Oh hello there (If you have seen Kroll Show, you will say this in your head correctly)
My name is Megan and I am Independent Ears' Social Media Maven and Consultant, as well as a Rockford Native! I am so excited to have the chance to talk to you a little bit today about how excited I am to be working with IE, a little about me and how I came to be in this industry, and some things that are important to me both inside and outside of music!
Brief background of myself : Grew up in Rockford, loved it, started the now defunct Mayors Youth Advisory Council, moved away for college to Orlando, and now live in Los Angeles!
To back up slightly, I was a founding member of the Mayors Youth Advisory Council (MYAC as we lovingly referred to it as) in my senior year of high school. I was able to work with some really great local bands in Rockford to bring events and concert series to the city for after school and weekends. I always knew I wanted to be in music, but being able to do this - booking and marketing, really ignited my passion for it. While I loved booking; marketing and word of mouth was what I was best at (Anyone who knows me knows I am a talker...) and what I loved most.
From Rockford, I moved to Orlando to study music business and received my degree. Right after graduation I moved to LA. I started interning at labels and PR firms doing social media and marketing. While I don't do this full time right now, I still freelance for a few of the same firms and labels I interned at with social media. It is so crazy to think looking back on when I was growing up and even in high school that I could literally make talking about something I am passionate about into a career. Technology is doing amazing things for the music industry, and being able to see that technology take hold and be successful is a huge rush - especially when you are a part of making something amazing happen. Being able to bring my passion and talent to the IE family has been amazing. I love being able to have my vision for the bands and the label turned into reality. It's been a learning experience for all of us and I am so excited to be part of this journey.
I have some advice for everyone on the label, and small bands starting out:
1) your fan base is what is going to make or break you, so connect and communicate! Get on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Periscope and INTERACT! See what your fans are talking about and connect with them on their own level. They will in turn go to their friends and talk about how great you are, and their friends, and their friends, etc... Before you know it, you're Brand New and selling out shows in 3 seconds (literally).
2) Don't be jerks to women in the industry, at a venue, show, in general. Seriously. We work just as hard, sometimes harder than the boys to make it. We are constantly having to defend our right to be somewhere, or in a certain section, while working. Don't make it harder on us, because we are all just trying to live out our dreams. This has been an issue as of late, especially in the pop punk scene. It's not all pizza and dreams sometimes. Just be aware of your actions, because you never know what people have gone through. We're also so sick of hearing "so which member of the band are you with?" at shows.
3) You have NO right to have an ego. I don't care who you are. Henry Rollins had an amazing quote that I need to share, it deals more-so with the crew to artist dynamic but I really think you can twist it around every way : **edited for bad words**
"Listen to the stage manager and get onstage when they tell you to. No one has time for your rock star BS. None of the techs backstage care if you're David Bowie or the milkman. When you act like a jerk, they are completely unimpressed with the infantile display that you might think comes with your dubious status. They were there hours before you, building the stage, and they will be there hours after you leave tearing it down. They should get your salary and you should get theirs"
To elaborate; no one has time, especially in a small community or band to have an ego. You will always work with people who you don't see eye to eye on things with. You are going to get screwed over, you are going to play to crowds of 0-4 people, shows are going to get cancelled last minute. Eventually, if you put the work in all of this starts to slowly dissipate and better things happen. As a small band, especially on an indie label, you are going to HAVE to put in some work and capital yourself. You are going to have to stand outside of Metro in the freezing cold and pass out flyers to your show. You are going to have to engage with people, network with promoters, get your name out there. Nothing comes easy, especially in the music industry. Take every major band today, at some point they were right where you are right now. They wanted to give up. They didn't want to go out and pass out flyers. But they kept going and did it anyways, because they bled for music. If your goal is to only make money, or you think someone is going to do all the work for you in building YOUR brand (yep, your band is a brand now. deal with it), I suggest you find something else to be passionate about immediately.
4) Have fun! There is nothing worse than going to a live show and seeing a stagnant band play in front of a stagnant crowd. Everyone has their off nights but try not to show it onstage. You may be playing to a less than enthusiastic crowd but if you are having fun, chances are they will start too.
When I am not yelling at people in LA traffic, or working on making this my 24/7 job, I am usually seen at shows, breweries, and pizza places. Brand New is my favorite band. I love dogs, cats and goats more than I love most humans. My best friend lives in Gainesville and works for The Fest and is literally my biggest inspiration.
To close out : just have fun with this whole journey you are on. Whether it be in music, or any field that you want to work in. Nothing comes easy in this life. If you are willing to put in the hours and the sweat, I promise you that good things will happen!
Now, go get your band twitter started and tweet about how much you love me, my handle is @MeganOhhhsinski.