Hey Zenful Dancers! As part of the TZB Project 365, I plan to contribute a few interviews here and there with inspiring people I have the pleasure of meeting along the way. In my music industry day job, I have ample opportunities to meet a lot of people. But once in a while, I cross paths with someone who has that rare combination of spark, integrity, ambition and a big heart and I can’t help but want to know them better!
Today’s interview is with Melissa Sabo; one incredible young lady. The music business is very lucky to have her.
TZB: Give us a little background about who you are and how you came to work in music.
MS: My name is Melissa Sabo. I started out working in my college radio station and became the GM quickly…then moved onto MD & PD in the second semester of college. I continued at the station until i graduated. This is where i built strong relationships with label reps. Through this I landed internships that would create friendships and opportunities that would change my life & mold my future. I saw an ad in the back of a CMJ (College Music Journal) magazine for a college radio rep at MCA Records. I landed the job with the agreement that i would start the day i graduated. From there i moved on to CEC Mgmt (Ben Folds, The Rocket Summer), Red Light Management (Underoath, Say Anthing, The Starting Line, The Photo Atlas)…and here I am today involved in A&R at Ultra Records and managing pop producer Sandy Vee, DJ/producer Adrian Lux, rising star Kiesza. Its been nothing short of a dream come true.
TZB: What does it mean to you to be a woman who works in the music industry?
MS: I do believe in certain situations women have to work harder or be more aggressive to be taken seriously. In corporate work environments women are usually fairly respected however through other experiences i have seen, If a guy walks onto a tour bus or into a recording studio he is sometimes looked at differently than a women. At the end of the day gender and age don’t mean much if you have a good successful company with reputable clients & a good reputation yourself, people will want to work with you no matter what.
TZB: Some folks meditate to find balance, some people hit the gym. How do you find a live/work balance in your life?
MS: Spending time with friends and also being out at shows is my way of relaxing. A night out watching Adrian Lux (whom I manage) or Calvin Harris (Ultra Records) play until 4am could be considered work… but for me this is my passion and I love it.
TZB: What are some of the challenges you face in your day-to-day and how do you overcome them?
MS: Trying to balance meetings, conference calls, deadlines. The best way to handle the day-to-day challenges to is learn that are the main priorities and also delegate.
TZB: Can you share one of your own inspirational stories with us?
MS: 3 years ago I took a few days off from working with bands (Red Light Management) and found myself on a plane down to Miami for Winter Music Conference. A friend of mine had just sent me P!nk’s Funhouse album and i couldn’t stop playing it over and over on the plane ride (It was at that moment i remember thinking that one day I would manage a pop star). During that weekend i walked into a dance tent and discovered a group called Swedish House Mafia. They weren’t known at the time but the energy in that tent was unbelievable. I took a picture on my phone and kept it as my background photo for a year. It gave me chills every time i Looked at it. At that moment it became my dream to manage a DJ/producer and having it on my phone was a constant reminder. FAST FORWARD 3 years later: I’m managing a pop producer – Sandy Vee- who is currently nominated for 3 Grammy’s (Record of the Year Katy Perry Firework, Album of the year Rihanna Loud, Best Dance/Electronic Album David Guetta) Managing a Swedish DJ/Producer Adrian Lux whom is very much supported by Swedish House Mafia & released a huge worldwide smash single Teenage Crime Developing a rising pop star- Kiesza!
TZB: Favorite album of 2011?
MS: I can’t answer this….i have too many.haha
TZB: Most inspiring person in 2011?
MS: Lady Gaga. With her…. the sky is the limit. I want to manage a pop star that carries the same motivation. An artist that goes beyond the expectations of a typical cookie cutter pop star and breaks the rules and creates their own. Someone that has the ability to change history and people’s lives forever. That’s everything I want to be and the person I want to work with for the rest of my life.
TZB: If you had to pick and then stick with only one resolution for 2012, what would it be?
MS: To try and become a “morning” person. I am terrible in the morning. I am my most creative & energetic after midnight. That is good if you are an artist but as a manager… not so good. Hahaha
I hope you’ve felt the inspiration from Melissa as I have! If you are interested in contacting Melissa, please comment below and I will be sure to pass the message onto her.
Keep on keepin’ on and visualize your dreams into reality!
Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger