“There is no stronger force than that of community.”
Meet the creative mind behind music marketing and management company, The Sharp Pitch. Erica Nelson serves as the founder and creative director for this company. Collaborating with a team of women, her creation has come to serve artists and businesses in developing their brand.
From an early age, she had a passion for music and knew she was interested in the music industry. While at university, she molded her own degree to fit her passions and interest in the music industry.
We had a chance to speak with Erica about working as a woman in the industry, the birth of The Sharp Pitch, and much more. Check out our interview with Erica below!
To start off, let me know a little bit about yourself and your role in the music industry.
My name is Erica Nelson, and at my core, I’m a graphic designer, singer/songwriter, and music industry professional. I’m currently based on the west coast with a background in Music, Communications and International Relations. I’m a massive fan of music and minimalism in design and have lived in five countries!
Tell me a little bit about what sparked your interest in creating The Sharp Pitch.
From a young age, I knew I wanted to do something in the music industry, I just wasn’t sure what. I love performing and creating my own sound, but after some soul searching and a DIY degree in music business (my university didn’t offer one), it became obvious to me that I wanted to work in brand and artist management. Being a very independent person who happened to have a business mindset, I wanted to build my career through my vision of accessibility within the industry, so The Sharp Pitch was born.
As a creative director, what is your day to day routine like?
I work remotely, and am a bit of a vagabond, so my routine is almost never consistent, but I try to start my days with a dry cappuccino and my planner. I usually set two or three main goals for my day, then spend some time checking emails, prioritizing projects, and getting in touch with the rest of my team to make sure we can be as effective as possible. From there, most of my day consists of the Adobe Creative Suite and trying to convince my cat not to lay on my keyboard. My favorite thing about what I do is being able to take all of my passions, like art, music, culture, entrepreneurship, and leadership, and getting to spend my days growing within them all!
Have you ever experienced any discrimination or negativity as a female working in the music industry? How has this affected your work?
I haven’t experienced the same amount of blatant sexism in the music industry as I have while working in other industries, but it is definitely there and I have definitely experienced it. It’s hard trying to develop an-all female company within a still male dominated industry, and I have found that there is power in femininity. Building a strong community of like minded individuals has helped me overcome obstacles, and although men still very much have a social advantage, there is no stronger force than that of community.
What has been the most impactful moment of your career? How has this changed your perspective on the industry or your career in general?
The most impactful moment of my career was taking my freelance design and management work and finally creating The Sharp Pitch. I have learned so much about digital businesses and marketing and gained a plethora of new skills and these have cemented my passion for entrepreneurship and this industry. I in my wildest dreams would have never thought that I could make this happen and, although we are still a very small organization, now I know that we can take this idea and these passions and take it so much further.
How do you hope to see The Sharp Pitch grow in the future?
The options are endless! Right now, I want to focus on building a strong structure, free of complacency, and then see where it goes and build beyond what I thought possible! I have considered possibly becoming a full service record label or may even completely switch business models down the line. In this digital age the opportunities are ever-changing and endless, and I am embracing that with the idea of mentorship in mind. I would love to develop seminars to teach independent artists and musicians how to build their careers and offer the resources for them to succeed!
What advice would you give your younger self, aspiring to work in the music industry?
I know you’re doing everything you can with what you’ve been dealt so just hang in there, go with the flow, and try not to worry so much. You will find your purpose in the industry, and it will be even better than you imagined. Continue to be true to yourself, and push yourself out of your comfort zone because that’s where growth happens!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Everyone fails sometimes, whether it might be a gigantic failure or a tiny mistake. That doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, because we all fail. What matters is whether or not you can convert that energy into positive momentum and flaming self determinism. My failures and mishaps have pushed me further than any of my wins. I’m grateful for all of the mess ups and miscalculations because they sharpened my focus and got me exactly where I needed to be.
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