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How To Create an Artist Brand from Scooter Braun’s Creative Director


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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.
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How To Create an Artist Brand from Scooter Braun's Creative Director

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Today’s guest is Jessica Severn. She, for 7 years, worked at Scooter Braun‘s company, SB Projects, doing creative direction. She spearheaded the campaigns for Justin Bieber‘s stuff over the past decade. She also worked with Yungblud and Ariana Grande. If you look at Scooter Braun’s roster you will see the kinds of campaigns she’s worked on.

Don’t worry! We didn’t talk about how to run a superstar campaign. We talk about artist branding. What does that mean? What is a design aesthetic, the importance of it, and why you should think about branding. How do you put together album, single, and music video campaigns? I think you’re going to enjoy this conversation.

Quick links:

3:31 – When and how an artist should think about branding
9:29 – The next steps after an artist fills out Jessica’s “brand therapy” form and how to create a mood board
13:20 – Why does someone do a mood board? What’s the point?
17:39 – Why does anybody need to care about the brand aesthetic from a philosophical view?
20:54 – The importance of visuals and sonic branding remaining similar
23:05 – How Jessica’s packages have changed since marketing has become less “glossy”
24:54 – It seems like the more money that is spent on social media campaigns, the worse it’s going to do
27:14 – Is it necessary for someone like Jessica to be involved in a project?
30:32 – Which platforms are catching and doing well for artists and brands?
33:18 – Does Jessica and her team help with TikTok strategy?
36:24 – How do you refocus an artist or brand that doesn’t think a project is “on brand” for them (TikTok, for example)
38:22 – What platform is the artist “hub” or “calling card” these days? The website? Instagram?
45:03 – The “why” is the most important question when working on projects
47:00 – Should you waste money on a high priced photo from a shoot or save them for a high profile press outlet that wants exclusive photos?
53:11 – Jessica’s company Deadhappy and how the creative direction business works
1:00:31 – What does a licensing agreement look like for the work that Jessica’s company creates?
1:04:42 – What it means to Jessica Severn to make it in the new music business

About The Author

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Ari Herstand
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based musician, the founder and CEO of Ari’s Take and the author of How to Make It in the New Music Business.

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Is SubmitHub Good or Bad for Indie Musicians: Interview with the Founder

Jason Grishkoff started a music blog called Indie Shuffle back in 2007, when music blogs were still cool. After a 3-year stint at Google, he was lucky to take the blog full-time in 2013. From 2014 to 2015 digital advertising in the music industry changed rapidly, and a number of bloggers found themselves looking for alternative sources of income. Many gave up to focus on their day jobs, but Jason decided to double-down on his coding abilities and created a website called SubmitHub, where musicians, labels and publicists could submit their songs to blogs like Indie Shuffle. Flash forward to 2022 and nearly 30 million submissions have been submitted through the platform. Jason still runs the operation as the only developer, and the product is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the modern music promotion industry.
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