Alicia Mathews’ path in the music industry is one of resilience, patience, and an unwavering commitment to her passion for working with artists. Beginning as a music business student, her journey through internships, job changes, and freelance work has ultimately led her to the position she holds today at Make Wake Artists.
Alicia's Journey into the Music industry
Alicia's diverse career started with internships at Soundcheck and Big Machine, where she learned about live entertainment and the music industry's operations. Following her time in A&R at Big Machine Label Group, she worked in Business Affairs at Universal Music Group, and in Label operations for Iconic Entertainment where she supported the launch of the organization's independent artist, Levi Hummon. Following her time there she pivoted towards more entrepreneurship-based entertainment work in release strategy and digital marketing with Nashville based Influencer Marketing Agency, Songfluencer, and her own freelance project management company. In July of 2019, Alicia landed a role at Make Wake Artists as day to day manager for Hailey Whitters, and despite the COVID-19 Pandemic has now been with the organization for four years. She now manages upcoming artist Tyler Dial in partnership with Chris Kappy and oversees the company's label operations.
Alicia’s unique blend of experiences, from internships and corporate roles to independent artist management and label operations, has created a skillset that uniquely positions her to navigate the complexities of the music industry. This journey underscores the power of continuous learning and adaptation, especially in an industry as dynamic as music. She is ecstatic as she explains that in her role now, she is using a little bit of everything she has learned along the way.
NOTES FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
When it comes to advising artists, Alicia acknowledges that the music industry is evolving rapidly. She believes that digital service providers (DSPs) provide artists with abundant in-platform resources. However, the challenge lies in utilizing these resources effectively during a rollout. This step can often become overwhelming for independent artists, who are juggling multiple roles - from being their own producers and songwriters to running their social media accounts.
Alicia points out that every DSP and social platform has its unique requirements that necessitate an artist to wear many hats. She emphasizes the importance of not just fulfilling these requirements but also thinking creatively about their application. For instance, she urges artists to consider what their Spotify 'Canvas' or Amazon 'Spotlight' should represent for each song, creating unique content that effectively communicates their music to listeners.
Alicia shares her vision for artists to recognize the power of short-form content and social media, saying, “There is so much power in building, serving and activating a community of fans. They are the reason we and our artists are able to do what we do. My hope for every artist is that they find a way to be unapologetic and bold in sharing their work and growing their audience organically.”
She says, "If I listened to everything that anybody told me to do or not to do, I would not have done anything." She advises artists to embrace the opportunity to create and share their art unreservedly.
“If I tell an artist anything, it’s just ‘you do YOU’. The best thing you can be in any scenario is your most authentic self. When you put yourself out there in an honest and authentic way, you will find the right people who will become lifelong fans.”