Monthly Archives: July 2017

Performing locally for years when a chance encounter

She landed a blind audition on Season 10 of NBC’s The Voice. The then 17-year-old blew away the judges with her folk-tinged version of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Indeed, she had the honor of performing songs from some of her greatest inspirations, including Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon and Jeff Buckley. That got her to the 11th spot of the season before exiting the show.

But, instead of taking advantage of her newfound celebrity and moving to Los Angeles or New York, Keener returned to her small community and began to organically cultivate her fan base. A true DIY move.

Read More: New Music Critique: Emily Keener

Teaming up with local producer Dalton Brand, instead of a Hollywood hit-maker, allowed her to stay true to her roots as she recorded, co-produced and released her album Breakfast in November of 2016.

With the help of a PR firm, but no management or agent, Keener has since gone on to sell out shows in the Midwest and has begun to venture even farther, playing shows in larger cities such as Los Angeles and Nashville.

As she gears up for more self-booked tours in 2017, Keener will be rolling out self-produced and self-funded music videos to keep that organic momentum flowing.

At this point, I had begun to discover many things about the physiology of the voice, or how the voice is supposed to work. I struck up a conversation with Dr. Alessi, who was impressed enough with my knowledge to offer to take me even further. He began to refer some of his patients to me who had experienced vocal damage and were in need of rehabilitation. Most times, the vocal problems could be corrected with surgery or drugs, but those solutions might only be temporary if the patient does not change the vocal habits that caused the problem in the first place.

When a new client came from Dr. Alessi, they would come with a letter that described their condition. The letters were written in medical terminology, which I did not understand at all. Now this was well before the resources we have now on the Internet, so I had to go to the library to research these terms so that I could understand them and come up with an individual plan for each client.


As the traditional music business has given way to the “new music business,” artist management has changed dramatically. Traditionally, a manager developed an artist for a record deal and, once signed, managed the relationship between artist and label. The label itself managed marketing, promotions, distribution, etc. But, given the state of the industry today, an unsigned artist may never sign a record deal and labels don’t always provide the services needed. As such, management’s role has evolved accordingly. Today the modern manager needs to do much more. Managers must not only be Internet savvy and entrepreneurial in spirit, but visionaries, too. To see how this is playing out, Music Connectioncontacted four successful managers to get their opinions on their expanded roles. Additionally, we talked with a prominent music attorney to see if there are issues, in this new music ecosystem, that everyone should know about.

Established by Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer and musician Martin Kierszenbaum, Cherrytree Music is an artist management firm, publisher and record label. The management roster includes renowned superstar Sting, Grammy-winning mixer Robert Orton, Platinum songwriters/producers Michael Einziger and Fernando Garibay and Tex-Mex/Country sensation, the Last Bandoleros. Over the last decade, Cherrytree Records has sold over 171 million singles, 33 million albums and received 31 Grammy nominations while launching the careers and music of maverick artists such as Lady Gaga, Feist, LMFAO, La Roux, Far East Movement and more.

What changes in management have you noticed over the years?
The music business is dynamic…it’s always changing, as is management’s role. Today, a manager is not simply a liaison between the artist and label––it’s a full-service job where we often function like a label. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the basic partnership between managers and artists.

How important are strategic partnerships with brands and other companies?
The right partnership can offer many options for the delivery, promotion and consumption of music. There are new platforms launched almost weekly, and managers must keep on top of that. Partnering with a brand can create new methods of expression, and tap into the cultural aspects of music.

How has the Internet changed management’s role?
The Internet is a double-edged sword. For the first time in history artists can record, self-publish and distribute their songs without label help. That’s a revolutionary change. The downside is that the Internet has enabled people to not pay for intellectual property.

How has management responded to the decrease in record sales?
We used to make way more money from sales. Now, it’s incumbent upon managers to generate income from a variety of sources. Multiple income streams are the name of the game today.

What sort of artist do you like to work with?
I like to work with artists who have an authentic vision and something to say. When I first worked with Lady Gaga, no one got her. But, I didn’t care, I followed my gut and it turned out great. I learned you can’t worry about what lane it’s in or who likes it.