Belk Southern Musician Showcase Winner Jackie Venson: Why The Summer Tour Was ‘Like a Fantasy’

Jackie Venson may be young, but she’s already got years of music experience behind her. The up-and-coming multi-instrumentalist started her musical career as a classically trained pianist, then moved onto guitar and songwriting. Venson’s soulful, bluesy sensibilities recently received some well-deserved attention. She won the Belk Southern Musician Showcase and earned a spot on the Belk Summer Tour.

Music journalist Schuyler Rooth asked Jackie a few questions about the experience of winning such an honorable performance opportunity. Fresh from the excitement of the Belk Summer Tour and from releasing her latest album, “The Light In Me,” Jackie expressed her gratitude about winning, her fans’ reactions, and the jumping off point this win has afforded her career.

So how has this experience with Belk affected your career?

Winning this opportunity has really flipped everything on its back. I’ve been exposed to different Artists’ careers and what different aspects of the music industry look and feel like. I’ve been able to add big names to my resume, which has landed me a ton of other opportunities. I have also partnered with Belk, and they continue to give me new opportunities. It has been life and career changing.

SamBelk Southern Musician Showcase Winner Jackie Venson: Why The Summer Tour Was ‘Like a Fantasy’
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Miguel Dakota’s Got Talent: A Conversation With the AGT Finalist

This summer, Miguel Dakota was launched from his DIY roots in Colorado to the televisions of millions, eventually reaching the top ranks of America’s Got Talent.

Guest author (and noted Los Angeles-based DJ) Jessica Gonyea spoke with him about everything from EDM and ReverbNation, to performing alongside Lenny Kravitz, and why you’ll never find him covering “Wonderwall” at a college party.

Miguel Dakota sounds surprisingly relaxed when he picks up his home phone in Monument, Colorado. After a whirlwind experience that found him in front of an audience of celebrities and squealing fans, the heartthrob of this season’s AGT is taking a breather and getting back to the reason we know him in the first place — his music.

SamMiguel Dakota’s Got Talent: A Conversation With the AGT Finalist
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Musicians as Digital Storytellers: How To Seize the Power of Social Media

As an Artist, you’re probably relying on some form of social media to spread the word about your music. But today, it’s not enough to only update your fans with messages about your music.

We sat down with social media marketing expert Jim Tobin, President of Ignite Social Media, to find out where musicians often fall short in their social media strategy, and to learn how they can start making improvements today.

Watch the full interview above and read some of the highlights below:

SamMusicians as Digital Storytellers: How To Seize the Power of Social Media
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Investigating the Role of an Artist Manager in 2014 with Martin Anderson

For an Artist, the process of crafting and perfecting their music can be a true labor of love. Add the complicated tasks of booking shows, handling (or finding) a record label, or creating a marketing plan, and the life of an Artist is a daunting one indeed.

Fortunately, there are those brave souls who are willing to take on the industry’s inner workings head on, ensuring that the Artist can reach their full potential. The Artist manager is crucial to finding concrete success, but their role is also one of the more misunderstood or undervalued aspects of that journey.

To help shed some light on the role of a manager and what they can (and cannot) do for you, we spoke with Martin Anderson of Middle West Management (Bon Iver, Sylvan Esso, Lost In The Trees) as part one of our What Is A Manager? series.

SamInvestigating the Role of an Artist Manager in 2014 with Martin Anderson
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Announcing the #1TakeCovers Results

ReverbNation, in partnership with We Are The Hits, launched the #1TakeCovers video competition in early July to give our Artist community a chance to put their unique spin on a popular song. Artists were asked to choose from a list of 20 pre-approved songs and film their interpretation of the song in one continuous take.

Our panel of experts and tastemakers reviewed every submission. Then, the videos were judged on originality, performance, and quality of fan engagement through social media to determine the final results.

SamAnnouncing the #1TakeCovers Results
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Email Marketing for Musicians: It Starts With Knowing Your Audience

In our post The Biggest Misconception Musicians Have About Email Marketing, we offered tips on how Artists can start an email marketing strategy. We continued the conversation with Ferol Vernon, SVP of Artist Services at ReverbNation, to learn more about how musicians can get the most value out of emailing fans.

Experiment to Find Out What Works for You

For musicians, the prospect of creating an email campaign may seem intimidating. However, Ferol says it’s likely that most Artists will already have all the information they need to get started. Knowing how to market to your audience, means that first, you need to know your audience.

“You can read all the websites and papers out there on good marketing tactics, but at the end of the day, what works for your fanbase works for your fanbase,” says Ferol.

Watch to learn more about how you can take what you know about your fans and refine your email campaigns through continued experimentation:

SamEmail Marketing for Musicians: It Starts With Knowing Your Audience
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Demystifying the Recording Studio with Mitch Easter

For beginners, the studio can seem like a mystery zone, a place where MP3 files are distilled from an unknown alloy of instruments, cables, and knobs.

Even for experienced musicians, there is an emotional element to the process that can complicate things. Long hours, attention to the smallest details, and constant repetition can swing them from rewarding highs to frustrating lows.

To help shed some light on this complex topic, we sat down with producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Susanne Vega, Pavement, Wilco) to discuss common misconceptions about recording and address basic questions that might improve your next (or first) studio experience.

SamDemystifying the Recording Studio with Mitch Easter
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July Breaking! Musicians Keeping a Beat through ReverbNation Opportunities

Every month, ReverbNation artists submit for the opportunity to headline festivals, get featured in magazines & blogs, or receive airplay on some of the best radio stations across the country. Here are some of the highlights from this month’s selections. Increase your chances of being one of them and submit to an opportunity now.

The Quixote Project and MW were selected to play the 2014 NoDA Summer Music fest

“While these trips/tours are a lot of fun, it's important to remember to promote your band and music to as many people as you can. Busy bees make the best honey.” - The Quixote Project

“It’s important to remember to promote your band and music to as many people as you can. Busy bees make the best honey.” – The Quixote Project

The NoDA Summer Musicfest took place for the third straight year in Charlotte, NC this July. Last year’s festival brought in over 1,200 people and 45 artists/bands of all genres. A portion of this year’s proceeds were set aside to support a local Music Business Summer Camp for ninth-graders.

The Quixote Project and MW were selected to perform at this year’s festival, and said they were able to reach new fans from the event.

ShellyJuly Breaking! Musicians Keeping a Beat through ReverbNation Opportunities
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