In her early 20’s, Lauren Deakin Davies has already experienced success and and acclaim as an award-winning record producer in the UK. Her hit work has already garnered her two “Producer of the Year” awards from NMG and a Breakthrough Studio Engineer award from Pro Sounds. Her production work has been featured on BBC shows and reviewed by the Sunday Times, and her plate is full working with artists from every genre. Starting out as an acoustic songwriter and performer in an all-girl band in her teens, Lauren has experienced both sides of the “studio glass” as an artist and now an engineer, which brings her a unique perspective when working with artists. She has also recently launched her solo music career as Didi, releasing a new EP, “Green” on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms. In this music careers episode, Lauren shares her musical journey as artist, producer, writer and engineer, and shares her secrets to success and how to get exposure in a competitive music industry landscape.
Dr. Gigi Johnson, Inaugural Director of UCLA’s Center for Music Innovation, has taken an unconventional route when it comes to a career in music. A gifted singer and creative, she has performed and released music all while pursuing a film production degree at USC, an MBA, a PhD in education change/media studies, starting her own business (the Maremel Institute) and having 9 different careers in banking, media, marketing and education, among others. During this episode Gigi walks us through each career decision and trajectory, how each business skill set has contributed to the next as well as overall personal and creative development, and shares insights and well-honed wisdom about technology’s impact on creation, content and beyond.
J. Michael Dolan is a published, prolific author and blogger, a professional musician, a successful entrepreneur, a veteran of the entertainment industry, and the founder of Music Connection magazine. But what Michael shares on this episode is about the business of happiness, commitment, being of service and navigating the new music industry landscape with these tools in hand. As an artist and entrepreneur, Michael explains the stepping stones throughout his music industry career that led to his success, and the development of his spiritual principles that continue to guide his journey. His insight, wisdom and candor inspires and empowers his clients, his readers, and everyone he meets.
Zac Harding is a self-professed “engineer rat”, starting from the world-renowned studio once owned by Bruce Swedien in Minneapolis, working with the Replacements and Prince(!!) and making the move to Los Angeles. In fact, his engineer experience helped him land the Director of Marketing position at Songtradr (more on that in the interview!) Zac talks about his transition from the recording studio to marketing, the licensing resources and financial opportunities that Songtradr offers to artists, why this is the best time to be an independent musician, why it’s so important to make goals for your music career, and what tools and innovations are available to artists to succeed.
Hunter Scott, co-founder and Head of Marketing & Publicity at the full service music PR firm LaFamos, knows a thing or two about creating pathways to success. Originally a singer/songwriter and guitarist, he began taking classes at Musicians Institute, won a full scholarship, then returned after a few years to serve on the faculty. His keen insight and creativity in music marketing led him to start his own business (from his kitchen table, no less), successfully navigating the business to a 10-year anniversary and global recognition. Hunter is very well known in the industry, serving on panels and as a featured speaker at music and entertainment conferences worldwide. During this music jobs episode, Hunter shares his career trajectory, explains the business of PR, and shares advice for artists looking to raise exposure as well as what it takes to work at at music PR firm.
Joshua Dekaney, currently teaching at the prestigious Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University, is a professional percussionist. His ability to play virtually any type of percussion has sent him to places like Sao Paolo, Brazil, where he headlined the Batuka! International Drum Fest, to performing with several high profile orchestras around the United States, to working with artists like Peter Cetera and Aretha Franklin, and collaborating with diverse performers from marching bands to modern dance troupes. As an educator and professional musician, Josh talks about his education and music career trajectory, how to seek out and take advantage of opportunities wherever you are, and the importance of being open to new experiences.
Diana LaPointe, Senior Director, Music Licensing at Sony Music Entertainment, knows a thing or two about content. She’s watched the explosive growth of content platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu from the front row, and how the need for music (and music licensing) has transformed the music industry landscape into a growth area. Diana shares her journey from Berklee School of Music to her music industry careers at Warner Music and Sony Music Entertainment, why this is an exciting time to work in the industry, and how she manages the constant demand for music with Sony’s incredible catalog of artists, both established and emerging.
Vicky Wang, Los Angeles Director of Sofar Sounds, loves being part of an innovative music experience for artists and music fans alike. In this week’s episode, Vicky shares her journey from Texas to Los Angeles and joining Sofar Sounds, first in Chicago and then in Los Angeles. A veteran of pr and marketing, Vicky discusses Sofar Sound’s grassroots campaign of secret gigs and unusual venues as a new platform and music job opportunity for up-and-coming artists and a delightfully intimate, one-of-a-kind live experience for true music lovers. Vicky also shares how to apply to be a guest artist, how to be a host for one of these special shows, or how to join the Sofar Sounds team.
Sofar Sounds is already in over 400 cities around the world and shows no signs of slowing down, with its ever-expanding community of fervent music fans who long for the magic of a live event experience – for one night only.
Tribeca and Grand Agent, members of the rap group Tribeca-Grand, have a particular goal in mind as they work: to create music that they themselves would want to listen to. That goal has served them extremely well, both as independent artists (Tribeca is an MC, producer, songwriter and author who has worked with KRS-One, Camp Lo and more; Grand Agent has toured worldwide as a hip hop artist and has worked with other artists like Pete Rock and Common) and also their current project, Tribeca-Grand. Their hit singles, Take a Knee and NY-PHI, have been tearing up college rap radio charts and they are about to release their debut album, Sport of the Gods, on April 17th. During our chat on this music job episode, Tribeca and Grand Agent talk about their pasts, their passions as they continue to work on their craft, and their experience and insight on the evolution of music and the biz.
Travis Holcombe loves discovering new music, which works perfectly with his career as a DJ at KCRW. Spinning underground grooves, lost tracks and quirky-cool mixes from 10PM to midnight on weeknights, Travis entertains and educates a global, enthusiastic audience who stream his show worldwide or find it on the FM dial at 89.9 in Los Angeles. KCRW is world renowned for its eclectic and original music programming and music discovery, as well as serving as a launch pad for innumerable stars, both past, present and future. In this episode, Travis shares the story of his music career trajectory from Georgia to California, working in independent radio, how to get started as a DJ and discusses all of the digital platforms and mediums for finding and supporting independent artists and music.