10 Questions with ... Brooke Yancey
November 25, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started out interning at Smith Music Group in Ft. Worth in May 2004. They're a largely TX Country label and they do all of the "Live at Billy Bob's" albums. From there, I interned at UMGD in Dallas (Universal Music Group Distribution Branch) with the Country Artist Development Rep, Ben Richardson. He was in charge of regional marketing for the artists on the Country label rosters that fall under the UMG umbrella. I graduated college in December 2007 and between my last 2 semesters of my senior year, I moved to Nashville for the summer and interned in the Promotion Department of Universal Music Group-Nashville. Prior to that internship, I knew next to nothing about the vast world of Radio and Promotion. It was definitely an eye-opening experience! I went back to Texas, interned with Ben again my final semester of college and then two days after I graduated, I flew to Nashville to interview for the job of Promotion Coordinator at a new label called The Valory Music Co. and now here I am.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be in the music industry?
There wasn't a "light bulb" moment but I knew in middle school that I wanted to be involved in music somehow. I inherited a love of music from my dad who always played music for me in the car. He would quiz me all the time and say "What is the name of this song? Who sings it?" and then when after I'd answer, he'd go into a brief history of the band/artist and give me all kinds of tidbits about them. My grandfather also played music and at all of our family reunions, the talented ones in our family have a jam session at some point during the weekend. Between that and growing up in show choir/regular choir and dancing, I was always involved in music somehow and it's always been a big part of my life.
2. Where is your favorite place to go out to eat at in Nashville?
It's not fancy but my favorite place to eat in Nashville is Calypso. Thank heavens there's one in every area of this city so no matter where I am, I can always get to one easily. If I were ever ostracized from Nashville, I'd find a way to franchise it out in wherever I was sent to.
3. What piece of music or live show has been the most influential to you?
This is hard to answer! I tend to have different phases where certain artists dominate that specific time period and are what I need in that season of my life. In high school, I was all about Pat Green and Dave Matthews Band. My best friend and I went to every single PG show we could get to. We'd sing and dance and had the best time ever and if we weren't at a show, we were jamming him in her Jeep. DMB got in my veins in a way no other artist/band had before. First of all, you want to talk about some lyrics! "Pig" is still to this day one of my favorite songs lyrically. And the way Dave sings it (and every other song) and the band plays, it's magic. There's an older Eli Young Band song that I would listen to called "So Close Now" when I was making the decision to move to Nashville to see what I could do in the music industry but would get scared to move so far away from my family: "I am so close now to walkin' away; about to walk the path I've got to take. I am packin' up, and headin' out; 'cause I can't sleep I'm dreamin' way too loud" It reminded me that if I didn't try, I would always ask, "What if?" John Mayer and Patty Griffin are both staples for me. I'll never get tired of "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" and "Time Will Do the Talking" will always make me feel better on a bad day.
4. How did you first get involved with The Valory Music Co.?
Valory was just starting up at the same time that I was graduating college. As the semester was winding down, I started reaching out to people I met in Nashville when I lived here for a summer and interned at UMG. One of the people I emailed was Katie Dean at UMG and she told me that a new label was forming in town called The Valory Music Co. and I should reach out to Chris Loss, the label's National Director. I did and the next day I was on the phone with Chris and Jon Loba, the label's VP of Promotion and the day after I graduated I had a job and a reason to move to Nashville for good.
5. How would your family and friends describe you?
Quirky and a total pain in the ass. My family would say they love me because they're kind of required to, but my friends, well, I don't know what's wrong with them. I sure do love them, though.
6. What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
A lot of what I used to listen to and still listen to today, really, was influenced by my dad who played mostly Classic Rock for me. It was always Foreigner, Boston, Kansas, Aerosmith, Chicago, Elton John, Bad Company, etc. I still listen to all of that today and I have a more rock taste, which I definitely inherited from him. He also would play me Garth Brooks and Clint Black every once in a while, or I'd force him to listen to Top 40. My mom, who's also a big music lover and worked in Sales at various radio stations as I grew up, would play lots of John Cougar Mellencamp, The Beach Boys, Tom Petty, and a little Motown for me, which I think influenced my tastes, as well.
7. Describe the most memorable radio event that you've put on or attended.
I think that might have to be the showcase we did in August 2011with Brantley Gilbert and Thomas Rhett in Foxboro, Massachusetts last year. Brantley was on stage and we had all of our guests in the roped off area. As music industry folk tend to do, most of us were just standing there watching and a few were swaying, some had their heads going to the beat, but then you look over and there's Don Gosselin from WNOE in New Orleans, doing the whole Brantley Gilbert arm-pumping thing (if you've been to a show, you know what I'm talking about) and at the end of a song, he shouts, "MOTHER F***ER!!!!!!!!!!!!" It was hands-down the best moment ever at a showcase, or industry show period. I pretty much fell in love with him right then.
8. Explain the biggest differences between your hometown and Nashville.
We'll start with the size of Copperas Cove, TX, what I refer to as my "hometown." It's grown since I lived there and although we were a 5A school, it's still a pretty small town. Most people who live there are either military families (the army base Ft. Hood sits right at the edge of Cove's city limits and we used to hear/feel practice bombs go off at our house that would shake the whole house), or their family has just lived there for forever. My situation is the latter. When I was growing up, we had two restaurants by the time I graduated high school: Case Ole and Applebee's. The town is HUGE into football, as you'd expect in a Texas town, and when playoff season came around, lots of places were closed because everyone went to the games, even if they were hours away. It was pretty much like Friday Night Lights in a lot of ways (which, by the way, was filmed about 45 minutes from Cove).
9. What was the first concert you attended?
Either Vanilla Ice or New Kids on the Block; I can't remember which came first. I had school pictures on the day of the NKOTB concert and I was ALL decked out in a purple sweat-suit with giant NKOTB buttons on my sweatshirt and a bowl cut. It's one of my better moments, I think.
10. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to own a dance studio and just dance every day of my life.
1) What is your biggest pet peeve?
Hearing people eat and/or smacking. I also get really grossed out when people chew with their mouths open.
2) What is your favorite show on TV right now?
Picking favorites is hard for me but I'm going to have to go with Scandal on ABC. Grey's Anatomy is a very close second.
3) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
This is a tough one because I LOVE food so it's hard for me to pick just one. Chips and queso would probably be number one, but not the white queso they tend to have everywhere in Nashville. I want the Tex-Mex kind, like Chuy's. I have an insatiable sweet tooth so I'd also have to have some brownies at some point. I rarely make them so I don't eat the entire batch at once, but brownies are God's gift to a chocoholic like me.