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: Jacqueline Saturn, General Manager, Caroline Distribution And Harvest Records
By Myki Angeline
Being an indie artist has become more prevalent over the past decade. With the increase in at-home tech devices, artists now have the ability to record, mix, master, and distribute their own music in ways unheard of from just 25 years ago. But with all of this newfound accessibility, comes the increase of job duties. Not only are you an artist, you have to also be your own manager, agent, accountant, etc. – making it hard to focus on creating your craft.
This is where Caroline Distribution and Harvest Records can help an artist level up their game. And where Jacqueline Saturn shines as the General Manager of these companies affiliated with the legendary Capitol Music Group.
Her experience began with Epic Records back in 1993, working at the iconic corporation for 20 years. She was the Sr. Vice President of Promotions for six years before leaving Epic for Harvest Records. Nowadays, Saturn spearheads a dynamic team of people who work hard for the indie artist to ensure they have the best tools and support to reach success in the music industry. She has worked alongside many legendary artists, and now focuses on the up and coming musicians; especially women.
Saturn shares her experiences in the music industry, and a few new artists she is working with in this week’s Front and Center.
WiMN: Where are you from, and where are you currently residing:
JS: I was born and raised in Nashville Tennessee. No matter where I live it will always be my home! I now live in Los Angeles, California with my husband, our two daughters and our dog.
WiMN: Tell us a little about Caroline Records and your role with the company. How has Caroline Records impacted the independent artist and the hurdles they face? What are you most proud of since you took the reins at Caroline?
JS: I am the GM for Caroline Distribution as well as GM of Harvest Records which is all part of the Capitol Music Group. I work out of the Capitol Tower in LA and manage an incredible team of people. My role, really OUR role at Caroline, is to support our independent labels with a healthy infrastructure to help amplify their artist campaigns and give them all the tools and opportunities that we can provide. Running an indie label is extremely challenging so our partners know that when the one of many takes off and has success, they can rely on our expertise and muscle in bringing them along as well. They also do not have to be concerned with up-staffing or down-staffing in order to deliver for their artists while balancing their business. As we refine our process and proved our concept for them, we have been able to successfully offer a winning label services platform for artists who don’t need or want a more traditional label situation. Our indie label partners range from the more established to the early disruptors making waves. I’m most proud of the success and artist development stories we have had across the board with Judah and the Lion, Trippie Redd, NF, Dorothy and Lil’ Baby, just to name a few.
WiMN: How did your previous tenure at Sony/Epic prepare you for working at the iconic Capitol Tower and Caroline/Harvest?
JS: I learned a lot about the business and about myself during my time at Epic Records. During that time I met Steve Barnett who is my current boss and longtime mentor who persuaded me to move to Los Angeles and run Harvest Records and now Caroline Distribution. I worked with some incredible artists during my time at Epic: Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Oasis and Incubus to name just a few. Those artists taught me about staying true to their beliefs and doing things their way in their vision. That thinking and approach has shaped my career in many ways.
WiMN: How do you mentor women coming into the industry? Have you put any initiatives at Caroline to reach more women to come work with you?
JS: I proudly have made it part of my job to encourage and mentor young women in the music industry. The up and comers in our industry are smart strong and fierce and I am learning as much from them as they are getting from me. It’s known that I hire more women than men and I admit that. I try to make up for the many years that young women were not hired or promoted.
WiMN: Tell us a little-known fact about yourself. (hobbies, personal facts, etc)
JS: I have been an avid runner for a very long time. It’s something I truly love to do. I like any form of exercise and I sometimes do business meetings in a workout session in the early hours of the morning for those who can keep up. I also love to hike in LA and mostly just love being outdoors.
WiMN: Can you share some of the artists that you feel will be successful this year at Caroline? Have you signed any female artists that you are particularly excited about?
JS: I cannot wait for the world to know Donna Missal. Her raw, powerful and fearless voice will be a force this year. I am also excited about Trippie Redd’s upcoming album that will be out this summer. Other phenomenal new signings I am excited about are Li’l Gnar, Clairo, Marieme and Lil Rico.
WiMN: What is the best piece of advice you were given when you first started out in this business and what is some advice you would give to young women trying to break in in any way?
JS: I give the same advice to people that I was given when I first started as an assistant. Be passionate. Tell people what you like. Go to a meeting and have an opinion. Be present. Meet people that you like in the industry and stay connected. Some of my closest friends are the ones that started as assistants at the same time. We built a network together at a young age!