10 Questions with ... Brittany Pellegrino
February 2, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started out working as a production intern at Clear Channel Country WDTW/Detroit. From there, I had publicity internships with Music City News Media & Marketing, Big Machine Records and The Nashville Predators. I also interned at Warner Music Nashville in the Radio Promotions department. After graduating from Michigan State, I worked as a Promotions Tech for Cumulus Country WKDF/Nashville before joining Cold River Records as their Northeast Regional for two years. Now, I'm the Editorial Assistant for All Access Nashville!
1) Hi Brittany! You have been on the job here at All Access for several weeks now. Tell us, how are things going? How is your new position different than you thought that it might be?
I'm so happy to be here! It's really been a great fit for me. My degree from Michigan State is in Communications/Public Relations, so I really love that I'm able to utilize my writing skills. Not only that, but I'm also still able to talk to all of my radio friends every week that I made while I was a regional at Cold River. It's a little different to be at a desk all day, but I expected that coming in. I'm thankful that RJ lets me take walking breaks to Edgehill Café any time I start to get a little stir crazy! Haha!
2) You come from a varied background. Your experiences include internships in Sports, Publicity, and the Promotions department of a record label. You also worked as a regional for Cold River. How did these opportunities prepare you for your new position at All Access?
Each of them helped me with different things. My publicity internship with the Nashville Predators really helped me get used to working in a fast-paced environment. The sports entertainment industry is nonstop, so you have to be able to keep up if you're going to make it. It also toughened me up a little bit. I was one of the few women in a very male-dominated field, so you feel the need to have to prove yourself a little bit more. My internships with Big Machine Records and Warner Music Nashville really introduced me to how successful labels operate on a day-to-day basis. My radio promotions internship with WMN really helped set me up for my job as a regional with Cold River. It taught me the process of getting a song played on the radio. As I mentioned in the last question, getting the opportunity to be a regional at Cold River allowed me to make some great friends in radio and the best part is that at All Access I still get to talk to all of them on a weekly basis!
3) You talk to radio programmers each day, and have visited a lot of stations in the past. Have you ever thought about diving into that (on air/radio) aspect of the industry?
My first internship I ever had was at Clear Channel Country WDTW/Detroit (which sadly isn't around anymore). I worked with the morning show, where I would take calls and research different stuff for them to talk about on-air. Every now and then one of the DJs, Chad, would try to get me on-air. One time he finally convinced me and I hated how I sounded! I'm so fascinated by radio and have definitely considered working in it directly, but I think that if I ever did it would have to be more of a behind-the scenes type thing!
4) When you aren't working, what are some of your hobbies or interests?
I know this is cliché since I work in the music industry, but I really do love checking out live music. The talent in Nashville is incredible. I'm also active in my church here and love volunteering with different service activities when I have the chance. I'm pretty obsessed with my dogs (If you're my friend on Facebook or Instagram then I apologize for my 500 pictures), so I love taking them to the dog park when it's nice out. I live a very exciting life, I know! Oh, but I do love to travel, so I guess that part of my life is somewhat exciting!
5) You are originally from Michigan. When did you decide to make the move to Nashville? Was Music City the place you always hoped you would end up?
Country music runs through my veins. I always knew I wanted to work in it, but never thought that a girl from suburban Detroit would actually have the opportunity to. I first moved to Nashville in 2009 to do an internship with Music City News Media & Marketing. I was sold on Nashville after that and continued to come down and intern throughout college. I eventually moved here permanently once I graduated and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
6) If you weren't working in the Music Industry, what would your dream career be?
I would love to be a Cardiologist. My mom is a Cardiac Nurse, so I grew up around that world. I followed around one of the cardiologists she worked with on a "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day." I loved interacting with the patients and how in that job you're saving lives. My grandpa suffers from heart disease and Cardiologists have saved his life multiple times, so it has a special place in my heart (no pun intended.) I faint at the site of blood though, so I figured it wouldn't be the best fit!
7) Who are some of the radio programmers that you have grown close to throughout your experiences working with them? Have they taught you anything?
Grover Collins who is the PD at WUBE/Cincinnati has become very much like a big brother to me. I actually just went on vacation with his family to Mexico in July! He said something to me one time that I will never forget "Brit, I'm gonna tell you what someone told me once: you've just got to have patience and persistence. It will all work out." I think that's so true; not just in this industry, but in life in general. I also would like to give a shout out to Scott Donato and Brad Austin because I know they will call me and yell at me if there is no mention of them! Haha! Dave Hovel, Stoney Richards, Corey Garrison, Dave Anthony, Matt Bradley, Tim Roberts (he gave me my first add!), Ginny Rogers, Mike Brophey, Paul Donovan, Bob Walker, etc, etc. I love all of the radio friends I have met and each has taught me something different - mainly to not take myself too seriously. :)
8) Life as a record label regional is quite different than your 8-5 office position at All Access. How has that adjustment been? What are some of the things that you miss about life on the road, and what are some of the things that have been a welcomed change?
I miss getting to check out new places and every day being drastically different! I found some great restaurants (especially in Boston & Boise, ID) that I seriously crave on a regular basis and no longer have monthly access to. On the plus side though, I get to sleep in my own bed every night and get to see my friends A LOT more often. I love that sense of stability and actually getting to see, and hang out in, Nashville for more than a day.
9) What advice would you give to other young people who dream of someday moving to Nashville and working in the music industry? Were there any specific obstacles that you had to overcome?
I would definitely say don't think you can't do it. Being from suburban Detroit, I never thought I would have the opportunity to work in Country music and here I am. Network, network, network and don't be afraid to reach out. We all had to do it at some point. You'd be surprised at how many people are willing to help you get your foot in the door; you just have to ask. Last but not least, work harder than everyone else. This is a dog-eat-dog industry and the ones still fighting are the ones who are going to survive.
10) The Polar Vortex made for a very crazy winter this year... being from Michigan, are you laughing at all of us who complain? Honestly?
Well, I have to say, it is amazing to me how people can't drive in the snow here when there's only an inch on the ground! I just make sure to take a deep breath before I get behind the wheel. However, it has only been between 5 and 20 degrees here lately, and that's brutal, even for a "northern girl."
1. If your life were depicted in a movie, what actress would be the best choice to play "Brittany Pellegrino"?
I would love Rachel McAdams to play me, but only because she's my girl crush! I feel like Kate Hudson would probably be a better fit.
2. You have had the chance to meet several music stars and celebrities. Who have you NOT met, that you would be completely star struck for?
I've never met Garth Brooks and would absolutely love to (hint hint to whoever can make that happen) haha! But seriously, he was my first concert and I grew up on his music. He's one of the best there is, and ever will be, in this genre. George Strait is definitely on the list of celebrities I'd like to meet one day too. Again, one of the best there is. Is the "Duck Dynasty" cast considered celebrities? Because if so....
3. What are some of your guilty pleasure TV shows?
I used to watch a lot more TV, but I love "Dr.Phil" and "The Real Housewives" series - don't judge! It's like watching a bad car crash; you don't want to watch, but you can't look away!