Today I am here with Mimi McCarley and Thalia “Muziqueen” Ewing, the founders of Nashville Is Not Just Country Music. We literally think of Nashville as a place for Country and Christian Music and that’s all we hear. Nashville is not getting the attention that it deserves. Now they’re bringing to light artists of other genre. This is very similar to what I did with Women of Substance 14 years ago, when I felt that there were not enough women heard on radio so I started this platform.
How They Started
Thalia grew up in Nashville and when she was trying to do music business for hip-hop and urban music it was extremely difficult to get it done. She went to New York and worked for Sony and other labels. When she went back she saw a different Nashville. They were a lot of creatives moving to the place that wanted to keep their career going. However, there were still a lot of misconceptions about the place. So they started Nashville Is Not Just Country Music, originally as a proclamation, and also as support and advocate for urban creatives in Nashville to let people know that they are a music city with a plenty of genres. They saw the need for resources, education on business and opportunity and they bring that to the community through various things such as urban mixers, collaborations, urban writers rounds. They were the first to have other genres apart from country in these writers rounds.
Thalia worked in the corporate music business and has a passion and love for music and creatives. In working with these artists and creatives, she discovered that there was a shortfall in their understanding of how the business works. It is important for them to understand how it works so they can be successful in their independent endeavors.
Mimi is a songwriter, publisher, creative and business person. She crossed paths with Thalia in 2014-2015. She had a small business with her husband but she always knew that she will get back to music. Music always pulls you back. Her background is in music business education. When she entered back in, it was just to focus on songwriting. Her focus is mainly on lyrics and building production themes for sync. When she was reaching out to her network, she got a couple of recommendations to meet Muziqueen so she reached out. That’s how she met her match. They worked together on a project and they realized their power when they work together. Then they focused their work on Nashville.
What They Do
They saw that the community was not ready so they shifted their business model to education to prepare the artists to take on opportunities primarily in publishing and sync. Through helping get the artists prepared, they build bridges to pair urban creatives with opportunities and business executives. The also let business executives know about the talents and economical possibilities in Nashville. The preparation they provide includes engagement between the artists and the executives.
Through events, they provide opportunities for producers and artists to be known within the community and find a match. The vetting and engagement assistance they provide is tailor fit to the level of the artist’s talent and business knowledge.
Nashville country female creatives may be marginalized in terms of radio play. Their focus is the urban music community at large being marginalized.
Education can make a difference because people may not just realize about all the talent available in Nashville. Everybody who does business does it to make money. They wanted to focus on what’s already in their backyard because they have been seeing artists needing to find opportunities outside of Nashville. Change can happen with consistency and discipline.
For Nashville artists in these genres, you can contact Mimi McCarley and Thalia “Muziqueen” Ewing on their website at nashvilleisnotjustcountrymusic.com, sign up for the directory, be accounted for and join their community. They also have a music submission form to be considered for the Spotify playlist, live performances and other events.
Go connect now. Connection is very important not just to pursue your music but life in general.
Musicians especially those just starting out and in a new city, you don’t need to do this alone and be in a bubble. There are a lot of people in the same boat as you. I encourage you to find these women and join them.
Links mentioned in this episode: