There's not a single day that goes by where I'm not obsessively listening to or thinking about music. Since 2011, I've been able to professionally channel this (arguably) unhealthy obsession as Head of Music at Applauze. My role primarily involved running the music discovery app Band of the Day, up until its closure in July 2015. During that time, I hand-selected over 1300 emerging bands to expose to a global audience of millions.
My discerning ear for music was integral in Band of the Day earning the following accolades:
•App of the Year Runner Up to Instagram (2011) •iPhone and iPad App of the Week (2011) •iPhone and iPad Hall of Fame (2011) •New York Times: Top 10 Apps of 2011 •Selected as one of the Best Apps of 2013 by the Google Play Store
As of January 2016, I've inadvertently stumbled into artist management. The City and Horses are a New York-based indie pop band, who I've been digging since we featured them in Band of the Day app. While living in NY, I finally had the chance to meet them. One thing led to another, and now I have the fortune of working directly with them. Take a listen by clicking on this sentence.
The band responsible for my music fanaticism
I worked directly with the band's manager to coordinate this feature in Band of the Day app. I first became obsessed with them in high school, so it was a dream come true to work with their team and showcase their music in the app.
From a Band of the Day feature to network TV
One of the most touching pieces of feedback I've received from a band featured in Band of the Day app came from Rubblebucket. They informed me that the feature was responsible for them being booked on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which was their network television debut.
While going down the last.fm rabbit hole of music recommendations, I discovered a band called Destry. I contacted them for a Band of the Day app feature, and received this heart-warming note after it ran. This is why I do what I do.
Sound Friend: What Music Leaders Listen To
In 2014, I was selected to join Sound Friend, an invite-only music community of tastemakers. Every month, I select and write about one song that I'm really into at the moment, which is shared across Sound Friend's socials.
Content Creator & Curator
I have an insatiable thirst for uncovering unusual stories, getting to know the people behind them, and ultimately sharing these stories. I've primarily channeled this into music journalism, which I've been doing for 11 years.
However, it's also led me all over the globe to interview everyone from architecture students in Mexico and Nicaragua (once while hiking on a volcano), to a drug dealer in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and to Japanese cosplay enthusiasts. My work has appeared on television, the web, and in printed publications.
I've also been blogging since I was 16 years old, and spend way too much time on social media. I love being able to tailor the content I create to each specific platform, and to interact directly with friends and strangers who share common interests. At Applauze, I managed social media accounts with a combined reach of 130k+ fans, and developed the editorial voice for each platform.
Executive Producer, LiveAds: Rio 2016 Olympic Games
"Turning brands into broadcasters", LiveAds is a live streaming video agency/startup based in San Francisco.
My role brought me to Rio for nearly the whole of August, where we executed a live streaming video activation with Visa US, UK, Brazil, and Mexico for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The activation resulted in over 1.34m views across all markets Facebook pages.
On the Way to Woodstock app
I wrote original content for the iPad app On the Way to Woodstock, which was selected by Apple as App of the Week (May '11).
Tweeted from the bottom now I'm here
A blog post I wrote, which received hundreds of likes and shares, about how I tweeted my way into my job at Applauze.
California's Cannabis Culture
I wrote, directed, filmed, and edited this short documentary for my MA thesis project for Westminster University. It was selected to screen at multiple film festivals in London (chosen as a winner at the Once A Week Film Festival), and was placed in multiple online outlets, which resulted tens of thousands of views.
Twitter is one of my favorite outlets to create witty, engaging pieces of content.
From 2011 - 2015, I was able to apply my ear for music into organizing events for Applauze. This included producing in-office performances, and serving as the lead on the company's annual SXSW events.
I went into it knowing absolutely nothing about the logistics of successfully executing a showcase for a thousand people -- terms like "back line" and "production advances" were completely foreign to me, and I had no idea that booking fees were negotiable.
What I confidently knew back then, as I do now (due to the sheer number of concerts and festivals I attend), was which bands put on the most exciting live shows. I also have a large network of music industry friends that I was able to tap into to learn about the logistics of event planning and to get a sense of what bands of all different levels would cost to book.
By tapping into my resources, I was able to help execute parties and showcases that were extremely successful for us as a business. They brought us directly in contact with the top managers, artists, and agents in the music industry that we've since closed very profitable deals with.
Applauze Presents: SXSW 2015
I curated and booked all of the talent for our showcase at Scoot Inn, Austin (1000 cap. venue), which was the third most RSVP'd event of that day (of hundreds) on Do512. I worked directly with band managers and booking agents to negotiate performance fees, saving the company over $10k. I also created all of our marketing campaigns, and led music industry outreach and user outreach.
SXSW '15: Rubblebucket at Applauze Manor
I organized our series of private industry after parties throughout the week at a historic residence in East Austin. I booked the following artists: Carl Barat & the Jackals, Rubblebucket, Great Caesar, Panic Is Perfect, The Frail, and Austin Boogie Crew. I developed our VIP guest list and led industry outreach, identifying the key managers, agents, and artists who would be beneficial for future business with Applauze.
The Sign of a Successful Party
...when people show up the next night, hoping for more. This was one of many texts I received from band managers/bands/music industry people the night after the Applauze Manor party. It was also covered in the first paragraph of this SF Weekly article about the best SXSW events.
Applauze Presents: SXSW '14
MS MR, Charli XCX, RAC, Robert Delong, Rich Aucoin, and Gentlemen Hall were all on the lineup. The event was a huge win for Applauze, with tens of thousands of RSVP's and fans lining up hours before the show for a chance to gain entry.
Just a few hours before doors opened at the Applauze Presents '14 showcase, we were informed that all outdoor noise had to stop at 10pm, instead of 2am as planned, due to tightened Austin city regulations. I was able to quickly work with key production staff at the venue, and all of the artists, to re-jig the entire lineup so that everyone could still perform. Two of the artists ended up playing in the venue's indoor venue, and we were able to spin the change as an exclusive in-venue after party.
I'm constantly seeking out people from all walks of life who are passionate, talented, and witty, and I find joy in figuring out creative ways to work together. I've developed a knack for finding these people, building relationships with them, and translating those relationships into a professional setting.
As Head of Music at Applauze, I set-up a number of successful cross-promotions between Band of the Day app and brands that are tapped into the emerging artist space.
I'm also an active member of online and offline music communities, and make it a point to attend as many festivals and industry gatherings around the globe as I can. My ability to establish meaningful relationships in a short amount of time has translated to significant revenue generation (deals worth nearly $1m combined) for Applauze.
Daniel Radcliffe: Guest Editor
To promote his film The Woman In Black, Daniel Radcliffe's marketing team approached us to bring him on as a guest editor of Band of the Day app. I worked directly with his team and Yellow Ostrich's team to set up the feature, and I interviewed Daniel via email about his selection.
"Burberry Presents" & Band of the Day
In 2012, Burberry set up the "Burberry Presents" campaign to champion new bands from the UK. They saw Band of the Day app as an innovative marketing partner, and together we worked on a cross-promotion for the band The Daydream Club, which resulted in a significant boost in exposure for them.
Sofar Sounds: Live at Applauze HQ
Sofar Sounds puts on secret gigs in 100+ cities around the world, with a mission to showcase fresh bands to a music-loving community -- a natural fit with Band of the Day and Applauze apps. I reached out to the organizers of the San Francisco chapter to host a concert at the Applauze office, which ended up being mutually-beneficial for both brands.
Silent Storm Silent Disco
After experiencing the fun of Silent Disco for the first time at a Treasure Island Festival in 2013, I decided to reach out to Silent Storm to sponsor headphones for a series of house parties hosted by Applauze at SXSW 2014. I was able to successfully negotiate a cross-promotional sponsorship for that year, and for our 2015 parties.
When Flipboard launched their Magazines feature, I was approached by their Head of Curation to set up a magazine of curated music articles for Band of the Day app. This resulted in over half a million page flips within the Flipboard platform, and nearly 50k readers.
Band of the Day app: iPad Ad
In 2012, Apple selected Band of the Day to be the featured app (showcasing The Maccabees) for a series of outdoor ads for the 4th generation iPad, which appeared across London's underground stations.
Feeling like I'm an integral part of a community is something that's extremely important to me; both personally and professionally. My greatest cohort for engaging with various communities is the internet.
Connecting with people on social media is something I do daily, whether it's reaching out to fans on Band of the Day's Twitter account, debating the merits of various streaming music platforms in a music industry Facebook group, or tagging my friends in funny pictures I come across on Instagram.
When we were considering opening a branch of Applauze in London at the end of 2014, I used LinkedIn and my existing network to successfully set up three months' worth of meetings there with music industry executives. In addition to engaging with people online, I make a point to attend as many industry events around the world as I can. It may or may not be coincidence that these events are conveniently tied in with the music festivals I like attending...
Artist Managers Connect
After The City and Horses asked me to manage them, I was inspired to start a private Facebook group called Artist Managers Connect. My goal was to create an environment where people could freely share advice, connections, and opportunities specifically targeted to artist managers. In just a few months, it's grown to a global network of over 500 esteemed artist managers, and it's incredibly rewarding to see the collaborations that have happened.
Global Battle of the Bands: Bahamas
Because of my work with Band of the Day, I was invited to be the sole international judge at GBOB: Bahamas in November '13. I represented Band of the Day in interviews with the local morning news television program, radio show, and newspaper.
BIME Fest: Bilbao, Spain (2013)
I was selected by The App Date to give a 15 minute presentation on how mobile apps have revolutionized music discovery, specifically focusing on my work with Band of the Day app. Through networking at this conference, I established new industry relationships that I was able to later tap into for booking bands for Applauze's SXSW parties in 2014, and for setting up features in Band of the Day app.
Social Media Engagement
I manage Band of the Day's socials, interacting with bands and fans daily. Since taking on account management, @bandoftheday has consistently been listed as one of the Top 100 Twitter Users in San Francisco since May 2013. During SXSW, I engage with the SXSW Mafia, a collective of festival fanatics with a combined reach of tens of thousands of followers.
An integral part of my role as Head of Music at Applauze is connecting with artists on behalf of the company in order to get them on our platforms. This is the part that 17 year-old Amanda, the music geek who wore a band's t-shirt (in this case, The Libertines) to their gig and who waited around after their set to take a picture, is still in awe of.
Showing genuine interest in artists is not something that can be faked, and because of this, I was able to quickly take on the role of artist outreach and content licensing for Band of the Day app, saving the company thousands of dollars a month on a music supervision team.