10 Questions with ... Traci Adams
July 8, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started my career with Radio One in St. Louis (WFUN) initially as a Programming Assistant and one year later as Music Director. Three years thereafter, I joined forces with IDJ (Island Def Jam) for eight years, living in Chicago, DC and NY as a Regional, a National in 2008 and in 2012, became VP/Urban Promotion at Epic Records.
1) Congratulations on your promotion to SVP of Promotion. What will your new job entail?
My job entails building a presence in the Urban space for the label and overseeing Urban, Hip-Hop and Adult Contemporary Formats.
2) How did your Major in Mass Communications and Theater help you with your career path?
My Mass Communication BA/Minor in Theater assists with my career, for it allows me to interact effectively with my counterparts. I deal with so many unique personalities, from programmers, mixers and GSMs to GMs in Radio. On the label side, I interact with the artist/management, conduct weekly conference calls and manage a staff. Communicating effectively with my counterparts allows both parties to successfully reach an understanding and/or common goal.
3) What kind of insight did working in radio provide you for working the record industry?
While working in radio, I realized that establishing and maintaining key relationships are most important. When that exists, everything else will fall into place!
4) What's your opinion on the future of radio and specifically Urban radio?
In my opinion, the future of Urban Radio looks bright. Within the past year, Clear Channel has launched Urban Stations in Houston and Miami. In addition, their morning show "The Breakfast Club" has become a syndicated show in markets including NY, Detroit, Atlanta and New Orleans, to name a few. Also, on July 4th, Cumulus is launching an Urban station here in New York. All of this is super-exciting! As it relates to radio, whether it's Urban, Pop, Rhythmic, etc. today's generation (ages 12-24) obtain other ways to listening to music, including Spodify, Pandora and the Internet ... and this affects the radio community.
5) What frustrates you the most about radio and the music industry?
What's most frustrating working in entertainment are the RUMORS and FAKENESS. Don't believe everything you hear and don't smile in my face and talk behind my back!
6) What kind of research does Epic do when it comes to marketing?
Epic is the label that breaks new artists. We've delivered several #1s and will continue to do so. We market our artist with social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and of course, the Epic website. We also incorporate showcases and tours for exposure, feedback and research.
7) Artists are always asking me, "What happens if we get signed?" Could you give us a detailed look at what could happen with an artist once they are a member of the Epic family?
I don't sign the artist; my job is to get their records played. Once they become EPIC, our team starting with A&R, Radio Promotion, Marketing, Digital, Video, Brand Marketing and Licensing goes into effect and the rest is "History in the Making!"
8) What's the measuring stick for success at what you do?
I'm measured on chart share. My main responsibility is to get records played on the radio. Since joining Epic in January of 2012, the Urban team has delivered seven #1 singles. I can't wait to get to 10 and then some!
9) You've worked on many very successful song campaigns. Would you give us a list of them?
- The songs in which we've been most successful with are our seven #1s, including:
- Future - "Turn on the Lights" (Artist 1st #1 ever) and "Move That Doh" (2nd #1)
- Ca$h Out - "Cashin Out" (Artist 1st #1)
- John Legend - "Tonight" (Artist 1st #1)
- Ciara - "Body Party" (#1 in 2013....last #1 was 2007)
- Tamar Braxton - "Love and War" (1st #1 for 10 weeks)
- King of Pop Michael Jackson - "Love Never Felt So Good"
10) Who are some of the people that have influenced your career?
Ethiopia Habtemariam, President of Urban Music/Co-head of Creative at Universal Music Publishing Group gave me my first internship at LaFace Records in Atlanta via an introduction through Tatia Fox. After graduating, Mic Fox offered (and I gladly accepted) my first job two months after graduation as Programming Assistant at a Radio One Station in St. Louis (WFUN). Thereafter EVP of Epic, Benny Pough, has guided the past 10 years of my career. If it weren't for these four people ... .not sure if I would be where I am today!
What are your thoughts on Hip-Hop and how has its evolution affected programming in Urban radio?
I grew up listening to Hip-Hop, R&B and Jazz; today the evolution of music affects Urban Programming mostly because of the lyrical content.
What would people who think they know you, be surprised to learn about you?
I have no idea ... you tell me, what would surprise you?!
What are your top 5 songs of all time and why?
- Prince - "Adore" (Who doesn't have a favorite Prince song?!)
- New Edition - "See You Smile Again" (One of my favorite R&B groups of all time)
- Too Short - "Blow The Whistle" (This is the only song I will get up and dance to at a club)
- Michael Jackson - "PYT" (The obvious! I'm a PRETTY YOUNG THING!)
- Frankie Beverly and Maze - "Before I Let Go" (This will always be a classic feel \-good record. ALWAYS!)