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 Happened to Summer?

IMG_4300Wait what?!! Is it time for school already? Where did the last three months go?! Maybe I say that every year, but I don’t think I’ve had a summer quite as busy as this one. Funny thing is that while most people think teachers and professors “get summers off,” they don’t realize how much work we’re involved in during those months — research, writing, presenting, prepping classes with fresh material — and that’s not even taking into consideration that sometimes that includes teaching summer school classes. Teaching summer school wasn’t in the cards for me this year, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a packed year filled with plenty of school/work related projects filling up those weeks.

August

Was there anything else happening around the country this summer?  EclipseMTSU had its own official viewing event, including artists from our record label, astronomers and other scientists from our university, and a great place to view the historic totality event.

My job that day was to help transport the student artists to and from the stage and the “make-shift ” backstage green room area — a room in the College of Media & Entertainment! The music was presented by several artists, and me always being in the PR mindset wherever I go, I used every opportunity to also try to get them in front of any of the reporters on campus with a microphone and the time for an interview! 

At the end of the day, the event didn’t disappoint. And so it was more fun than work!

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Before the Eclipse, there was LA

The time I spent in the library working on a paper in June paid off when I had the opportunity to present that paper two months later at the MIRA conference (Music Industry Research Association) in Los Angeles. I was excited most about this opportunity because the association included a number of people from outside the music industry. MIRA’s goal is to bring together experts from different disciplines who are doing research about music and the music industry. I had the chance to meet and later speak to other academics, including some from Business Schools, as well as researchers from music platforms, like Pandora, and other music industry professionals.

 

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I also managed to squeeze in another speaking engagement, this time with the ladies of the Nashville chapter of WiFT. The topic was on how to engage students and academia into independent projects. I have enjoyed the chance to connect with other people and non-academic organizations this summer; expanding my network.

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One of the first things I say to my students during the first week of school is that while they might be enrolled in the Music Business program of a Recording Industry Department, today’s music industry is as much about the bigger picture of the Entertainment industry — music, film, television, video, sports — as it is just about songwriting, recording, and performing live music! You have to get out and meet and mingle with other people doing things that might influence — directly or indirectly — what you do, and expand your network to keep creativity at the forefront.

Looking forward to what this new academic school year will bring; new faces, mostly open minds, with their own dreams of making it in this Music Business!

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

GMA Dove Awards Announcement

The 44th annual GMA Dove Awards will be held on Tuesday, October 15 at the David Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, it’s not too late. Support the Gospel Music Association and your favorite Christian and Gospel music artists.

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IMG_4973 Nashville Mayor Karl Deen Welcoming the Dove Awards back to Nashville!

IMG_4976 GMA Executive Director Jackie Patillo welcoming Press Conference Hosts Doug & Jaci from Salem Communication’s The Fish radio station.

IMG_4978  94 FM The Fish radio morning co-hosts Doug and Jaci (Velasquez) introducing press conference special guests

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For more information on the Gospel Music Association and the GMA Dove Awards, go to http://www.gospelmusic.org!

Whose Cup is it Anyway?!

Often times I have to laugh and shake my head listening to some of my nieces and nephews share about what they perceive to be something “new” they’ve discovered. Most of the time it’s a song by a current artist that rips music, melodies, and actual lyrics right from the pages of another artist from a different decade, in what they call “sampling,” convincing themselves that it’s something original. Others simply remake an original, with the younger generation hearing it for the first time, thinking it is their own. I stopped counting how many under 20-year-olds were convinced a few years that “Don’t Stop Believing,” was an original Glee song!

So this weekend, when my niece wanted to sing the “cup song to me,” including all of the solo cup movements, it started to sound very familiar real soon. And before I realized it, I found myself singing along with the beat; only my song was different than the song she was singing. My song went with the beat of the cup, not to the tune of the song itself. So after mere minutes on the computer, I uncovered the uncanny resemblance, not just to the beat, but the actual play of cups.

After viewing several versions of the song, I then pulled up another video to share with her what WE called the “cup song.”  The first time I saw Rich Mullins in concert, which was almost 17 years ago, I was fascinated by the rhythm of the flow of the song he called Screen Door.

Sampling’s not new. And borrowing ideas from other people happens in every facet of life. But as I thought back over the past weeks, I suddenly remembered a short clip on one of the entertainment news programs, and to hear them share it, you’d think they just discovered a new, cool, group with this really “creative cup thing,” going on. While I’m not certain if Rich was the originator of the cup game song (and everything else it’s been called), I do know that as far back as the early 1990s, he and a few of his friends, accomplished pulling it off. And while it may not have been “pitch perfect,” one thing it was, and that was LIVE!

Maybe those entertainment reporters have never heard of Rich Mullins or even the cup game. But, as I sat smiling in front of the computer, now surrounded by not only my niece, but tween and teenage nephew as well, I was just happy to witness seeing them get excited about something “new” which was really old; but something they could go back and share with their friends.