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Life & Work with Charisse Presley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charisse Presley.

Hi Charisse, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am originally from Kansas City, Missouri. I grew up singing jazz, opera, gospel and R&B. My love of music comes from my Mom and my Grandfather who are both singers! When I was a teenager, I was actually apart of a girl group that had the opportunity to travel and perform around the country. It was during that experience that I realized I really wanted to learn and understand the music industry better to help cultivate and develop artists and gain a better sense of how the industries worked.

Thus, I moved to New Orleans to attend an HBCU called Dillard University where I received a Bachelors in Music Industry Studies with a minor in Marketing on a Full Academic Scholarship called the Presidential Scholarship. During my time in New Orleans, I also studied jazz vocal performance and had the honor of performing at Jazz Fest and at various places throughout the French Quarter and on Frenchmen Street! Living in New Orleans was such an incredible experience as a music lover because I was really able to immerse myself not only in the culture and city but also had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned artists and musicians. My jazz teacher was actually a renowned trumpet player and he taught me how to scat using his trumpet. He would play something, and I would have to communicate with him through scatting. It was challenging but so much fun! When I graduated from Dillard University, I was awarded the coveted honor of Valedictorian and was able to deliver our commencement speech! It was truly an amazing honor and I was so blessed and thankful to be named Valedictorian.

After I graduated college in New Orleans, I knew that I wanted to continue to further cultivate my music industry knowledge and thus had to make the decision to move to New York or Los Angeles. Two places I had actually never visited, lol. Having grown up in the Midwest and experienced snow, I made to choice to give sunny California a go! I found a great program on West Coast that would allow me to receive my Masters in Music Business and I jumped at the opportunity to apply! I was so thrilled to be accepted because the program truly taught me a lot about music publishing, artist management, entertainment law and much more! I learned from some of the most amazing professors and was thankful that the program helped me to receive an internship at Kobalt Music Publishing! After I received my Masters in Music Business Administration from Cal State Northridge, I continued to work with Kobalt Music Publishing. Kobalt Music Publishing was where I really found my love and passion not only for music publishing but for Sync Licensing as well. I truly thank Chris Lakey, Diarmuid Quinn, Jennifer Smith, Tom Osborn and Tom Smith (just to name a few) for the opportunity to learn and cultivate invaluable skills that have really helped me to develop and cultivate my passion for music and music licensing. After my time at Kobalt, I worked with Shazam and then transitioned to Extreme Music where I worked in Creative Licensing! I placed music in several Ads, Films, Video Games and more!

After my time at Extreme, I joined the team at 411 Music Group (A Female Owned Company) where I was the Manager of Licensing. I have placements in various movies such as Slender Man, Nancy Drew, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween, Bad Boys 3, It: Chapter 2 and more. I also have success with video games such as Call of Duty and Spyro. I have had the opportunity to speak on various panels such as Sync Summit, ASCAP Expo, Sync Licensing Mission held by the British Consulate, and many more! I even most recently developed and curated a panel to highlight diversity and the Black Experience for the Nashville Film Festival where we had the honor of having some really incredible panelists of color speak about their experiences and what changes we’d love to see moving forward! Currently, I am the Manager of Licensing at BAM Music! Which has recently launched here in the US. It has been an incredible experience helping to grow the BAM library and build brand awareness of such an incredible catalog. I am passionate about moving the licensing industry forward and will continue to champion those who are interested in our amazing world as many have done for me!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I have been truly blessed and thankful throughout my journey. I am a woman of faith and my faith, family and husband have truly helped me! Challenges certainly arise being a woman of color breaking into a niche industry that isn’t extremely large to begin with and then doesn’t necessarily have a lot of diversity. However, in my near decade of working in music I have seen the industry make great strides and continue to see people working to bridge the gap and help improve the diversity.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I work in Music Licensing and also often create music with my husband who is an incredible composer for TV, Film and Ads.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
One of my favorite childhood memories was going to Atlanta (I was a teen) and performing at the Bonner Bros hair show. We rehearsed everyday, sang songs while running around the track and we’re so excited to go to Atlanta. It was such an awesome experience performing for so many people!

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: Resse_Star


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