10 Questions with ... Lauren Thomas
March 6, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
In October of 2009, Lauren Thomas joined the Arista Nashville promotion department as National Promotions Coordinator. Before coming to the label, Thomas was Associate Director of Promotion for Golden Music Nashville and was Promotions Manager for KMLE Phoenix for five years.
1) Congrats on the promotion to Manager/Midwest Promotion. Did RJ Curtis give you any parting advice on the position?
Thanks so much! RJ Curtis and I have been traveled the wonderful/freezing Midwest, meeting and greeting radio for a couple of weeks. I soaked up as much of his knowledge as possible, although it seems infinite. RJ is definitely someone I look up to due to his experience in various industry positions and overall "Aww, shucks" attitude. Two things I have picked up from him so far: Be consistent and a McDonald's Frappe is a road trip necessity- regardless of outdoor temperature.
2) What can we expect from Arista in 2011? What new projects you are excited about?
We are all VERY excited about the upcoming Ronnie Dunn project. The guy could sing line items from my expense report (yuck) and sound wonderful but this stuff is fresh and has a sound I think will resonate with people. Not to mention, continued greatness from both Jerrod Niemann and Brad Paisley, as well as new stuff from Carrie Underwood and Adam Brand. It's going to be a great year with a lot of new music!
3) You seem to have advanced pretty quickly in your record career from coordinator to promotion rep! What do you credit as the keys to your success so far in the industry?
I've been very fortunate to have worked with some of the best people in the industry. I think drive is a bit contagious. Seeing others succeed motivated me to want to do the same.
4) Do you have any advice for young people trying to get into this industry?
Network and follow-up. Relationships are the backbone of this industry. Get in touch and stay in touch.
5) You started your industry career at KMLE/Phoenix. What made you make the big move to Nashville?
Well, it DEFINITELY wasn't the weather. :) My time at KMLE was cut short with a round of budget cuts. I took it as a sign to pack up and give this whole record thing a shot. Completely out of character, but absolutely something that was worth it.
6) Do you miss anything about working in radio?
Um, SWAG! Who doesn't need a XXL shirt to sleep in? What would YOU do for a station bumper sticker?! People did about anything for free stuff. That enthusiasm was what made getting up for that 3am morning show remote not so terrible and ultimately made me understand how passionate people can be about their music!
7) Tell us what it's like to work in the Sony offices. What's it like working with Skip and Lesly every day?
In a word: MOTIVATING!
8) Who are 2-3 people inside our outside of the business that have been mentors in your life? Why have they been so important to you?
Cue the eye rolls, but I look to my parents for direction professionally and personally. They've owned their own business for years and are great at getting me in the right mindset when I seek advice.
Also, Gwen Foster (Average Joes) and Lois Lewis (Republic Nashville) are two women who have really influenced me. We all started in radio and made the transition to records around the same time. It's great to have women who you can relate to who have also been where you have been. We talk weekly, spend holidays together, go on vacations. A blonde, a brunette and a redhead, not much we can't sort out together!
9) If you could make one change in the record industry, what would it be?
No more expense reports. There has to be a way around them, right?
10) What career path do you think you would be following had it not been for this industry?
I went to school to be a TV reporter. Tried it briefly and it was a lot of fun- minus the super short hair cut they gave me. You'd probably see me covering some obscure story about a water-skiing chipmunk.
1) We know you love to travel. What is your favorite travel destination and what should we do there?
I love the beach. Best place I've ever been was a super secluded beach house in St. Thomas. If you can look down and see your feet through the water when you are standing in it, you win. What to do there? See bonus question #2. And repeat.
2) You list good music and good beer among your favorite things. What's your brew of choice?
Sign me up for a Stella Artois. And Fireball Whisky. Not that you asked about liquor but somehow one always leads to the other on a night out.
3) What is the most listened to song on your iPod right now?
Can't pin point a song in particular but I have had Ray LaMontagne on repeat recently. If you haven't already, please treat yourself to ANY of his music. You're welcome in advance!