Front and Center: Publicist and Founder of The Bloom Effect, Fiona Bloom

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Publicist and Founder of The Bloom Effect, Fiona Bloom

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By Laura B. Whitmore

In an industry with an overwhelming amount of publicists, it can be hard to stand out. But that’s far from true for Fiona Bloom, a New York-based branding and PR maven and founder of The Bloom Effect.

Bloom founded her agency in 2007, offering branding for artists, personalities, music labels and lifestyle companies. The firm offers its clients a wealth of insight/knowledge and expertise as well as the benefits of a huge rolodex of premium, global contacts – everything it takes to make sure a brand or project is recognized or discovered by the right people.

As well as handling branding, publicity, digital marketing, A&R consulting and promotion services, The Bloom Effect produces a range of events, parties and live shows. Having produced over 2000 music showcases and consulted on hundreds of album projects, the company has played a significant role in the careers of over 300 artists, including The Zombies, Avery*Sunshine, Hollis Brown, Anthony David, Raul Midon, Jesse Clegg, France Rocks and many more.

See for yourself in our interview below why Bloom is among one of the most respected publicists in the industry. Visit http://thebloomeffect.com/ to learn more.

WiMN: You seem to have your hand in so many things…what’s a typical day like for you?

FB: A typical day for me is some hardcore outreach, generally churning out press releases or alerts, and pitches to about 150 people daily. That doesn't include venues, my international counterparts, other calls that come up and emails to answer, plus talking to my clients regularly.

In between all these I somehow manage to add in about 2 - 3 meetings in person, and on a show day I'll leave work, head straight out and catch a couple of artists depending on the agenda. Hectic but love it!

WiMN: What do you wish artists knew about working with a publicist?

FB: I wish artists knew how to manage expectations better. Also, that we do the outreach, have the relationships, but can't guarantee anyone to write about you or invite you to record a session or premiere your song/video.

You're hiring us because of our connections/reputations and strong trust we've developed with the media. Money can't buy that!

WiMN: What have been some of your biggest challenges?

FB: Staying up on all the technology advancements, keeping relevant, making sure my database is always current and up-to-date. Also managing lists/contacts. I have over 10,000 outlets/writers in my database compiled of DJ's, programmers, talent bookers, writers, stringers, journalists, bloggers, radio hosts, VJ's, tour press, bloggers, podcasters, syndication, social media/content creators, TV producers, show segments. This doesn't even include my peers - other publicists, labels, promoters, talent buyers/ bookers at venues, festivals, sync and music supervisors, brands and overall industry.

Other challenges include traveling to conferences. When you work as an entrepreneur/boutique, you have to really pick and choose which events and travel you can budget for.

Also going after key accounts. You're always up against at least three other pubs and firms. In fact, I just lost out on two potential clients and not because I wasn't cut out for it, but more because they decided to go in a different direction. I can't let it get to me; have to keep it moving. Keep it scrolling, as the kids say.

WiMN: What made you choose to work in PR? Did you have an “Aha moment?”

FB: I don't think I chose PR; it was thrust upon me. I'd always done marketing and radio promo with other partners and for record companies, and then one day when I got let go from EMI, Mike Stuto, who used to book a popular NYC venue called Brownie's, contacted me out of the blue and asked if I'd like to be recommended for an indie label that was a start-up looking for a publicist. I totally winged it. I convinced the label owner that I could do the job and guess what... The job was mine!

I guess my "aha moment" came when all the major labels tried to steal me asking my boss if they could take me for a bigger offer, but he would always tell them I'm under contracts which definitely wasn't the case. Boy, did I learn from my naïveté.

WiMN: Tell us about your Efficacy web series…what got it started and what is your goal?

FB: My Efficacy Web Series really started back in 2008; wasn't really sure what I was doing with YouTube back then. It was an afterthought, but I kind of wish I would have latched on to it then and really got it going as fast-forward to now, and I'd probably be making a serious living as a content creator. Well, we can't be good at everything.

I started the series to really give a platform and spotlight to creative folks who weren't getting any light on other outlets or mediums. I wanted to shine light and give a deeper lens into the artists' career - their hobbies and other interests outside the music.

I called it Efficacy as a play on words with my company name The Bloom Effect - - the Effect- -Efficacy meaning to create a 'desired effect'. It just clicked and I've kept it ever since.

I really need to step it up now, as the company who has been monetizing and marketing my channel –IND Music Network – a great group of folks, just got bought up by LiveNation TV, so my channel is in that network now. I congratulated IND Music Network, and they had mentioned they're trimming their channels, so I was praying that they wouldn't cut me loose! As it stands, I have nothing to worry about – whew.

I have about 158 Webisodes- that's a lot of content. Some of the clips are super creative.

WiMN: How can our readers participate in the series?

FB: Your readers can easily participate. Have them reach out to me and I'll send them an outline and instructions and we'll get it going!

WiMN: What other projects are you working on that you’d like folks to know about?

FB: Other projects in the works:

  • The Zombies come back for a West coast tour.
  • Releasing this awesome project from Bruce Sudano called With Angels on a Carousel.
  • Setting up Hollis Brown for a big splash at Americana Music Festival in Nashville + hopefully Reeperbahn and a serious tour in Europe this Fall.
  • Identifying partners for the new Water Seed project ‘We Are Stars,’ and always looking for the next hot act or brand to represent.
  • I’m also doing a lot of speaking engagements this summer.
  • I’m working on 3 books – yep, I know that sounds rather ambitious but it’s accurate.
  • I’m looking to play more of an educator role with some adjunct classes I’ll be teaching at Brooklyn Campus at LIU.
  • Had this dream to produce a free-standing International Hip Hop Festival. Looking to secure partners/sponsors within the next 12 months and really make this a reality for 2018 in the desired City of Oakland, Calif.

WiMN: Do you have advice for other women in the music industry out there?

FB: Just follow your heart, live your dream and work hard, but also form alliances with other strong women.

Find a couple of mentors, do some mentoring yourself and make sure these men are on your side, too. Find those men who champion women and empower them - they’re definitely out there.

Put a great team together and learn how to follow your gut and instinct, which usually is always right. Don’t undersell yourself and don’t let them intimidate you! Know your self-worth.

Selena to Have Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

By Pauline France

selena-1Selena Quintanilla, the bilingual artist and first Tejano act to win a Grammy, will receive a star on the Hollywood Hall of fame 20 years after her passing.

According to Billboard, Selena was among the 2017 Hollywood Walk of Fame honorees announced June 27 by television producer Vin di Bona, the Walk of Fame Selection Committee Chair, in front of Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre.

Later this year, Selena will also be honored by M.A.C. cosmetics with a signature makeup line.

"Selena's talent and beauty, inside and out, have left a colorful, meaningful impact in the world that has continued to grow over the last two decades," M.A.C creative director James Gager told People. "We have heard the passion and enthusiasm from her fans and wholeheartedly agree that her legacy embodies M.A.C's philosophy. We are so excited to announce a Selena-inspired M.A.C collection debuting in the latter part of 2016."

Learn more at http://www.selena.org/.

Sheila E. Pays Homage to Prince with New Custom DW Drum Kit

By Pauline France

Renowned drummer, percussionist and 2014 She Rocks Awards winner Sheila E. played a custom-made DW kit during a tribute honoring Prince at the BET Awards on June 26 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Sheila E with Prince Tribute custom drum kit by DW Drums at Center Staging, Burbank, CA on June 23, 2016 at rehearsals for BET Awards. Photograph by Rob Shanahan

Sheila E with Prince Tribute custom drum kit by DW Drums at Center Staging, Burbank, Calif., on June 23, 2016, during rehearsals for the BET Awards. Photograph by Rob Shanahan.

Sheila E. played a personal tribute to Prince on a gloss white drum set and matching timbales manufacturerd in DW’s Custom Shop. The kit features Prince’s iconic “symbol” decked out with different-colored butterflies and finished with gold hardware. The art for the drums was inspired by Sheila E.’s recent tattoo commemorating Prince, who passed away on April 21st.

Sheila E. performed a variety of Prince classics, including "Erotic City," "America," and “Baby I’m a Star."

Learn more about DW Drums at www.dwdrums.com.

Front and Center: Full Compass Systems Vice President of Sales, Michelle Grabel-Komar

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Full Compass Systems Vice President of Sales, Michelle Grabel-Komar

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By Pauline France

Michelle Grabel-Komar has enjoyed an illustrious career where she successfully combined her business skills with her passion for music.

She currently serves as the Vice President of Sales for Full Compass, a retailer of professional audio, professional video, lighting equipment and musical instruments based in Wisconsin.

Additionally, Grabel-Komar holds a degree in classical flute, and previously had a long-standing career as a vocalist in several R & B bands.

In our interview, the formidable business woman discusses trends towards women in the music industry workforce throughout the year; what traits she believes women should possess to enjoy a career in sales; challenges facing the music products industry; and a lot more.

Learn more about Full Compass Systems at http://www.fullcompass.com/.

WiMN: Tell us about Full Compass Systems. How does it set itself apart from its competitors?

MGK: Full Compass has always been about the customer relationship. Full Compass has built its business on customers who return year after year, and deal with the same sales person, some for more than 25 years.

Our sales associates are able to help our customers build out their A/V systems - whether it's a small portable system for a school, a live sound rig for a band, an installation at houses of worship, or a broadcast application, to name a few.

It wouldn’t be possible to build a company on repeat business without offering stellar customer service, support, and follow through.

WiMN: What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing the music products industry today?

MGK: The internet and changes in how people are buying products are both challenges and opportunities for our industry.

The internet has allowed for nearly anyone to sell practically anything to everyone. You have people operating out of their bedrooms as “store fronts,” but they do not have any of the overhead of a large business. These sellers are not bound by manufacturer resale policies, or stocking requirements. Their presence in the market increases competition and drives down prices. This might sound good for consumers, but it means that customer service is suffering because these sellers don’t offer the advice and the services that a buyer often needs to make the right choices and to know that there is support after the purchase.

Additionally, manufacturers are broadening their distribution by offering products to consumer outlets that were at one time only available to professional AV resellers. All of these changes mean that a reseller needs to understand how people are shopping for product online, and where are they getting their information. It’s challenging, but to address it we are now offering a variety of approaches to assure that we give the customer a good overall buying experience.

Another major challenge facing our industry is that products are coming out at lower prices with more features. We used to be able to sell a couple of speakers, a power amp, mixer, and some outboard processing as a sound system solution that provided us with good revenue and margins. The amp is now built in to the speakers, the mixer contains all of the processing on board, and those speakers are half the previous price.

So while unit sales increase, top line revenue shrinks for the same type of sale and sellers like us need to know more about the “add-ons” that surround these products so that we can help the customer make the most of their purchase and keep the company growing.

WiMN: You have a fascinating background which includes a music degree in classical flute and a long-standing career as a vocalist in several R & B bands. What was appealing about the flute, and how did you make a name for yourself in the performing scene?

MGK: I always knew that I wanted to have a career in music. I was very good at playing flute in high school, but singing was my passion. However, I wanted to sing pop and R & B music, not classical or jazz, so I figured my best chance to get accepted into the UW Madison School of Music was in flute versus voice or piano.

When I initially auditioned I did not make the cut. I called the school and asked if I could audit the professor's master class and re-audition for second semester. She told me the professor wanted to see me and have me audition again. I auditioned and I was told that they had an opening, as someone had opted to go elsewhere, and while I wasn't next on the list, the professor was impressed by my tenacity, so the spot was mine if I wanted it.

Studying the flute in music school was great, but I still wanted to sing. I found something called the Sunday Night Jams in Madison, hosted by Madison mainstay Robert J. He had a house band, and then for the second set, different people would get up and jam.

You never knew who you would be playing with so you had to trust and you had to know your chord changes in case someone got lost. It was an amazing experience and set me up to front my own bands later on.

I had the chance to front a band for a summer led by the legendary funky drummer, Clyde Stubblefield. After that I went on to form a R & B cover band called Code Blue; an original rock trio called Road to Nowhere; and a piano/voice duo with Michael Massey, a very talented singer/songwriter/composer with his own claim to fame, right here in Madison.

WiMN: How did you transition from your career as a performer to sales?

MGK: I think it was called a mortgage!  Seriously though, I had worked in a music store in high school and beyond, so while I did not search out sales as a career it kind of happened organically. It was something that kept me close to what I loved and allowed me the flexibility to gig 4-5 days a week at times.

WiMN: Why do you think there aren’t enough women in sales in the music industry?

MGK: I do not think women were at any time excluded from this industry, I just think the industry is similar to many in that the workforces were traditionally male.

Over the past 40 years, women have grown to represent almost half of the U.S. workforce and over 50% of the professional and technical occupations. That being said, the pro audio industry is somewhat unique in that bands were historically male dominated.

There weren’t a lot of girl bands back in the '60s and '70s.  As such, women didn’t use the gear, so I am not sure they would have considered this industry. And let’s be honest, this career is not one of the options when looking at college degrees – doctor? Lawyer? Pro audio sales person? It’s not there.

From the manufacturing side, engineers generally used to be male as well. I am guessing that women started getting in to the industry by doing jobs “women did,” such as office admin and/or customer service roles. And then comes the 1980's with girl bands galore, and you have female musicians looking for other ways into music besides being in a famous band.

I think some of these factors and more women getting in to engineering has caused a shift, and we now see more women in this industry than ever before.

WiMN: What are some key traits women should possess to pursue such field?

MGK: It really depends on what you want to do in this industry. If you like the gear, if you like demoing product, if you like trouble-shooting in an exciting environment like the Super Bowl, then you need to know gear, some physics, application scenarios, how the audio chain works, etc.

You need to be confident in what you are doing especially when it comes to the gear side, because there haven’t been a lot of women on the technical side of things historically and you’d have to prove yourself.

As for sales, I think that avenue has included more women over the past few decades at a faster pace. Full Compass’ top sales person is a woman and there have been several others over the years in that category. Part of their success is not because they know the gear better than the men do, but because they are OK with saying “I don’t know, let me check on that and get back with you.”  And they do.

As a stereotype, women have traditionally had a better follow-through rate. Certainly there are men that have great follow-up, but this is a skill set that I think we women often use to our advantage. It builds confidence with customers and ultimately increases your sales.

WiMN: What can music industry companies do to make their workforce culture more women-friendly?

This question is a little difficult for me to answer, as my experience is with “women-friendly” companies. Full Compass is owned by a woman, as was Shure. Shure’s President is a woman and in both companies there are many women not only in leadership roles, but also in highly competitive sales positions, engineering roles, product development, and market development.

I believe that any company that creates a culture where every role is considered valuable automatically creates a positive environment, where all people – men and women - are not only encouraged to take that chance or next step but everyone around them wants to help them succeed. It’s a hard culture to create, but when it’s done right the results can be amazing.

WiMN: Is there a particular instance you can recall throughout your career, whether it be in the sales arena or as a performer, where you experienced adversity for being a woman? If so, describe what it was and how you got through it.

MGK: To be honest, the only real area I have felt that disparity has been in equal pay early on. I have been told that an equal counter-part should make more than me because “he had a family to support.” Keep I mind, so did I.

That being said, I never let myself be pulled in to the “woe is me” attitude on that. I just tried harder, pushed harder, demanded more and made sure I could deliver ten-fold when called upon.

I knew I was on the right track when a fellow musician called me to see if my band could fill in for his at a venue, as he had double-booked himself. I agreed and he called the bar to let them know. The bar manager said that she “couldn’t afford” me anymore this season. He asked why and she said, “Because I pay her quite a bit more”. He called me back and asked me why I made more than his band, and I said “because I asked for more.”

Women have been trained to accommodate, accept things as is, and comply all the way from childhood. While there are times when that is OK, we shouldn’t make that our norm.

WiMN: Tell us about important people who have mentored you throughout your career.

MGK: Hands down, first and foremost my dad. He said to me clearly as a child: You will grow up to earn your own money, you will be dependent on no one (not even your husband), you will go to college, and you will graduate. None of this is optional. And I did just that.

In the work arena, I would say that Al Hershner, who was the VP of Sales when I was at Shure, and Dick Bazirgan, who owned the East Coast Rep Firm Shure employed, really helped me cut my teeth in this industry. Al was specifically a big believer in letting his leaders make their own decisions, make mistakes, learn from them and self-correct accordingly. I have tried to follow that example.

Dick Bazirgan was an industry veteran who took me under his wing and helped guide me in leading independent rep firms who had years more experience than me. Beyond them, there have been many others along the way, including fellow musicians and peers.

A mentor does not always have to be someone older than you or above you in tenure. Many times your peers, especially those who are the ying to your yang, will offer you an insight that you never would have considered. I look every day to my peers for different perspectives and experience.

WiMN: Anything else you’d like to add?

MGK: I am a firm believer in putting in a good, honest hard day’s work. If you do that, if you are willing to get outside your comfort zone, if you are willing to take ownership and accountability for your output -- you can accomplish what you set out to do.

Be a sponge. Learn from all you can and be willing to accept constructive criticism and use it to get to your next place, whether it’s on stage with a band or on stage for a corporate presentation. We each need to take ownership of our dreams, our own destiny… because no one else will.

In Memory of Marchan Noelle Roland

We are deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of L.A.-based musician, Marchan Noelle Roland.

Marchan Noelle performing in our 2013 Women's Music Summit at Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Marchan Noelle Roland performing in our 2013 Women's Music Summit at Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Marchan attended our 2013 Women's Music Summit at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, and she stood out for her larger-than-life personality and amazing vocal talent.

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Marchan Noelle Roland in our 2013 Women's Music Summit at Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

On June 26, musicians will gather at the Crystal Jam in Burbank to honor her music and young life. Marchan performed at the Crystal Jam for six months straight, playing more than 30 shows at the event.

Check out the details in the poster below. It's free to attend:

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Thanks for your beautiful contributions to music, Marchan Noelle Roland. Your voice and lovely personality will be missed.

Marcha Noelle attending a class during our Women's Music Summit in 2013 in Hollywood in Musicians Institute.

Marchan Noelle Roland attending a class during our Women's Music Summit in 2013 in Hollywood in Musicians Institute.

Front and Center: Argentinian Singer-Songwriter and Music Journalist, Laura Goldar

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Argentinian Singer-Songwriter and Music Journalist, Laura Goldar

By Pauline France

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Laura Goldar's career is a beautiful convergence of music, marketing and journalism.

Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Goldar is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, and composer, as well as the editor for Todo Guitarra y Bajo (Everything Guitar and Bass), Argentina's only magazine devoted to guitar and bass.

Despite being on the southernmost tip of the American continent, Goldar and her business partner Marcelo Roascio have a global footprint and a connection with the music products industry that is felt worldwide through the magazine.

As a musician, Goldar released her album Maravillosa Vida (Wonderful Life) in 2012, and has another project in the works due before the end of 2016. She is a well-known respected figure and music industry expert in Argentina, and has had several TV appearances in her native country.

In the interview below, Goldar discusses gender equality in Argentina, how musicians are perceived in her country, why she thinks so many talented artists originate in Argentina, plus a lot more.

Learn more about Goldar at Facebook.com/LauraGoldarMusica and YouTube.com/LauraGoldar.

WiMN: Argentina has brewed some serious musical talent throughout the years like Gustavo Cerati, Los Arcontes, Los Enanitos Verdes, and of course yourself. What do you think it is about the country that has lead to the creation of such talented musicians?

LG: First, thanks for such a compliment, especially when you mention Gustavo Cerati, an immense artist whose work is so valued in many countries. In regard to Argentina, I would say that it is maybe a sum of things. We are a mixture of many races and cultures, and I think this gives us a wealth of different music styles.

WiMN: In many Latin-American countries, music isn’t taken seriously as a career. Do you find that to be the case in Argentina, or are people usually accepting of music as a career?

LG: Yes and no. On one hand, there are very good music schools in Argentina with official titles backed by the Argentine government, which also have a large attendance of students from other Latin American countries.

On the other hand, there are specific opportunities to be a professional musician, which are not many. Also, the outlook on music as a professional career in our country is changing for good.

WiMN: When did you release Maravillosa Vida? Do you have an album currently in the works?

LG: Maravillosa Vida was released in 2012, and for different reasons it was not well-managed in terms of global distribution. I think it's a very strong album, and luckily today it has a new opportunity, as it will be re released on all virtual record stores by Poley Records.

I’m also currently working on the production of a new album that will surely be released by the end of the year. There will be some song previews released by the label on the web.

On my live shows, I’m currently doing some of the new songs with my band.

WiMN: Tell us about your career in marketing and advertising. How did you get into those fields?

LG: I was always in touch with people in the local music instrument industry, and that was how the chance of working in marketing arose.

I started in 1996 with the Music Shop magazine, which was directed by guitarist/composer/producer Marcelo Roascio. This magazine was a pioneer in reviewing music equipment in our country. From then on, I worked for other music media projects, until Marcelo and I decided not to give our ideas, creations, knowledge and contacts to other people, and created Todo Guitarra y Bajo magazine, which is now in its seventh year of life.

I really like my job because I get to see different perspectives of the industry, and that adds to both the professional and the artist in me.

WiMN: You are the editor for Todo Guitarra y Bajo magazine, Argentina’s only guitar and bass magazine. What does it feel like to carry the responsibility of being the only magazine devoted to delivering guitar and bass-related news?

LG: It is very rewarding, because I get the support of a great team. First by its editor in chief, Marcelo Roascio, who is a great team builder. Most of our satff has worked with us in other media projects, and always were summoned by us.

For me, to move inside the commercial area of the music industry is like swimming in familiar waters. Knowing that our job is recognized and valued, gives us the fuel to continue, and more in our country, where the economic situation is so difficult.

Todo Guitarra y Bajo is the only Argentine magazine made by musicians who have full knowledge of what is being discussed inside its pages. That’s the reason why this magazine transcends borders and is respected by artists and people from the industry, from different parts of the world. I just feel very proud of editing this magazine.

WiMN: What is one thing you wish people knew about the music scene in Argentina?

LG: The music scene in our Argentina is wide, as you have components of all genres. Maybe in the world, the tango is the best known, but folklore and cumbia are also very popular in our country. Then rest of the styles (rock, pop, blues, metal, etc.) come after these ones. There is something for everyone with very good musicians.

Argentina continues to be a trendsetter in the Latin American music world, as seen every year in the Latin GRAMMYs. I think our country is and will be a hotbed of great talents.

WiMN: Tell us about gender equality in Argentina. Is it as easy for women in music to succeed there as it is for men?

LG: Today is a bit easier for women to succeed in the music scene than it was in the past. Argentina is pioneer in Latin America in the gender equality and equal rights in society. But obviously, there are not as many women as men in the music scene in our country.

Since a few years back, there are more and more girls on stage playing drums, guitar, bass, etc. Some of them work professionally, and are part of the local music scene, but there are not that many. C’mon girls!!

WiMN: What advice would you give to a young girl looking to pursue a career in music?

LG: It’s not that easy, but it’s not impossible. Everything happens at the right time. You just have to be well prepared for when that happens. And that’s the same for men or for women. In the case of wanting to be a soloist, the main thing has to be the music, and also to have your own style. I think it’s no good if you’re a good singer or musician, but you don’t have something original to offer. If you’re not a composer, try to look for someone who can do it for you. The most important thing for great artists around the world, is to make incredible songs. That's what lasts.

Front and Center: Recording Artist and Singer, Kacee Clanton

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Recording Artist and Singer, Kacee Clanton

By Pauline France

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Only a handful of artists worldwide can boast working with renowned acts like Luis Miguel, Joe Cocker, and Beth Hart.

That's the case for Kacee Clanton, an immensely talented recording artist, arranger, producer, stage actor, vocal coach, live performer and commercial singer originally from Northern California.

Clanton's journey has taken her many places, including Broadway where she's performed on A Night With Janis Joplin.

Her latest endeavor has been a blues-rock collaboration with guitarist Adrian Galysh, where Clanton lends her sultry vocals on Galysh's latest release, Into The Blue.

Read about Clanton's experience while on the road, her biggest tips for success, what she considers some of the biggest challenges for women in music are, and more in our interview below.

Visit her website here for more information.

WiMN: You’ve shared the stage with huge acts, played the lead in Love, Janis, and have performed on Broadway in A Night With Janis Joplin. Aside from your extraordinary talent, what did it take for you to get these high-level gigs?

KC: I have been incredibly blessed! It’s kind of crazy. I’ve always felt like it was a combination of talent, hard work, peers, reputation, and a little bit of luck. I’ve been a teacher for many years and I always tell my students to work hard to stay on top of their game and work with as many people as possible, because their peers are the most likely source of further work.

In my experience, if I step into multiple circles of artists and industry people, when those circles connect, I get a call. It’s not something I can force; it just happens when it’s supposed to happen. Reputation is everything. When people know you have a strong work ethic, you come prepared and on time, and you’re easy to work with, they’re more likely to hire you than the other 497 singers or actors in the building.

WiMN: Culturally, what was it like to tour with Latin music juggernaut Luis Miguel? How was it any different from touring with, say, a U.S. artist, if any different?

KC: It was an incredible experience on so many levels. He is an extraordinary singer and his catalog was full of gems, many written by legendary Latin composers. And touring with his band was a blast. They were not only gifted players, but really nice human beings who became family. I’ve never laughed so much on a tour! I didn’t know much about Luis Miguel when I started working with him, but I quickly fell madly in love with his voice and the music, not to mention the long-time fans who embraced me and made me feel welcome in that world.

I think the main difference between touring in the States - as opposed to touring in Central/South America or Europe - are the audiences. Speaking generally, Americans tend to be more reserved with their praise. I think the American market is so saturated with tours, events, artists, press, etc., the audiences often take an “I’m going to sit back and see if you impress me” approach to concert going. In most other countries, it can be storming and the traffic can be at a stand-still, and people will still slog through the mud, show up, and sing at the top their lungs with passion in their hearts. This is of course not true everywhere, but it has been my general impression as I’ve toured all over the world.

WiMN: Tell us about your most recent collaboration with Adrian Galysh in Into The Blue. How did that come to fruition?

KC: I’ve known Adrian for years, but have never actually worked with him. I was reading an interview he did the other day, and he said until he saw me sing at a local club in L.A. last fall, he had never heard me sing before. I didn’t know that! Ha.

Anyway, he approached me after hearing me and asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a blues record. I just so happened to have a window of time where I wasn’t in a show or on the road and thought it would be great to get back to the grounding, “rootsy” feel of writing and singing blues.

WiMN: Aside from performing, what other opportunities in the music industry are there for singers?

KC: I make what I like to call a “patchwork living.” My career has never been one solid canvas. It’s a collection of interests woven together. I tour as a background singer, lead vocalist, and a stage/theater singer; I am a vocal and performance coach, working with label artists, theatrical casts, and other private clients; I do session work for labels, film, TV, publishing catalogues, and jingles; I am a recording artists and I produce other artists; I write with various publishing teams for commercial placement in film, TV, etc.; and I teach.

Many singers would rather focus on one path: becoming a recording artist or a published writer, for example. But my interests are pretty widespread and I find that I can make a better living as a singer if I’m open to walking multiple paths. I would rather be really good at a lot of things than the best at one thing. It’s just who I am as a human being.

WiMN: Which singers or bands have had the most impact in your career?

KC: I believe I was about 4 or 5 years old the first time I heard Nat King Cole sing. I knew then and there that I wanted to be a singer. Without really understanding it, I knew I wanted to move people the way he moved me.

I grew up in church and in a household where there was always music playing or someone practicing. I think black gospel had the most profound effect on me as both a singer and even today, as a vocal arranger. Andrae Crouch & the Disciples and the Edwin Hawkins Singers were a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood. And once I heard Karen Carpenter, I knew what kind of voice and tone I wanted.

When I hit junior high, I started getting into funkier stuff, like Earth, Wind & Fire and Mother’s Finest (Joyce Kennedy of Mother’s Finest is still one of my favorite singers on the planet.) That’s when “groove” became one of the most important things to me as a singer and performer. I got more into rock in high school and college, and since I was studying classical voice, I got really into technique singers like Ann Wilson of Heart and Ronnie James Dio.

I think singer/songwriters, however, were the constant thread through it all. When I’m out walking, or taking a long drive, or cleaning my house, it’s safe to assume I’m listening to some singer/songwriter. That is a very long list: from old-school writers like James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jime Croce, and The Beatles, to the newer stuff from Patty Griffin, John Mayer, Rob Thomas, Jonatha Brooke, James Bay, Adele, The Fray, Gavin DeGraw, India Arie, Imogen Heap, Jason Mraz, Marc Broussard, KT Tunstal, Ray LaMontagne, and Alanis Morissette.

And I haven’t even talked about the Motown sounds and people like Etta James and Big Mama Thornton, or the newer rock sounds of bands like Evanescense, Soundgarden, Radiohead, and Linkin Park, or the amazing soundtracks of so many Broadway shows. GAH! There are so many writers and performers woven into the fabric of my life and artistry, it’s sorta mind-blowing.

WiMN: What sort of prejudice do you think there is toward female vocalists? Feel free to share a personal experience you’ve had, if any.

KC: Oh boy…how much time do you have? Ha. As with all forms of prejudice, some are more subtle than others.

I started dipping my toes in the industry back in the '80s, when things were pretty rough for women. I negotiated and ended up turning down multiple record and production deals because I was being told to just record the vocals, shake my booty, and look sexy. No one would let me write or have an opinion, and since the industry was run almost entirely by men, I was reduced to a number on some sex appeal scale set up by bean counters and pimps who cared about the bottom line and not about the art.

I was once chased around the top floor of a major label by a VP who would have raped me had another employer not made a surprise visit to that floor. And that wasn’t even the crazy part. It was the look of shock on his face when I told him in no uncertain terms, NO. He said he couldn’t fathom why a no-name artist like me wouldn’t want his “help.” I have other stories, but the theme is the same. I am thrilled that labels no longer have the god-like power they once had and every time I see a woman calling the shots as an industry exec, I throw a little party in my heart.

But the blatant forms of prejudice have taken a backseat to the more subtle forms. Women as a whole still make less money than men, and that virus still lingers in all areas of labor and commerce, including the music industry. There is also still the underlying suggestion that you must be thin and beautiful and young to be a successful female singer. This of course does not apply to men to nearly the same degree as women. And to be fair, many female artists don’t help our cause much when they don’t know the difference between being sexy and being sexual, and when they buy into the industry hype that you can’t sell units unless you sell your body, or that fame is the end game. It’s all a B.S. machine built by men from back in the day, and when women don’t know who they are and what their real worth is, their fear and desperation fuel that machine.

There are many other forms of subtle prejudice against female singers. All you have to do is talk to a room full of male musicians to hear the jokes and innuendo about “chick singers” being high maintenance and difficult to work with. Because we all know if you’re a man and you’re a focused, tough, no nonsense music director, you’re a genius. But if you’re a focused, tough, no nonsense woman running the show, you’re a cold-hearted bitch. I continue to hear this ridiculous innuendo all the time. And I grant you, I’ve worked with some difficult, high-maintenance women, and it annoys me just as much as the next person, but I’ve worked with just as many men who behave badly. Bad behavior in the entertainment industry is a widespread bacteria infecting all who don’t arm themselves against it, male or female.

WiMN: What’s the best professional advice you’d give to a young girl wishing to pursue a career in music.

KNOW THYSELF: Before you even think about diving into the business of making art, know who you are and who you are not. Understand the difference. Know that your worth lies in your gift and your character. Know that your happiness comes from within, not without.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND GREAT: Practice your art. Be responsible. Do your homework. Be on time every time. Practice wisdom and compassion. There are thousands of good singers out there so decide now if you just want to be good or if you want to be great. It’s entirely up to you.

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START BUILDING A LEGACY OF ENCOURAGEMENT: While you may be competing against other women for tours, gigs, shows, etc., decide now that you will see competition as a healthy form of growth. See women as your sisters and not your enemy. Encourage them. Build them up and allow them to help you grow as well. Celebrate with them and understand if you do not get the gig, you were not meant to, not because life is unfair but because life knows what it’s doing. If you are prepared and you do your best and someone else gets the job, that job was always hers. So celebrate all of it because it means you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.

NEVER BELIEVE YOUR OWN PRESS: Keep your head down and do the work. Do not be distracted by the opinions of others. You will never be as good or as bad as they say you are. Marcus Aurelius once said, "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

LEARN TO SAY NO: Not every opportunity is a good one. Not every door needs to be knocked on. Not every industry contact you make will be a fruitful one. Exercise wisdom at all times and surround yourself with people and work that will take you in a positive direction and help you grow as an artist and human. If your gut says no, believe it and have the courage to stand by it.

YOU ARE AN ISLAND: You have everything you need to be complete and at peace. Embrace those who love and support you but understand that when no one is around, you have everything you need. Fall in love but understand if it ends, you have everything you need. Pour yourself into your art but understand if your path doesn’t go in the direction you thought it would, you have everything you need.

"The bad news is you're falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there's no ground." -- Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

WiMN: Are you working on new material or any new exciting projects we should know about?

KC: I’m coaching the cast of a local production of Spring Awakening, which will run in late June at the Malibu Playhouse, and I’m producing a young singer/songwriter, Michelle Ariane. Her debut release should be out by the end of the year. Hopefully, Adrian and I will be out doing some live work, supporting the new record throughout the year. I am also negotiating a contract for another run of “A Night With Janis Joplin,” which will happen this summer. But overall, I’m in a bit of a repackaging mode right now. I’ve played Janis on and off for the past 15 years so my agent and I are working on reinventing my image, particularly in the theater world. I’d like to dig into some other roles and see where else I can go as an actor and singer.

In the end, I never know where my path will take me one week to the next. That’s what I like most about my patchwork life. I have absolute faith that wherever I go, I’ll be exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Girl Power Tour Starring Zaina Juliette Big Show In Las Vegas July 30

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On July 30th, 2016 International Recording Artist Zaina Juliette kicks off her Girl Power Benefit Pre-Tour Concert free to the public. This show is dedicated to Mothers and Daughters. First stop, Las Vegas, Nevada. This show is all about Empowerment of women. Zaina Juliette's hot new single "Warrior" coming to radio world wide, is now being called the New Female Anthem. Its all about girl power and how women of the world can bring positive change.

Zaina and her Warriors will be helping to make the world a better place by helping others and charities after each show. This show, Zaina Juliette and her team will be trying to "Fill The Truck" with items that will be donated to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, helping those in need. The Warriors are asking those who are attending to bring simple items for from a list provided by the Rescue Mission.

Attending Zaina Juliette's Concert will be many Celebrities and Music Industry Executives from Hollywood and New York all coming to Las Vegas for this event. Radio stations street/promotional teams and Radio personalities from 88.1 and iHeart Radio, & 103.9 FM. Radio Vans will be there during the day and for Red Carpet, with give-aways and fun for all. There will be 2 Female opening acts who will be announced soon.

Red Carpet is from 4:00 to 6:00pm
Show Time starts at 7:00 PM.

The Location is at the beautiful
The Cashman Theater in Las Vegas
850 Las Vegas Blvd N, Las Vegas, NV 89101.

Zaina Juliette is an outstanding entertainer who has been performing since the age of 5. She write music, screenplays, produce, direct films and Live shows. But most of all Zaina Juliette touch people in a powerful way on all of her performances.

Zaina as an Artist has been compared to Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruno Mars, Tina Turner.

Zaina Juliette is surrounded by some of the most influential and powerful music industry executives. They are gearing her up because they all share the same belief, that Zaina will be one of the best entertainers of today. Zaina is on a mission, she want to do great shows around the world and help those in need. This is her true passion.

We'd LOVE to have you join us in Las Vegas for this amazing show and help us support The Las Vegas Rescue Mission.

Get you free tickets at www.ZainaJuliette.com. There are also 200 VIP Tickets for sale, only 100 left. There are 2,200 free tickets available. Download them at the site. You can also sign the guest list on the site.

On information on how you can be involved or become a sponsor please email John Sims at jsims93@gmail.com or Dale Cross at Dale@ZtraxxMusicGroup.com.

Front and Center: Roland Corporation U.S. Marketing Communications Manager, Rebecca Eaddy

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Roland Corporation U.S. Marketing Communications Manager, Rebecca Eaddy

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By Pauline France

Rebecca Eaddy knows the musical instrument industry like Shakira knows her dance moves.

With more than 10 years of experience in marketing, publicity, artists relations, licensing, and more, Eaddy has been pivotal to developing impressive campaigns for companies like PRS Guitars and her current employer, Roland Corporation U.S.

During her years with PRS, Eaddy helped produce the company's section of the Smithsonian Channel program, Electrified: Guitar Revolution. She was also responsible for managing licensing agreements between PRS and the wildly successful video game, Guitar Hero, all of this while managing the company's magazine, their Signature Club loyalty program, and more.

Nowadays Eaddy focuses on publicity, advertising, and social media for Roland Corporation U.S., and is heavily involved with product placement, artist relations, and important offsite activations like the American Country Music Festival.

Learn more about this marketing powerhouse in our interview below, and visit www.rolandus.com for more information on the company she proudly represents.

WiMN: Where are you from originally?

RE: Maryland feels most like “home” to me, but I was born in South Carolina. My family moved to Maryland when I was two, and I lived in the state for more than 25 years. So, steamed blue crabs, the Chesapeake Bay, the wild ponies of Assateague Island, Thrasher’s French fries, and Fisher’s caramel popcorn are part of my DNA.

One of my first memories is of my dad letting me try an oyster right off the grill in our back yard in Salisbury, the small town on Maryland’s eastern shore where I grew up. Back in those days, my mom and I would sit in the back of my dad’s pickup truck in beach chairs while he drove us to the beach. The Eastern Shore is a magical place for a kid. If we weren’t on our way to Ocean City, we were heading to Assateague Island with a caravan of 4x4s, parents, and kids for a bonfire on the beach, or we were watching crabs race at the Crisfield Crab Derby, or watching wild ponies swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. I live at the beach in Southern California now, and I still have to remind myself that the ocean is west out here.

WiMN: What attracted you to the world of marketing and communications?

RE: Music drew me into the world of marketing and communications initially. I was inspired by a very talented group of artists living in Annapolis, Md., who were musicians, painters, poets, writers, and the like.

I interned at WRNR, a cool indie radio station in Annapolis recommended to me by that group of artists, during my senior year of college. I loved being a part of the marketing mix that supported the indie music scene in town. I wasn't a graphic design major, but I rolled up my sleeves and created some pretty far out fliers for station events and learned more about the broadcast advertising and sales processes. That led to my first job out of college at CBS Radio in Towson, Md., which led to management positions at two advertising agencies and later to PRS Guitars.

The world of marketing and communications ultimately gives me the opportunity to work in a space where business and creativity intersect. Beyond music, I have a passion for storytelling, strategy, design, words, and data crunching, so it's a perfect place for me.

WiMN: Are you a musician? If so, what do you play?

RE: I've always loved to sing and performed as a soprano in regional select chorus groups in my teens. These days I can, on the very rare occasion, give myself goose bumps singing something particularly well in my car, but I mostly have fun making myself laugh when I belt out a clam. My range is narrow but singing is something I sincerely enjoy.

The first musical instrument I ever learned to play was clarinet, in third and fourth grade, and I got a little pink keyboard for Christmas a year or two later. I taught myself how to play “Lean on Me” on that keyboard, and then later tricked my parents into thinking I was playing the demo that came on it. The first instrument I purchased on my own was a used electric guitar from a cool store in the Washington D.C. area called Atomic Music. I actually bought a tiny amp, the guitar, and a distortion pedal all for $100. I used to strum along with artsy movie sound tracks and Portishead tunes for fun to try to teach myself how to play. But playing guitar is so much harder than it looks! Some people make it look so effortless.

I’m embarrassed to say that I got frustrated early on because I didn’t immediately become a guitar prodigy. I was so quick to pick up most other things in my life like sports and academics, but guitar was such a challenge. I’ve promised myself I will write and perform one original song on guitar in my lifetime. I love melodies, lyrics, and words, and I’ve co-written lyrics to a few songs, but I haven’t dedicated enough time to learning an instrument to consider myself a musician. I know the time will come eventually, though. Music is in my soul for sure, and it will find its way out.

WiMN: How did you get your foot into the music industry?

RE: I met an amazing group of artists and musicians when I was a senior in college. Through them I was introduced to several people that worked at Paul Reed Smith Guitars, including Paul Reed Smith himself. Paul would often sit in with local bands who played regularly in downtown Annapolis. I’ve always been extremely passionate about music, and that passion, along with my previous marketing experience, and my being a part of that live music scene, helped me get my foot in the door at PRS.

WiMN: What did you do at PRS and how long were you with the company?

RE: I was a manager on the PRS Guitars marketing team for nearly six years. In my role there I focused heavily on advertising and media relations, but I wore many hats working on projects that brought visibility to the brand.

I helped produce the PRS section of the Smithsonian Channel program, Electrified: Guitar Revolution. They shot a portion of that program onsite at the PRS factory in Stevensville. When Guitar Hero approached PRS, I handled the licensing arrangements and the build-out of the guitars featured in the game. I also helped launch and managed the official PRS magazine, Signature, and the PRS Signature Club loyalty program.

WiMN: What are your primary responsibilities at Roland Corporation U.S.?

RE: I focus on publicity, advertising, and social media in support of new product launches and events, but I’m very involved with product placement, artist relations, and have been spending more time offsite at company events the last two years. Roland generally launches 30 to 40 new products each year and participates in 20+ events around the U.S. annually, so we stay pretty busy.

Most recently I attended the Bridges benefit hosted by the Children’s Music Foundation. Roland helps them raise money to reach at-risk kids with transformative music programs. A few weeks earlier, I was backstage with the Roland and BOSS team at the American Country Music Festival for a Cause giving VIP musicians a chance to check out our new gear. It was awesome to see the musicians letting loose on instruments they don’t typically play, and going gaga over some of the new gear. The musicians went bananas over the new BOSS SY-300 guitar synth. Just about every musician either laughed out loud or shouted something explicit when they first gave it a go. And the musicians were so happy to have the chance to jam and improv on gear that they don’t typically play, and to collaborate with their musical peers in ways that they never have before. They were really inspired and grateful, and the music they were making was incredible.

There is never a dull moment at Roland, that’s for sure, and I get to work with lots of talented people who all love music as much as I do. That’s pretty amazing. The number of new product launches for us this year will be 200+ when you factor in the debut of the premium BOSS and Roland accessories lines. We’re in major growth mode right now, and it’s an exciting time for the whole Roland team.

WiMN: Have you noticed any trends that are favorable for women in music since you began your career in M.I.?

RE: It seems like there are more women product specialists and clinicians in M.I. than when I first started in the industry a decade ago. My guess is social channels like YouTube and Facebook have helped the ladies break through and make better inroads. It’s been subtle, but it’s been nice to see the shift.  And what Laura Whitmore, Pauline France, and the team at The WiMN are doing to keep the ladies connected and inspired is pretty incredible.

WiMN: If you could give advice to your younger self, what would that be?

RE: I would tell my younger self to remember to take a few minutes each day to reflect on the smaller bits of progress I make on a daily basis rather than getting upset about the things I wasn’t able to complete. And that marketing is one of the most creative and fun career paths a person can take. Keep that top of mind, even when the “To-Do” list wraps around the block and everything was due yesterday.

WiMN: What is your favorite song to sing at karaoke?

RE: I think it would depend on my mood, but if I was happy, I’d probably lean toward something silly from the '80s like Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” or something sweet like Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” If I was feeling sappy, something like Death Cab for Cutie’s “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark.”

The song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was actually the first 45 I bought with my own money back in the day, and Ben Gibbard from Death Cab is one of my favorite singers. His voice and lyrics mesmerize me. And Bob is just the man!

WiMN: Let's close with your favorite quote.

RE: I don’t really have a favorite quote, but one of my favorite song lyrics of all time is the opening of Jeff Buckley’s song, “So Real.”

Love, let me sleep tonight on your couch
And remember the smell of the fabric
Of your simple city dress

When I think of this lyric, it reminds me to be present and to seek out the joy in life’s minor details.

Grants Available for Women Interested in Pro Audio

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By Pauline France

The awesome gals at SoundGirls.org have made two $250 grants available to women who belong to their organization and are planning on attending educational programs related to professional audio. The deadline to apply is June 30. Interested candidates can learn more information here.

SoundGirls.org is also hosting its Live Sound Camp for Girls in Modesto and Nevada City, Calif., toward the end of June, and St. Louis, Miss., and Philadelphia, Penn., in July, for which they have made full scholarships available.

Check out their entire programming and get more information at soundgirls.org. If you have questions, you can contact the organization directly at soundgirls@soundgirls.org.