10 Questions with ... Risa Lawrenson
September 25, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
22 years in the biz, starting at the end of HS as an Intern for Polydor and then continuing to work with management, and all facets of the music biz till I wound up as an assistant for Jazzy Jim's management/record label venture Straight Hits. Then did Promo jail time at Sony, Artemis, TVT, Columbia, Universal, and finally MySpace Records until 2009. Briefly left the biz to start my own wine concierge company, and now, I'm back with a vengeance!
1. What excited you the most joining Beggars Group as Head Of Promotion?
The sheer magnitude of how amazing the artist roster is!
2. Give us the 411 on the company and all the labels that are part of Beggars Group?
Beggars Group is like the Voltron of the record labels, you put all four independent labels together to form the most powerful and coolest mega robot record label there is. I get to be part of a massive world domination known as The xx, create even more crazy fans at radio for Vampire Weekend, work with legends like Bobby Womack, and help radio discover a cool band like Purity Ring. Maybe even influence someone to learn to love Cat Power, go on a electronica friendly journey with Tanlines, sail away into ethereal bliss with Sigur Ros... the list goes on and on...Matador and Beggars joined forces in 2008, but Beggars Banquet started in 1977 and Matador was started in 1988 ...there is a long legacy behind our artists and music.
3. What may surprise people the most about the company?
We are a global company with offices in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America!
4. What are you currently working to alternative radio and what are the most important indicators on these projects?
I'm beside myself to be able to work this beautiful xx record. It is in my opinion flawless in production and in quality of music. I can't imagine anyone saying "this sux"...with over 380K sold on the last record and this second record looking at Week 1 at close to 80K sold. It just seems like the crossover from hip to mainstream is RIGHT THERE and I'm with them... I can't wait!!!
5. What do you like best about your job?
Being around the best new music out there, and getting to know it first.
6. Do you still dream of being a winemaker in the Santa Ynez Valley? Tell us about your recent venture into the wine business?
Of course, that is just such a crazy dream of mine; there are ways to make wine now without owning a winery and just sourcing grapes or even the juice, but to me that's no fun. I'd rather get my hands dirty and be involved in the whole process, interestingly enough, making wine, is very similar to releasing a CD - a lot of work and a lot of love. I miss my wine concierge company, but I gotta say even though I'm not doing that anymore, I still get asked for advice on wine every day, even from strangers that got my e-mail from my old website.. It's nice to know I am helping make the right choice...now if they can start making some decent wines in NY...
7. Tell us about your first job in the music business at Polydor and what you remember the most?
I was an intern at Polydor in 1989 and it was madness. I remember thinking I have the coolest job in the world putting up posters at concert venues, because I got to go there before anyone else so I must be important.
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______?
Listening to Spotify.
9. What do you miss most about leaving L.A.?
My best friends and the weather (they are too close for me to choose either way).
10. What do you like best about being back home in New York?
The subway. It has literally made me a happier person. No more yelling at people who can't drive and clogging the freeways for no reason at all hours of the day.
I guess you still qualify as a newlywed so how has married life affected your career the most?
It makes me want to go home more... =)