10 Questions with ... Teddi Bonadies
September 6, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Teddi Bonadies joined BBR Music Group's newly launched, fourth imprint, Wheelhouse Records as VP/Promotion late last month and it's safe to say this position is right in HER wheelhouse. Bonadies is an experienced, proven radio promotion executive. Prior to joining Wheelhouse, she served as VP/Promotion for Streamsound Records, Rodeowave and Universal South. Additionally, Bonadies spent more than 14 years as Sr. Director of National Promotion for Arista Nashville where she helped promote, develop and build the Platinum and award-wining careers of Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and more. She is a member of the ACM and CMA, is a Leadership Music Alumni and served on the CRB Agenda Committee for multiple years.
1. Teddi, thanks for taking time for 10 Questions! You're an experienced promo pro, having worked with numerous artists in both the major and independent label worlds. Tell us what made joining BBR Music Group to helm Wheelhouse Records as VP/Promotions so exciting for you?
I have always respected and admired owner Benny Brown, Jon Loba & Carson James as well as what they have Built at the BBRMG. Having built promo teams and developing artists the last eight years at smaller indie labels has been rewarding for me- and this opportunity seemed perfect.
3. You're about to take Granger Smith out to radio in support of his debut single, "Backroad Song." You won't get to everybody - so what should radio know about this guy?
GRANGER SMITH is amazing- but his fan base already knew that. "Backroad Song"" sold 32 K Downloads - Debuting at # 2 On the ITUNES Country Chart the first week of release. Granger and the song had and continues to have the support with Brian Michel at WUBL/Atlanta, Doug Montgomery at WBCT/Grand Rapids, Danny Zuko at WCOL /Columbus & KJKE/Oklahoma City, as well as Texas & other markets. Granger's alter Ego EARL DIBBLES JR. has over four Million followers- All before WHEELHOUSE signed him. Granger collaborated with the Proven writer and producer Frank Rogers on this project. ALL of this success without the backing of a record label. This is REAL!
4. Incredible! Then there's Trace Adkins, and we heard new music will be here by Fall - he is literally a larger than life person - and personality. With radio's recent obsession on the next, new shiny object, how will you get their attention for new Trace music?
How correct you are that TRACE is larger than life! SO is his music. The new music will speak for itself..... He has never been more pure vocally and the songs are QUALITY.
5. You've just finished assembling your promo team for Wheelhouse and I'm wondering, what are the top two or three qualities or characteristics you think are critical for a regional to be successful?
DESIRE. COMMITMENT. INTEGRITY
6. We still see promo reps coming from radio, and that can be a culture shock, being on the other side of that conversation. Do the ones from radio have any advantage compared to someone who has risen through the promotional ranks (Intern, coordinator)?
I think they do have a unique quality. They can speak from past programming radio experience. A major market programmer and I were speaking about a mutual friend who does promotion that had been a radio programmer prior. The programmer said to me- "he's one of us" and can talk "radio."
7. What is your advice for, say, the recent Belmont or MTSU grad that is passionate about music and the idea of getting into promotion, but has no practical experience?
Learn all you can about every aspect of the music Business & RADIO. Knowing as much as you can about all facets of both makes one more well-rounded.
8. Country radio has witnessed an influx of programmers from outside the format - primarily Top 40 - during the past five years or so. What if anything is different about their approach to music programming/scheduling and what (if any) adjustments have you made to accommodate that style?
They truly seem to LIKE the format and artists- When you are able to win them over on the artist or song- they really support you. I love and appreciate that.
9. With so many new artists, and so few available spots, what do you think it takes for an artist to stand out amid all that traffic?
They need to have something different- whatever it is, but it needs to stand out & make them separate from the pack.
10. Do you believe an artist performing three songs in a conference room for PDs can help them cut through? And what about the non-music part of the station visit - the artist's personality, appearance, etc.
That's a tough one. Record labels have been discussing that question for a LONG time. I STILL think it has its benefits - BUT - the artist needs to want to be there and be engaged.
Media training: Do ALL artists need it? What are the land mines they need to be aware of before walking into a station?
I do think media training can be very helpful- Dealing with an interviewer that is not prepared can be very frustrating for all- especially the artist. But, the artist knowing how to deal with it is invaluable.
Most satisfying #1 record you ever worked?
"I Believe" by Brooks & Dunn. (No one wanted to play it)
A song that didn't hit #1 - but should have?
"Boots On" by Randy Houser (went to # 2)
Worst-ever road trip nightmare: Go!
Way too many......... don't have just one. Ha!