Bianca, you’re the founder of Renegade Records. Please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?
Firstly, thank you so much for having me! I first had the idea to start a record label all the way back in 2015 when I was 18 years old. I had seen how some artists had been treated appallingly by their labels and I wanted to create a safe, supportive and loving community that would fund artists for making art authentic to them! I registered a business name and acquired an ABN in December 2015 and had officially started my record label. There was one problem though – I didn’t know how to run a record label.
I worked at a potato factory for five years to fund Renegade Records. I learned the value of hard work and the difference between a boss and a leader. A leader will show you the way but a boss will tell you where to go. From that point I vowed to myself to always be a leader and someone that anyone could come to in confidence and trust.
I self taught from 2015 to 2019 while working at the potato factory and I tested my newfound skills on Artists across the USA then I dabbled in different areas across the music industry. In May 2019 I met my two incredible mentors Ben Smith and Nick O’Connor at Northern Sound System in Elizabeth who have been a huge help in getting me to where I am today.
In September 2019 I quit my day job at 22 years old and I have been working for myself full time in the music industry since then!
From what started as an independent label, Renegade has now grown into so much more, I wear many hats including publicist, artist manager, Spotify streaming expert, graphic designer, live promoter just to name a few.
Music has always been my anchor to the world and I want to be able to make everybody feel like somebody, sonically. I want Renegade to be a one-stop-shop for artists to come and get a full service from creating a song, to branding and aesthetics to press shots and video then release and marketing and ending with a launch show! Crazy right! We literally do it all. I care so deeply for art and for people.
What does your day-to-day entail?
My day typically starts at 11:30am because I am nocturnal AF! What I love about my job is that everyday is so different. My days usually include meeting with artists and music industry professionals, running publicity campaigns, strategising releases, hustling through Spotify to connect with independently curated playlists, making TikToks, organising live events and spending time talking to or meeting up with who I am working with.
I really love just connecting and getting to know people. I spend at least an hour a day working on my own music endeavours, I love writing – lately I have been writing a song a day. I always end the day by watching a movie, tv series or by playing video games.
Who are your role models in the industry, be they international or locally-based?
My role model is 100% Ben Smith from Northern Sound System, the way he has the ability to hear someone instead of just listening blows my mind. The way Ben cares about people and their art is really special and inspiring. Ben has taught me a lot that I have applied in my own business practices, I’ve never met anyone like him.
Who are your top 3 artists to watch?
AYA YVES, Natasha Bianca, INFINITIES.
What does the rest of 2022 and 2023 hold for you? Anything exciting you can tell us about?
GROWTH! I want to keep climbing the trajectory I’m currently on. I want to keep adding to team Renegade. We have some bigger shows in the works. I am also playing my first international shows in the US this September, woo!
Let’s talk about the highs vs the lows of your career, what is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is hmm – firstly having the courage to start a ‘grand idea’ at the age of 18 with no clue what I was doing, secondly at 22 leaving my day job to work for myself full time in the music industry and being able to help humans chase their dreams, support, hear and inspire people everyday is worth more than its weight in gold to me.
Accolades wise, I was nominated for Young Australian of The Year 2022 and made it to the final four in my state. I am also City of Playfords Young Citizen of The Year 2022 and Inspiring South Australian Women Emerging Leader 2022. That was a mouthful, I am out of breath.
What has been your biggest lesson?
That not everyone has good intentions and that energy speaks louder than words ever could.
What are some words of advice given to you that you often find yourself going back to?
‘80 SUMMERS’ and ‘How is this going to affect me’.
What do you think is the biggest threat to artists or the industry and what would you do to change it?
I think TikTok. Maybe social media in general. I don’t think artists should be forced to create ‘viral TikToks’ to be successful, sure they are super helpful but not every artist wants to be across social media and I think that’s okay. Right now I create my own marketing strategies that don’t involve posting on social media (making TikToks and Instagram Stories) for my artists that just aren’t into that. It’s working out pretty well for them!
Do you have any activities that you do for self-care that are non-negotiable?
Zoning out with a cup of green tea, speakers blasting and playing Xbox games. Does that count?
How firm are you with boundaries between work/life balance and how do you try to enforce them?
TBH, I love my ‘job’ so much that I don’t even feel like I have one so really i’m chillin’.
Any tips for a quick ‘pick me up’ if you’re having a shitty day?
Sleeping it off, not a quick pick me up but it works well for me.
All time favourite gig and why?
LANY 2018 at Terminal 5 in NYC with my best friends. I got to see my favourite band live for the first time with my homies by my side and we were really close to the stage. It was just magical. Terminal 5 is such an insane venue I would love to perform there one day / have any of my artists perform there!
What is your go-to karaoke song?
MR. BRIGHTSIDE BY THE KILLERS!!