Suzanna, you’re Director of A&R at Mom + Pop. Please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?
I actually started out as an intern at M+P almost 7 years ago! About two weeks into it, I was offered a full-time position by Founder/Co-President, Michael Goldstone to be his exec assistant. At the time I had one year left of college in upstate New York, but we figured out a way for me to finish my degree part-time in NYC and work at M+P simultaneously.
The years I worked alongside Goldie were unforgettable. I was so green at first but had absorbed and learned so much from him about the ins and outs of running a label, the music business, and of course A&R. From there I began to scout, go out to shows, network, and ultimately pitch new talent. I had found my passion and the rest is history…
For those who are unfamiliar, tell us a bit about Mom + Pop, what artists do you work with/have you worked with? Do you work with any Australian acts?
Mom+Pop is a fully independent record label based in NYC but we also have an office in LA. We’re almost 11 years old now and I’ve been with the label for over half of it’s existence! The roster has really evolved since I first started; initially we were putting out records from artists like Metric, Ingrid Michaelson, Sleigh Bells, Andrew Bird, etc. I remember going back to college for the first semester of my senior year before starting at M+P full-time, and Goldie called me one day saying “we’ve just signed an Australian artist/producer named Flume”.
At that moment I knew the label was moving in a really exciting direction, because it was right at the start of the electronic Soundcloud movement and Harley (Flume) was at the forefront of it. Since then, we’ve signed a number of other incredible Australian acts including Courtney Barnett, Tash Sultana and Jagwar Ma. While at M+P, I’ve brought forth artists such as Tash Sultana, FKJ and Tycho but have also gotten the opportunity to work on projects with Sunflower Bean, Bayonne, Alina Baraz, etc.
How did you get your start in the music industry? Did you choose to work in music or did it choose you?
The music industry definitely chose me. Before music, I had a number of internships in fashion (Nylon Magazine, Refinery29, etc) because I grew up with my highly talented and fashion-forward mother. I thought it was my calling but music was also such a huge passion of mine that I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try it out. It just so happens that my first music internship (M+P) led me to staying almost 7 years and now they’re practically family. I loved the atmosphere and energy at M+P, plus being surrounded by artists I greatly respected and listened to regularly was truly inspiring.
What does the rest of 2019 hold for you? Anything exciting you can tell us about?
Well, of course BIGSOUND! It’s my first time in Australia so I’m looking forward to meeting new people and spending time with partners we never get to see, plus discovering up and coming ANZ talent. In addition to that, we have a few new artist signings that I can’t speak to just yet…but they’re all special and uniquely diverse musically.
Who has been your greatest champion in your career, who has helped you along the way?
I really owe an immense amount of my career success thus far to my boss, Goldie. He’s built his own career by discovering and developing talent, whether it’s musicians or employees. He (along with his partner, Thaddeus) have taught me almost everything I know about the music business. He’s believed in me since day one and has always supported and encouraged me to embrace my craft, taste, and independence.
My mother is and has always been my role model. She’s honestly one of the best businesswomen and networkers I know! She is my biggest fan and has loved and supported everything I’ve ever done, even if I failed. I’d also be nowhere without my loving boyfriend, family and friends.
What Aussie acts are you keen to catch at BIGSOUND?
I’m sure everyone has this answer, but Tones and I for sure. She’s a unique talent who’s blown up so quickly, but it seems like she’s just a bundle of energy live. I also of course want to support her managers, Regan and David at Lemon Tree who we work with on Tash Sultana.
What is your go-to Karaoke song?
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac!