AnRGirl Showcase in Appleton, WI August 9th, 2019
Wow! Thank you to Stryker Records and the Rock Garden Studios for sponsoring ANRGIRL SHOWCASE in Appleton, WI. So great to get to a region of the US that I had not visited before. I had been to 150 cities in my 34 year music business career watching bands as an A&R Executive. A big thank you to all of the bands who performed at the showcase and/or participated in the “In Person” consultations where we reviewed your music, discussed your band and brand and talked about next steps. Nothing is more inspiring for me than to be around the energy and passion of artists who care about their craft and are looking for direction to improve their music and build their brand.
I’ve said this in the past – it is more than just writing, recording and playing good music. You have to have the ambition, drive and perseverance to move it downfield as a small business. Otherwise, it is a nice hobby but not something you will be able to turn in to a touring and viable money making endeavor. It’s the combination of good songs and recordings along with promoting to build fans and a demand in other places to generate the ability to tour.
It’s so important to have the commitment a champion and/or a great team around you who believes in you and will sweat it out with you for the long haul. At the same time, this will require commitment from YOU the artist to make sure those champions are taken care of as you start to build interest and momentum. Sometimes the first team doesn’t have the reach in the business to take you to the next level on their own – but a sign of a wise champion is recognizing this and surrounding the artist with a team of qualified and genuine affiliates that can help. It takes a village in this very competitive and arduous business of building your brand and fan base. So to the artists, I strongly advise consideration for your champion when this occurs and if you sense any “shady behavior” or are engaged in any conversations where you feel one of those people is “leading you away” from your champion or team…they aren’t for you!
What’s the reason behind this post about commitment? I learn everyday that I work with artists, managers, producers, interns, and other industry folk. The spirit of this Showcase resonates with commitment. Chris Dobry of Stryker Records is a person of commitment to his band Jamie Fontaine and The Level. I met Chris when I was managing the rock group SALIVA. His passion and commitment to move his group/project to more opportunities resonated with me. I share the same type of care and commitment for all of my endeavors. I also experienced that passion and commitment from my new National Field Director Jason Schrick. There’s nothing that is too much trouble for Jason and he is always on go ready to do the hard work to get to the next level.
To bring this experience full circle, the group Jamie Fontaine and the Level ended up vibing Jason while he was in Appleton, WI with me managing the event. When Jason isn’t working with me, he is a producer/songwriter, manger and talent buyer in Columbia, MO. Stryker Records hired Jason to work on song development and production of their new material. They flew him up to their hometown to do pre-production and got down to serious business locked up in a place for days working through songs, trying new approaches, etc. A month later they all met in Nashville at Universal Music Studios where Jason would record the new songs with his mentor producer/mix engineer Malcolm Springer (Collective Soul, Matchbox 20, Greenwheel, Full Devil Jacket , Low Down Drifters). I flew down at the end of the week of sessions for the day to check in and was THRILLED to see the work the entire group of them had done.
Jamie Fontaine and The Level, Jason Schrick and Malcolm Springer are working on final mixes this week and I’m looking forward to hearing the end product. THIS is why I love doing A&R and artist devlopment. THIS is just one example of what an artist can experience and walk away with when they participate in an ANRGIRL seminar. Networking, learning, investing, willingness to take chances and committing to doing something for your project is essential!
Thank you again to all of the bands who participated and I wish you all success in your music endeavors.
Dead Cedar + Headstone + Scarlet + Jamie Fontaine and The Level + Sir Real + Sweetalk + Our Last Vision + Sons of Kong