Young Entertainment Professionals Podcast is a series featuring the next generation of creative and business professionals in music, TV and film. Hear their stories on navigating the industry with the help of the Young Entertainment Professionals Network.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana there is no shortage of flavor for Meaux. She is a fierce woman with an infectious spirit that radiates even more from the stage. She started singing at a young age and grew up in dance studios throughout Louisiana training with the best choreographers and vocal coaches she could find. She then moved to Nashville, TN after graduating high school to pursue her music and entertainment career at the next level. She studied at Belmont University for a short two years before being asked to join one of the hottest country bands, A Thousand Horses, as their featured touring background vocalist. Since being with the band, she has traveled across the country and internationally performing in front of thousands of people. She has been on stages with headliners Darius Rucker, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and Brett Eldredge to name a few and graced TV screens such as the Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the CMT Awards. She has also been seen dancing for one of the biggest superstars, Beyonce, at the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime show as well as been a featured dancer in the Honey franchise films on Netflix. Needless to say her talents have been spread across the entertainment industry through countless mediums. She now continues her pursuit in Los Angeles, California where she continues to perform weekly as well as writing and recording her own original music.
Lexie Deeb is a Director of Advertising & Branding for Secret Road Music Services, where they represent a roster of publishing artists/writers and she pitches music to creative agencies and brands for advertising placement in North America, as well as for video games. She began her career at Secret Road on the Film & TV side, and also coordinated Secret Road’s inaugural Creative Labs Hawaii Songwriting Camp in 2016. With prior internships ranging from ASCAP to WRLT/Lightning 100 to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, she has tapped into a role that allows her to have a hand in marrying music to picture. She has licensed music to a variety of brands, including Dell, Honda, Samsung, Ralph Lauren, AT&T, Mazda, and Dignity Health, to name a few.
Emily Hackett is the rare songwriter who doesn’t just pour her heart into her lyrics—she inspires every listener to reach a deeper honesty in their own lives. With her stunningly detailed storytelling, the Nashville-based artist sheds light on the liabilities of being human, transforming the most painful feelings into something glorious.
It’s exactly that alchemy that found Hackett named one of CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2019. That announcement followed the release of By the Sun: a five-track EP that marked the first half of Hackett’s debut album, hailed by Rolling Stone as a “smart meeting-point between early-Aughts pop, country’s current genre playfulness and the one-name women of the Nineties.” Her followup EP, By The Moon, centers on more emotionally thorny material, revealing the full scope of Hackett’s artistry.
Each song spotlights radiant vocal presence and vibrant musicality that Hackett’s honed her entire life. Growing up outside Atlanta, she realized her passion for music as a little girl—thanks largely to her father, a former rock critic. Hackett found breakout success with “Take My Hand (The Wedding Song)”: a ballad she wrote, recorded with Parachute front-man, then saw shoot to #4 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart directly upon release.
As Hackett’s songwriting expands, so does her sound, as made apparent in her 2020 single releases, “Hangovers and Heartbreak” and “My Version of a Love Song,” leading up to an awaited new EP release of the same title later this year. The lyrics, remain as forthright as ever, and in turn, the music lending itself closer to her acoustic-rock upbringing. Hackett continues to make it clear that she will not be confined to a genre. She intends on reaching the heart strings of whoever’s headphones she can sneak into.
Julie Greenberg is a music touring agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). She is based in the Nashville office and works alongside many of the world’s leading musicians including Koffee, Lianne La Havas, Bren Joy, John Tucker, Chaz Cardigan, Tay Keith, Astrid S, j.Ember, Lindsey Lomis and more.
Songwriter/Artist Thomas Finchum talks former career as an Olympic Swimmer and what led him to pursue a career in music. He shares the story behind "Kissing A Girl," for LoCash and songs making up his self-titled EP.
Hummon’s drive is what makes him stand out from the rest. He emphasizes the hard work that goes into each of his songs. The lyrics come straight from the heart, while the production and vocals are true to him. Hummon’s sincerity is one that makes his artistry stand out; growing up, he learned from his father that this is the most important tool of success.
Futureshirts' Senior Account Manager, Mallary Birdsong, shares her expertise on the topic of artist merchandise. Your favorite t-shirt, vinyl or other memorandum from the best live show you’ve ever been to, helps the creators thrive in doing what they love. We talk about conceptualizing the vision for an artist’s merch selection dependent on their brand, budget, and fan engagement goals all according to the Futureshirts company model.
Meet the Director of Creative/A&R at River House Artists, Zebb Luster. He is the founder of YNOT Wednesdays Songwriter Spotlight, sponsored by Futureshirts and Regions Bank, a songwriter round created to give music talent a platform to share their originals. He is also the co-owner of YNOT Lifestyle Brand, an apparel company with a purpose to inspire people to overcome life’s obstacles. In this episode, you’ll hear more about the mission and his personal tie to both YNOT ventures, and how he became the artist manager for Jordan Rowe & Chrissy Metz.
Wes Davenport is the Culture Marketing Manager for Universal Music Group, where he partners the company’s artists with brands, universities, non-profits and lifestyle outlets. His team manages UMUSIC Experience, a national network of the most driven and creative college students. Prior to joining UMG, Wes founded marketing and PR agency ECHO AVE, serving clients like Red Bull, the Mercy Lounge complex and a roster of developing artists. In our conversation, he shares tips for creating sleek content on a budget and the most out of the box stories he’s produced with Universal artists. Now to our episode with Wes Davenport. Visit umusicexperience.com (http://umusicexperience.com/) and @umusicexperience on Instagram to learn more.
Session musician and producer, Derek Wells has worked with household names like Dolly Parton, Steven Tyler, and Josh Turner – his most recent project involved producing Maren Morris’ latest album, GIRL. This is a great episode about navigating industry relationships as it pertains to client projects, preparing for an audition, and why a well-crafted song is the foundation of the creative process.
In this episode, we chat with Country songwriter/artist Spencer Crandell about building an organic following through digital and in person interaction! Spencer has toured with Dustin Lynch, Chris Lane, Morgan Wallen, Josh Turner and others!
Today’s guest is the Creative Coordinator in Publishing at Creative Nation, Shaina Botwin. Shaina above all is a true fan of music. She found her dream role in the industry by way of connecting with other music fans and researching songs and the people behind them. We touch on everything from why she pursued publishing, her thoughts on company culture, especially that of Creative Nation. She shares what she’s learned working for Luke & Beth Laird, and building careers for their artists like Kassi Ashton. This is a great episode for those who want more advice on networking, finding out what element of the industry aligns with their passions, and ways to continue to grow in their role. Last year we hosted a live episode recording at The Tracking Room with Surviving the Music Industry podcast that features Luke & Beth Laird and Barry Dean. If you want to hear more from the Creative Nation Team you can find that episode called Relationship Goals (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/relationship-goals-smi-live/id1116458801?i=1000419960359) .Visit their website creativenation.com (http://creativenation.com/) to discover their roster of clients and more.
This episode features Bryant Urich and Josh Cross. We talk about Bryan'ts background in documentary films, music and why he started a company (TrustAccelerator) that creates content mostly podcasts, for businesses who want to elevate their voice. We also talk about career strategy, our favorite Netflix shows, podcasts all in a 20 min recording in the Netflix Studio at PodX.
Eddie Island claimed a spot in the Top 14 on American Idol this past season and his debut album is officially the fastest post-idol Album release ever. He won over Katy Perry from the beginning with a performance of his original “Stay Okay” which is also listed on the new album. Eddie also got the chance to perform '7 Years' with Lukas Graham on the show too. Eddie’s style, personality and music exhibits his many influences which sets him a part from the rest. Follow @nashvillemayor on socials and visit eddieisland.com (http://eddieisland.com/) to find out where to stream Industry Standard and see Eddie play LIVE near you.
Ivory grew up performing and teaching herself songwriting and production. Her music caught the attention of Grammy award-winning producer, Ed Cash and she moved to Nashville from North Carolina. And she went on to sign a record deal with Justin Timberlake’s label Villa 40 and has collaborated with writers like Chris DeStefano, Jimmy Robbins, Lori McKenna, Shane McAnally and others. She’s received 2 major ad placements with her song “Something’s Gonna Happen.” One for Swarovski crystals and the other White House Black Market.
Her music is a blend of orchestral and pop synth sounds taking like to her influences Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Coldplay, and Imogen Heap. She traveled to London last year to record new music with the help of producer Liam Howe (Lana Del Ray, Ellie Goulding are among the names he’s produced). Her personality and aesthetic is much like your favorite character in a classic Hollywood film – and she shares more about how she has taken her style to still be relevant and true to her in 2019\. Ivory’s latest releases include Boy Loves Me, Heaven and Me of which we talk more about in this episode.
Our Director of Community Engagement Rachel Knight Zola offers advice for balancing your personal life and career in the entertainment industry, tips to making your resume stand out, and ways to manage mental health. She shares her personal journey becoming an entrepreneur in recruiting, life coaching, and helping people become the best in their area of expertise.
Rachel hosts our monthly mixers and assists with any other events in the organization that bring our community together. She is a native of Louisville, KY and a graduate of Belmont University's Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. During and immediately after college, Rachel worked in entertainment PR and IT startups. She is currently COO of Turnipblood Entertainment and Founder and President of The Knight Agency, Inc., a talent development and placement agency in Nashville.
Ben Danaher has spent time curating his songwriting craft from the likes of Country, Blues and Americana influences such as Merle Haggard, Ray Charles and Darrell Scott. Ben Danaher is a Texas native and comes from a musical family, specifically his father who spent time touring as a singer/songwriter and greatly impacted Ben’s decision to pursue that same career for himself. Ben has participated in YEP’s writer’s round and got connected with the YEP community through one of our co-founders, Andrew Cohen. This episode we talk a great deal about mental health and the industry, a topic we featured at a past YEP Life of An Entertainer Event. Ben shares his own experience and perspective on defining success and how other creatives can be mindful of the comparison game.
As Director of Strategy at Made In Network, Emilija Saxe specializes in digital content strategy, YouTube channel management, and video-specific media buys. She is YouTube Certified in Asset Monetization, Channel Growth, Content Ownership, and Content Strategy. She is currently a member of Belmont University's Young Professionals Advisory Board and was previously a board member for Nashville's Young Entertainment Professionals. Raised in Cincinnati, Emilija graduated from Belmont University in Nashville with a BBA in Music Business.
We’re following up our last episode featuring Lee Krabel and Ryan Beaver of SmackSongs. Another writer from the SmackSongs roster is here with us and her name is Renee Blair. Renee played our last holiday Rewind Show and she’s with us today to chat about her new music and songwriting journey. Renee shares the steps that led her to a publishing deal and the story behind her recent release “Gotta Quit Drinkin.” Fun fact about Renee, she has a spot on Britney Spears impersonation. You’ll get to enjoy a bit of that in this episode.
In this episode, we sit down with one of YEP’s founders, Lee Krabel. He is the Senior Creative Director at SMACKSONGS. Joining him is Ryan Beaver who is a country singer/songwriter signed to SMACKSongs and BMI. Lee and Ryan have known each other for a while and in this episode their share their perspectives on industry relationships and how to let opportunities happen naturally rather than try force success and career milestones to unfold. This is a great episode to listen to in terms of hearing how a publisher/writer relationship works, what to look for when working towards a pub deal and a whole lot more.
In this episode we talk all about artist management. What does it take to manage an artist and their brand well? If you are the one looking for a manager, what are the steps you need to take to prepare for that business relationship? Today we have the co-founder of YEP and artist manager, Marc Rucker with us. He current works at Big Loud Management and oversees the day to day for country artist, Chris. Marc has worked in almost every area of the music industry including publishing and he also has a few side projects that parallel to his role in artist management. We also discuss work fatique, how to prioritize and set yourself up for success in the busiest as well as the slowest seasons in your work life.
Rocky Block is a songwriter, artist and musician. He gives a lot of great advice about booking gigs and time commitment. His father Billy Block was a huge influence on his path to choosing music as a career. Billy was a prominent executive in the music industry. Radio Host, Drummer and 'Champion of music stars here in Nashville. In 2014 YEP held an event fundraiser, Play One For Billy, at the Listening Room Café and raised over $42,000 for his father’s fight with melanoma.
In addition to the influence Rocky’s parents had on him, we also talk about his music and the writers he looks up to in developing his craft and forming his network. Rocky was recently signed to Bob Dipiero and currently plays bass for Faren Rachels.
Sony/Atv songwriter, Trannie Anderson joins us in this episode. Trannie is from Waco, Texas and she moved to Nashville only a few years ago and met her first co-writers through our YEP Nashville Facebook page! Trannie speaks to her music industry community and what it was like finding the right pub deal and getting connected here in Nashville.
This episode features Alexa Simpson, the Director of Marketing at Nashville-based production company, Morris, and as the Founder & Chairman of Team Fox Nashville, a fundraising team for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. We discuss her career path, interview tips, and more!
Austin shares how he found his entire band through YEP, the steps he took to build his career, and how Garth Brooks and John Marks have played a role in his journey as well. Austin is going to tell some pretty amazing stories in this one and we cannot wait for you to hear! You can listen to his latest music including his new single “One Summer” out now at austinburkemusic.com/.
Get to know the story of YEP Nashville through the lens of the organization's founder Andrew Cohen and YEP's current Executive Director Amelia Varni! You'll hear about their music industry journey, the mission of YEP, and how all of the above has shaped their leadership roles in the entertainment industry.