I met @ruffian about a decade ago. She was working at a record label and I was at a now defunct content site, GetMusic.com which Universal has now revived as a mobile brand. @ruffian is one of the most genuine industry people I’ve ever met. She is ‘old school new media’, does crafts and used to play in a band.
She is creative, humble, imaginative and believes in making a difference for the bands she promotes. She also just celebrated her birthday this week making her part of the December Baby Club, a day she happens to also share with Nelly Furtado and Britney Spears.
Location: New York, New York
Vocation: Bits + Bytes
1) What advice do you have for new bands trying to make it?
Get involved. Ask questions.You can potentially uncover opportunities by talking to people in the business and other bands. I encourage bands to understand how the multiple facets of the business function (from direct-to-fan marketing and promotions, touring, publishing, you name it) as they continue to hone their craft — even – especially – when you grow to a point where you have outside parties working on your behalf. What works and why? How do you as an artist benefit? How does this help you convey the essence of your music and help you relate and connect with your fans? Both your creative, marketing, business decisions will benefit from the knowledge you accumulate.
2) What are your favorite digital campaigns this year?
Some favorite moments in digital this year include:
-Burger King’s (short-lived) Facebook Whopper Sacrifice
–Coldplay’s free live concert album LeftRightLeftRightLeft
-Fanfarlo’s limited time offer of their album Reservoir for $1
–In B Flat
–Eternal Moonwalk Tribute to Michael Jackson (R.I.P.)
3) What do you like about working with artists? How does it effect the way you market them?
I really enjoy getting to know the people behind the music — it helps to get to know artists personally, understanding what inspires them, their values and any interests outside of music. In turn, this can spark customized promotions that add dimension to an artist beyond their music. It’s amazing to talk to artists, hear their story on how they got their start and how and when they decided to really go for music. It’s quite motivating.
4) How long have you been making crafts? What kind of crafts do you like best?
I began crafting as a youngster. My high school best friend and I would spend hours browsing our local arts and crafts storesfor our latest projects, which, at the time, would include fabric painting, shadow box painting, decoupage, beading, among others. We would then organize weekend crafts fairs, with our finest creations merchandised on her driveway for passersby to browse.
More recently I’ve also enjoyed glass painting, an activity that was introduced to me in college. Liquitex makes a line of paints called “Glossies” that you can apply to glass and then bake to create a glossy finish. I like using sponges to dab on the colour.
5) How do you feel about ‘free music’ to promote a band? Music consumption is up, but so are illegal downloads. What’s your solution?
“Free music” can certainly serve as an effective discovery tool for developing artists and strengthen the listener’s intent to purchase other tracks or the album or otherwise contribute to other sources of revenue. Just as a company might take a sample strategy to get potential consumers to try their product, offering a free download can help introduce a new artist, especially if coupled with strong word-of-mouth, and inspire music fans to delve deeper into an artist’s repertoire. It may help pique his interest enough to watch a video on YouTube, stream a song on MySpace, purchase additional tracks (and eventually later the album) or perhaps even get him out to a show. For an established artist, a limited time free music offer can be part of “FRM” (fan relationship management) strategy — either as an incentive (for an e-mail sign-up, for example) or as a giveback to fans.