Brenna Maureen, Charleston, South Carolina native, came to Nashville starving for a creative outlet, looking to get her break in the music industry and hoping to make a name for herself. A stranger to the city and without a job, she picked up and moved to pursue her dreams of becoming a touring artist. Although young, her journey has given her many experiences and stories to tell other women pursuing a creative career.
"I was 23 at the time, I didn't have a serious relationship, I didn't have kids or pets, or anything to tie me down," Brenna says, "so I knew it was almost like now or never."
Knowing she had to start somewhere, Brenna began to attend writer's rounds, open mic nights and free events to network with other creatives and to understand the inner workings of the industry. Instead of starting out as an artist, she decided to pursue a career in music business. Now, Brenna wears multiple hats in Nashville. She continues to sing and song write while working part-time in music publishing with Judy Harris Music Publishing, which is just one of her many part-time jobs.
I think it was luck or fate that Brenna reached out to me on a Facebook group, because after talking with her I knew she was the perfect representation of a Lashville woman. She came to Nashville with minimal knowledge of the music industry, but she has grown immensely in the three years she has lived here. I think her advice is key for any woman trying to make it here.
Brenna recounts a time when she unknowingly performed with a co-writer in front of Martina McBride's manager. Brenna says she has learned very quickly that a wide knowledge of music, industry terms, industry professionals, legal principles and business sense is what it take to make it in Nashville.
"As a young woman in the industry, knowledge is power," Brenna says.
Brenna's advice for other Lashville women:
1. Never be afraid to approach someone. If you are shy, find a friend who is more outgoing to help you in those situations.
2. Go to events and get your face out there. Maybe you don't speak with someone the first time, but it's possible they will recognize you the next time.
3. Do your research! Know who people are and what they look like (i.e. the head of Sony Nashville or "insert major artist name's" manager).
4. Find appropriate moments to introduce yourself. Knowing the right moment is the key to networking. Not every moment is the "moment"!
5. Don't send unsolicited material to publishing companies because it will most likely get thrown in a junk pile. It's just not worth your valuable time!
6. Know and understand insider terminology. Study the inner workings of the music industry. Brenna suggests buying "All You Need To Know About the Music Business" by Donald Passman.
7. The more things you do or know how to do, the more versatile you are and the more valuable you are.
8. "You can't get a job in Nashville unless you are in Nashville and you are active here."