Torrez Marketing & Productions

So 2018 is here! You’ve made more personal new year’s resolutions, and now you’re re-evaluating your professional goals; reassessing which ones you reached last year, and what changes you want to make for this year.

If one of those goals include starting your own business, expanding the company you already have, creating a secondary revenue stream, or turning that hobby into a source of income, then one of the things you’ll want to be sure not to overlook is your Marketing plan.

I often tell my music business students that it doesn’t matter how talented they are, how well they can sing, or how many songs they’ve written. If they don’t know how to promote and market themselves, then they won’t be able to sell their music, increase their fanbase, and grow their business. The same principle applies for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Let me introduce you to Gabe and Danielle Torrez and their company Torrez Marketing & Productions (TMP). Gabe and Danielle are storytellers from Nashville, TN. Driven by a desire to make your brand shine, TMP specializes in creating shareable content that your followers, friends and business contacts will want to watch and repost.

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Prior to creating TMP, Gabe Torrez worked on the creative team at Bethel World Outreach Church bringing messages to life through video and visuals. Danielle (Kimmey) Torrez formerly worked as Director of Marketing for eOne’s Worship division, and is best known for being one-third of the singing group Out of Eden.

Together, Gabe and Danielle take their shared industry knowledge and utilize it to create fascinating business branding videos, music videos, wedding videos, and much more.

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To contact TMP for more information and pricing packages, email Gabe Torrez at torreztmp@gmail.com or call 615.500.0596. Samples of their work can be found on Youtube at Torrez Marketing & Production.

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What Did You Get for Christmas?

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? Was it a brand new guitar? No? Perhaps you already have one that’s been collecting dust because you never learned how to play. Or maybe you play a little, but haven’t figured out how to go from amateur hobbyist to a professional guitarist. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to play guitar and work professionally at it, but haven’t found a teacher who can also share tips on making it in the music business, then meet singer/songwriter, and classically trained guitarist Robert Arthur! 

 
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In addition to his one-on-one personal lessons offered locally in Nashville, TN, Robert is now accepting guitar students via Skype and FaceTime. A graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors degree in classical guitar performance, Robert was a full-time guitar teacher in Union, SC before moving to Nashville in 1992. He has toured extensively with country music artists Brad Paisley, Jeff Bates, The Henningsens and many others, and has performed with legends like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, and shared the stage with a number of other country music stars. 

“My guitars have seen all the lower 48 states, Canada, the Caribbean!” Robert Arthur

As a studio musician, Robert has spent many hours in different types of studios, recording hundreds of sessions, from very low-budget demos to major label records. As I songwriter he has been blessed to have had three major publishing deals, and over 100 songs recorded by small independent country and Gospel music artists, and major-label acts such as Chris Young and Brad Paisley. One instrumental cut with Paisley was nominated for a Grammy.

Robert wants to put his vast experience to work for you helping to equip you in many styles, on acoustic or electric, and to share his special insights for the guitar playing songwriter! He is passionate about the guitar and would love to put that passion to work for you! Contact Robert Arthur at: SirRobArtMusic@bellsouth.net for more information about pricing, scheduling, etc.

Corner of Danny & Kansas Avenue

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Happy Anniversary to Danny and Kansas Fergen! Ten years of marriage is definitely something to celebrate! It’s even more so as our country and culture have watched more and more couples choosing not to ever get married; and many who do, even within the church, still ending up in divorce just a few years into their marriage.

But wait. Why am I sending congratulatory remarks to some couple on my entertainment blog?

Well, this is no ordinary couple; at least not to me. And while I’m sure the word extraordinary would not be appropriate, they are definitely two people making a huge difference in the world today, just by living out their lives the way they feel God is directing them to do.

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I first met Kansas Calkhoven before she became Mrs. Fergen, when she was part of a Christian sister pop group TruEmotion. The oldest of six girls, she and four of her sisters made up the music group who I represented. There’s an incredible story to tell, not so much about how the group was formed, but rather how their family of six girls was made. But that’s another great story for another time.

For now, let’s talk about when Kansas met Danny. Or better yet, what they have been doing since marrying on June 11, 2007.

From early on in their relationship, they knew they wanted to grow their family in a non-traditional way. Both agreed that adoption was God’s plan for them before trying to pursue having children biologically. They began the adoption process a few months into their marriage, thinking it would take a few years before they had placement of a child. But, God had a different plan. Just a year after they were married, they got “the call” that would change their lives forever. They welcomed a nine month old baby boy into their forever family. It was that choice, that call, and that child that paved the way for how God would continue to work in their hearts and orchestrate their family for the years to come.

“I fell into motherhood really fast at the age of 23, to a nine month old baby boy and two months later we found out we were expecting.” — Kansas Fergen

Every day people fall in love, they get married, they talk about how they plan to grow their family, and they move forward towards those goal. So what makes Danny and Kansas’ story a special one? Well, for one, I have never met a young twenty-something year old couple who sets out to become parents by adoption first, so early in their marriage. But more than just having children — biologically and through adoption — it is how they are raising them, and what God is doing through their kids, as much as with them as a family unit, that caught my attention.

Now, ten years into their marriage, Danny and Kansas are already the parents to five beautiful, creatively different, loving children, ranging from a toddler to two tweens.

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“Not every family is meant to look the same, but every life matters. Our family is built on the faithfulness of God through both biological & adopted children.”

Danny and Kansas aren’t just growing their family; they’re building a ministry while they’re at it. And I’d like to introduce you to different parts of that, a little piece at a time.

So come back here as I continue to share with you more about The Fergens over the next several weeks, and see why you will enjoy getting to know who they are, what they’re doing, and what’s next in God’s plan for their family’s life! And who knows? Music just might be a part of what’s to come in the future!

So Happy Anniversary Fergens! Here’s to 10+10+10+10+10 more!

Labor Day is Not Just for Cookouts

So we’re two weeks into the new college academic school year, and we’re having our first break — Labor Day! Every few years, I like to remind myself of the historical significance of some of the holidays we often take for granted. Labor Day is one of those. Another day off from work; no school; an extension of the summer vacation. I’ve heard it referred to by almost everything except what it was designed for, and the reason the first Monday of every September was put aside as a holiday.

According to the Department of Labor’s website, Labor Day is intended to be dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first governmental recognition of Labor Day came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

Like many other American holidays, I sometimes think if the real meaning and purposes of these days, which we set aside for either celebration or remembrance of something significant to the values, growth, or protection our country, are buried under the day-long or weekend obligations of parties and picnics; camping and cookouts. Or drowned out by the advertising sounds of retail shopping, car dealer sales, and specials on in-ground pools and summer inventory clearance!

Social and economic achievements of American workers. That’s saying a lot; especially in these modern times. How often do we think about what we do, and how those things contribute to these achievements every day?

There’s a lot of “labor” that goes into working in the entertainment industry; whether you work in motion pictures, television, radio, sports; even gaming. And then there’s music, which I believe also helps to contribute to the “strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”  They all require a labor force!

Not everyone understands that while from the outside, this industry might look glamorous, the truth of the matter is that it takes a lot of work to make it successful. “Overnight” successes are years in the making. And it could be decades before you see sustainability in many artist’s careers.

The word “labor,” means to “work” or “hard work.” The noun for “work,” is an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. In spite of the definitions, people still complain when they have to “work;” and when what they’re doing is “hard,” and requires a mental or physical challenge.

I asked students an open-ended question on their first quiz this semester. I wanted to know what they were looking forward to learning and getting out of the Artist Management class. There were several predictable answers expected from someone taking a course such as this. But one student made mention of the fact that while they were interested in working in the music industry, they didn’t want a job that required more than a 40-hour work week.

I chuckled when I read this, but I did not directly challenge the student on their thinking. Obviously there are some jobs in the industry that are basic 9 to 5 type of positions. But I did take the opportunity to let them know that management was not one of them; neither would be most of the jobs related to building an artist’s career.

Working in the music industry, and certainly in artist management, is not for those more interested in keeping up with the clock and hitting some magical “end of the work week.” It requires labor. Hard work. And it will at times be taxing on both the mental and physical capacity of the person doing it. But if it’s something you’re seriously interested in doing, it can and will also be rewarding. And like most things, that means it’ll be worth the time.

A Vision for the Future

“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2

Sunday night, I spent the evening with a group of creative and energetic ladies working on a fun project — creating a Vision Board. We all work in various ares of the entertainment industry and are members of a wonderful organization: National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment (NABFEME). Being the beginning of another new year, it was the perfect opportunity to do a project like this. So we grabbed stacks of magazines, scissors, glue sticks, and got started.

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A Vision Board is simply a visual representation, put down on a board, of someone’s Goals, Dreams, Aspirations; I guess you could even say their Resolutions. What is it that you want to accomplish — to travel, read more, pursue something you’re passionate about, start a business — in a given time period; a year, five years; or any given point in the future.  But when one of the ladies asked if anyone had a Wedding book, I could hear snickering, until I and a couple of others said, “Why not?” If a vision board is suppose to represent your goals, and one of your dreams includes getting married, then truly — Why Not include that!? That’s the cool thing about laying out a plan. If it’s going to be real; something you’re working towards; something attainable — then it must also be honest. It must represent who you are and what you want. It’s your vision for yourself; not someone else’s.

It’s been a really long time since I actually put together a “Board.” I prefer journaling my thoughts, and keeping goal-setting, and my deep dreams to myself. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to think about how someone else might perceive my vision; or to hear the snickering about something they may find surprising on my list. That doesn’t mean I won’t put it down; or at least in the security of one of my many journals. By participating in this exercise with fellow strong, confident, creative women, it opened the door for me to be able to speak more openly about those key words of promise and finding pictures of concrete examples of the very things I have every intention of working towards and accomplishing for my life. I also got to meet and make new friends, network with future associates, and have fun sharing my vision with other visionaries.

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If you have never done a vision board before, try it. Go ahead and cut out those words, phrases and photos from magazines and newspapers. Write those thoughts and inspirational and motivational sayings down. Stop by Michael’s and pick up a board to display them — full view for you to see and be reminded of daily. And then go for it! It’s your life. It’s your future. It’s YOUR Vision!

 

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know we’re already two weeks into this new year, but it is, after all, still a NEW year! I don’t know where the last two weeks have gone; I mean Christmas was only three weeks ago! But next week, the students will be back, and everything will be ready, set, GO for the new semester.

I enjoy teaching in the recording industry field; helping students to learn more about the “business” of the music business. I love when you see the look on their faces when they finally “get it.” Or when you have a guest speaker from the industry, and the students are in awe of the opportunity of hearing from industry greats. And I especially love getting those phone calls or email when students have landed a job or a regular gig, and their so excited that everything came together for them.

Don’t get me wrong, though. It can also oftentimes be very challenging. Many students come in the classroom and into the program convinced they will be the exception; that they’ve figured out the answers to breaking into the business or “saving” the recording industry. And of course, there are the few who think they’ll accomplish their major life goal with minimal effort; that someone will just see them and want to sign them to a record deal; hear their song and sign them to a publishing deal; learn about them, and want them to produce their next album. It can definitely be a delicate balance trying to teach and encourage students, wanting them to keep their dreams and passions alive, while also helping them to understand the reality of the world of entertainment and the music business.

But it’s not just students who have some of these “fantasy” thoughts. I run into the same challenges with many of the new artists I work with. It’s not always evident right away; but it typically comes out when it’s time to commit to a routine; sacrifice regular lifestyle items in order to work longer and harder to strengthen and then exploit their talent; or pay a bill for an extra resource, service, or business assistance designed to help build and increase their brand.

I liken getting into and succeeding in the music industry to that of the sporting world.

  • If you want to make the team, you have to understand the sport; learn how to play the position you’re trying out for; establish a practice routine; and make other changes to become competitive. For an athlete, that includes working out, possibly doing weights, eating well, and other things related to their field of competition. Getting a job, or signed in the music industry isn’t much different — understand the business, learn how to do the job you’re trying to get, and do other things, like networking and reading industry publications, etc. to become competitive in your field.
  • If you want to stay on the team, you have to learn how to execute the plays, keep up with the changes that impact what you do and make the necessary adjustments, and show improvement in your skills. No different with the music industry, and perhaps even moreso, since changes in the music industry can happen so often — some from technology and some from laws and policies that impact how you make, distribute, buy, or listen to music.

So whether you’re a student looking for a degree in a Music Business program, or an aspiring artist looking to break into the industry, or someone interested in working for a record label, becoming a talent agent, or working as an artist manager — the short answer is this. You’re going to have to work hard for what you want. There will be competition. Talent isn’t everything; but defining what is becomes  as challenging as explaining the “IT” factor. And while who you know may get your foot in the door, only what you know will enable you to stay there and become successful.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

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Merry Christmas! I hope you are all doing well, and that this past year has been good to you. For me and Gloria Green Entertainment, it’s been a year of transition. Three years ago, I was teaching part-time as an Adjunct Professor at MTSU while still running my company on a full-time basis. It was the perfect pairing since I was teaching Music Business students in the Recording Industry department. Fast forward a year later, and I suddenly found myself working full-time at MTSU — teaching Artist Management, Concert Promotion & Touring, Music Publicity, and Survey. The time I could devote to my company shifted to a part-time basis (thus my absence from and irregular postings to this blog). Then, earlier this year, I was hired as a tenure-track Assistant Professor! Who knew how the last five years would play out?!

I love teaching! I love sharing my knowledge, my experience, and even my contacts, with the next generation of music industry executives, producers, and performers. Part of that commitment for me now includes launching MTSU’s first ever Talent Agency class back in January, developed with the aid of several MTSU talent agent alums. And now, focusing my attention towards the completion of a Music Publicity textbook.

Yes, there’s much I am thankful for, and feeling more than blessed at this new direction God has taken me. Gloria Green Entertainment is still here; I have no plans of closing it. As much as I love teaching, I plan to continue to commit time to also helping people already out there working in the music and entertainment industry. I am still available for PR and consulting work; and I continue to do some writing, and even artist development. My most recent personal venture and passion is Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets. Check out my blog at http://www.catchingraindropsinwaterbuckets.com or postings on Twitter (@catchingtherain).

I pray you enjoy this wonderful season in the year and this season in your life. Blessings to you and your company, business, ministry, and family in the new year!

All of Life’s Best,

Gloria Green Entertainment!