Kelly Walsh is a publicist at Prosthetic Records since 2012. Having known Kelly since the early stages of Metal Wani, It’s always an honour to work with her. Recently I got a chance to Interview Kelly about her journey into the world of journalism and this is what she had to say:
Greetings, Kelly. How are you doing?
Hey Owais, I’m doing pretty great keeping busy and enjoying life while I can!
What do you love about your job and what was it that sparked the inception of your journey into the world of Journalism?
What DON’T I love about my job?! In all seriousness, I have the best job – I get to combine my passion for music and writing into one and get paid for it. I’ve always had a passion for literature, as a kid I was reading instead of playing with toys or watching t.v., so I knew that some form of writing would become my career. I kind of fell into the music business after realizing that my original career choice (Forensic Science) wasn’t where I was meant to be. I moved to LA from Western New York by myself , and somewhat on a whim, and ended up meeting some really amazing people in the industry that lead me to find my career as a publicist. Sometimes I still feel like it’s all a dream and I’m going wake up back on the East Coast (please don’t let it be in the middle of winter though!).
What are some of the day-to-day practices you follow in your job and how do you plan your work?
I make a handwritten list daily of the tasks I know need to be done and I tackle the hardest or one that I’m least looking forward to first. My day is mainly filled with emails – sending press releases, pitching, following up on interviews , coordinating guest lists , etc. I also manage & update all of the label’s social media accounts and run our internship program. Time management is really important.
Competition, Criticism, and Risk are all part of today’s world, what are some of your strategies? What is the driving factor?
Publicist v Publicist competition is ridiculous . We all want the same thing- coverage for our artists or products, so why would I try to work against someone else and limit that coverage or limit theirs? Instead I’m for collaborating and everyone using each other’s unique abilities to gain a wider audience and step out of the formula. Which brings in risk… you can’t climb a mountain without the risk of falling, so you wear a harness, but you can’t get to the top without starting to climb. If you misstep and fall, you’re safe and you know how to avoid doing it again when you reach that point again. What drives me to keep climbing are my bands and seeing the effect music can have on someone’s life, that fact I get to play even a small part in that makes me want to never give up.
What were some of the biggest road blocks you faced (internal or external) in the path between you and your passion?
Self confidence. When I started out, I was extremely shy and didn’t believe in myself. I would put myself down before even giving people a chance to beat me to it. I had some great mentors that pushed me to find my voice and once I did… well now you can’t get me to shut up and I’m a-okay with that. For anyone suffering the same, ask yourself how many more missed opportunities can you let yourself live with? It’s scary and yes, you’re going to have ideas that don’t work or fail horribly, but how could you know that if you kept quiet?
Owing to how rapidly changing the industry has become, what steps do you take to stay relevant?
By the time I answer this and it’s posted, we’ll need to change it. I try my best to keep up-to-date with our fanbase by reading what they’re posting on their social media pages and always asking them for advice on how they like to interact socially and find new music. Being involved in the industry can make you become a bit disillusioned, so you might forget that you’re looking from the opposite direction. Running our internship program is also super helpful, I learn so much from them!
How has been your experience at Prosthetic Records? Keeping the piracy of music & drop of album sales in mind, what steps have Prosthetic Records taken in-order to upgrade them with the change in market?
I love being at Prosthetic – we have a great core team of people that allows for a lot of creative freedom and idea-bouncing. We use a digital watermarking company, Haulix, to combat any album leaks prior to release and that’s been a huge help. Let’s face the facts – nowadays once it’s out or streaming, the internet has it and you can hire services to take it down but it’ll just go right back up. We put a lot of effort into making sure our physical products are not only of the best quality, but try and give fans extra value with each purchase, like including a patch or sticker and making sure all vinyl includes a digital download code, etc.
Have you ever had to face fanaticism or any other form of revolt in your line of field, if so what are some of your counter-measures?
Not really, I get some weird calls every now and then but nothing specific comes to mind.
Who is your biggest motivational role model? And what kind of a role model would you like to be?
Jamie Roberts. She has been a huge mentor to me and I actually fan-girled over meeting her the first time. (Which I’m not sure I admitted to her until now, ha) She’s worked with so many of my favourite artists and she’s not afraid to be creative – look up her resume and some of the innovative ideas she’s used for press – it inspires me to try my crazy ideas. She’s also ALWAYS willing to give me advice and is genuinely a thoughtful, caring, considerate person who I’m now honoured to call my friend. I’d love to inspire anyone who’s been told they can’t do something or they aren’t the right fit to overcome that and prove them wrong.
Journalism has branched into various types and styles in today’s generation with new media types like the internet and pod-casting. What do you think is the future of journalism and journalists alike?
Print is fading for the most part, which I hate to see because I love it so much. I think that in a few years, long-form blogging and podcasting is going to be phased out too. Our society has lost any form of patience – they want instant gratification. It’s going to all shift to platforms influenced by Twitter, Vine, Instagram, etc. It’s depressing to think about.
Since Journalism is quite a diverse job, it’s not like you get a fixed holiday. So how do you unwind? What do you do to get your mind off work?
I like going out and exploring the city, reading books (they do still exist) and I also watch a lot of British t.v. shows.
If it weren’t for what you are doing today, what do you think you would be doing instead?Would you still choose this career knowing what you know now?
I wouldn’t change anything – this is exactly what I love and I am so lucky to have found it. BUT if my path had gone a different way – I’d probably be a medical examiner or funeral director , something along those lines.
Can you share word or two for those who are potentially inspired by you?
Believe in yourself and don’t hold yourself back. Stop following the pattern and make your own, who cares if you don’t match with the others. Be YOU.
How has been your experience of working with Metal Wani? Thank you for sparing sometime, Kelly. I appreciate it 🙂
Any thing for you – you’ve been such a great help to promoting music from smaller labels like ours and I enjoy reading your interviews – they are thoughtful and you can tell that you do your research. I’m impressed at how quickly you work as well!