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: Mixtape Media Owner, Maggie Poulos
Maggie Poulos is a public relations pro and musician living in New York City.
Having held positions at some of the industry’s most prominent PR firms, she has helped many artists achieve well-known status through numerous successful PR campaigns.
Poulos recently founded her own PR agency, Mixtape Media, with the goal of sharing her favorite artists with the world. “Championing a band and helping them grow and move into the next level of their career is very satisfying,” she shares.
Find out more about Poulos in our interview below, and check out Mixtape Media on Facebook.
WiMN: How did you become interested in music and what led you to a career in this industry?
MP: I became interested in music at a very young age. I was always drawn to singing at school and church. In the third grade I began taking guitar lessons during recess and haven’t looked back. I loved the feeling that I got while singing in a group of people, whether that was in a choir situation or at a concert. Growing up in Philadelphia, radio had a huge impact on my musical tastes. WYSP was a pioneer of the classic rock format and WXPN introduced me to everything new and important.
WiMN: You worked for a number of PR agencies before starting your own. What did you learn from your time with these companies?
MP: I learned many different things from my time at different agencies, mostly what I found to be the most effective ways to run a press campaign. Publicity is highly based on communication skills and positive relationships. I work daily to maintain and hone both my communication skills and relationships within the media.
WiMN: What led you to creating Mixtape Media?
MP: Timing really. It was the right time to strike out on my own. The name of my company comes from the art of making a mixtape. A mixtape was one of the primary sources that we used to discover new music. The person creating the tape carefully selected each track and in which order it would go on the tape and would often create handmade artwork to go along with the mixtape. It was a really creative and important way to share music –– a labor of love. The artists on Mixtape Media’s roster are my ultimate mixtape –– their’s is the music that I want to share with the world.
WiMN: What is it about public relations work that interests you?
MP: Championing a band and helping them grow and move into the next level of their career is very satisfying.
WiMN: If you could offer an up-and-coming artist one piece of advice regarding their publicity, what would that be?
MP: Publicity is key – people don’t just “stumble” upon new music, it is important to understand how music gets written about or booked onto television or previewed in the local press. It is important to understand why publicity is a necessary aspect of growing your band. If you’re just starting out, publicity should be one of the things you invest your money in –– as well as having great songs, a compelling live show and a strong social media presence.
WiMN: Tell us about some of your current projects you’re working on with Mixtape Media.
MP: I’m working with indie soul artist, Gedeon Luke and The People, Mozez (of Zero-7 fame), Emilyn Brodsky, Scary Little Friends, Debbie Neigher and a few others. Mostly up and coming artists.
WiMN: Can you share your experience as a woman in the industry? Have there been challenges?
MP: Traditionally, music (like many other businesses) is a male dominated industry. It works to my advantage that I know my history –– music of the past and of the present. I play an instrument and have played in bands for years. It is also incredibly important that I love music. I can speak to many difference facets of music and it helps that I am well educated –– these are key elements in conducting correspondence with music journalists. Passion, knowledge, experience and drive trump any and all gender assumptions.
WiMN: Any words of encouragement for women aspiring to enter the music industry?
MP: Go out there and do it. And do it because you love it and you cannot imagine doing anything else.