Emerging Artist Profile – JAZZFM91’s Music Business Seminar

I’m thrilled to be working with the folks at Jazz FM 91 once again – this time, as a guest blogger for their upcoming Music Business Seminar. Check out my Q&A with them below (or on their website here).

Chelsea McBride is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and bandleader based out of Toronto, Ontario who received the inaugural Emerging Jazz Artist Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation in 2014. A recent graduate of Humber College, she is leads her own projects and freelances in Toronto, while also acting as an artistic producer withSpectrum Music, which puts on four concerts a year of genre-defying new music.

Chelsea will be a Guest Blogger at the Music Business Seminar, participating in the seminar and sharing her reflections on her experience in a blog piece after the event. Learn more about her by reading her Emerging Artist Profile Q&A:

1) What was the biggest inspiration for you entering music as a career?

My teachers, without a doubt. I’ve always been around music and I’ve always loved it, but if I hadn’t had the teachers I’d had, especially when I was a teenager, I wouldn’t have made the decision to follow my passion. There’s Jeremy Hepner, who was my high school band teacher, who got me into doubling & encouraged me to write for the concert band (I later set my sights on the big band, before starting my own); there’s Karen Esaryk, who besides being a wonderful piano/vocal teacher, always encouraged me to write and challenge myself, and is full of wise words! There’s Garth Bowen, who gave me space to grow and create during my last year of high school; there’s Mike Allen, who was my first saxophone teacher, who set me in the right direction. There’s more that there isn’t space to name, but suffice it to say that most of the credit for me choosing this career is due to a super-supportive family getting me started and keeping me going, and excellent teachers for encouraging me to continue along the musical path.

2) As an emerging artist, what are you hoping to gain from attending the Music Business Seminar?

I want to learn more about marketing! Being an artist is a wonderful thing, but it’s hard to live if people don’t know who you are, what you do, or how to support you. I’m realizing now as I’m trying to make a viable career out of music that having a good business sense is essential to surviving in a tricky market, and I’m hoping the Music Business Seminar will give me some more tools for my toolbox – so I can work on not only getting my own name and projects out there, but helping the groups I work with grow their audience as well.

3) What artist / group / organization do you feel is best taking advantage of the current music industry climate most successfully?

For me, there’s two bands that come to mind: Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Snarky Puppy. Which is especially interesting, because they’re both huge bands – Snarky Puppy especially seems to get bigger with every record, and Lemon Bucket is what – 15 people or so?

I opened for the Lemon Bucket Orkestra two years ago and in talking to the band, we realized they’re always out there doing stuff, they’re always busy. They were doing more local stuff then, but since then they’ve toured to Europe, to the West coast, they just put out an album…they’re connecting with people all the time, which is so important.

Snarky Puppy does the same kind of thing, but on a huge scale. There are videos of everything online, so you can experience a little bit of the live energy from your devices, and all the records have these small live audiences. It feels intimate, despite the fact that you and millions of people listen to them. The Family Dinner records are a great example of bringing in collaborators with their own following, and cross-pollinating fanbases – so now Lalah Hathaway fans are into Snarky Puppy as well, and vice versa. And musically, the compositions are so tight, and the grooves are so good. It’s music you can dance to, or geek out about. I think its solid proof that if you put GOOD music into people’s ears, they will listen – without worrying about constructs like “genre.”

4) What upcoming projects are you most looking forward to?

Spectrum Music is presenting “Your Wish Is Our Concert” at the end of May, which is a whole program of brand-new music based entirely on audience suggestions. The suggestions that have come in range from serious to zany and I think the program is going to be really eclectic because of it. Not to mention, the ensemble is amazing!

I’m also working on new material with all my own projects – there’s shows coming up soon for both my bands (Chelsea and the Cityscape plays Friday, April 3 & Tuesday, June 23 at Habits Gastropub, and Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School plays at the Rex on Saturday, May 23. In terms of projects, there’s lots I’m looking forward to, but nothing I can talk about yet! The best thing is to stay tuned. I update my website with new info at every opportunity!

5) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I haven’t planned 5 years ahead, let alone 10! But if we were to speculate… I’d have my master’s degree, and at least two full-length records with my own bands – if not more! I’ll have done a tour of at least one side of the country, and I’ll have played the Vancouver Jazz Festival. I’d still be doing concert production work. Basically, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing – but bigger and better!

Lightning Round:

Favourite new artist: Esquivel, definitely. Or maybe Donny McCaslin again, now that Fast Future is out…
Last live concert / show you attended: John MacLeod’s Rex Hotel Orchestra on Monday night!
Best piece of advice you received: This one has multiple sources, including Alex Dean, but it boils down to something like: “if someone calls and asks you if you can write for a western/play oboe/do something you otherwise don’t yet know how to do, say yes first – figure out the rest later.”
Favourite non-musical activity: It’s a few way tie: reading, video games, and other forms of puzzles.
If you didn’t work in the music field, what would you want to be?: I’d probably be some kind of event planner. Or maybe a transit coordinator of some kind…

To learn more about Chelsea, check out this links:

Website: www.crymmusic.com & www.spectrummusic.ca
Twitter: @crymmusic, @spectrummusicto
Facebook: facebook.com/chelseaandthecityscape, facebook.com/socialistnightschool,facebook.com/thekoopatroop, facebook.com/spectrummusicto
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/crymmusic/videos, https://www.youtube.com/user/SpectrumMusicTO
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/the-koopa-troop

To learn more about the Music Business Seminar, CLICK HERE.

~ by crymmusic on April 2, 2015.

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