Fearless Records VP Jenny Reader gives advice to bands on approaching labels
You may not immediately know Jenny Reader’s name, but you definitely know the names of the artists she works with. As VP of marketing and project management at Fearless Records, she has worked with Pierce The Veil, Real Friends, Mayday Parade and more. We talked to Reader about her job and what it’s like to work in the industry. Want more Jenny? You can catch her full interview in AP 345.
What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your time in the music industry?
Don't get set in your ways. Don't assume that the thing that you've learned today is the thing that you're gonna use tomorrow. It's not like I planned that. I think the thing that makes me excited still about the music industry is that we're better off now. This isn't a Western, no one's shooting each other just yet—although we could shoot each other. The thing is, it's like, if you were a lunatic that wants to work in the music industry in 2017, you better come prepared to not make much money. Get stuck here and think really smart and creatively, and have the excitement to be one of the pioneers of how this is gonna go next.
Be willing to evolve constantly and be excited about that evolution because if you're not, you should definitely go and do something else that will pay a lot more. [Laughs.] So if you come back for money, this might be a sort of problem… It's like, there's plenty of other places to go and do other things, but if you're genuinely excited still about music and want to be a part of the next phase… for the music industry, then I really think you should be part of the music industry.
What is the most important thing bands can do when they start approaching labels? Or if they think they're ready to start approaching labels?
The role of record labels should be to enhance what you're doing and make it as successful as it possibly can be, but if you already know how to get to your audience, you've already made half the step. If you decide to get a record label in this day and age, it's because you [have] something that you want to be able to expose to a large audience that you might not be able to get to yourself, but you still [knew] how to get to those initial fans and really develop the relationship with them.
And have a very firm idea of who you are, that's my other piece. I will stand very much by that. Real Friends very, very much know who they are and it was very apparent when we were doing a deal with them that that was going to set them apart.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
It's a combination of the right music, the right sound, getting to this kind of audience that they're targeting really effectively, and seeing [a band] genuinely break out is thrilling.
For me though, on a real day-to-day basis, it's knowing that we have the ability to influence what people are listening to, how people are approaching anything basically in terms of entertainment and really have the chance to go back to my previous answer of being pioneers within our field. You know, that's the thrill for me.