You’re in love with music and at the age of 15, you became the CEO of your own record label. Can you explain how that happened?
At the time, my first band, HER, was about to release our debut album. As I didn’t want us to be seen as just “another high school band”, I thought it would be strategic to “professionalize” our release by associating it with a record label. The hope in doing so was to assist with obtaining better opportunities for the band overall along with potential management/booking agent interest.
I’m fortunate in that I come from a business-minded family – being the daughter of two entrepreneurs – so when I presented the idea to my parents, they were more than willing to help me recruit the services of a lawyer and an accountant to make my label a reality.
My label continues to be the home for my album releases and has also become a means through which I assist other artists with publicity and management advice.
You’ve been very successful with your music. How does it feel to have been added to the roster of the last ever Vans Warped Tour? Which is huge being that you were hand-picked by the founder.
I think it goes without saying that it’s an incredible honour, we are truly grateful for the opportunity and hope to do Canada proud.
I had the privilege of performing on Vans Warped Tour in the early 2000s with my previous band, Anti-Hero, and what I’ve always loved about the festival is its inclusive and supportive atmosphere.
The headliners and supporting acts are provided with equal opportunity to showcase their talents and as a result, many now-major acts were “launched” by performing at Warped.
From an audience perspective too – because Warped has mid-sized events – attendees can really connect with their favourite performers in a much more intimate way than say if they were attending a massive festival like Coachella. I really admire Warped’s commitment to its DIY grassroots beginnings and believe that’s why it is the longest running touring music festival in North America.
With Anti-Hero, you played many stages. For the listeners if you’ve never checked out this group I would suggest you do. You guys disbanded and you took a bit of a backseat to music for a while – What made you take that break?
In short, I needed to: I needed to distance myself from the music industry and fellow musicians to refocus and figure out who I wanted to be as an artist going forward. I had invested every bit of myself personally and professionally into Anti-Hero and it was absolutely heartbreaking to me when it became clear that my fellow bandmates and I were no longer on the same page.
As a rock musician, it has and continues to be difficult to find fellow players who prioritize the music ABOVE the “sex and drugs”. It’s a sad reality but this is often a key cause for many band breakups including the disbandment of Anti-Hero.
When I decided in 2010 to give music another go, I admittedly was still struggling to figure out which direction I should go in as a solo artist. I call “Off Of the Pages” – my debut solo album – my experimental phase. I did a mini tour on that material and it felt awkward and uncomfortable for me to be up there on stage, alone with an acoustic guitar. I wasn’t fond of the venues I was typically getting booked at (ie: coffeehouse type places) – they just didn’t suit me and my songwriting didn’t fit the typical “singer-songwriter” fare.
I continued to be experimental in the studio for my second solo album, “Onto the Floor” which was just released at the end of 2016. This time however, I knew I needed (albeit wanted) a band to join me on stage.
I’m very fortunate to have found Tyler Randall and Amber Gorham, the drummer and bassist for my new project, The Truth Untold. Both are not only talented musicians but they also “get” the importance of treating one’s craft with “professionalism.”
How important is it to be involved in the community as a musician or an aspiring artist trying to grow their fanbase?
Being involved with one’s community and local events can serve as a great way to network and connect with new potential business prospects and/or fans, BUT that (in my humble opinion) shouldn’t be one’s sole motivation for doing so.
We can all make a difference in this world in small but meaningful ways and being involved with one’s community – especially non-for-profit causes/events – is a great way to make THAT difference.
I feel very fortunate to have been blessed with the ability to perform and public speak and I’m happy to lend those talents to worthy events, like London’s Defeat Depression.
As far as growing one’s fanbase as an aspiring artist in today’s age of social media, I’m pretty old-school and I still maintain that the best way to do so is to:
1) be genuine
2) connect with people in REAL life (not just the internet) whether it’s through workshops, open mics or gigs
3) always express gratitude
Let’s get to know you: How’d you get into music and what made you say, “Hey I think I could have a future in this”?
I actually began my musical journey as a classically-trained singer. My parents enrolled me in vocal lessons through the Royal Conservatory and I studied vocal technique and theory for over a decade. I had once upon a time aspired to be on broadway but life, as it were, had different plans.
As the story goes, it was a fateful performance at a local talent show which connected me with the woman who would become the guitarist in my first band, HER. It was further because of a “challenge” to my musical credibility that I picked up the guitar and within six months had written my first rock album, HER’s “Straight from the Loft”.
I don’t think at any point I actively thought, “I could have a future in this”. I’ve never had delusions about the near impossibility of “making it” in the music industry. BUT from the moment I began writing and performing rock music, something in me awakened and I can say with certainty I have no greater love than a love for music. It’s simply a part of who I am and I can’t imagine my life without having music in it in some capacity.
We’re talking to Rose Cora Perry of the Truth Untold. What are some tips you can give a band that is just starting out? What does one need to do to stand out?
1) Don’t expect anyone to work harder for this than you. If this is your dream – what you truly want in life – learn how to navigate the BUSINESS and don’t expect any handouts.
2) If it’s about the MUSIC, that should always be your priority above all else. Learn your craft, practise diligently and always be open to improving.
3) Have a good story to tell, be relatable and write music with meaning. Understand that your band is a whole package: from your biography to photos to your music and videos. Be consistent with your marketing, be consistent with promoting everything you do and above all, be sure you can back up the hype.
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