants to compete <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> stream<strong>in</strong>g<br />

space. Like I said, <strong>the</strong> opportunities can be amaz<strong>in</strong>g for entrepreneurs.<br />

For artists, though, technology has had mixed results. Sure, you can<br />

make your own records on <strong>the</strong> cheap, with new technology, which<br />

allows you to record and mix on a laptop, and yes, you can get your<br />

music out to a worldwide audience without a record company. But<br />

it is even harder now to be heard. That’s because <strong>the</strong>re are so many<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r musicians us<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet to try to succeed. Also, outlets<br />

like Facebook, Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes which all allow you<br />

to reach a mass audience, don’t pay advances or money to market<br />

your music.<br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> 90’s, if you were attractive, young, talented and fit <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> latest<br />

trend, you had a fight<strong>in</strong>g chance to get signed, and you could become<br />

a star via <strong>the</strong> production and market<strong>in</strong>g money and manpower provided<br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> major labels or <strong>the</strong>ir affiliates. Now those opportunities<br />

are more rare, as <strong>the</strong> labels make a lot less money. And <strong>the</strong>refore, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

have less capital to <strong>in</strong>vest <strong>in</strong> new artists.<br />

144 145

Words to <strong>the</strong> Wise! Creat<strong>in</strong>g Your Artistic Armor<br />

For <strong>in</strong>stance, once Nirvana hit, <strong>the</strong> big record companies descended<br />

on Seattle and Portland or wherever and <strong>the</strong>y signed a lot of bands<br />

who looked grungy, played guitar and had a possible hit. Many bands<br />

got a shot. That wouldn’t happen today. One of bands that came out<br />

of that frenzy, Pearl Jam, and a few o<strong>the</strong>rs have gone on to great success.<br />

That success was built <strong>by</strong> major labels who spent a great deal of<br />

money to make <strong>the</strong> band known to <strong>the</strong> masses. That is not happen<strong>in</strong>g<br />

as often anymore. So is it a better time for musicians? <strong>In</strong> some ways,<br />

yes. You could reach a worldwide audience. <strong>In</strong> a lot of o<strong>the</strong>r ways, it’s<br />

even harder than it was before.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Then what can an <strong>in</strong>die artist do to cont<strong>in</strong>ue to get to <strong>the</strong><br />

next higher level?<br />

Steve: Amanda Palmer wrote <strong>the</strong> Foreword to my book. She raised<br />

over a million dollars on Kickstarter. She said that one of <strong>the</strong> ways she<br />

was able to be successful, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong> Kickstarter campaign,<br />

was because she didn’t do it all herself, she asked for help, and she got<br />

it from a lot of people, who became her “Team.” But Amanda didn’t<br />

exactly answer how to build that team, except to say that she asked<br />

for help. But maybe she put her f<strong>in</strong>ger on <strong>the</strong> nub, you have to ask for<br />

help, and at <strong>the</strong> same time, you have to be talented, beautiful and/or<br />

persuasive enough to get it.<br />

Visit www.futureof<strong>the</strong>musicbus<strong>in</strong>ess.com for details of <strong>the</strong> latest edition<br />

of “The Future of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> Bus<strong>in</strong>ess” <strong>by</strong><br />

Steve Gordon and oth-<br />

er amaz<strong>in</strong>g advice to help support your career. If you send Steve an<br />

email (steve@stevegordonlaw.com), he will provide you with <strong>the</strong> section<br />

of <strong>the</strong> book on <strong>the</strong> role of managers, how management agreements<br />

work, plus whe<strong>the</strong>r you can or should hire an attorney to shop<br />

your music.<br />


CHAPTER 7<br />

Dream Collaborations<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

FOR MY 22 ND BIRTHDAY I decided to visit NYC to meet up with a high level<br />

producer, Arty Skye, who we had <strong>in</strong>terviewed on our site. When<br />

I stepped <strong>in</strong>to his office, I felt <strong>the</strong> situation was pretty surreal. I saw<br />

awards on <strong>the</strong> wall with <strong>the</strong> names Will Smith, Madonna and Brandy<br />

on <strong>the</strong>m. This was <strong>the</strong> real deal. I had always dreamed of work<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

famous producers. Then, I had told him that I wanted to s<strong>in</strong>g for him<br />

<strong>the</strong> song I was audition<strong>in</strong>g with for The Voice.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g for him was nerve-wrack<strong>in</strong>g! I mean, here is this guy who<br />

works with top s<strong>in</strong>gers, and he is listen<strong>in</strong>g to me s<strong>in</strong>g. I was so grateful<br />

for hav<strong>in</strong>g that opportunity.<br />

After I was f<strong>in</strong>ished, he told me I had good tone. This Grammy<br />

nom<strong>in</strong>ated producer/eng<strong>in</strong>eer said I have a good tone! Be<strong>in</strong>g around<br />

a person with so much talent was such a high. I felt so honored to even<br />

be <strong>in</strong> his presence, much less to receive a compliment from him.<br />

At ano<strong>the</strong>r time, I spoke with a master eng<strong>in</strong>eer after <strong>in</strong>terview<strong>in</strong>g him<br />

on my site, and I asked if I could send him my music, and he agreed. After<br />

I did, he ended up master<strong>in</strong>g one of my tracks as a thank you and sent it<br />

back to me. The track sounded amaz<strong>in</strong>g! This producer had worked with<br />

top talent as well, so aga<strong>in</strong>, I was thankful for that opportunity.<br />

A third time, I sent my music to a famous producer who told me<br />

that if I kept work<strong>in</strong>g on my craft, I could be <strong>the</strong> next Adele. I was<br />

so honored <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> compliment and couldn’t have asked for anyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

better.<br />


Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

All three of <strong>the</strong> producers were down to earth. Each piece of wisdom<br />

<strong>the</strong>y shared with me guided and empowered me as an artist. The<br />

way <strong>the</strong>se producers made me feel is how I want you to feel read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

this book. They gave me confidence and <strong>in</strong>sights so I could be a more<br />

successful s<strong>in</strong>ger. <strong>Emily</strong> and I want this book to be a source of wisdom<br />

and guidance for you.<br />

One of my dreams is to work with high level producers and songwriters<br />

for my own music. I want to create hit songs for <strong>the</strong> radio. I want<br />

to change lives through <strong>the</strong> music I create with <strong>the</strong>se producers. I want<br />

<strong>the</strong> songs to reach people on an emotional and spiritual level.<br />

Ultimately, I know it is part of my purpose to change and touch<br />

lives.<br />

Keys To Success:<br />

Take a Chance: Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you look up to. I<br />

used to th<strong>in</strong>k, “Oh, well, I am just a s<strong>in</strong>ger/songwriter. Why would <strong>the</strong>y<br />

agree to be <strong>in</strong>terviewed <strong>by</strong> me? I am not famous. They will not want<br />

to talk to me.” But that is far from <strong>the</strong> truth. I believe almost anyone is<br />

more accessible than you imag<strong>in</strong>e. You might as well reach out to <strong>the</strong>m<br />

via email or <strong>by</strong> phone. Worst case scenario is <strong>the</strong>y say no, and musicians<br />

must get used to that word anyway. Therefore, a refusal will not become<br />

lethal. On <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r hand, imag<strong>in</strong>e what would happen if <strong>the</strong>y say yes.<br />

“Yes, I would love to meet you,” or “Yes, we’d love to answer a few questions,”<br />

or “Yes, I’ll listen to your song.” You never know <strong>the</strong> outcome until<br />

you try.<br />

The best way, though, to meet or connect with <strong>the</strong>se people is through<br />

your network. Try to f<strong>in</strong>d someone you know who knows <strong>the</strong> people<br />

you are look<strong>in</strong>g to connect with. Don’t be afraid to check out a musician<br />

on L<strong>in</strong>ked<strong>In</strong> and <strong>the</strong>n reach out to your friend who is a mutual<br />

connection to ask <strong>the</strong>m to <strong>in</strong>troduce you. Have no shame <strong>in</strong> ask<strong>in</strong>g for<br />

<strong>in</strong>troductions. We all are here to help and guide each o<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Be Yourself: Know that <strong>the</strong>se people you look up to, no matter how<br />

famous and accomplished <strong>the</strong>y might be, are just people like you or<br />

me. They are someone’s uncle, aunt, cous<strong>in</strong>, bro<strong>the</strong>r, etc. Don’t put<br />

yourself below <strong>the</strong>m. Don’t kiss <strong>the</strong> feet <strong>the</strong>y walk on. Sure, you can<br />

look up to <strong>the</strong>m, but if you just treat <strong>the</strong>m like regular people, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

will, most likely, respond better than <strong>the</strong>y would if you try to kiss <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

butts. Understand that <strong>the</strong>y were at <strong>the</strong> same place you f<strong>in</strong>d yourself<br />

now. Chances are that <strong>the</strong>y worked very hard to get where <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

today, and <strong>the</strong>y had to overcome obstacles just like you might have to<br />

now. Use <strong>the</strong>m as <strong>in</strong>spiration, not obsession. View yourself as equally<br />

able to accomplish anyth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y can accomplish. This will not only<br />

help your self-esteem, but also your drive and dedication will largely<br />

<strong>in</strong>crease as well. You can do anyth<strong>in</strong>g. Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s sure believes<br />

<strong>in</strong> you!<br />

“If I could collaborate with anyone <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world, it would def<strong>in</strong>itely be<br />

Ed Sheeran. Ed has such a talent for tell<strong>in</strong>g it how it is and I love his<br />

style. He fills stadiums with fans for just himself, a guitar, and a loop<br />

pedal and that is someth<strong>in</strong>g amaz<strong>in</strong>g. His songwrit<strong>in</strong>g is so <strong>in</strong> depth<br />

and makes you feel like you’re liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> his tracks. I hope to one day<br />

follow <strong>in</strong> his shoes.” - Dylan Ander, NYC<br />

“If I th<strong>in</strong>k about this for more than 10 seconds I will go absolutely mad,<br />

so I will just go with <strong>the</strong> first two that come to m<strong>in</strong>d: Jack White and<br />

Olafur Arnalds. Jack White because I th<strong>in</strong>k he could really pull out<br />

some elements <strong>in</strong> me that I am even curious about, and Olafur Arnalds<br />

because I am obsessed with his talent as a composer and artist. I’d<br />

love to see what we could do toge<strong>the</strong>r. I literally have a physical reaction<br />

when I listen to his music.” - Selena Garcia, NYC<br />

150 151

Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“I am very <strong>in</strong>terested to work with ethnic musicians, so we can comb<strong>in</strong>e<br />

my classical and improvisatory piano skills with <strong>the</strong> au<strong>the</strong>ntic and unique<br />

sounds of <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>struments. That is my long time dream, and I know it<br />

is com<strong>in</strong>g true!” - Elena Ryepk<strong>in</strong>a, Classical Pianist and Vocalist, NYC<br />

“I have always dreamed of work<strong>in</strong>g with Darkchild (Rodney Jerk<strong>in</strong>s).<br />

He is a phenomenal producer and has worked with some of my favorite<br />

artists, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Brandy, Dest<strong>in</strong>y’s Child, Britney Spears, TLC, etc.<br />

I also def<strong>in</strong>itely wouldn’t m<strong>in</strong>d work<strong>in</strong>g with Frank Ocean. I am just<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g what I’m do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> order to get one step closer to work<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

<strong>the</strong>m everyday. Always keep your head up, and if you want it that bad,<br />

it will come to you.” - Carly L<strong>in</strong>d, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I’ve always dreamed of work<strong>in</strong>g with Cel<strong>in</strong>e Dion. She’s one of those<br />

artists who has a voice that reaches deep <strong>in</strong>to my soul, help<strong>in</strong>g me<br />

to remember that dreams come true and happ<strong>in</strong>ess isn’t only a fantasy.<br />

One day I’ll s<strong>in</strong>g with her, and I hope to do so <strong>by</strong> send<strong>in</strong>g positive<br />

thoughts <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> world!” - Christian Holl<strong>in</strong>gsworth, Entrepreneur,<br />

Model, S<strong>in</strong>ger/Songwriter, CA<br />

“I have many musical heroes and admirations <strong>in</strong> a field of giants. I love<br />

all types of music, styles, and art. I would love <strong>the</strong> opportunity to work<br />

with some of <strong>the</strong>se artists aga<strong>in</strong> or for <strong>the</strong> first time: Bruce Spr<strong>in</strong>gsteen<br />

Mat Kearney, Paulo Nut<strong>in</strong>i, Tom Waits, Vienna Tang, Rocky Bus<strong>in</strong>ess,<br />

Wilco, Michael Kiwanuka, Ryan Adams, Daniel Lanois. These artists<br />

I listen to everyday and <strong>the</strong>y still <strong>in</strong>spire me to enjoy music and <strong>the</strong><br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g of it.” - Andy Manganello, Producer,<br />

NYC<br />

“<strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> world: Rick Rub<strong>in</strong> and/or Jeff Buckley (If he was still<br />

around).” - Marrick Smith, Broadway Star and S<strong>in</strong>ger/Songwriter,<br />

NYC<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> giants of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry have always been a dream of m<strong>in</strong>e to<br />

work with. Nigel Godrich, Brian Eno, George Mart<strong>in</strong>, Charlie Peacock,<br />

many more. To accomplish work<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong>m, I’d probably have to<br />

be <strong>in</strong>troduced to <strong>the</strong>m. That sort of th<strong>in</strong>g takes a lot of time and patience.”<br />

- The Autumn Film, Colorado<br />

“There are so many amaz<strong>in</strong>g artists I would love to work with like<br />

Rob Thomas, Daryl Hall and Jason Mraz. Also, when I first started<br />

perform<strong>in</strong>g, Dave Mat<strong>the</strong>ws had a major <strong>in</strong>fluence on me. He is<br />

someone I respect for how he got recognized. They just went out<br />

and toured like crazy, <strong>the</strong> grassroots way.” - Charlie Scopoletti,<br />

Connecticut<br />

“I used to dream about be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> studio with Michael Jackson. To<br />

me grow<strong>in</strong>g up, he was <strong>the</strong> top guy. Now that he is gone, I would love<br />

to work with producers more than artists. Flood would be a great<br />

one. Jay Z was an artist I wanted to work with and got <strong>the</strong> opportunity<br />

to [do that] this year.” - Karl Heilbron, Producer,<br />

Atlanta, GA/Los<br />

Angeles, CA<br />

“Neil Diamond! I grew up listen<strong>in</strong>g to his music plus I’ve seen him <strong>in</strong><br />

concert like 30 times! How fun would that be to have a collaboration<br />

with Neil Diamond on a EDM track!” - Andrea Benham, NJ<br />

“There was never one person who I set out to work with, but <strong>the</strong>re<br />

were people who <strong>in</strong>spired me. Todd Rundgren was one because he<br />

wrote, recorded, eng<strong>in</strong>eered and played almost every <strong>in</strong>strument<br />

and did some of <strong>the</strong> most amaz<strong>in</strong>g pop songs along <strong>the</strong> way. Stevie<br />

Wonder is ano<strong>the</strong>r. I love ‘<strong>In</strong>nervisions’ and how you can just hear him<br />

<strong>in</strong> every track. The drums, <strong>the</strong> synth bass, etc, <strong>the</strong>y are all extensions<br />

of Stevie. So many o<strong>the</strong>rs. The list is just too long. Brian Wilson, Harry<br />

Nilsson, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, any of <strong>the</strong> Beatles, <strong>the</strong> entire<br />

British <strong>In</strong>vasion, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Led Zeppel<strong>in</strong>, Vanilla Fudge, Kenny<br />

Burrell, Wes Montgomery… OK, I’d better stop.” - Craig Bartock from<br />

Heart, CA<br />

152 153

Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“I’d LOVE to work with John Mayer, Damien Rice, Bruno Mars, Ed<br />

Sheeran, Ryan Tedder and Sheryl Crow. I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong>y are all <strong>in</strong>credible<br />

artists. They each have <strong>the</strong>ir own style and <strong>the</strong>ir own story!” - Alexa<br />

Falk, One Half of Country Duo: Falk, UT<br />

“I have to say that <strong>the</strong> team of producers we had for <strong>the</strong> concept record<br />

we’ve released this year was quite an all star cast. They certa<strong>in</strong>ly<br />

represented a dream team for me personally. It was nice to f<strong>in</strong>ally share<br />

time and space with guys like Jeremy McCoy (bass for The Fray), Jason<br />

Morant, Jeremy Lutito (Leagues) and Dan Brigham (Canon Blue). I’ve<br />

admired <strong>the</strong>m for so long, and I f<strong>in</strong>ally got <strong>the</strong> opportunity to work<br />

with <strong>the</strong>m. There are a few o<strong>the</strong>r producers that I love too, and I’m<br />

<strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> how <strong>the</strong>y would <strong>in</strong>terpret Afterlife Parade. A few of <strong>the</strong>m<br />

are Mike Elizondo, Ken Andrews, Steve Lillywhite, Lukas Burton and<br />

Renaud Letang. They’ve produced some of my favorite records, and I<br />

would be happy to work with <strong>the</strong>m.” - Afterlife Parade, Nashville, TN<br />

“I would love to sit down and write a song with Dr. Luke just to see<br />

what his creative process is like. That guy is a HIT MACHINE. Maybe<br />

make a record with Brian Eno? Put a Jay Z verse on ‘Lovebl<strong>in</strong>d?’ I<br />

dream big. When <strong>the</strong> time is right, I’ll be able to work with big names.<br />

The first step right now is focus<strong>in</strong>g on my goals. I’m more determ<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

than ever. ‘Bab<strong>in</strong>iworld’ is grow<strong>in</strong>g.” - Alexis Bab<strong>in</strong>i, NYC<br />

“Paul McCartney, St<strong>in</strong>g and Imogen Heap to name a few. Love <strong>the</strong>m<br />

all. Brilliant on all levels.” - John McCracken, Producer,<br />

NYC<br />

“I’ve always looked up to Duncan Sheik as a writer and would love<br />

to work with him. I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> way to go about work<strong>in</strong>g with a writer/<br />

producer like him is to just approach him with an idea and hope that<br />

he’s <strong>in</strong>terested. I would only want to work with people that believe <strong>in</strong><br />

what I am do<strong>in</strong>g.” - Brian Fuente, Nashville, Tennessee<br />

“I would love to work with Pr<strong>in</strong>ce. His artistry and musicianship is on<br />

a supernatural level. He has written and composed hits AND has <strong>the</strong><br />

ability to play seven different <strong>in</strong>struments. <strong>In</strong>sane!” - Esnavi, NYC<br />

“There are a few artists I want to collaborate with. One of <strong>the</strong>m would<br />

be Paul McCartney. I know it’s really out <strong>the</strong>re, but I’d love to one day<br />

be able to at have a chance to play him a song and maybe get his <strong>in</strong>put.<br />

As far as newer artists, I want to collaborate with artists like Lorde, Alicia<br />

Keys, Drake and possibly also Rihanna or Christ<strong>in</strong>a Aguilera because I really<br />

like what <strong>the</strong>y’ve been do<strong>in</strong>g lately. Tori Kelly, she’s great! Def<strong>in</strong>itely<br />

someone I want to collaborate with.” - Adam Clark, Rochester, NY<br />

“Kailynn and I both have always dreamt of work<strong>in</strong>g with Chris Walla<br />

from Death Cab for Cutie. Not only is he <strong>the</strong> tastiest guitarist ever,<br />

he’s produced some of our favorite records from artists like Tegan<br />

and Sara & Telek<strong>in</strong>esis… as well as all <strong>the</strong> Death Cab records. I have a<br />

strong love for that band… <strong>the</strong>y’re from my home town of Bell<strong>in</strong>gham,<br />

Wash<strong>in</strong>gton.” - Keeley Bumford from Hotel C<strong>in</strong>ema, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“There are many talented people that I’d love to work with, Colbie<br />

Caillat be<strong>in</strong>g one of <strong>the</strong>m. I already had <strong>the</strong> pleasure of produc<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

duet that featured her, which I never thought would happen, so I don’t<br />

know if I’ve thought ahead to who I’d like to work with next. <strong>In</strong> this <strong>in</strong>dustry,<br />

you tend to meet people <strong>in</strong> unexpected ways, so I try to keep<br />

my options open and learn from all <strong>the</strong> people I come <strong>in</strong>to contact<br />

with.” - Chase Coy, Nashville, TN<br />

“There are lots of people I would like to work with, but one of <strong>the</strong> top<br />

ones would be Brandi Carlile. I love <strong>the</strong> way she s<strong>in</strong>gs, and I love her<br />

band. A couple of her songs were among <strong>the</strong> first that I learned when<br />

I was try<strong>in</strong>g to get better at guitar and writ<strong>in</strong>g.” - <strong>Emily</strong> Earle, Brooklyn<br />

NY/Nashville,TN<br />

154 155

Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

“Paul McCartney, Slash, The Roots, Alison Krauss, BB K<strong>in</strong>g, Mos Def.<br />

I’m go<strong>in</strong>g to keep network<strong>in</strong>g. I actually really enjoy expand<strong>in</strong>g my<br />

circles and putt<strong>in</strong>g myself <strong>in</strong> a powerful position <strong>by</strong> act<strong>in</strong>g as a connector.”<br />

- Danny Severance, NYC<br />

“Adam<br />

Young, masterm<strong>in</strong>d beh<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> band Owl City. Ever s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong><br />

first day I heard his music on iTunes, long before ‘Fireflies’ was on <strong>the</strong><br />

radio, he <strong>in</strong>spired me greatly, and I th<strong>in</strong>k fans can hear that <strong>in</strong> my style<br />

of music. As far as how I would go about accomplish<strong>in</strong>g this, at <strong>the</strong><br />

moment I can only dream. Hopefully someday he’ll hear my music and<br />

possibly feature me <strong>in</strong> one of his songs.” - Diary Of Snow, Atlanta, GA<br />

“Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Stevie Ray Vaughn were HUGE<br />

<strong>in</strong>fluences. I just want to work on my talent and my dream of be<strong>in</strong>g an<br />

artist, however, I would love someday to meet <strong>the</strong> people that <strong>in</strong>spire<br />

me.” - Alex Flanigan, Nashville, TN<br />

“I would love to work with Taylor Swift. Her albums are albums, not records<br />

with three or four hit s<strong>in</strong>gles on it, while <strong>the</strong> rema<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g tracks are<br />

fillers. Every s<strong>in</strong>gle song is well done. I would go about accomplish<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a potential collaboration with her, <strong>by</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g hard and never giv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

up.” - Nick F<strong>in</strong>ochio, PA<br />

“I would love to s<strong>in</strong>g with Andrea Bocelli and/or Josh Groban. They<br />

both have magnificent voices and can s<strong>in</strong>g pop and classical. I would<br />

love to do a duet with <strong>the</strong>m. Do not know how to accomplish this, but<br />

hey, if anyone out <strong>the</strong>re can make this happen, I would be ecstatic!”<br />

- Patricia Welch, CA<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: <strong>In</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> Greatness<br />

When I th<strong>in</strong>k of dream collaborations, I th<strong>in</strong>k of <strong>the</strong> power of mentors.<br />

Not many people can succeed <strong>in</strong> life without <strong>the</strong> positive example set<br />

forth <strong>by</strong> good role models and <strong>in</strong>fluencers. Mentors and a good <strong>in</strong>spirational<br />

environment will do wonders for your creative success.<br />

Mentors have certa<strong>in</strong> life experiences + attitudes about life that<br />

<strong>in</strong>vigorate <strong>the</strong>ir mentees to confidently chase after <strong>the</strong>ir own dreams<br />

with strength and conviction! Meet<strong>in</strong>g your musical mentor and work<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with <strong>the</strong>m one day is <strong>the</strong> ultimate dream for many people and can<br />

prove to be life-chang<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

When I th<strong>in</strong>k of my own mentors, I th<strong>in</strong>k of Anthony Robb<strong>in</strong>s, <strong>the</strong><br />

world’s top performance coach, and how his four-day boot camp<br />

changed my life back <strong>in</strong> November 2013. Be<strong>in</strong>g surrounded <strong>by</strong> 5,000<br />

entrepreneurs, CEOS and success-th<strong>in</strong>kers led <strong>by</strong> his brilliant techniques<br />

truly changed my confidence and <strong>in</strong>ner strength to live more<br />

fearlessly.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r role models <strong>in</strong> my life <strong>in</strong>clude, Steve Jobs for his relentless<br />

drive for a vision, Richard Branson because of his fearless <strong>in</strong>novation<br />

as a serial entrepreneur, Deepak Chopra for his personal heal<strong>in</strong>g presence<br />

<strong>in</strong> my life as one of <strong>the</strong> top spiritual leaders of our modern times,<br />

Suze Orman due to her f<strong>in</strong>ancial genius and path from rags to riches,<br />

Mark Cuban for his amaz<strong>in</strong>g passion for “<strong>the</strong> game of bus<strong>in</strong>ess” and<br />

most of all Napoleon Hill, author of “Th<strong>in</strong>k and Grow Rich”. Read<strong>in</strong>g<br />

this book at 19 years old totally changed my <strong>in</strong>ner world and swung<br />

me on a faithful path towards achievement and imag<strong>in</strong>ation.<br />

<strong>In</strong> his or her own way, each of <strong>the</strong>m changed my life <strong>by</strong> allow<strong>in</strong>g<br />

me to understand a perspective towards success-th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g which can<br />

be learned and followed <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir <strong>in</strong>credible vision. Noth<strong>in</strong>g is truly<br />

impossible.<br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g:<br />

156 157

Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

1. What does a dream collaboration look like to you? Who do you<br />

dream of meet<strong>in</strong>g and work<strong>in</strong>g with?<br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Noah Guthrie, YouTube Superstar<br />

2. Who are your top 5 <strong>in</strong>fluencers? What do you most admire about<br />

<strong>the</strong>m and <strong>the</strong>ir work?<br />

3. Pa<strong>in</strong>t<strong>in</strong>g a picture of where you could go <strong>in</strong> your future; how will<br />

you <strong>in</strong>fluence <strong>the</strong> world?<br />

Chapter 7 Affirmation: Dream Collaborations<br />

“The same way my music idols have <strong>in</strong>spired me, I will <strong>in</strong>spire<br />

my fans. I am a voice for my generation through my work. Each<br />

day my <strong>in</strong>fluence for do<strong>in</strong>g good <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world expands. I center<br />

myself <strong>in</strong> a positive creative environment, and frequently<br />

take time to heal. I lead <strong>the</strong> pack with devotion to my dream.<br />

My imag<strong>in</strong>ation is my guid<strong>in</strong>g force towards success.”<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Today on Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s we have s<strong>in</strong>ger/songwriter<br />

and actor, Noah Guthrie, who has credits not only on Glee, but for<br />

open<strong>in</strong>g for Ed Sheeran, Neon Trees, Ben Rector, Cobra Starship,<br />

Matisyahu, Matt Nathanson and Selena Gomez. His impressive<br />

credits <strong>in</strong>clude a cover of LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I Know It’ which garnered<br />

him 22 million views (he has over 53 million views <strong>in</strong> total<br />

from his famed YouTube covers) and he has appeared on NBC’s<br />

Today Show, Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, Danc<strong>in</strong>g With The Stars, to<br />

say <strong>the</strong> least.<br />

We are <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> gett<strong>in</strong>g his advice on <strong>the</strong> realities of juggl<strong>in</strong>g<br />

both a music and act<strong>in</strong>g career, and what it takes to succeed <strong>in</strong> a duo<br />

of <strong>in</strong>dustries and stay positive! So Noah, can you tell us a little bit<br />

about your creative journey as an artist? <strong>In</strong> 2014, your CD Among<br />

<strong>the</strong> Wildest Th<strong>in</strong>gs was released so can you share a bit about that?<br />

Noah:<br />

Yeah. So I released my album <strong>in</strong> 2014. It was really just about<br />

15 songs and, before we recorded <strong>the</strong> album, I had probably 40 songs<br />

written. And we had to narrow that number down. I co-wrote a lot<br />

of <strong>the</strong> songs <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> album, so it would be me and ano<strong>the</strong>r person on<br />

songs. Then, <strong>the</strong>re’s one song <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong>re that I wrote <strong>by</strong> myself. It was<br />

158 159

Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

really someth<strong>in</strong>g I needed to do because I had all <strong>the</strong>se songs that I<br />

was sitt<strong>in</strong>g on. I just kept writ<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I f<strong>in</strong>ally got a little break with that YouTube cover that I did, and a lot<br />

of my o<strong>the</strong>r YouTube covers as well. But that one, ‘Sexy And I Know It’,<br />

really took off. I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong>re was a lot more pressure to get someth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r and get someth<strong>in</strong>g released. I’m really glad that I did that because<br />

I really wanted my orig<strong>in</strong>al music out <strong>the</strong>re. I’ve been do<strong>in</strong>g covers<br />

for probably three years at that po<strong>in</strong>t. I just wanted to start add<strong>in</strong>g<br />

my orig<strong>in</strong>al songs <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> mix. It seems to be go<strong>in</strong>g pretty well and<br />

people like <strong>the</strong> album. I’m very happy about that. Ever s<strong>in</strong>ce I released<br />

it, we’ve been do<strong>in</strong>g little pushes here and <strong>the</strong>re. Th<strong>in</strong>gs will come up<br />

to help it out. It’s been great so far. Last year, I toured <strong>the</strong> country and<br />

supported <strong>the</strong> album. It was great.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Sounds great! It’s really important for artists to have<br />

as many diverse skills as possible to grab more opportunities.<br />

You write your own songs. You play <strong>in</strong>struments and you have a<br />

voice. So it’s really good that you have all those different gifts.<br />

On top of that, you understand market<strong>in</strong>g really great. YouTube<br />

is one of <strong>the</strong> top th<strong>in</strong>gs out <strong>the</strong>re to truly promote yourself as<br />

an <strong>in</strong>dependent artist. So you’re able to utilize that with your<br />

YouTube covers. So how many covers would you say you had up<br />

to this po<strong>in</strong>t? What are your favorites?<br />

Noah: I would probably say I have around a little over <strong>100</strong> covers up.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Wow! That’s really impressive!<br />

Noah:<br />

Yeah. I’ve just been do<strong>in</strong>g it forever. That’s a rough estimate.<br />

But I’m pretty sure that’s around what I have. I th<strong>in</strong>k that YouTube is a<br />

really amaz<strong>in</strong>g platform. If you’re not tak<strong>in</strong>g advantage of it to a certa<strong>in</strong><br />

extent, <strong>the</strong>n you’re miss<strong>in</strong>g a whole market.<br />

I also love <strong>the</strong> very grassroots way of be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a band, which is play<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong> shows and gett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> front of <strong>the</strong> audiences, and stuff like that. And<br />

that does work.<br />

But I th<strong>in</strong>k now, everyth<strong>in</strong>g is so digital and so driven <strong>by</strong> social media<br />

that if you’re not just pay<strong>in</strong>g attention to that, <strong>the</strong>n you’re not really<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g yourself any favors.<br />

I believe we figured out early that we really need to be pay<strong>in</strong>g attention<br />

to social media. I just figured why not keep do<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> covers and<br />

see what happens. Now, I’ve got quite a good little fan base. They’re<br />

loyal and <strong>the</strong>y’re great fans.<br />

YouTube has been a big help to me. It’s been my home for a little<br />

bit. Then once I started add<strong>in</strong>g orig<strong>in</strong>als <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> flow of content on<br />

YouTube, people saw <strong>the</strong>m and liked <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

I can do that more and start to transition hopefully a little more <strong>in</strong>to my<br />

orig<strong>in</strong>als, and <strong>the</strong>n, do covers here and <strong>the</strong>re. So it won’t be all about<br />

<strong>the</strong> covers.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, it’s very smart to transition <strong>in</strong>to your own work with<br />

a mixture of both methods while <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g your fan base. Covers<br />

are really commercial and great for clicks def<strong>in</strong>itely!<br />

Now, I’m a co-writer of a book called <strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong><br />

<strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>In</strong> <strong>Music</strong> along with Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s’ CEO, Dani<br />

Felt. We spent a year pull<strong>in</strong>g this guide toge<strong>the</strong>r, and we feature<br />

over 150 <strong>in</strong>die music artists on <strong>the</strong>ir journeys with loads<br />

160 161

Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

of advice. One of <strong>the</strong> biggest pieces of advice we share <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

book is about us<strong>in</strong>g social media to your biggest benefit. You<br />

cannot be a known artist without be<strong>in</strong>g a bit more personal<br />

with your fans, stay<strong>in</strong>g committed to provid<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>teractive<br />

content.<br />

Noah: Yeah. It doesn’t take much. It just takes good content, but it<br />

needs to be a regular basis th<strong>in</strong>g. I th<strong>in</strong>k it’s very important.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: But, of course, you gotta pay your dues, I would say.<br />

Noah: Yeah, I know that for sure.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I want to talk to you about act<strong>in</strong>g. So you jumped <strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong><br />

act<strong>in</strong>g world after your start <strong>in</strong> music. How did that happen? How<br />

did you see that you had a gift for that? You have done a lot of<br />

good stuff with Glee.<br />

Noah: Yeah. It was very strange. It was a very random th<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Act<strong>in</strong>g was never on my radar at all. And <strong>the</strong>n, I was on <strong>the</strong> road play<strong>in</strong>g<br />

music and I got a phone call from <strong>the</strong> cast<strong>in</strong>g department for Glee.<br />

They basically called me and said, “Hey, we’re hav<strong>in</strong>g trouble f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g<br />

someone for this new part on <strong>the</strong> last season of Glee. We th<strong>in</strong>k you’d<br />

be good for <strong>the</strong> part.” I told <strong>the</strong>m, “I’ve never ever acted before, ever.<br />

So I don’t know if I’d be good.” But <strong>the</strong>y were look<strong>in</strong>g for a certa<strong>in</strong><br />

voice. They told me about <strong>the</strong> character of Roderick. Basically, he’s <strong>the</strong><br />

chub<strong>by</strong> underdog who has <strong>the</strong> voice of Otis Redd<strong>in</strong>g, or someth<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

I was like, “Well, if you need a soulful voice, I guess I can try. I’ll give<br />

it my best.” I sent an audition tape and read some l<strong>in</strong>es. I waited a<br />

couple of weeks to hear anyth<strong>in</strong>g back.<br />

Then, a couple of weeks went <strong>by</strong>, and <strong>the</strong>y said, “Hey, we’d love for<br />

you to come and audition <strong>in</strong> person.” They flew me up to Los Angeles.<br />

I auditioned <strong>in</strong> front of Ryan Murphy, and <strong>the</strong> rest of <strong>the</strong> creators and<br />

some of <strong>the</strong> writers. It was very <strong>in</strong>timidat<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

But I just got up <strong>the</strong>re and did my best. I guess <strong>the</strong> next day, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

called me as I was gett<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> plane. They told me, “Noah. Hey,<br />

you got <strong>the</strong> part.” I was like, “Oh!”<br />

So I went home. I was like, “What will I do?” I th<strong>in</strong>k I flew back home<br />

for a day and a half and packed up all my th<strong>in</strong>gs. Then I went out to LA<br />

and I lived out <strong>the</strong>re for, I guess, five, almost six months. I literally just<br />

got back to South Carol<strong>in</strong>a two days ago.<br />

But yeah, it’s been a whirlw<strong>in</strong>d. Act<strong>in</strong>g is a completely different world.<br />

It’s very funny. I th<strong>in</strong>k I learned a lot. It was a great group of people to<br />

be around. They were very good to me, very welcom<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: That’s awesome. I wanted to ask you about one th<strong>in</strong>g –<br />

you’ve seen <strong>the</strong> act<strong>in</strong>g world. You’ve seen <strong>the</strong> music world. What<br />

are some <strong>in</strong>sider lessons that you’ve learned about work<strong>in</strong>g with<br />

people across two different <strong>in</strong>dustries. A lot of our artists may<br />

stick just with music, but it’s really good for <strong>the</strong>m to be <strong>in</strong> multiple<br />

directions, multiple <strong>in</strong>dustries, more opportunities. Is <strong>the</strong>re<br />

a difference?<br />

Noah: I guess, yeah, <strong>the</strong>re is a difference. I don’t know if I had noticed<br />

it as much while I was act<strong>in</strong>g. (Th<strong>in</strong>ks about it) Yeah, I did know <strong>the</strong>re<br />

was a difference.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> th<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> enterta<strong>in</strong>ment <strong>in</strong>dustry as<br />

a whole, that I found that really helps you more than anyth<strong>in</strong>g, is be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

a nice guy to everyone and really ga<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g respect.<br />

162 163

Dream Collaborations<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

I know it sounds so cheesy, but it’s true. Be that nice person and<br />

always take lessons when <strong>the</strong>y’re given. Respect <strong>the</strong> people that<br />

have been <strong>the</strong>re do<strong>in</strong>g it longer than you have and try to learn from<br />

<strong>the</strong>m.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: No ego. Be cool… just be<strong>in</strong>g your au<strong>the</strong>ntic self while do<strong>in</strong>g<br />

great work…<br />

Noah: Yes. You make connections <strong>by</strong> just be<strong>in</strong>g a relaxed, happy person<br />

with all <strong>the</strong>se new people. I made tons of connections that I would<br />

have never had. Just <strong>by</strong> hang<strong>in</strong>g out with <strong>the</strong>se people!<br />

Glee fell <strong>in</strong> my lap. I was very close to not do<strong>in</strong>g it because it was so<br />

outside of my comfort zone.<br />

But <strong>the</strong>n I just figured I know <strong>100</strong> more people that would kill to have<br />

that opportunity. This literally fell on my plate, and I would have been<br />

ridiculous not to pursue it.<br />

I’m so glad. It opened me up so much, not just career-wise, but it really<br />

made me step out of my shell a good bit. I made some really good<br />

friends and really cool choices. So, you just keep do<strong>in</strong>g what you’re<br />

do<strong>in</strong>g. Someday, it’s go<strong>in</strong>g to happen.<br />

It doesn’t have to be a big scary <strong>in</strong>timidat<strong>in</strong>g world as musicians and<br />

actors make it.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: My f<strong>in</strong>al question is: where do you see your career go<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> next, let’s say, two or five years? Where do you want it to go?<br />

Noah: Honestly, I’m def<strong>in</strong>itely focused more on music aga<strong>in</strong>. I mean<br />

music is my number one.<br />

I’m just now start<strong>in</strong>g to record some new stuff. I really want to get<br />

some EP out of some new th<strong>in</strong>gs. Then I’d love to hit <strong>the</strong> road with<br />

my band and tear up <strong>the</strong> pavement for a little bit, and see where that<br />

goes.<br />

I really just want to extend my music. That’s my ma<strong>in</strong> goal right now.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I wish you <strong>the</strong> best of luck on your tour! What would be<br />

some f<strong>in</strong>al <strong>in</strong>spirational advice for <strong>the</strong> aspir<strong>in</strong>g artist?<br />

Noah: …You just have to keep do<strong>in</strong>g what you’re do<strong>in</strong>g. I mean it’s<br />

funny how th<strong>in</strong>gs happen.<br />

164 165

CHAPTER 8<br />

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

IN THE NEAR FUTURE ARTISTS will have some amaz<strong>in</strong>g opportunities to get<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir music out <strong>the</strong>re. At this po<strong>in</strong>t, anyth<strong>in</strong>g is possible:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

I believe <strong>in</strong> five years more <strong>in</strong>die musicians will get sponsored <strong>by</strong><br />

brands, such as lifestyle companies like dr<strong>in</strong>k, cloth<strong>in</strong>g and car<br />

companies. This will help <strong>the</strong>m rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependent and truly direct<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir careers.<br />

<strong>In</strong>die artists will f<strong>in</strong>d more opportunities through licens<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

music <strong>in</strong> video games, films and commercials. This will br<strong>in</strong>g a diversity<br />

of channels to expand <strong>the</strong>ir brand.<br />

Many <strong>in</strong>die artists will become entrepreneurs and start <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

publish<strong>in</strong>g companies or record labels. They will realize <strong>the</strong> value<br />

of hav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> right team to simply do th<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>the</strong>ir own way.<br />

There will be many more crowdfund<strong>in</strong>g platforms and social networks<br />

to support and connect <strong>the</strong> creatives.<br />

I def<strong>in</strong>itely believe consumers will be charged to stream videos<br />

and music on YouTube.<br />

There will be more virtual experiences for see<strong>in</strong>g music festivals,<br />

tours, etc. from <strong>in</strong>side your own liv<strong>in</strong>g room (<strong>Emily</strong>’s idea)<br />

There will be some k<strong>in</strong>d of technology created to make it easier to<br />

make your own music videos.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k some people will still purchase CDs but most physical music<br />

stores will be gone.<br />


<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

I believe <strong>the</strong>re will be more music platforms to sell your music such<br />

as www.featured.me to cater to <strong>the</strong> artists over <strong>the</strong> corporations.<br />

This platform lets artists sell premium music content to <strong>the</strong>ir fans.<br />

I also believe <strong>the</strong>re will be more collaborations with<strong>in</strong> different<br />

genres. Country artists will collaborate with R&B artists etc.<br />

Be<strong>in</strong>g versatile will be one of <strong>the</strong> keys to career success. It will<br />

become more of a do it yourself mentality, with artists be<strong>in</strong>g more<br />

aware of bus<strong>in</strong>ess skills, design, photography and publish<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

With<strong>in</strong> five years Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s envisions not only hav<strong>in</strong>g an<br />

artist development program catered to creatives, but also artist<br />

showcases, becom<strong>in</strong>g a label, be<strong>in</strong>g an artist management and<br />

hav<strong>in</strong>g a series of <strong>in</strong>spirational books with coach<strong>in</strong>g tools to <strong>in</strong>spire<br />

those <strong>in</strong> all <strong>the</strong> arts.<br />

“One of my ma<strong>in</strong> mottos, I came up with, is to ‘become what stops<br />

you.’ So if you can’t get a record deal, become <strong>the</strong> record company.<br />

It’s a lot of work, and this is <strong>the</strong> ma<strong>in</strong> reason why I have subscribed<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Robert Rodriguez school of do<strong>in</strong>g everyth<strong>in</strong>g to get it done<br />

because no one else will do it for you.” - Anu Gunn, Rock Vocalist/<br />

Guitarist/Actor, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“The traditional <strong>in</strong>dustry, as focused on a t<strong>in</strong>y number of very commercial<br />

acts, ends up be<strong>in</strong>g pretty irrelevant to me. There is, however,<br />

a much smaller and far more fractured set of people <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> game<br />

at <strong>the</strong> moment, but <strong>the</strong>y fly under <strong>the</strong> collective ma<strong>in</strong>stream radar. I<br />

don’t th<strong>in</strong>k we’re go<strong>in</strong>g to see many superstars anymore, and I really<br />

don’t th<strong>in</strong>k we’ll see any superstars with 20-30 year careers. Is Lady<br />

Gaga <strong>the</strong> new Madonna? I really doubt it. Is she <strong>the</strong> new Vanilla Ice or<br />

MC Hammer? Probably. If she’s smart, and I th<strong>in</strong>k she is, she’ll save her<br />

money.” - Michael Epste<strong>in</strong>, MA<br />

“<strong>In</strong> five years, more artists will be releas<strong>in</strong>g music <strong>in</strong>dependently and<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g money on <strong>the</strong>ir own terms. I do hope that our services will be<br />

better valued <strong>by</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry and listeners, aside from be<strong>in</strong>g just a<br />

commodity.” - Tatyana Kalko, NYC<br />

“I believe music goes <strong>in</strong> cycles. <strong>In</strong> <strong>the</strong> next five years I hope to see that<br />

r<strong>in</strong>g true.” - Greg Baughman Jr. of The Deadlight Projects, Nashville,<br />

TN<br />

“This <strong>in</strong>dustry is full of twists and turns, but I enjoy that aspect of<br />

th<strong>in</strong>gs, it keeps it <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g. <strong>In</strong> five years, I’ll most likely cont<strong>in</strong>ue to<br />

smile, and thank God for <strong>the</strong> ridiculous bless<strong>in</strong>gs He’s placed <strong>in</strong> my<br />

life!” - Michael Flayhart, Nashville, TN<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> 5 years will be just as fun and <strong>in</strong>f<strong>in</strong>itely varied as it is now,<br />

but <strong>the</strong> quality of craftsmanship and writ<strong>in</strong>g will def<strong>in</strong>itely be better.<br />

There’s been a huge jump <strong>in</strong> hob<strong>by</strong>ist participants <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry, and that’s flooded <strong>the</strong> market and reduced <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>tellectual<br />

impact of music. It’s only a matter of time before <strong>the</strong>ir production experience<br />

drives <strong>the</strong> progression of <strong>the</strong>ir talent <strong>in</strong>to be<strong>in</strong>g full-fledged<br />

professional media producers. There are some that will always be way<br />

above this bar of quality, but for <strong>the</strong> vast majority, <strong>in</strong> 5 years it will<br />

become less cool to make beats that sound like <strong>the</strong>y came from a lateafternoon<br />

class of careless third graders.” - Maniak Mike from Sh<strong>in</strong>obi<br />

N<strong>in</strong>ja, NYC<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry is headed towards a less flashy form of music and<br />

more of music with substance. With <strong>the</strong> rise of <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>die music, that is<br />

all heart and no bells and whistles, <strong>the</strong>re is a strong reason to believe<br />

that it will cont<strong>in</strong>ue that way.” - Brian Hull, Dallas, Texas<br />

“Well, this question is very broad. There are so many different Genres<br />

and styles that it is difficult to say ‘it’s go<strong>in</strong>g this way or that way.’<br />

On an <strong>in</strong>dustry level, we are headed deeper <strong>in</strong>to subscription based<br />

format ra<strong>the</strong>r than sell<strong>in</strong>g records. I th<strong>in</strong>k U2 releas<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir album for<br />

168 169

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

free on iTunes is a clear example. That be<strong>in</strong>g said, <strong>the</strong> way we make<br />

music or <strong>the</strong> way we connect with audiences will change, but <strong>the</strong> deep<br />

core values of what connects an artist to his audience will still be <strong>the</strong><br />

same. Social media is a new way to <strong>in</strong>teract, but deep down <strong>in</strong>side, it’s<br />

just exactly <strong>the</strong> same as it was before. People try<strong>in</strong>g to f<strong>in</strong>d th<strong>in</strong>gs and<br />

moments that identify with <strong>the</strong>mselves and <strong>the</strong> ones around <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

There is a say<strong>in</strong>g I have heard <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> past that I really like. I am 36,<br />

and my generation is an analog generation liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> digital world.<br />

Young kids today are a digital generation try<strong>in</strong>g to understand <strong>the</strong><br />

analog ways.” - Pablo Arraya, Producer, NYC<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> is always chang<strong>in</strong>g so it will def<strong>in</strong>itely be different <strong>in</strong> five years.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k it will go back toward more musical live performances with<br />

<strong>in</strong>struments ra<strong>the</strong>r than people push<strong>in</strong>g buttons on huge stages with<br />

big lights.” - Sh<strong>in</strong>obi N<strong>in</strong>ja, NYC<br />

“Mak<strong>in</strong>g music that matters. It’s my desire that <strong>in</strong> five years, ‘Afterlife<br />

Parade’ will have a loyal fan base that fills <strong>the</strong>aters and arenas, and<br />

that I’m able to give back to those who have given to me and to help<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs who can’t help <strong>the</strong>mselves. I would like to be do<strong>in</strong>g what I love<br />

to do with, and for, people who love it too. We want what we do,<br />

however big or small, to <strong>in</strong>spire change <strong>in</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs. That’s a big dream<br />

that I’m will<strong>in</strong>g to pay <strong>the</strong> price for.” - Afterlife Parade, Nashville, TN<br />

“The <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>in</strong> 5 years will be driven <strong>by</strong> digital content and social media.<br />

We are mov<strong>in</strong>g to an onl<strong>in</strong>e age, with companies quickly realiz<strong>in</strong>g<br />

how to monetize web based endeavors. Apps are <strong>the</strong> way of <strong>the</strong> future,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry is mov<strong>in</strong>g to a much more personalized music bus<strong>in</strong>ess,<br />

where artists communicate directly to fans on a one to one basis.” -<br />

Jacob Kup<strong>in</strong>, Artist, Manager/Promotions Coord<strong>in</strong>ator, Nashville, TN<br />

“We don’t guess it will veer off too dramatically from <strong>the</strong> direction it<br />

has begun head<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> recent past. We assume it will drift more<br />

and more towards a non-physical realm, less about product and more<br />

about what connections can be made from musical talents.” - Ghastly<br />

City Sleep, NYC<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k that genres will be mean<strong>in</strong>gless, s<strong>in</strong>ce <strong>the</strong>y are becom<strong>in</strong>g<br />

more obsolete every day. <strong>In</strong> five years we will f<strong>in</strong>ally accept that true<br />

musicians don’t create music for genres, musicians make music and<br />

<strong>the</strong> genres are applied after <strong>the</strong> fact. <strong>In</strong> five years, music lovers will<br />

let <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry know what its next step should be, and not <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

way around. Last, I th<strong>in</strong>k artists will f<strong>in</strong>ally own up to be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> great<br />

bus<strong>in</strong>ess people <strong>the</strong>y so often have to be. The mix of bus<strong>in</strong>ess and<br />

creativity will be seen as a given and not as an exception.” - Alexis<br />

Hightower, NYC<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>in</strong>dependent artists will be a lot more prom<strong>in</strong>ent. The advances<br />

that will be made with<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> next 5 years - <strong>in</strong> both record<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

promot<strong>in</strong>g your music - will allow an <strong>in</strong>dependent artist to get his/her<br />

name out <strong>the</strong>re without <strong>the</strong> support of a record label.” - Michael Ravid<br />

from Swear To Me, NYC<br />

“It is my hope and belief that we will see a return to songs that are<br />

comprised of memorable melodies and well-written lyrics. I believe<br />

<strong>the</strong> general listen<strong>in</strong>g public will demand higher quality record<strong>in</strong>gs<br />

made <strong>by</strong> artists who play real <strong>in</strong>struments and can s<strong>in</strong>g without us<strong>in</strong>g<br />

auto-tune. I would hope we will all want to write better songs and<br />

make better records.” - Rob Hegel, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“I’m pretty sure we’ll all be wear<strong>in</strong>g Alum<strong>in</strong>um foil and t<strong>in</strong> hats.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k that as time goes on, <strong>the</strong> battle between Top 40 and <strong>the</strong><br />

niche-based music discovery will heat up even more. It is my hope<br />

and belief that people will eventually get tired of <strong>the</strong> same 40<br />

songs, and will beg<strong>in</strong> to move to higher level of music consumption,<br />

and, <strong>in</strong>stead of background noise, <strong>the</strong>y will f<strong>in</strong>d music that<br />

170 171

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

caters to <strong>the</strong>m specifically.” - Dion Roy from Fire and <strong>the</strong> Romance,<br />

NYC<br />

“I set my goals and my dreams as high as <strong>the</strong>y can be… I want to<br />

s<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> World Cup song like Shakira… It’s how this <strong>in</strong>dustry works:<br />

you have dreams, and if someth<strong>in</strong>g doesn’t happen, it’s not really a<br />

letdown. It’s just a different path because <strong>the</strong> path to success is so<br />

crazy.” - Berry Galazka, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“<strong>In</strong> 5 years music will cross more genre’s leav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry with more<br />

hybrid multi-talented artists.” - ‘JC Stang’ lead s<strong>in</strong>ger of ‘Wysteria’,<br />

NYC<br />

“The <strong>in</strong>dustry has changed a lot <strong>in</strong> recent years, and <strong>in</strong> a good way.<br />

Artists are, generally, produc<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir own music and do<strong>in</strong>g a great<br />

job. As a master<strong>in</strong>g eng<strong>in</strong>eer, it’s often hard to tell <strong>the</strong> difference between<br />

a track produced <strong>by</strong> a ‘big name producer’ or one produced <strong>by</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> artist <strong>the</strong>mselves, especially after master<strong>in</strong>g. So <strong>the</strong> future is set<br />

up nicely for <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dependent artist. One area for improvement, is <strong>the</strong><br />

bus<strong>in</strong>ess side of th<strong>in</strong>gs. Five years from now I would like to see artists<br />

tak<strong>in</strong>g control and be<strong>in</strong>g more ‘switched on’ when deal<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry.” - Pete Maher, Master<strong>in</strong>g Eng<strong>in</strong>eer, UK<br />

“I see <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess with much more emphasis on social media. I<br />

also see much more <strong>in</strong>volvement <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> artist management realm over<br />

PR firms and record labels. I don’t know where <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry is<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g, and that is one th<strong>in</strong>g I do love about <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry. <strong>In</strong> 5 years,<br />

I see myself as a tour<strong>in</strong>g artist. I hope to have side bus<strong>in</strong>esses <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

music bus<strong>in</strong>ess/<strong>in</strong>dustry as well as my career as a performance and<br />

record<strong>in</strong>g artist. I also see myself <strong>in</strong> 5 or more years perform<strong>in</strong>g at<br />

Jones Beach.” - Dylan Ander, NYC<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> is like water or air, people need it to live. I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

is just start<strong>in</strong>g to get smarter about this. They’re f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g newer and<br />

more <strong>in</strong>novative ways to control <strong>the</strong> ‘faucets’ of music, so to speak, I’m<br />

th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g of stream<strong>in</strong>g services, onl<strong>in</strong>e radio, etc. I’d say <strong>the</strong>re’s a good<br />

chance <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry will be back to f<strong>in</strong>ancial form <strong>in</strong> 10 years, if not<br />

5. As far as <strong>the</strong> sound goes, it’s hard to predict what specific sound<br />

or genre is go<strong>in</strong>g to have an impact, but I th<strong>in</strong>k what you def<strong>in</strong>itely<br />

WON’T hear is a repeat of <strong>the</strong> last decade. Say good<strong>by</strong>e to overproduction<br />

and dramatic bass drops.” - Just<strong>in</strong> Howard from VYD, NYC<br />

“I th<strong>in</strong>k <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry is <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> midst of a paradigm shift. Everyone<br />

can sense it. We are go<strong>in</strong>g to see a huge backlash aga<strong>in</strong>st ma<strong>in</strong>stream<br />

pop music <strong>in</strong> a way that we haven’t seen s<strong>in</strong>ce Nirvana shook up <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> early n<strong>in</strong>eties. The <strong>in</strong>come from studio record<strong>in</strong>gs just<br />

won’t be <strong>the</strong>re like it used to be. If you can’t br<strong>in</strong>g someth<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong><br />

table <strong>in</strong> a live sett<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>re just won’t be a place for you at <strong>the</strong> table.<br />

The next five years will truly be a test. The artists that are go<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

cut through and connect with an audience are go<strong>in</strong>g to be <strong>the</strong> people<br />

that really work for it, <strong>the</strong> people that have mastered <strong>the</strong>ir craft.” -<br />

Arison Ca<strong>in</strong>, NYC<br />

“Everyth<strong>in</strong>g cycles <strong>in</strong> music. Boy bands came back recently. With that<br />

trajectory, I’m brac<strong>in</strong>g myself for a resurgence of 90’s rock.” - Zach<br />

Falkow, NYC<br />

“I see myself as a well established artist with a Grammy or at least<br />

a Grammy nom<strong>in</strong>ation, possibly a TV, radio or talk show, constantly<br />

tour<strong>in</strong>g, be<strong>in</strong>g a part of some endorsements or campaigns and overall<br />

just be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> that space of what most call successful.” - Esnavi, NYC<br />

“The music bus<strong>in</strong>ess has changed so much <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> last decade, and so<br />

has <strong>the</strong> music record<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>dustry. I like to say it’s <strong>the</strong> ‘revolution to <strong>the</strong><br />

evolution of music.’ Th<strong>in</strong>gs have to change, o<strong>the</strong>rwise we are stuck <strong>in</strong> a<br />

vicious cycle. We need to keep challeng<strong>in</strong>g ourselves and experiment<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with new and different ways of do<strong>in</strong>g bus<strong>in</strong>ess as well as record<strong>in</strong>g<br />

172 173

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

techniques and art. I feel <strong>in</strong> five years I will still be push<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> limits of<br />

sound and bus<strong>in</strong>ess and work<strong>in</strong>g with clients who embrace <strong>the</strong> change<br />

but respect <strong>the</strong> past.” - Andy Manganello, Producer,<br />

NYC<br />

“<strong>Music</strong> does not change, people do. If it’s not good music, <strong>the</strong>n it’s<br />

not go<strong>in</strong>g to exist. We go through <strong>the</strong>se different phases where we<br />

are dragged to different th<strong>in</strong>gs. Eventually it’s go<strong>in</strong>g to be phased<br />

out. When I say good music, I mean good music with messages that<br />

help you get along <strong>in</strong> life. Real good music is always go<strong>in</strong>g to br<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong> people toge<strong>the</strong>r. <strong>Music</strong> is not go<strong>in</strong>g to change because music is<br />

part of <strong>the</strong> universe, music is a part of God. There is no such th<strong>in</strong>g as<br />

<strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry anymore, and that has been ever s<strong>in</strong>ce mp3 has<br />

come out. V<strong>in</strong>yl is com<strong>in</strong>g back, trust me. They want to br<strong>in</strong>g it back.<br />

That was a part of music history. Technology has totally destroyed <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry. That`s why <strong>the</strong> people of music today don’t sound different,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y sound <strong>the</strong> same.” - Daryl Brown son of <strong>the</strong> “godfa<strong>the</strong>r of soul”,<br />

James Brown, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“There will be a renewed focus on quality. O<strong>the</strong>r mediums have begun<br />

to realize that consumers recognize <strong>the</strong> difference between real<br />

effort and <strong>in</strong>genuity, versus formulaic, un<strong>in</strong>spired content. It’s only a<br />

matter of time for <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry to realize that orig<strong>in</strong>ality leads<br />

to bigger and longer-last<strong>in</strong>g rewards.” - Tom & Hebron, Nashville, TN<br />

“<strong>In</strong> five years, I better be perform<strong>in</strong>g my music on <strong>the</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational<br />

circuit. The American pop market is rude and overwhelm<strong>in</strong>g, but my<br />

goal for Neara Russell is to promote as much of my au<strong>the</strong>ntic artistry as<br />

possible while adapt<strong>in</strong>g to audience and <strong>in</strong>dustry feedback.” - Neara<br />

Russell, Los Angeles, CA<br />

“<strong>In</strong> five years from now, I see me right here, do<strong>in</strong>g what I love. I see me<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g songs and play<strong>in</strong>g shows, and whe<strong>the</strong>r that’s to <strong>100</strong> people or<br />

2,500 people, I’ll be happy.” - Nick F<strong>in</strong>ochio, PA<br />

The Coach’s Perspective: Vision <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

The future exists now. What are you currently creat<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

When I th<strong>in</strong>k back to one of <strong>the</strong> first musical <strong>in</strong>fluences I had, it was <strong>the</strong><br />

song “Thriller” <strong>by</strong> Michael Jackson as my parents drove us kids to d<strong>in</strong>ner<br />

<strong>in</strong> 1987. That song, as it played on <strong>the</strong> radio, was unbelievable and till<br />

today it still is! How can you make your music stand <strong>the</strong> test of time?<br />

Look at your music, your image, your site and your market<strong>in</strong>g materials.<br />

How can you <strong>in</strong>novate? Move 2 years forward? Have a bit<br />

of an edge?<br />

It’s so easy to just live <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> moment as a music artist. But it is way<br />

more powerful to have a “vision”, a plan for <strong>the</strong> future! Not hav<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

vision is a really bad move for one’s career. Yes, <strong>the</strong> artistic life is spontaneous,<br />

adventurous and fluid—that is what makes it so <strong>in</strong>toxicat<strong>in</strong>g—<br />

but <strong>the</strong> truth is, <strong>the</strong> directionless go nowhere without an unwaver<strong>in</strong>g<br />

focus on a vision.<br />

<strong>In</strong> my own life, I haven’t known exactly where th<strong>in</strong>gs would end up<br />

with my bold choices, but I frequently held onto my vision. I wanted to<br />

move to NYC for 10 years, ever s<strong>in</strong>ce I started my tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g as a classically<br />

tra<strong>in</strong>ed actress at 16 years old. I couldn’t afford to move to NYC to pursue<br />

my dreams, nor did I have any friends or resources <strong>the</strong>re. So I redirected<br />

my actions, but didn’t fully give up on my dreams. I hung a large<br />

portrait of Times Square <strong>in</strong> sight for all those years, wish<strong>in</strong>g to make that<br />

move I never did. After my Master’s degree, I did go anyway, know<strong>in</strong>g<br />

only one person and rely<strong>in</strong>g on my sav<strong>in</strong>gs to succeed. <strong>In</strong> 3 months, I<br />

got a high-pay<strong>in</strong>g corporate job which I held for three years. I enjoyed<br />

my lifestyle, developed a huge network and fell <strong>in</strong> love with <strong>the</strong> city.<br />

However over <strong>the</strong> years, I started to feel my energy deplete <strong>in</strong> this<br />

new city, especially with that soul-kill<strong>in</strong>g job. I had completed coach<strong>in</strong>g<br />

school with 350 hours of tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. I started my bus<strong>in</strong>ess m<strong>in</strong>gl<strong>in</strong>g<br />

with <strong>the</strong> creatives of NYC, and transition<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to a new person, a phase<br />

of life. My spirit called for <strong>the</strong> ocean to center myself, and I took 6 trips<br />

174 175

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

to tropical places; three trips to Puerto Rico, a one trip each to Mexico,<br />

Dom<strong>in</strong>ican Republic and Costa Rica.<br />

I felt <strong>the</strong> message of <strong>the</strong>se trips, which was to move to Miami, a guidance<br />

I took to heart. So aga<strong>in</strong>, I moved <strong>by</strong> myself, this time to Miami with<br />

just my sav<strong>in</strong>gs and a dream. As of writ<strong>in</strong>g this, I have been here less than<br />

a year, but I am liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> one of <strong>the</strong> most luxurious build<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong> Downtown<br />

Miami with a view of <strong>the</strong> skyl<strong>in</strong>e + ocean. I’m <strong>in</strong> love and <strong>in</strong> a serious relationship<br />

with my dream partner. And I’m a full time entrepreneur, just<br />

bubbl<strong>in</strong>g with <strong>in</strong>spiration and productivity. I visit <strong>the</strong> ocean to center myself<br />

frequently and my <strong>in</strong>tuition grows with each pass<strong>in</strong>g week.<br />

Therefore, my message to you is: design an ideal vision of your<br />

future and make some firm decisions to make it come true. Build your<br />

<strong>in</strong>ner voice and be brave when you know what <strong>the</strong> right moves are for<br />

you. There is a certa<strong>in</strong> element of risk-tak<strong>in</strong>g, you must not be afraid,<br />

<strong>in</strong>stead you must trade your fear for faith consistently along <strong>the</strong> way. It<br />

is human to be afraid at times, to worry and doubt, but you only have<br />

one shot now to succeed, and make your dreams come true. Fight on<br />

anyways and settle for noth<strong>in</strong>g!<br />

4. What is <strong>the</strong> risk you need to take to completely move your creative<br />

world forward?<br />

Chapter 8 Affirmation: Five Years from Now<br />

“I can clearly see where my music career will be 5<br />

years from now. With each plan made and committed<br />

to, my vision improves. My actions all lead to <strong>the</strong><br />

direction of my success. Walls crumble as I move<br />

forward, spread<strong>in</strong>g my positive <strong>in</strong>fluence on <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

I fear noth<strong>in</strong>g. I am strong. I am succeed<strong>in</strong>g.”<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

As your coach, I ask you <strong>the</strong> follow<strong>in</strong>g;<br />

1. When you envision your life 5 years from now, what do you see?<br />

2. Look<strong>in</strong>g at <strong>the</strong> current music scene, realistically, where do you<br />

see it go<strong>in</strong>g?<br />

3. What is <strong>the</strong> gap <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> market that will wake up <strong>the</strong> masses to<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g new?<br />

176 177

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Featured <strong>In</strong>terview: Benji Rogers, CEO of Pledge<strong>Music</strong><br />

The purpose of this <strong>in</strong>terview is to f<strong>in</strong>d out more about Pledge<strong>Music</strong>’s<br />

philosophy and direction <strong>in</strong> help<strong>in</strong>g artists and also, to ga<strong>the</strong>r your<br />

perspective on what it truly takes for a music artist to succeed <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry.<br />

So, my first question for you is: how did Pledge<strong>Music</strong> get started?<br />

What sparked that first <strong>in</strong>sight?<br />

Benji Rogers is an <strong>in</strong>dependent musician from London who has<br />

been mak<strong>in</strong>g his own records s<strong>in</strong>ce 1999. <strong>In</strong> 2009, Benji founded<br />

Pledge<strong>Music</strong>, <strong>the</strong> lead<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>ternational direct-to-fan platform offer<strong>in</strong>g<br />

artists a unique way to engage <strong>the</strong>ir fans <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music mak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

process while <strong>in</strong>teract<strong>in</strong>g with a global audience of music super fans,<br />

result<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> chart topp<strong>in</strong>g albums worldwide. <strong>In</strong> 2013, Benji was recognized<br />

on Billboard’s 40 Under 40 Power Players list, and <strong>in</strong> 2014 at<br />

<strong>the</strong> MUSEXPO <strong>In</strong>ternational <strong>Music</strong> Awards, he won Digital Executive<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Year.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Today we have Benji Rogers, President and Founder of<br />

Pledge<strong>Music</strong>, an amaz<strong>in</strong>g direct-to-fan music platform that truly<br />

supports artists <strong>in</strong> connect<strong>in</strong>g closely with <strong>the</strong>ir fans, support<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir creative developmental projects and expand<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

network.<br />

Pledge<strong>Music</strong> is recognized <strong>by</strong> official chart companies around <strong>the</strong><br />

world <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> OCC and SoundScan and can account for a<br />

significant share of first week and overall chart shares.<br />

Benji: Basically, I’m an artist myself, perform<strong>in</strong>g and mak<strong>in</strong>g records<br />

for ten years. I had a couple of <strong>in</strong>dependent record label deals and<br />

that type of th<strong>in</strong>g. I couldn’t quite make it work for me. I would get really<br />

close and get some amaz<strong>in</strong>g experiences, and <strong>the</strong>n th<strong>in</strong>gs didn’t<br />

work out. The label would not work out or <strong>the</strong> band wouldn’t work out,<br />

all k<strong>in</strong>ds of th<strong>in</strong>gs.<br />

Basically, I just saw someth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> my head one night and I was like,<br />

“Wouldn’t it be amaz<strong>in</strong>g if artists could offer <strong>the</strong>ir fans <strong>the</strong> experience<br />

of <strong>the</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g of an album, <strong>the</strong> experience of a tour, <strong>the</strong> experience of<br />

an EP, a s<strong>in</strong>gle.”<br />

I looked for it onl<strong>in</strong>e and <strong>the</strong>re were companies that did crowdfund<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re were companies that did direct-to-consumer, but nowhere<br />

did I see that really did direct-to-fan, which is this unfold<strong>in</strong>g<br />

process.<br />

I was really just obsessed <strong>by</strong> this thought that artists, when <strong>the</strong>y’re<br />

mak<strong>in</strong>g music are a lot more <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong>ir fans than when <strong>the</strong>y’re<br />

just sell<strong>in</strong>g music. So when an artist is a salesman or woman, <strong>the</strong>y are<br />

one th<strong>in</strong>g and when <strong>the</strong>y’re mak<strong>in</strong>g music, <strong>the</strong>y are ano<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k that when artists are mak<strong>in</strong>g music, it fasc<strong>in</strong>ates <strong>the</strong>ir fans and<br />

that is someth<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>y can truly participate <strong>in</strong>, that’s a lot more <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and a lot more excit<strong>in</strong>g and it turns out, worth a lot more to <strong>the</strong><br />

178 179

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

fans than just <strong>the</strong>, “I’ve made an album, buy it here,” which is what<br />

tends to commonly happen around most releases.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, def<strong>in</strong>itely. <strong>In</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r <strong>in</strong>terviews, I’ve def<strong>in</strong>itely heard how<br />

disconnected it can be between <strong>the</strong> artist and <strong>the</strong> fans nowadays<br />

with so much competition and so many artists com<strong>in</strong>g out, and with<br />

all <strong>the</strong> different social media – fans are overwhelmed with all types<br />

of directions and which different artist are com<strong>in</strong>g on <strong>the</strong> market.<br />

So it’s really great I believe that <strong>the</strong> fans can have a great, true<br />

connection through Pledge<strong>Music</strong>.<br />

Benji: I agree. The funny th<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> one sense, <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet made it<br />

both harder and easier to do dissem<strong>in</strong>ated content. It’s easy just sell<strong>in</strong>g<br />

content, but harder to actually get that content heard and engaged.<br />

The way I view this is that artists do th<strong>in</strong>gs that are fasc<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g to o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

people. Sell<strong>in</strong>g products to <strong>the</strong>m is not one of <strong>the</strong>m. It’s really fasc<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to watch an artist play live. It’s fasc<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g to watch an artist record.<br />

It’s fasc<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g to watch an artist talk about <strong>the</strong>ir process. It’s not <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

I don’t th<strong>in</strong>k, to have an artist stand <strong>the</strong>re hold<strong>in</strong>g up a record<br />

say<strong>in</strong>g, “Buy it, it’s $20.”<br />

Really, what it is, <strong>the</strong> landscape of social media has really radically altered<br />

that relationship. If you th<strong>in</strong>k about it, you can have a really close<br />

direct relationship with a brand, whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s your cellphone company<br />

or whe<strong>the</strong>r it’s your favorite restaurant, and often times, you can have<br />

a better connection.<br />

Like if I stay at a hotel or I tweet or post on Facebook or <strong>In</strong>stagram,<br />

“Hey! Hav<strong>in</strong>g a coffee at “Mario’s <strong>in</strong> Toronto,” this hotel will tweet back<br />

say<strong>in</strong>g, “Hope you enjoyed it. By <strong>the</strong> way, did you check out…” – this<br />

is a hotel that does this.<br />

So when certa<strong>in</strong> brands get it better than artists who are creative people –<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k that <strong>the</strong> artist has to listen to that. I th<strong>in</strong>k that <strong>the</strong> days of be<strong>in</strong>g able<br />

to shelter yourself away <strong>in</strong> a cocoon of creativity and emerge once every<br />

couple of years with a sh<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g product for people to buy is not go<strong>in</strong>g to be<br />

a susta<strong>in</strong>able future.<br />

I looked at it when I was first hav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> idea of Pledge (and it k<strong>in</strong>d<br />

of solidified through now), that <strong>the</strong>re were basically two frontiers <strong>in</strong><br />

music. There was <strong>the</strong> release of an album and a tour<strong>in</strong>g of <strong>the</strong> album.<br />

The tour<strong>in</strong>g of <strong>the</strong> album was normally to help sell albums. That was its<br />

<strong>in</strong>tention. It wasn’t designed as a money-maker, or if it did, it wouldn’t<br />

break even for quite a while.<br />

What, I believe, becomes <strong>the</strong> vision that guided Pledge was <strong>the</strong>re, was<br />

actually a third frontier, which is <strong>the</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g of <strong>the</strong> album. That mak<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of <strong>the</strong> album can’t be stolen because it’s not com<strong>in</strong>g from <strong>the</strong> artist. It<br />

can’t really be had after <strong>the</strong> fact. It’s literally someth<strong>in</strong>g that you experience<br />

<strong>in</strong> real-time.<br />

This morn<strong>in</strong>g I heard a new track <strong>by</strong> an artist – I love Mike Doughty, off<br />

of our platform, because he released it straight to pledgers only. So<br />

I’m gett<strong>in</strong>g to hear someth<strong>in</strong>g for <strong>the</strong> first time directly from <strong>the</strong> studio<br />

while this is happen<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

You can’t really go back and do that aga<strong>in</strong>. It has to be right <strong>the</strong>re and<br />

<strong>the</strong>n. It’s got <strong>the</strong> urgency <strong>in</strong> certa<strong>in</strong> cases of a live show, but that happens<br />

across <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet.<br />

A lot of artists, <strong>the</strong>y’re like, “But I just want to go make records and sell<br />

<strong>the</strong>m,” and that’s f<strong>in</strong>e, but it doesn’t work. If it works, we’ve got k<strong>in</strong>d<br />

of like top tier.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, I can see how it doesn’t work anymore if at all.<br />

180 181

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Benji: Yeah. Really, <strong>the</strong>re’s a top tier of artists who have broken through<br />

and <strong>the</strong>n you’ve got <strong>the</strong> bottom tier who are just not do<strong>in</strong>g it. The middle<br />

tier of artists are really gett<strong>in</strong>g a hard time because <strong>the</strong>y’re hav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to wrestle with a new way of communicat<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

The funny th<strong>in</strong>g is it’s not that hard. Every album, every EP, every video<br />

has a story to be told. If <strong>the</strong> only part of <strong>the</strong> story that <strong>the</strong> artist is tell<strong>in</strong>g<br />

is how to buy it, <strong>the</strong>n it’s not a story. The <strong>In</strong>ternet is built on stories. If you<br />

look at Facebook, it’s <strong>the</strong> story of what your friends are do<strong>in</strong>g, it’s <strong>the</strong><br />

story of who <strong>the</strong>y’re <strong>in</strong> love with, it’s <strong>the</strong> story of what your exes are do<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

And so, for an artist that just simply posts, “Buy tickets here” or “Buy<br />

my album here,” it’s really sell<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> experience of what’s possible so<br />

fans have alternatives for people who are do<strong>in</strong>g it really well and <strong>the</strong>y<br />

go follow <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

There’s a reason that Amanda Palmer or Ben Folds or <strong>the</strong>se artists are<br />

<strong>in</strong>credibly good at social media. It’s because <strong>the</strong>y just tell stories, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

respond, <strong>the</strong>y’re real. They’ve understood what that communication<br />

means to those fans who are on <strong>the</strong> receiv<strong>in</strong>g end of it.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, I saw that def<strong>in</strong>itely great artists have collaborated<br />

with Pledge<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Luc<strong>in</strong>da Williams, Slash, Br<strong>in</strong>g Me <strong>the</strong><br />

Horizon and BB K<strong>in</strong>g…<br />

Benji: Yeah, as an example, today, we have <strong>the</strong> no. 2 album <strong>in</strong> America,<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Billboard Top 200 with L<strong>in</strong>dsey Stirl<strong>in</strong>g. She uses <strong>the</strong> platform to<br />

engage with her fans. It was her way of tell<strong>in</strong>g her story to her fans and<br />

hav<strong>in</strong>g her fans be a part of <strong>the</strong> process, which she was really excited<br />

about.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k it’s really tell<strong>in</strong>g that an artist of that size and stature understands<br />

direct-to-fan.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Yeah, you def<strong>in</strong>itely found a part of <strong>the</strong> market with a huge<br />

need for artists to truly connect with <strong>the</strong>ir fans. Especially now<br />

with social media, you have all <strong>the</strong> different methods to do so.<br />

The last few years, <strong>the</strong>re’s def<strong>in</strong>itely been <strong>in</strong>novative opportunities<br />

for artists to really get out of <strong>the</strong> middle level, <strong>the</strong> middle<br />

layer of be<strong>in</strong>g confused with how to really market to your fans <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> best way, and to really take this opportunity and truly expand<br />

with connect<strong>in</strong>g with o<strong>the</strong>rs through <strong>the</strong>ir music.<br />

I saw that one of <strong>the</strong> quotes on <strong>the</strong> site was that “Pledge<strong>Music</strong><br />

gives you many of <strong>the</strong> benefits of a record deal, but you rema<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> control of <strong>the</strong> creative process and reta<strong>in</strong> <strong>100</strong>% of <strong>the</strong> commercial<br />

rate, music rate.” I would love to know more about that. That<br />

is def<strong>in</strong>itely <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Benji: Sure. So basically, what it is, <strong>the</strong> traditional model, <strong>the</strong> artist accepts<br />

an advance on a record label. <strong>In</strong> exchange for that advance, <strong>the</strong><br />

label owns that album for a certa<strong>in</strong> amount of time.<br />

It reverts back. That model worked very, very well, but that was when<br />

<strong>the</strong> label’s greatest skill was <strong>in</strong> gett<strong>in</strong>g albums to more and more<br />

people.<br />

Labels, <strong>the</strong>y had massive radio reach, massive retail reach and digital<br />

reach more often. Now, an artist with a TuneCore or a CDBa<strong>by</strong> account<br />

can access all of <strong>the</strong> digital distribution platforms from day one<br />

for $20 or whatever it is.<br />

And so what we really felt was a) we weren’t <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

album (as <strong>in</strong> we were <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> studio), we weren’t mak<strong>in</strong>g artist repertoire<br />

decisions about it. We were just a way <strong>in</strong> which it got to people and<br />

<strong>the</strong> story <strong>in</strong> which it got to people.<br />

182 183

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

And so a lot of artists would go on to sign a record deal or <strong>the</strong>y’ll sign a<br />

publish<strong>in</strong>g deal. They’ll sign with someone. They’re basically free to do<br />

whatever it is that <strong>the</strong>y want after <strong>the</strong> fact. And a lot of labels, <strong>in</strong> fact,<br />

look at what our artists do, and, basically – a lot of people, <strong>the</strong>y look at<br />

what artists are do<strong>in</strong>g, and <strong>the</strong>y go, “Wow! I’d like to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong>m.”<br />

So we’ve upstreamed maybe 50-60 artists to major <strong>in</strong>dependent labels<br />

from <strong>the</strong> platform, and it’s been very, very cool. It’s def<strong>in</strong>itely not<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g that I <strong>100</strong>% expected, but I’ve been really, really pleased to<br />

see it happen because ultimately, if we can de-risk <strong>the</strong> label’s <strong>in</strong>vestment<br />

<strong>in</strong> that band, <strong>the</strong> band will get a better record deal. I th<strong>in</strong>k that’s<br />

someth<strong>in</strong>g we def<strong>in</strong>itely want to shoot for.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: What is an ideal way for a music artist to set up a campaign<br />

and get fans and more <strong>in</strong>terest?<br />

Benji: So <strong>the</strong>re’s a few ways to do it, but basically artists email us and<br />

we get <strong>the</strong>m <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> that way or artists sign up on <strong>the</strong> website<br />

and <strong>the</strong>n one of our teams (ei<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> UK or <strong>the</strong> US) will br<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>m<br />

<strong>in</strong>to <strong>the</strong> system, and help <strong>the</strong>m through that way. The artist can do it<br />

completely on <strong>the</strong>ir own or else, we will basically get <strong>in</strong>volved and help<br />

<strong>the</strong>m through it.<br />

So it’s a very collaborative process that works best when everyone’s<br />

runn<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> same direction. We, basically, are able to convert more<br />

fans to become pledgers than any o<strong>the</strong>r platform because it’s got<br />

<strong>the</strong>se pledgers-only update where we feed artists’ fans <strong>the</strong> experience<br />

of <strong>the</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g-of-an-album.<br />

So yeah, we’re very friendly. We have artists <strong>by</strong> our office all <strong>the</strong> time.<br />

I just didn’t want to be an <strong>in</strong>f<strong>in</strong>ite company, I wanted to be a music<br />

company that runs via <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet.<br />

Our team is at shows pretty much every night somewhere <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

We really actively do seek out shows. We actively do this.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: I saw that <strong>the</strong> average pledge was $60, which is a lot higher<br />

than average. I saw that also a percentage of <strong>the</strong> funds raised<br />

go to support<strong>in</strong>g charities. I th<strong>in</strong>k that’s amaz<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Benji: When we had <strong>the</strong> idea for it, it was to solve a few th<strong>in</strong>gs. I th<strong>in</strong>k<br />

ultimately, <strong>the</strong>re were a few problems. First of all, I worked with refugees<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Middle East <strong>in</strong> 2004. That profoundly affected me. And so,<br />

I wanted to f<strong>in</strong>d a way to give back, and to help out <strong>the</strong> th<strong>in</strong>gs that I’ve<br />

seen and done.<br />

And <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r th<strong>in</strong>g was that at <strong>the</strong> time, it was very much designed<br />

that every artist I ever knew was passionate about a charity. They<br />

would have one cause that was near and dear and close to <strong>the</strong>ir hearts.<br />

And so <strong>the</strong> th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g was, “Well, why can’t we comb<strong>in</strong>e those two?”<br />

I also was th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> my head that a lot of us, we’ll be post<strong>in</strong>g and release<br />

material and release music, et cetera, and what I was th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g was<br />

you’d have to be pretty cold-blooded to pirate an artist’s music, which<br />

would be tak<strong>in</strong>g away from <strong>the</strong>m personally, and from a charity as well.<br />

And <strong>the</strong>n charities got <strong>in</strong>volved. They helped too. It’s just a w<strong>in</strong>-w<strong>in</strong>. It<br />

doesn’t work if it’s not genu<strong>in</strong>e. We say to artists, “What’s <strong>the</strong> charity<br />

that you love? Don’t just pick one. F<strong>in</strong>d out about it,” but most of <strong>the</strong>m<br />

just have one. So it’s been really nice to see that roll out. That’s been<br />

a huge piece for us.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Well, to me you come across as a visionary. You have <strong>the</strong><br />

visionary m<strong>in</strong>dset. You developed a service that is help<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

world.<br />

184 185

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>in</strong> Five Years<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Benji: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. It’s a team effort as well. I’ll say<br />

from our CEO who answers to <strong>the</strong> board (and I’m on <strong>the</strong> board, so he<br />

answers to me, and <strong>the</strong>n I answer to him). No, it’s been a bless<strong>in</strong>g to<br />

have gotten this far.<br />

I’ve made it my mission to ask very stupid questions, what I’ve seen as<br />

very stupid questions all <strong>the</strong> way through, because ultimately, what I<br />

want is – no, not what I want. I’m often asked, “What’s your vision for<br />

<strong>the</strong> future of this way of do<strong>in</strong>g th<strong>in</strong>gs?”, and my answer is: so that it becomes<br />

normal. The artists realize that this is how this is go<strong>in</strong>g to look.<br />

I really believe that this is <strong>the</strong> future, this is what it looks like. When<br />

you’re try<strong>in</strong>g to turn around an <strong>in</strong>dustry that is used to do<strong>in</strong>g th<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong><br />

a certa<strong>in</strong> way, its own way, and it’s not used to chang<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>the</strong>re’s not<br />

one change<br />

What I love, <strong>the</strong> philosophy of it – it’s actually from Nick Bilton’s book,<br />

I Live <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Future and Here’s How it Works, <strong>the</strong> customers of <strong>the</strong><br />

future, where <strong>the</strong>y can’t f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>the</strong> stories that <strong>the</strong>y want, will steal <strong>the</strong>m<br />

or create <strong>the</strong>m. That makes it a huge potential and a huge possibility.<br />

Artists can totally control <strong>the</strong>ir own futures now, and that’s a super<br />

excit<strong>in</strong>g time. There will be w<strong>in</strong>ners and losers <strong>in</strong> this. I don’t believe<br />

that <strong>the</strong> labels will disappear, but just <strong>the</strong> nature of what <strong>the</strong>y do will<br />

change and it’s not a bad th<strong>in</strong>g. It’s essentially very excit<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

So yeah, that’s what I believe it will look like.<br />

I th<strong>in</strong>k, it becomes challeng<strong>in</strong>g. You are hitt<strong>in</strong>g your head up aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

<strong>the</strong> wall all <strong>the</strong> time. The reality of it is that <strong>the</strong>re’s no o<strong>the</strong>r way this can<br />

really go. This is <strong>the</strong> future. This is what it looks like. It’s super excit<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

It’s a brilliant th<strong>in</strong>g to watch unfold.<br />

We’ve just built a dedicated team that is second to none. So yeah, I’m<br />

blessed to be here.<br />

<strong>Emily</strong>: Wow! So my f<strong>in</strong>al question is; where do you see music go<strong>in</strong>g<br />

five years from now?<br />

Benji: I th<strong>in</strong>k that basically 99% of music <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> future will be streams.<br />

The dissem<strong>in</strong>ation where people are stream<strong>in</strong>g it from <strong>the</strong> <strong>In</strong>ternet,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y won’t need it on <strong>the</strong>ir phone. It’ll live that way.<br />

But one change is <strong>the</strong> fact of stories that people will fall <strong>in</strong> love with<br />

<strong>the</strong> narrative that exists with<strong>in</strong> bands, <strong>the</strong> narrative that exists for solo<br />

artists. They’ll question why.<br />

186 187

CHAPTER 9<br />

Legacy, Leav<strong>in</strong>g Your Art Beh<strong>in</strong>d<br />

❖ ❖ ❖<br />

PEOPLE NOWADAYS LIVE SO MUCH for today. They don’t really focus on where<br />

<strong>the</strong>y see <strong>the</strong>mselves <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> future. Times move so fast, music changes<br />

so fast, that one doesn’t realize that <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> long run, you are leav<strong>in</strong>g<br />

your legacy beh<strong>in</strong>d to your fans. You are chang<strong>in</strong>g a part of <strong>the</strong> music<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry each day with your work.<br />

<strong>Music</strong> is a part of my spirit, and ever s<strong>in</strong>ce I was 5 years old, I knew<br />

I was one of a k<strong>in</strong>d. <strong>Over</strong> <strong>the</strong> years, I learned to channel my natural<br />

creative m<strong>in</strong>dset, out of <strong>the</strong> box th<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g and hyper focused ADDattention<br />

span <strong>in</strong>to my purpose with Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s.<br />

My college education <strong>in</strong> market<strong>in</strong>g, public relations, communications<br />

and social media gave me a foundation to streng<strong>the</strong>n my work<br />

with each artist we have <strong>in</strong>terviewed for <strong>the</strong> site. Now 300+ <strong>in</strong>terviews<br />

later I know with each day, I am add<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>the</strong> legacy that I will leave<br />

beh<strong>in</strong>d.<br />

I always knew I was meant to s<strong>in</strong>g, but <strong>the</strong> last few years I came to<br />

realize that I am much more than a s<strong>in</strong>ger/songwriter. At my deepest, I<br />

am a connector. It gives me great joy to br<strong>in</strong>g o<strong>the</strong>rs toge<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

I feel that I am supposed to create a revolution <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

with Creative <strong>Spotlight</strong>s. I’m not fully sure how, but I feel that I am<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g to be leav<strong>in</strong>g a huge footpr<strong>in</strong>t when it comes to relationship<br />

build<strong>in</strong>g and connect<strong>in</strong>g o<strong>the</strong>rs as well as support<strong>in</strong>g and <strong>in</strong>spir<strong>in</strong>g<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r people’s dreams. All real artists have a sort of wisdom with<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong>m of <strong>the</strong>ir real purpose with <strong>the</strong>ir art.<br />


Legacy, Leav<strong>in</strong>g Your Art Beh<strong>in</strong>d<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

What is that footpr<strong>in</strong>t? Well, that’s someth<strong>in</strong>g you’ll just have to<br />

wait and see. One th<strong>in</strong>g I can tell you is that I would love this book to<br />

be given to music schools as a guide for <strong>the</strong>ir students to follow <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

dreams.<br />

I would like to <strong>in</strong>spire musicians who don’t even have a website or<br />

know where to start.<br />

I’d love it if a musician who hasn’t played <strong>in</strong> five years picks this<br />

book up and <strong>the</strong>n starts play<strong>in</strong>g music aga<strong>in</strong>.<br />

I’d love it for that girl who is passionate about her gifts, to read this<br />

and feel empowered and excited to fight for her dreams.<br />

I want every person who wants to know how to be successful <strong>in</strong><br />

music, or just <strong>in</strong> life, to feel <strong>in</strong>spired <strong>by</strong> this book. I want this to make<br />

<strong>the</strong>m feel so alive, excited to live and ready to take this journey to<br />

reach <strong>the</strong>ir dreams.<br />

Keys To Success<br />

Follow Your Passion: If you want your dream bad enough, go for it! It is<br />

your life, so you might as well live out your dreams. Pursue your passion!<br />

You will only be one million times happier, that’s all! Just a little bit of a difference,<br />

right? Tak<strong>in</strong>g chances can be scary, but is walk<strong>in</strong>g around sleep<strong>in</strong>g<br />

on your dreams and be miserable your entire life until you are on your<br />

death bed with regret, worth it? That is more of a risk, don’t you th<strong>in</strong>k?<br />

Strategic Imag<strong>in</strong>ation: We are tra<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> school to only th<strong>in</strong>k logically.<br />

<strong>Over</strong> time, we can move fur<strong>the</strong>r away from what our hearts really want<br />

<strong>in</strong> life. Especially when it comes to our careers. Do not be afraid of<br />

go<strong>in</strong>g after your dreams. By streng<strong>the</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g your <strong>in</strong>ner wisdom, you will<br />

move closer to what you truly desire when you make <strong>the</strong> right decisions.<br />

Stay grounded always. Comb<strong>in</strong>e logic with imag<strong>in</strong>ation. Don’t<br />

keep your head <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> clouds, make <strong>in</strong>tuitive choices connected to<br />

your <strong>in</strong>ner truth. It will truly lead to prosperity.<br />



Fred Lipsius: Multi-Grammy Award w<strong>in</strong>ner and Co-founder of <strong>the</strong><br />

legendary jazz-rock band, “Blood, Sweat and Tears.” Lipsius has performed<br />

with Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Jopl<strong>in</strong>, and jazz greats Cannonball<br />

Adderley, Thelonious Monk, Zoot Sims, Eddie Gómez, Al Foster, George<br />

Mraz, Larry Willis, Randy Brecker, Rodney Jones and many o<strong>the</strong>rs. He has<br />

written music for and performed on over 30 CDs as both a leader and<br />

sideman. He has also authored six books/CDs on jazz improvisation and<br />

jazz read<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Isaac Morris, American <strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry Executive, Consultant and<br />

Founder of Morris Enterta<strong>in</strong>ment Group and Rich Life: which consists<br />

of a record label, management, and market<strong>in</strong>g company which works with<br />

and represents artists and producers such as Teddy Bishop, Dave Hall,<br />

Bone Thugs n Harmony, Smitty Lil Mo, Cadillac Don j-money, VIC, Liberty<br />

City, Dev<strong>in</strong> Johnson, profile, Lil G silk, Nivea, Marquise Daniels, C Wallace,<br />

Khao, Sam Salter, Tony Rich, TLC, Usher, Outkast, Goodie Mob, Darnell<br />

Jones, Jagged Edge, JT Money, Youngbloodz, Yung Ralph, GS Boyz, Coco<br />

Kiss, Young Joc, Gunplay, Letoya Luckett, Dest<strong>in</strong>y’s Child, Anthony Dent,<br />

Sterl<strong>in</strong>g Simms, B major, Ideal, Jackie O, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Drummer<br />

Boy, Ensayne Wayne, Gorillaz Zoe, ET Dirty Boyz, Jerma<strong>in</strong>e Dupri, Lil Jon,<br />

DJ Montay, Dollhouse, Beyonce, Nicki M<strong>in</strong>aj and many more.<br />

He’s called “one of <strong>the</strong> most powerful figures <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> music bus<strong>in</strong>ess.”<br />

Lou Plaia, Co-Founder of ReverbNation: This tremendous onl<strong>in</strong>e<br />

platform supports 3.5 million music <strong>in</strong>dustry professionals from around<br />

<strong>the</strong> world — artists, managers, labels, venues, festivals — with powerful,<br />

easy-to-use technology to promote and prosper onl<strong>in</strong>e.<br />

190 191

Legacy, Leav<strong>in</strong>g Your Art Beh<strong>in</strong>d<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

<strong>Music</strong> <strong>In</strong>dustry veteran with over 20 years experience; spent twelve<br />

years at Atlantic Records where he was VP of Strategic Market<strong>in</strong>g and<br />

worked with Jewel, Hootie & <strong>the</strong> Blowfish, Collective Soul, George<br />

Carl<strong>in</strong> and hundreds of o<strong>the</strong>r artists and bands. Was also Head of<br />

Market<strong>in</strong>g and Artist Development for Atlantic impr<strong>in</strong>t, Lava Records,<br />

where he worked for four years with artists such as Kid Rock, O.A.R.,<br />

Simple Plan, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Matchbox 20, Uncle Kracker,<br />

Unwritten Law and many o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />

The Venetia Fair, American Rock Band: As shared, “We’re a band<br />

called The Venetia Fair and we have no fuck<strong>in</strong>g clue what we’re do<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Our names are Benny, Mr. Chark, Mike, Joe Brown, and Aust<strong>in</strong>. My<br />

name, specifically, is Benny and I feel like I’m ba<strong>by</strong>sitt<strong>in</strong>g four 12-yearolds<br />

all <strong>the</strong> time. Actually, I feel like I’m a 12-year-old ba<strong>by</strong>sitt<strong>in</strong>g four<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r 12-year-olds and do<strong>in</strong>g a really bad job (even for a 12-year-old).<br />

Mr. Chark is like that weird 12-year-old who has a calculator watch,<br />

carries a compass (but still gets lost all <strong>the</strong> time), and loves <strong>the</strong> sound<br />

of his own voice, especially when he’s not us<strong>in</strong>g words. Mike’s more<br />

like a hyperactive 14-year-old who got held back and has to hang out<br />

with <strong>the</strong> younger kids but doesn’t m<strong>in</strong>d because he gets to be better<br />

than <strong>the</strong>m at everyth<strong>in</strong>g and <strong>the</strong> older kids are bor<strong>in</strong>g, anyway. Joe<br />

Brown is <strong>the</strong> obnoxious 12-year-old who steals “chromies” off of tires<br />

<strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> park<strong>in</strong>g lot and learns obscene words to scream so he can expla<strong>in</strong><br />

that “it actually means female dog!” to his angry teachers. And<br />

<strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>re’s Aust<strong>in</strong>, <strong>the</strong> excitable 12-year-old who can’t wait to get a<br />

sip of his dad’s beer or a peek down a girl’s shirt. Hang<strong>in</strong>g out with us<br />

is probably more aggravat<strong>in</strong>g than anyth<strong>in</strong>g else but I th<strong>in</strong>k we’re all<br />

best friends. If we actually were 12 years old, we’d be <strong>in</strong> a secret club<br />

and have an awesome fort.<br />

We get compared to a lot of different bands that don’t sound anyth<strong>in</strong>g<br />

like each o<strong>the</strong>r so it’s hard to believe anyone. We try to make<br />

music that is <strong>the</strong>atrical, chaotic, catchy, and sometimes a little silly but<br />

not too silly because it’s also serious bus<strong>in</strong>ess. We have a lot of fun<br />

writ<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> music we write and perform<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> way we perform.<br />

Not a s<strong>in</strong>gle one of us had any substantial tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> our <strong>in</strong>struments<br />

or music <strong>in</strong> general so be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a band was really hard for us sometimes<br />

but we worked really hard to make up for it. It takes a lot of<br />

work to pretend to be good at someth<strong>in</strong>g. Then Mike jo<strong>in</strong>ed up with<br />

us and he knows how to play stuff but we still talk to him like we’re<br />

idiots (we’re idiots) so we’re still work<strong>in</strong>g pretty hard (not smart). We<br />

try to play toge<strong>the</strong>r every s<strong>in</strong>gle day and some of that play<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>volves<br />

music...”<br />

S.J. Tucker: Tucker has been <strong>the</strong> glad capta<strong>in</strong> of her own <strong>in</strong>dependent<br />

music career s<strong>in</strong>ce 2004, when she left <strong>the</strong> workaday world beh<strong>in</strong>d<br />

to travel <strong>the</strong> cont<strong>in</strong>ent, s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g songs and chang<strong>in</strong>g lives. Named a<br />

vanguard of <strong>the</strong> Mythpunk movement and even “<strong>the</strong> face of neo-tribal<br />

Paganism” <strong>by</strong> Witches & Pagans Magaz<strong>in</strong>e, Tucker is <strong>the</strong> voice of lore<br />

at <strong>the</strong> campfire and <strong>the</strong> sharp laughter of modern myth. With one<br />

hand anchored <strong>in</strong> her art and <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r held out to you, she is songs<br />

and stories, community and wit.<br />

With over ten albums released to date and several more currently <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> works, Tucker has received songwrit<strong>in</strong>g awards and has traveled<br />

<strong>the</strong> USA, Canada, and Europe with her music. S. J. (called “Sooj”<br />

<strong>by</strong> fans and friends) believes that <strong>the</strong>re’s more than one way to be a<br />

rock star. If you’re chas<strong>in</strong>g your dreams and liv<strong>in</strong>g your life <strong>in</strong> a way<br />

that keeps you happy and healthy, Sooj believes you’ve got it made.<br />

You may often f<strong>in</strong>d her on tour with similarly hard-work<strong>in</strong>g artists<br />

and groups who believe <strong>in</strong> giv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong>ir fans all that <strong>the</strong>y’ve got,<br />

such as Toronto’s Hea<strong>the</strong>r Dale Band, Seattle cellist Betsy T<strong>in</strong>ney<br />

(often with <strong>the</strong>ir shared project, Tricky Pixie), or Pride Rockers Big<br />

Bad G<strong>in</strong>a.<br />

192 193

Legacy, Leav<strong>in</strong>g Your Art Beh<strong>in</strong>d<br />

<strong>In</strong> The <strong>Spotlight</strong>: <strong>Over</strong> <strong>100</strong> <strong>Voices</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Music</strong><br />

Billy Gilman; Multi-plat<strong>in</strong>um-sell<strong>in</strong>g Country record<strong>in</strong>g artist,<br />

Grammy Nom<strong>in</strong>ee and American <strong>Music</strong> Award w<strong>in</strong>ner: <strong>In</strong> 2000, at<br />

<strong>the</strong> age of 11, he debuted with <strong>the</strong> s<strong>in</strong>gle “One Voice,” a Top 20 hit on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Billboard<br />

country music charts and became <strong>the</strong> youngest s<strong>in</strong>ger to<br />

a Top 40 hit on <strong>the</strong> country music charts. <strong>In</strong> 2001, he was <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Gu<strong>in</strong>ness Book of World Records for be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>the</strong> youngest s<strong>in</strong>ger to<br />

ever reach #1 on <strong>the</strong> Billboard Top Country Album charts. He has sold<br />

five million albums worldwide and garnered awards and nods from <strong>the</strong><br />

Academy of Country <strong>Music</strong>, <strong>the</strong> Country <strong>Music</strong> Association, Billboard<br />

Magaz<strong>in</strong>e, and <strong>the</strong> American <strong>Music</strong> Association.<br />

<strong>In</strong> 2012, Gilman made waves <strong>by</strong> recruit<strong>in</strong>g 18 fellow country superstars<br />

to collaborate on a charity s<strong>in</strong>gle called The Choice to benefit <strong>the</strong><br />

Soles4Souls charity. Proceeds from <strong>the</strong> song, which <strong>in</strong>cluded Keith Urban,<br />

Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, and Rodney Atk<strong>in</strong>s, placed<br />

shoes on tens of thousands of barefoot children around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

Kenny Fame: Stage name of musician Levi Wise Kenneth Catoe Jr. <strong>In</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> NYC area, Fame has built an impressive resume as both a: spoken<br />

word artist and a sought-after poet / lyricist <strong>in</strong> less than three years.<br />

After creat<strong>in</strong>g a buzz <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> competitive world of NYC’s Spoken Word/<br />

Poetry scene. <strong>In</strong> 2013 Fame decided to focus all of his energies <strong>in</strong>to<br />

record<strong>in</strong>g music which led to his debut CD “Kenny Fame The First<br />

Album” released back <strong>in</strong> November of 2013. His 2nd album EP “Fame<br />

Nation was released on June 3rd 2014; and he has an upcom<strong>in</strong>g “The<br />

Live Album” set for release on November 18th 2014, one year after <strong>the</strong><br />

“The First Album.<br />

Samantha Echo: Echo hails from <strong>the</strong> mounta<strong>in</strong>ous regions of <strong>the</strong> Island<br />

of Many Hills <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> City of Bl<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g. She has been perform<strong>in</strong>g s<strong>in</strong>ce<br />

<strong>the</strong> age of six, when she decided she wanted to be a Disney character<br />

when she grew up, and is a licensed busker with <strong>the</strong> <strong>Music</strong> Under<br />

New York program. Her song “The Slut of Denmark” received <strong>the</strong><br />

November 2014 Akademia <strong>Music</strong> Award <strong>in</strong> <strong>the</strong> Folk-Cabaret category.<br />

She has been featured <strong>in</strong> Suzanne Stout’s first annual Buskers’ Carnival<br />

at <strong>the</strong> Players’ Club, <strong>the</strong> Notable Features’ documentary Rhythm <strong>in</strong><br />

Motion, and <strong>the</strong> Award-W<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g Book The Noise Beneath <strong>the</strong> Apple,<br />

<strong>by</strong> Hea<strong>the</strong>r Jacks, who calls her “a Salvador Dali of sound, challeng<strong>in</strong>g<br />

and disrupt<strong>in</strong>g perspective.”<br />

Tanner: By <strong>the</strong> age of 20, Tanner had overcome not only drug addiction,<br />

but also a rare, life-threaten<strong>in</strong>g blood disease. Now clean and healthy,<br />

<strong>the</strong> s<strong>in</strong>ger-songwriter is here to share his self-titled EP with <strong>the</strong> world. The<br />