Interview with Jacy Dawn Valeras, The Founder & CEO of Platinum Circle Media
The Founder & CEO of Platinum Circle Media got her start as a country singer. Born and raised in a little town outside of Boston, Jacy was writing songs and singing at local events at only 13. By the time she was 19, Jacy was opening for country music legends like Reba and Willie at iconic venues like Madison Square Garden, the Bluebird Café and the Texas Troubadour Theatre.
When vocal issues caused her to press pause on her singing career, Jacy knew she had to turn the page and start a new chapter. In 2012, she combined her talent and experience as a performer with her love of social media marketing, graphic design and content creation to launch Platinum Circle Media. For the last 8 years, she has expanded her client base of country music superstars and record labels to include Fortune 500 companies, innovators and entrepreneurs from every industry who come to her for what comes naturally: the ability to create star power.
Widely known as the woman in new media who returns calls, meets deadlines, believes in the power relationships and gets the job done, Jacy checks all the boxes. When it comes to content creation, digital marketing, and increasing online visibility, Jacy Dawn Valeras is in a league of her own.
As the creator and host of her own YouTube series, Jacy shares her wisdom with aspiring artists and in doing so, has developed an inspiring platform devoted to mentorship with over 200 thousand views and counting.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
My father has always been very musical and luckily, he passed that down to me. In 1988 my parents took me to my very first concert in Boston, Massachusetts to see my childhood favorites, Sharon, Lois & Bram. After that show, I knew that I absolutely had to be involved in music. I loved everything about it. I began taking singing lessons and sang all through elementary and middle school. By age 14, I was already making money singing at weddings, funerals, political events — anywhere that would have me and at age 16, I was singing with a female christian/pop quartet and we were invited to sing for the President of the United States. That was a big launching pad for me, which led to many other opportunities. I eventually made the transition to country music and began opening for every major act that came to the Boston area. In my early 20’s, I ran into some vocal issues and was forced to take some time off from singing. That pivoted me into writing music, which eventually brought me down to Nashville. I started writing pretty consistently down there, while networking and meeting as many people as possible. In 2009 I packed up all of my things and made the big decision to move there!
When I started singing and writing music, I knew that if I wanted to take my career to the next level, I had to have a strong social media presence, a strategic marketing plan, album art, a website, and so much more. I searched endlessly for someone to guide me and to help create the assets that I knew I had to have. I came up empty, so I was forced to figure it out myself. When I moved to Nashville I brought all of those skills with me and instantly saw a need for what I had to offer in that area of the music industry. I worked really hard, helping friends and fellow artists until one day, I realized that I may be able to turn these skills into a business, and so I did! My very first client was my friend, singer/songwriter Kelly Lang. She gave me the opportunity to hone my skills and that led to me working with artists like Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Ricky Skaggs, Collin Raye and the list goes on…
What have you been working on lately?
I had a true full circle moment last year when I received a call to work with my childhood idols, Sharon and Bram of the Children’s trio Sharon, Lois & Bram. Lois sadly passed away in early 2015. They were the reason I started singing, and having the chance to work with them on their social media and digital marketing has truly been the greatest opportunity of my life.
During the COVID-19 crisis we were brainstorming ideas on how we could spread some much needed positivity into the world. We came up with the idea to bring a bunch of Sharon, Lois & Bram’s friends, fellow musicians and family members together to create a video for their song, “Talk About Peace”. I had the honor of producing and editing the video. We released it in late June and It has just passed 125k views on Facebook and was featured on Entertainment Tonight, Canada! In such difficult times, it is so nice to have something fun and positive to focus on. I really try hard to keep that at the forefront when working on client projects. Especially in times like these: Talk About Peace
Singing: My most recent recording is a duet all about friendship with my amazing friend, Award-Winning broadcast and vocalist, Candy O’Terry called “If I Should Lose My Way”.
Songwriting: My most recent cut is a song called “Sober” on Country music legend TG’s Sheppard’s latest project.
What is your ultimate goal and how are you working to accomplish it?
My ultimate goal is to continue growing my business, Platinum Circle Media, especially our artist mentoring and consulting. When I was starting out in the music industry, I was constantly searching to find someone who could help me navigate the difficult business of music. One of my favorite quotes is “be who you needed when you were younger” and I am on a mission to be that person for every young artist who reaches out to me, asking for advice and guidance. I have created a YouTube channel dedicated to educating new artists just starting out on their journey (youtube.com/jacydawnvaleras). My goal is to provide them with all of the information that I wish I had when I was younger.
How has the current pandemic/crisis affected your work day-to-day, and what have you done to shift gears? What has been the greatest challenge? What has been the silver lining, if any?
The current pandemic has greatly affected the music industry. Many of the artists who I work with have lost almost all of their performing and touring opportunities. We have really had to pivot our social media strategies to keep consistent posts going online for these artists but that has given all of us the opportunity to get much more creative with content ideas. We are constantly thinking of new ways to keep the artist fan connection strong, even when they can’t be in a concert hall or stadium together.
I think the silver lining is that many of these artists have never had this kind of “down time” to really focus on things like revamping their websites or writing and releasing new music. More than ever entertainers are taking to their social media accounts to perform live and to chat directly with their fans. We have been working really hard to keep that connection going and it has taught all of us how precious these social media platforms really are — especially when it is an entertainers only option to be in front of their fans on a day to day basis.
What advice would you give your younger self? What advice do you have for women entering your field?
I would love to tell my younger self to learn a little bit more about the financial side of the music industry. Royalties, publishing, monetization. All of those things are so important and I had to take a very quick crash course in that to catch up.
My advice to any woman entering any area of the music business would be to educate yourself on as much as you possibly can. Just like any industry, knowing the Ins and outs of how your business works is essential to your success. Be strong and don’t ever be intimidated by what you do not know — use that as ambition to learn. The more you can learn and be in control of your own career, the more opportunity you will have to be in charge of how it turns out!
Success is such a personal concept — we all define it differently. How do you personally define success?
I choose to define success by consistently asking myself if what I am doing now would make the younger version of myself proud. I always want to check in with that little, starry-eyed girl who used to dream of working in the music industry. If I can continue to make her proud and to help other young, ambitious girls achieve their dreams, that is true success to me!
How would you describe the current state of the music industry in 3 words?
Competitive, Evolving & Exhilarating.
Can you share with us some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career journey?
The biggest challenge I have faced in my career journey has been pivoting from being known as a singer/songwriter to proving my skills and abilities on the business and marketing side of music, not only to everyone who knew me as Jacy the singer, but also to myself.
It was all about confidence. Having the belief in myself with this set of skills as much as I had with myself on the music / writing side of things was a big hurtle I had to cross. It took time but I worked really hard to push forward and build a business that I am so incredibly proud of. What I learned through all of this is that confidence isn’t really something we are born with. It is something we have to work on, all the time. I have plenty of days when imposter syndrome sets in and I have to take a step back and look at what I am doing, what I have accomplished and how far I have come and then celebrate every single success. I have also learned from working with some of the biggest stars in the music industry that they all struggle with it too. No matter how many Grammy awards you have or platinum records are hanging on your wall, we all struggle with it.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a part of the entertainment/music industries?
One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned from working in the music business is that every single little success should be celebrated. It doesn’t matter whether it is an interview you’ve been wanting to get, or a music collaboration or even something as simple as recording a demo of a new song you wrote. In a business like music, everything moves so quickly — you have to remember to take it all in and to celebrate every single moment.
If you could collaborate with any other female in the industry, who would you choose and why?
I have always really wanted to collaborate with Kara DioGuardi. I admire her so much as a songwriter, a businesswoman and as a person. The work she does with young artists, inspiring, educating, encouraging them is remarkable. She is such a great example for women especially those heading into the music industry. Having the opportunity to work with her one day is a huge dream and goal of mine.
Last but not least, Where can we find you online? Please provide social media handles you’d like to share with our audience!