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How I Got Backstage

How I Got Backstage

By Jade Driver & Cassie Petrey
The co-founders of Crowd Surf, a marketing, publicity & artist management company, based out of LA, Nashville & NYC, have teamed up to answer the question: “How do I get a job in the music industry?” Packed with over a decade of on the job stories, comedic anecdotes, valuable information and a ton of inspiration, Jade Driver and Cassie Petrey aim to guide listeners on creating their dream jobs in the music industry. Each week the podcast will host guests from all facets of the industry ranging from publicists, producers, photographers and even music artists to tell their own stories.
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Advocating and Educating for the Music Industry with Jackie Jones of RIAA
We are wrapping up our 3rd season of HIGBS with the fabulous Jackie Jones, V.P. of Artist and Industry Relations at RIAA. Most of you probably think of the beautiful gold and platinum plaques presented to certify music sales when you think of the RIAA, but in reality they do so much more! Jackie spends her time on the ground with with legislators negotiating change to help artists and music professionals financially and legally. Hear how she does it in this week’s episode!
May 19, 2021
The Interns Take Over!
What’s it like to intern at Crowd Surf? Find out in this week’s episode when our Spring intern class takes over the show to talk about their internship experience. Want to apply? Email us your resume + cover letter at:
May 11, 2021
All the Backstreet Ladies feat Jenn Sousa and Karly Brecher
Want to know what it’s like managing one of the biggest pop acts of all time? Jenn Sousa and Karly Brecher of Patriot Management spend their days and nights kind of like Cassie and Jade did in their teens - engulfed in the Backstreet Boys. Hear what it’s like to manage the biggest boy band of all time while balancing personal life and being mobbed in airports. To say these women are badasses is an understatement!
May 04, 2021
Standing Out in an Oversaturated Streaming Market with Will Tenney
Selling music has gone through a total revolution over the past 20 years and streaming is more saturated than ever. How does an artist keep up and stand out? Find out from Will Tenney, Head of Streaming Strategy & Promotion at the legendary Crush Music. Working alongside rock superstars like Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Alanis Morisette, Tenney spends his days mastering the art of competitive streaming and digital promotion.
April 20, 2021
From Street Teams to Street Cred - The Life of an A&R Pro feat Gabz Landman
This week we are joined by Gabz Landman, artist manager and VP of A&R Warner Records to discuss the process behind your favorite songs and how she grew from fan girl to working with songwriters to create hits for artists like Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez and Harry Styles.
April 13, 2021
Turning the Booking Game on its Head with Channing Moreland and Makenzie Stokel of EVA
The ladies of EVA started booking their friends’ gigs in college and are now changing the booking game for everyone by integrating technology and virtual events. Hear how two female entrepreneurs managed to get their idea off the ground and grow their company through a pandemic.
April 06, 2021
How to Make a Career Out of Taking Care of Celebrities with Sara Kantathavorn
Handling celebrity talent sounds like the best job in the world, but it can be stressful, unpredictable and full of great stories! Join us as we relive the golden days of MTV and TRL with former Manager of Talent and Studio Relations at MTV, Sara Kantathavorn.
March 30, 2021
So you Want to Work in the Music Industry... with Sheila Hozhabri
This week we hang out with Sheila Hozhabri who has worked on the digital and management teams for many superstar artists including Miley Cyrus, Steven Tyler and Fifth Harmony. Hear how Shelia made herself invaluable during her early career in the country music industry and how she genre hopped to the pop world in LA.
March 16, 2021
Country Girls Can Change the World with JoJamie Hahr
This week we welcome JoJamie Hahr, Senior Vice President of BBR Music Group / BMG Music Nashville. To say she is a badass would be an understatement! JoJamie dives in and talks about her early days in radio - making herself invaluable in her part time job, moving to Nashville to help break Jason Aldean at country radio and being a part of LGBTQ history with BBR’s newest release “Sunroof” by Brooke Eden. Also, congrats to Justin Horowitz on his first episode of HIGBS as a co-host. He’ll be back real soon!
March 09, 2021
Why Don’t We Talk About Touring with Jon Lucero and Stacy Pyle
Join us this week as we talk about the not so glamorous world of touring with Jon Lucero & Stacy Pyle, who run the show for acts like Why Don’t We and Eben while they tour the world! Think you want to be a tour manager? You better listen to this first!
February 23, 2021
The Marketing of Music and Mullets with Peter Strickland
This week we are joined by "The King of Nashville," Peter Strickland. Former Chief Marketing Office of Warner Music Nashville and now founder of Marathon Talent Agency, Strickland survived the digital revolution that rocked Nashville in the early 00's and embraced the changes to help make artists like Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes super stars! 
February 17, 2021
Pioneering Change and Fighting for Equality in the Nashville Music Industry with Beverly Keel
This week we welcome Beverly Keel, Dean of the College of Media & Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University. After an award-winning career as a journalist, Keel took on teaching at the university in 1995 and is still going strong. Keel is one of the founders of Change the Conversation, an organization created to help fight for equality for women in the country music industry; and is a founding member of the Nashville Music Equality, which is committed to minimizing the equality gap that exists within the music industry in Nashville.
February 10, 2021
Get Off Netflix and Get Networking - How Pete Stormer Got Backstage
This week we welcome Pete Stormer, Digital Marketing Manager at Vector Management. We discuss the hustle, the hard work and long hours it takes to make it in the music industry and some key things you can do to help move you along your journey. There is a place in this industry for anyone that truly puts in the effort to get there.
January 19, 2021
The Life of an Artist Manager - How Josh Terry Got Backstage
This week we sit down with Josh Terry, founder of Workshop Management, which woks with Mayday Parade, Ashland and Chad Copelin to name a few. Getting his start in South Carolina and moving to Chicago to work at Aware Records for 9 years, Terry has now planted his roots in Nashville with Workshop Management. Artist management is no easy street. We touch on the boundary issues that run rampant in the music industry, the delicate relationship between artists and their managers and the importance of changing course when you feel it’s not right anymore. Recorded and edited by: Tom Michael / Zodlounge Additional editing by: Hannah Humphress Music by: Cody Falkosky Art by: Summer Dominquez Produced by: Crowd Surf
January 12, 2021
We Survived 2020!
Jade Driver and Cassie Petrey are back with Season 3 of HIGBS! They survived, and maybe even thrived in 2020 by being forced to get to those long term tasks that have been hiding in their to do lists for years. Cassie got her life organized and Jade jogged a few blocks.  There's a long road ahead to getting everyone in the music industry back to their normal paying gigs, but until we can be backstage, on stage, side stage or in front of the stage again, we'll keep that spirit alive on this podcast!
January 05, 2021
Persistence Pays Off - How Stacey Cato of CMT Got Backstage
This week we sit down with the Manager of Music Strategy at CMT, Stacey Cato. After getting his start in Silicon Valley, Stacey followed his heart to Nashville in the late 90s and found himself working at - an early version of CMT - as a web developer. After 20 years of working at CMT through the digital revolution he’s seen it all and worked closely with the biggest stars in country music along the way. This episode is chock full of advice and anecdotes and also guest stars our surprise co-host Benny Driver - Jade’s mom and Crowd Surf Billing Manager.
November 15, 2019
3 Loud People and a Pack of Pumpkin Ale - How Yacht Money Got Backstage
Production and artist team Solomon (Soli) Olds and Lauren Olds join us this week for some old time anecdotes from our time working together on rock band Family Force 5 to their current success as a production and writing team working with artists such as Hunter Hayes, Tessa Violet and Sam Tinnesz. We'd suggest turning your volume down, because this episode gets a little loud! ;)
October 18, 2019
From Nashville to Hollywood and Back Again - How Jet Jurgensmeyer Got Backstage
This week we sit down with 14 year old actor and musician Jet Jurgensmeyer to hear about his southern upbringing hanging out at his parents' honkey-tonk, The Nashville Palace, with legends like George Jones to his success in Hollywood working alongside Tim Allen on "Last Man Standing." Jet is now embracing his Nashville roots and has recently released his debut self-titled country album. Hear about his songwriting process, inspirations and enjoy a live performance!
October 12, 2019
Busy At Play- How Johnny Garcia and Sarah Ryder got Backstage
Johnny Garcia, band director for country artist Trisha Yearwood since 1991, joins us to talk about how the stars aligned to lead him to country music, the new generation of artists he’s working with and how an overheard anecdote from Loretta Lynn lead to the hook in the latest release from his artist Sarah Ryder who joins us to talk about the song and launch of her career.
October 04, 2019
Fanboy to Photographer - How Ford Fairchild Got Backstage
At age 16, Ford Fairchild, a street team member, was snuck into a club by Cassie and Jade because he was too young to get in and see his favorite artist Michelle Branch perform a showcase. As a fan, Ford was obsessed with artist imagery and photographs. He ran a successful Michelle Branch fansite, which he eventually sold and used the money to buy his first camera. Ford is now a full time music photographer and videographer and has  professionally photographed artists like Jason Aldean, Greta Van Fleet, Maggie Rose and Lady Gaga.
September 19, 2019
Mental Health in the Music Industry Pt 2 - With Courtney Allen from BMG
Continuing our convo with Courtney Allen from BMG on her path to a job she loves while facing many challenges including broken promises, unfulfilling positions and challenges with finding a balance with the music industry and mental health.
September 06, 2019
Mental Health in the Music Industry Pt 1 - With Courtney Allen from BMG
It used to be something nobody talked about openly, but we couldn't be happier that mental health is becoming an open subject that friends and colleagues are able to discuss together. This week we sit down with Courtney Allen from BMG to not only discuss how she got backstage, but some of the personal struggles she faced on her path and how she overcame them to create a healthy work / life balance that she has today!
August 30, 2019
What We Wish We Knew Before We Started a Business in the Music Industry
Recently Ones To Watch published an article written by Cassie Petrey and Jade Driver called: "INDUSTRY INFILTRATION: 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Music Business." In this Mini-cast, the two dig into the article and talk about "the bro deal," chasing checks and karma.
August 19, 2019
Seamstress for the Band - How Krystal Douglas Got Backstage
Dive into your dream rock and roll wardrobe with Krystal Douglas, owner of Music City Sewing! Krystal has created custom pieces for everyone from Lana Del Rey to Michelle Obama. WHAT!? We talk boy bands - obviously! - girl boss hustle and ripping the leather panels out of her friend’s dad’s vintage Mustang to make a jacket for Jon Bon Jovi. If that’s not rock and roll, we don’t know what is!
August 16, 2019
Recorded backstage at the 8 Letters Tour in Nashville, TN - July 28, 2019 - Jade catches up with Eben ON TOUR! So much as happened since we recorded our first episode with EBEN in Nov 2018 and we wanted to catch up on his progress and successes. We talk about life in Los Angeles, closing old chapters and starting new ones and of course, share stories from the road. 
August 09, 2019
EBEN FLOW PART 1 - How EBEN Got Backstage
This episode was recorded in Nov 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. Eben has just finished up nearly 2 years of touring with Why Don’t We and is working towards releasing his next EP, Last Hundred Days. We talk about Eben’s early years in music, the boy band that didn’t work and the determination that made him drive his car from Cincinnati to Los Angeles, having everything he owned stolen along the way and knocking on his manager's door asking to learn everything he could about the entertainment industry What is the future of EBEN?. Find out in Part 2 coming Aug 8!
August 01, 2019
Who Run the World!? Fangirls! - How LISTENER Maya Kaspi Got Backstage
This week we invited one of our listeners, Maya Kaspi, to come in the studio and share her story about being a fangirl, loving Justin Bieber and Why Don't We and working towards evolving that passion into a budding career. Cassie shares many creepy stories about her young days as a Backstreet Boys fan including being thrown to the ground by a security guard! Glad she got back up and kept going. 
July 26, 2019
Lessons in Life, Love and The Lion King - How Abby Anderson Got Backstage
Country artist Abby Anderson (Black River Entertainment) joins us in Nashville this week, along with co-host Kaitlyn Gruber from Crowd Surf, to talk about her upbringing, living the dream and life lessons she learned from The Lion King. Remember who you are! 
July 18, 2019
I Fangirl Over My Artists! - How Lisa Ray Got Backstage
Time to kick off Season 2 straight from Music City USA! AKA - Nashville, TN! This week we welcome our first guest host, Elise Stawarz, and day to day manager of superstar country act Day + Shay, Lisa Ray of Sandbox Entertainment. For some of us, working in a record store was the ultimate dream and Lisa got to do just that. However, most of you probably never had the pleasure of skipping school and visiting a dirty old record store on a Tuesday morning to buy a new album. It was magic! We talk about that magic as well as the great distinction of being a true fangirl and turning that into a career this week on the How I Got Backstage podcast.
July 11, 2019
College Life - How Justin Kay and Bobby Banister Got Backstage
COLLEGE! The best time of your life...but don't party too hard because taking advantage of all of those extra curricular clubs, volunteer activities and internships could just jump start your career! MTSU alums Jade and Cassie and Belmont University alums Justin and Bobby talk about what's it's like to go to a music business school and how the hustle starts before you graduate. Wondering if a music business program is right for you? We tell you what to expect and how to get the best experience out of your time on campus.
October 16, 2018
How Max & Harvey Got Backstage - From Busking to BBC
This week we welcome our favorite duo from across the pond, Max & Harvey! Not only do these two lads have the musical talent -- and those cute mugs -- but they've got the business sense to back it up. The guys have put in the hard work, sacrifice and dedication to sign to RMI / Hollywood Records, win a Radio Disney Music Award and have their own special on BBC at age 15. Find out how they got there by listening now!
September 26, 2018
Stories from the Why Don't We "Momplex" - How Keri, Myta and Kristin Got Backstage
This week we have a powerhouse trio in the studio to talk mom life as a pop star parent! Keri Seavey, Kristin Stanford and Myta Herron (moms of pop group Why Don't We members Daniel Seavey, Jack Avery and Zach Herron) share with us the journey of their sons’ careers from their early years of busking in the street - before they were even old enough to drive - to moving to Los Angeles and playing Madison Square Garden. Hear their story in a way you've never heard it before!
September 13, 2018
Adam's Got Talent - How Adam Davis Got Backstage
This week we welcome Adam Davis, Digital Producer for America's Got Talent! Adam grew up a kid in Kentucky inspired by his idol Garth Brooks. After performing as a child, Adam continued his career in front of an audience becoming a Nashville celebrity as "Intern Adam" at 107.5 The River. As social media and celebrity culture hit the internet in the early 2000s Davis shifted his career to the digital realm joining the team at The X Factor U.S. and has now been running the digital initiatives at AGT for over 6 years. Find out what Adam does on the daily and get some secret scoop on some Cassie and Jade's embarrassing moments straight from their friend of over a decade!
September 06, 2018
From Fangirl to Brand Girl - How Helen Showalter Got Backstage
This week we speak with Crowd Surf's Senior Branding Manager, Helen Showalter, who works with artists like Why Don't We, Backstreet Boys. Eben and Kim Petras. She talks about how her time spent working on artist street teams helped her hone her craft, mainly by stalking down Jade and Cassie and talking her way into a job at age 19. Oh, and she loves Harry Styles.
August 23, 2018
Every Day We Hustlin' - How Nina Kolb Got Backstage
This week we welcome Director of Publicity at Crowd Surf, Nina Kolb! Nina shares with listeners how she started hustlin' at an early age to get her first internship in radio, moved to Los Angles to pursue bigger opportunities and started a career in music publicity. Nina now works with artists like Why Don't We, Andy Grammer and the Backstreet Boys to name a few!
August 10, 2018
How We Got Backstage | Meet Jade & Cassie
Welcome to "How I Got Backstage," a podcast about how two girls from small towns, with no entertainment connections, grew up to create their dream jobs in the music industry. Each week Jade Driver and Cassie Petrey will share stories from their careers and give advice and real steps you can take to create your dream career too! This week they introduce themselves, their passion for music, life as a fan girl and dig into the early years and the start of their marketing, publicity and artist management company, Crowd Surf.
August 01, 2018