We got the chance to talk to the one and only Katie Gwen about digital marketing and everything she does in the industry! From working in Chicago to working remote, she always kicks ass and we can't wait for you to learn more about her!
Introduce yourself to us! What do you do in the industry? Where are you from?
When did you know being in the music industry is what you wanted to do? Was there a specific moment where you were like “oh god, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life”?
Lucky for me, I always had a mom who was about taking me to live shows. Since there’s not really a proper venue in Door County, my mom would let me skip some of school and we’d drive to Milwaukee to catch shows at The Rave and The Pabst Theater. Somewhere in there I knew I had to move closer and be a part of it. Probaby during a Panic! At The Disco show, but who knows. High school me was into a lot of weird shows.
Is there anything you struggled with (or even still do struggle with) being in the industry?
It is 100% a man’s industry. Since the moment I started in the industry, there were always struggles with that. The other struggle is time and always wanting to have more of it to get things done.
What is the best part of working in the social media side of the music industry?
It’s always fun. Whether it’s discovering new artists, new tracks, or crazy stories about artists coming through, there’s always something that’s absolutely brilliant. I’ve loved every minute of getting to dig into it and see how social media can grow a brand and change people’s perspectives daily.
Is there someone who you consider as your mentor in the industry?
Yes, I have two for sure and they’re both my bosses (lol). I am super lucky to have both Jake Schneider at Concord Music Hall and Jaz Valencia at JV Agency in my life. Both of them have been such amazing people in my industry life that I can’t imagine where I’d be without them. Without them, I don’t think I’d feel as confident in my work and have half the skills I have simply because they’ve always been the first people to tell me if I want to try it, give it a go.
What advice do you have for women who want to get their start in the music industry?
This advice can be a little confusing. But it’s don’t be afraid to say yes or no. If there’s something that seems like a risk but you really want to do it, try it. You never know what it can turn into or what it can teach you. But don’t be afraid to no to something you don’t want to do either. There are opportunities for you to start doing what you want to do immediately.
Have you ever been turned down or not taken seriously because you were a female in the industry?
Numerous times. When I was in my first industry job, I actually was told by an artist that it was bad luck for a woman to touch his instrument and it was a piano that had to be moved across the stage. At this time, I was working as a stage manager and after seeing it wasn’t exactly an easy task, he let me “help.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I wish I knew myself. Digital marketing and social media are so everchanging that there’s not really a set destination to go yet. When I was in college, social media hadn’t even became a degree or class yet. But I see myself continuing to be an innovator within Social Media Marketing in the music industry, and still thriving in the Chicago scene of it all.
What are some of your other hobbies? What do you do in your free time (which we know can be very hard to find)?
There is not a ton of time I have to myself (lol). But, I do like to write on the side of things as well as I’m a bit of a Foodie/Brewery snob.
Was there anyone that ever doubted your passion?
Yes, definitely. But I think you’re not fully doing something unless you doubt it once and awhile. That’s human nature. The Music Industry is a little bit like a Catch 22.
Is there anything else you are interested in learning in the industry? Other professions?
Eventually, I would love to be able to do photography and videography. It’s something I’ve always seen to be so cool. Also used in both inside and outside the industry, I think I’d be a killer coder.
If you could manage any artists social media, who would it be?
That’s definitely a tough one. It’d be between AJR, Watsky, and Quinn XCII. I love how unique all of these artists are and how they incorporate mental health and just everyday life into their music and brand. It’s inspiring as all hell.
What’s your favorite festival to attend?
Riot Fest, hands down.
What is something you can't live without?
Where is somewhere you’ve always wanted to travel?
I have always wanted to go to the UK, anywhere in it. There’s such a brilliant passion for music all over there that I’d love to see.
First concert you went to?
Well, I went to a ton when I was a little kid, I constantly grew up around it. But one that I can distinctly remember going to was the B-52s, which was super iconic.
Tea or Coffee?
The Royal Tennenbaums.
What’s your favorite season?
What’s something that you always have on you?
My phone (and several chargers so it never dies).
What is a saying you live by?
See you in the pit. (Whatever that means, I guess.)