Members of LAMN (founded in 1988) and NARIP (founded in 1998), are able to more quickly gain the insight, knowledge, and contact information they need for career development and career enhancement.
The success of both organizations extends well beyond their names – both LAMN and NARIP have members across the country and around the globe. Offices have opened in Canada, New York, and London, with additional cities getting in line.
Prior to Taylor’s development of these influential organizations, there was no formal entity that addressed the educational, networking, or mentoring functions necessary to nurture a new generation for the music industry. Each of these factors is important, but there is no doubt which one Taylor values most: “Networking is what this business – all business, really – is about,” she states. “If you want to get ahead, you’ve got to know people. You can be a genius but remain entrenched in obscurity and poverty unless you get out there and let people know who you are.”
LAMN is a multifaceted resource for newcomers to the music business, as well as an avenue for students to learn more about the industry and how they might break into it. LAMN sponsors industry gatherings, workshops and seminars with top executives from all areas of the music business.
To qualify to become a member of NARIP, you must be a professional in the record industry. “I realized that, beyond organizations like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) which is a lobbying body that focuses on legislation, there wasn’t an organization that served the needs of those whose careers are completely in the record industry,” Taylor stated.
“The idea for the Los Angeles Music Network goes back to my first job in the business, with Avalon Attractions, a big concert promoter in Southern California,” says Taylor. “Every spoke of the music industry wheel comes together to make a concert happen. Here I was, fresh out of college, and I had access to just about every possible type of professional – from radio to press to record company personnel, from artist managers to the artists themselves.”
Taylor looked around for an association through which she could meet the people she interacted with on the phone. “I was very surprised not to find anything of real value, so I started putting together little meet-and-greets among the people I was dealing with,” she says. “At first, there were only about three or four of us, but it grew. That was the seed that led to my building the professional relationships I have today, not to mention the Job Bank and my mailing list. It’s the best in the business.”
Some of what LAMN and NARIP do overlaps, and Taylor regularly employs NARIP members for LAMN panels and other functions, and to mentor LAMN members. However, she is keen to provide the right kind of experiences for each group.
For NARIP members, her approach is to take on a continuing-education role. “We should never stop learning and, no matter how much experience we may have, there’s always something else or another point of view that we can absorb and appreciate,” Taylor says.
A classically-trained pianist, Taylor is also is an instructor, music business lecturer and speaker at institutions such as the Harvard Business School, New York University, the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum, Berklee College of Music, University of California Los Angeles (Entertainment Studies & Performing Arts), University of Southern California, Academy of Contemporary Music (Guildford, London), California State University at Chico, Middle Tennessee State University, Music and Entertainment Industry Educator’s Association International Symposium (2000 and 2002), University of Hawaii, California State University at Pomona, the Pepperdine University School of Business and others. A popular guest speaker and participant in industry conferences internationally, she served as Conference Chair for Musicom4, a music technology symposium (1998), and as keynote speaker for Berklee College of Music Summer Conference (2003)
She is a consultant to InsideSessions, a joint venture between the Universal Music Group and Penguin Putnam, and sits on numerous international charity and industry boards of directors. She is a frequent talent judge at US and international talent competitions and has recently participated on panels for Universal Talent Prague (Czech Republic 2003) and for the Golden Magnolia International Song Festival (Baton Rouge 2003).
As a writer and contributor, her analyses have appeared recently in Billboard Magazine, Radio & Records, USA Today, Newsweek, Source Magazine, the Chicago Sun Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Daily News, Daily Variety, Musician Magazine, Wired, Lip Service Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal and wire services such as Reuters Ltd., and in international business press (Capital Magazine [Spain], Challenges / Le Nouvel Observateur [France]). She has been a featured expert on National Public Radio’s “Hollywood Wrap,” the Fox News Channel, Samm Brown’s “For The Record” on KPFK 90.7-FM, Ira Fistell’s talk radio program on KRLA 1110-AM and in other news media.
Tess Taylor can be reached at (818) 769-7007 or via email at [email protected].