Tell us about your role with Bolster, what does your day-to-day entail?
I’m a Senior Music Strategist at Bolster, and no two days in the office are the same. I help out with strategies and roll out plans for upcoming campaigns for clients like Splendour In The Grass, Strawberry Fields, Spilt Milk, Falls Festival and Laneway Festival. On top of that, I bounce around a bit too with the social, content and brand teams occasionally around social media strategy and execution, plus help brainstorm bonkers content ideas (my fave part of the job, if I’m being honest). Bolster are also crazy big on education and training, so I run internal Bolster Uni training sessions with other staff members, and work closely with the incredible Digital Juniors on our team. I still run end-to-end digital campaigns for a few of my long-term festival clients as well because I just can’t help myself.
What issues/potential issues do you think the current Australian music industry face? Specifically in the realm of digital marketing and social media.
Data and privacy are big issues right now, not just for the music industry but businesses globally. The heat that Facebook received over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the roll out of GDPR all around the world has made consumers more wary of their data, and for good reason too.
The key takeaway for businesses (music industry or otherwise) is to remember to always treat customer’s data respectfully. It’s also important to maintain clean databases outside of social media channels so you aren’t only relying on these platforms as the sole way to connect with your customers/fans/festival goers.
What advice can you give to artists who aren’t fans of social media? How can they learn to embrace it?
It’s totally fine to not love social media. Just learn what works for you. Figure out what your story is and how you want to communicate it, and how different platforms can help you achieve this in a way that feels natural to you. For instance, an artist who hates writing captions or statuses but loves photos might concentrate more on Instagram. This doesn’t mean that they can ignore everything else. They might just have to adapt their Facebook or Twitter to act as an info hub, and turn Instagram into the social channel they funnel their time and energy into, and the main way for fans to interact with them.
Give us your take on the local Melbourne music scene, where do you go to see shows and who are some local artists you’d recommend we keep an eye on?
Local faves are Old Bar and The Tote because I’ll usually bump into someone I know and the bands are always first class. A few local artists that I really dig right now are Dianas and Jarrow!
photo by Tom Mannion
What is the best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Super cheesy but totally appeals to my inner Virgo.
How do you unwind when you’re stressed?
Everyone who knows me knows I’m an absolute list freak… so if I’m stressed, I’ll literally write out every single little thing across all areas of my life that are stressing me out, and then a direct actionable to deal with each stressor. Then it’s as simple as tackling them one by one. Even if I don’t do everything immediately, just knowing that I have a plan of attack for later makes me feel better.
And when all else fails, call the parents.
Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so, how did you approach them?
Not going to name names here, but can definitely think of one that happened early in my career! I had something not-so-great happen, and I put my feelers out on social media and over email to get help. I was absolutely blown away by the amount of kind humans and businesses in the music industry (some that I hadn’t met yet in person at the time) who were literally going out of their way to help me. I’ve always tried to pay it forward, so if you’re reading this and want me to help you in some way, just ask!
If you could work alongside an Australian artist that you have yet to work with, which artist would that be?
Sampa The Great, in an absolute heart beat!
How did you get your start in the industry? Any advice for people wanting to work in your field?
I started out as a door bitch for Revolver and interning at Beat Magazine almost a decade ago.
Best advice is to be nice to everyone you meet. Everyone in the music industry has their hands in a million pies, so never assume you can be rude to a door person, receptionist, or ‘girlfriend helping to load in gear’ because you never know what else they’ve working on. Plus door people, receptionists and helpful girlfriends are great anyway!
Who are your role models in the industry?
I think Correne Wilkie (The Cat Empire’s manager) is pretty incredible! I watched her on a music industry panel when about 8 or 9 years ago and her advice always stayed with me. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of working with her directly on The Cat Empire, and it’s really clear that she’s one of the best artist managers out there.
What is your go-to Karaoke song?
I actually hate singing in front of other people because I sound like a dying cat, so realistically I would only be at a karaoke bar for the whisky and hangs.