This Founder Turned A Passion For Music Into A Successful Indie Label
Expert from an article originally published at www.forbes.com on September 8, 2017.
Anastasia Wright leads IMG Agency & Records, a women-owned and operated music marketing agency and indie music label.
Music, as an art form, is a universal language that can communicate complex themes through sound and melody. As a business, it grossed $7.8 billion in streaming revenue in 2016.
Driven by her love for the business of music and the artistry behind it, Anastasia Wright founded IMG Agency & Records, a music management company and independent record label that specializes in artist development and music marketing.
Syphrett: As a woman running your own label, you are one of few. What keeps you motivated?
Wright: I’m inspired by the arts, especially music. I got into the business because I wanted to be a part of an artist’s journey — specifically one that impacts culture. That mission has kept me grounded. I see being a woman in this business as an asset. Women bring an empathy and a nurturing ability that the music industry needs. It is about protecting, guiding and developing the artist. I think women do that a lot better. Just because we haven’t traditionally been given access doesn’t mean we are not as good at it or better. More importantly, being a woman of color in this industry is important to represent the diversity of talent. Many of the artists topping the US charts are people of color. We need to be behind our music and culture — in the room making decisions and crafting marketing campaigns that celebrate it, rather than take advantage of it. It’s bigger than me. It’s about my artists, my team, and some girl in Tennessee who wants to sing. It’s about representation and inclusion.
Syphrett: How big is your team?
Wright: We’re kind of two-fold. The in-house company team is three of us, with an account manager and an intern. This is the first year that I brought on an intern because I’m big on adding value. I wanted to be ready and in the space to be able to teach and guide someone. I see our artists, Whitney and Tangina Stone, as part of the team as well. It’s important that I have a deep understanding of who someone is before working with them. With Tangina Stone, our relationship has grown into a close friendship. We’re partners who go into everything together. I think it’s important to do it that way if you’re interested in longevity. It isn’t everyone’s goal to be doing this work for a lifetime. Tangina and I connected on wanting to create the lives we wanted for ourselves.
Syphrett: You recently made an interesting decision to scale back the agency side of your business instead of scaling up. Most companies want to go bigger, what was behind your decision to stay small?
Wright: Three years ago, IMG Agency started out as a PR and marketing agency that typically worked with musicians around the release of a single, an album or a piece of content. We also worked with companies and startups. The label side was born out of necessity. I never set out to own a label but, I found out how much value we could bring back into the business by skipping third-party distribution companies. With the two things going, I experimented and explored my own personal growth and what was important to me. I made the ultimate decision to pivot and focus only on music marketing to help brands market through music and help artists market their music holistically.
There’s value in building one undeniable brand or a flagship service. I had to really decide what I wanted and why I started in the first place. I had to hone in on my mission and what my goals are. And that has meant turning down opportunities that don’t align. I’m doubling down on what we have now to push it to the max before we grow. I’m thinking long term.
Read the full article here.