10 Questions with ... Shelley Hargis
February 17, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I have been in the music business for about 17 years now! YIKES! I'm old!! I started interning at Epic Records Nashville, and was eventually hired as the Promotion Coordinator. After 7 years there, I went to Broken Bow Records. I was at BBR for 4.5 years, and left to go to Midas Records as they were upstarting. After Midas, I came back to the BBR Music Group family, as they were upstarting Stoney Creek Records. I was there for the last 3 years, until they promoted me to National Director here at Red Bow Records! I hope I'm here till I'm 90! :)
1) Congratulations on the new position at Red Bow Records! How has the launch been going?
Thank you!! The launch has been AMAZING! You would think that since we already have the other 2 labels (BBR and SCR) that it would be very simple to just start at 3rd imprint. HOWEVER, it actually requires A LOT to start a label from scratch! But it's been so exciting, and we are already getting started on our first artist, Rachel Farley!
2) The first artist that you're working with is Rachel Farley and her single "Ain't Easy." Why did you decide to go with Rachel first?
Yes! We are SOOOOO EXCITED about Rachel!! She brings something new and fresh for a female artist, and we actually been noticing her for a couple of years. Until now, there wasn't anywhere we could put her on BBR or SCR. Our owner, Benny Brown, is SO awesome in the fact that he doesn't want any of our labels to be so loaded up that our artists don't get the time or focus they deserve. And we believed in Rachel so much, that he decided to start the 3rd imprint and have Rachel be the first artist signed!
3) How has the response at radio been so far?
The response has been superb!! We actually told Rachel at the beginning of the radio tour, that everyone was going to be really nice, but we might not know what we've got our first week out until Add Date. Fortunately, we are getting an overwhelming response of people committing to being on board ALREADY!! And it makes me as excited as it does Rachel!
4) So, is it just a coincidence that Red Bow has an all-female staff and your first artist is also female?
HAHA! Yes, total coincidence!! We didn't set out to have ONLY females, I promise!! We just set out to find the BEST staff possible, and it ended up this way! It's such a different world these days than it was in my early Epic days. When I started interning and became the Promo Coordinator, I was the ONLY female! To have a staff of all females now is the complete opposite extreme. Obviously, I think gender does NOT matter. I just believe having the best group of go-getters that FIT together, is the best case scenario. It just turns out we're all females at Red Bow! Well, with the exception of Carson James and Jon Loba (SVP Promo and EVP Label Group respectively). So we do have SOME testosterone in here. LOL!
5) Will you be announcing more artists for the label soon?
YES!! We have already announced an artist that we are SUPER PROUD to have, and that's JOE NICHOLS!!! What a great vocalist, who has already had a great career thus far!! 12 hit singles, including 4 #1's - he's fantastic! And he is in the studio making some INCREDIBLE music to come soon! And on down the line, I'm sure we will have more acts signed. But right now, our focuses will be Rachel and Joe, all the way!
6) How is the synergy working with the other BBR imprints, BBR and Stoney Creek?
It's wonderful!! We are all one big family!! Having been a part of both the BBR staff and the SCR staff, I already feel like both are in my blood and family. But it's a very cool thing around here at the BBR Music Group, in that we truly act as a big family. We have our immediate families, but having cousins to talk great about you and your artists is wonderful! We back each other up whenever need be. I love it!! And it's so cool to see how far we've come at BBR Music Group. Our family of 5 or 6 was great, but having a family of around 40 is even better!!!
7) Renee Leymon is the VP there - have you two ever worked together before?
Renee and I have never had the opportunity to work together in the past. Of course, I have always known about Renee, and heard great things about her, but we never really crossed paths. It's really cool to be bonding and growing together now. It's great to work with another female in an executive position. And every boss I've had in this industry has been different. I have learned from each and every one of them, and I'm doing the same with Renee. It's really cool!
8) Your position, National Director of Promotion, seems to put you on the road a LOT - is that still fun for you?
Yes, it has been A LOT lately!! I wanted to be on as much of the Rachel Farley Radio Tour as I could, so this has been my decision. And yes, it is STILL fun for me!! Sometimes traveling can wear you down, but it NEVER takes away the feeling I get about my job in general. I LOVE THIS JOB!!!!! I can't imagine every doing anything outside of music. I love music so much, but I also love being a part of the artist's development, and watching your babies grow into superstars! It's the coolest feeling EVER to me! And I have been working towards moving forward in my career, so this was the next move. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity, and loving EVERY second of it, not matter how much traveling there is!
9) The field seems more crowded than ever, and to be frank, radio adds less and less new songs. With that said, how do you like your chances to break Rachel?
It is extremely tough, and very tight out there these days. However, I whole-heartedly believe that a phenomenal artist who has the whole package, with stellar music, will ALWAYS get played. The cream rises to the top! And I completely believe in Rachel Farley!! She WILL break!
10) In addition to radio, how are you using other media, such as TV and social media, to break the act?
We haven't gotten into the TV part of it as much YET, but that will surely come. As for social media, we are all over that! Rachel is constantly on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. We also have a campaign we are doing along the radio tour called: www.ridewithrachel.com. It's a site that radio stations can drive their listeners to so they can follow Rachel along the radio tour. These days, Social Media is a HUGE deal for artists. We have a New Media department here at BBR Music Group, and they give our artists all the tools to be on top of it.
1) What do you do to get your mind off of work and de-stress?
It's funny, but I listen to new music a lot! I love ALL KINDS of music, so I love checking out other genres and stuff like that. I also love just chilling and drinking some great wine with great friends. I have some that I just go hang with and drink wine, play cards, anything meaningless. LOL! I also DVR a lot of TV shows, so I like to catch up on those too. Love me some crime dramas!!
2) What's a favorite 'guilty pleasure' junk food?
Oh gosh, what is NOT my favorite guilty pleasure junk food?? LOL! If I had to say though, it would probably be cheeses. I love a good cheese tray with grapes to go with my wine! Ha!
3) What celebrity would cause you to interrupt their meal for a photo opp?
WOW, I don't know if I would EVER do that, because I just never want to be THAT person. BUT, if I had to name one, right now it would probably be Bruno Mars. I would DEFINITELY had done that to John Lennon or Michael Jackson, if given the chance. For now though, it would be Bruno Mars. Maybe Stevie Nicks too. And had I not already met Willie Nelson, definitely Willie. :)