10 Questions with ... Jennifer Daunt
October 7, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1991-1995 college radio, 1995-2003 various San Francisco bands and boutique record labels, Coast to Coast promotion, then I started my own company, Dauntless Promotion, in 2003 when it became apparent that noncommercial radio could break artists the way I used to discover them on KROQ in the '80s. Since then I've been lucky enough to work with more commercial stations who've adopted similar ears.
1. What got you interested in the record business?
When my dad told me to "stay away from the hippies doing drugs in the music business," I was immediately curious. (he had a bad experience in the late '60s when he was kicked out of his friend's recording studio for a being a 'square' by hippies called Jefferson Airplane). I think I'm following his dream of working with music; he was an electronics engineer and avid record collector, but never could relate to artists or the business. I found the characters behind the scenes just as fascinating as the music on the radio. John Vernile, Paul Brown, Audrey Faine and Tom Frouge, among others, showed me early on how to work with passion and perspective, how to fight for the little guy and put your heart into your work.
2. What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
Mighty six ninety, 91X, KROQ, KLSX, KNAC, Mars, Pirate, KSBR, KUCI. Los Angeles has always had great radio. My parents never were allowed to set the presets in the car.
3. What prompted you to leave the Bay Area and go to Portland a few years back?
To raise kids and have a house with a backyard, and to have a rehearsal studio in the basement! Not to mention being close to another hotbed of indie music.
4. You tend to focus on the more "adventurous" projects; tell us how you settled into that niche.
Working for Windham Hill, Hearts of Space and Putumayo World Music kinda gets you in that mindset of "left of center!" I have to be challenged musically by my projects or I might as well be selling soap. What's just around the corner has always been thrilling. I'm glad I've found a format to work in that agrees.
5. How do the labels you work with increase the exposure of their artists outside of traditional radio promotion?
Online press and social media is the #1 priority for most of my clients, hence why I'm fighting to keep radio part of that first wave of exposure with track premieres, first-listen streams, etc.
6. What is the toughest part of your job?
Picking the records to work and why.
7. What has been your biggest career highlight?
It's still happening, realizing that I have and still am making friendships for life. Oh and meeting Johnny Marr.
8. What music do you listen to when you're not working?
Jazz, soul, electronic and traditional country, sometimes bluegrass and sometimes classical. I wish I could appreciate hip-hop more.
9. What would surprise people most about you?
My addiction to the NFL.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
... hugs from my 3 year old twins and Peet's coffee.
Last Non-Industry Job:
First Record Ever Purchased:
Olivia Newton John
Captain and Tennille
Favorite Band Of All-Time:
The Catherine-siouxsie-smiths-doves-roses-bear if Neko Case fronted them
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Running and BBC detective shows