Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Juel.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kristin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Fun history lesson. I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania (yes, from ‘The Office’) and was fortunate to have parents who encouraged the arts as well as science. I gravitated towards arts so I played piano, guitar and French horn when growing up— and we danced. I have the best memories of mom dancing with us in the living room. She passed away right before I graduated high school. Every year I appreciate those dance parties even more.
I was awarded a nice scholarship to NYU, so I left right after her death. College in NYC at the end of the 80s. I think that’s when things really starting formulating for me. I remember everything about my time in NYC especially the thriving music scene there — Blues Traveler, Joan Osborne, Spin Doctors, Dee Lite, nearby The Hooters. It felt like a real scene. I loved it.
Then I moved to LA and started 25 year love affair with the branding and advertising industry – including a move back to NYC in the middle before 9/11. I have some experience working with labels and album packaging companies during that time, it actually kicked off my freelance career. During that time, I worked on 35 different product/services. It was diverse, fast paced and I loved the creative process — especially at TBWA/Chiat/Day in LA and Cliff Freeman & Partners in NYC. Both agencies were considered the best agencies on the planet and the creative direction was the highest level. They taught me how to maintain integrity of a brand and allow for truly differentiating, creative executions. It still guides my work at Juel Concepts today.
I started Juel Concepts — a boutique artist management and marketing company, based in Hollywood, CA — to focus on the independent artist and the intersection of Music, Technology and Marketing. I loved being able to combine creativity with data informed strategy, and it honestly felt like a great fit.
Seven years later, Juel Concepts is innovating in the realm of music management through the lens of education, artist development and empathy for the process they endure. My management style guides artists to know their worth while building their brand and music. We set them apart from others with comprehensive strategy and music development, building the foundation for a long-term career in the competitive music industry.
I’m often called a hustler, but I believe that just means I’m proactive. And I am very grateful. For so many things, but mostly to have had the opportunity to reinvent my life after such tenured, yet diverse career in advertising. My artists are my family and our collective body of work are most certainly top of my proudest achievements.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ha! I mean, is any transition a smooth one, really? In my case, it definitely smoothed out when I realized that I could continue to do what I did for major brands, but for musicians. I had developed and implemented heaps of marketing strategies for brands — and even for artists in the past on a freelance basis — so that was probably the smoothest transition of all.
The truest challenge of all is building a responsive and trusting community around our and our artists’ work. Looking back, I had to build a whole new network from scratch. The music industry is, like many others, insular and hard to learn the right extended teams to engage for the artists. But then you find them and it all clicks. I feel like that will be a constant in my world until we have something that everyone wants.
That’s when the road will smooth out even more.
Juel Concepts – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We manage artists that want to build their brand and sonic catalog. We also provide label-like services for artists that want to maintain their independence.
At first, I thought I wouldn’t need to do the marketing for my artists. As it turned out that the thing that really differentiated our work was that we are able to problem-solve with marketing initiatives; helping to keep momentum. And, I love finding trends that can help us determine how songs are performing and then find new ways to enhance discovery and aid consumption of music. It makes me happy when people listen to my “Vibezzzz for Days” Spotify playlist, too! Radio, Spotify, YouTube all are great for discovery, but I’m old school and like to curate my own playlists after years of DJ’ing.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
That’s hard to choose, there have been quite a few proud moments.
I’ll have to share a couple.
A personal highlight for me was when we had Hamish Anderson open for Gary Clark Jr in his homeland of Australia. I had known Gary for a very long time by then and had introduced the two artists five years before to the date that they did the tour. It was a real highlight to be working with people who I have considered family.
Another proud time for me was watching Ruby Velle go solo after thirteen years with her band Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics — and then watching her new songs get seven synch licenses in under 18 months! During that time, I heard from Anderson .Paak that her vocals were going to be on one of his songs from his first release with Dr. Dre. We were all very excited about that. It was a nice cherry on top.
All of my artists are achieving such tremendous things and I’m constantly in awe of all of them. I’m most proud of the fact that our artists have stayed with us since the beginning.
It’s all about the journey together, after all, isn’t it?
- Website: www.juelconcepts.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juelconcepts/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juelconcepts/
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kristinjuel/
- Other: https://www.huffpost.com/author/kristin-juel
Allison Cervantes Photography, Kristin Juel, Jaime Lewis, Alex Huggans