Today we’d like to introduce you to Regina Martiarena.
Regina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
All of my friends and family call me Regi! I was born in Mexico City and moved over to the small town of Weston, FL around four years old.
My family and I were first generation to relocate to America which led us to be pretty tight-knit clan. I really had such a fortunate upbringing – my two younger siblings were my best friends and my parents were adamant about keeping us busy, learning, and traveling. Some of my favorite childhood memories are Martiarena adventures abroad!
As many immigrants can relate – growing up, I often felt like I was too Latina to be American or too American to be Latina. This is the reason I think music became so ingrained into my identity from a young age – music is just one of those things that’s fluid and boundless. Cafe Tacuba’s “Como Te Extraño Mi Amor” and “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers could comfortably live together in my iPod shuffle’s playlist with zero judgment.
In my teens – like any music-crazed 16/17 year old with Mexican parents, I had to get creative with ways to get skirt around house rules and strict curfews. So I made going to gigs my job and became a writer for the entertainment section of the Sun Sentinel. And my gosh did I feel like big bucks! My dual ethnicity really came in handy because I would be asked to cover both Latin events, such as red carpets for Premios Juventud and Premio Lo Nuestro, as well as more American-facing gigs like John Mayer’s Born and Raised tour.
I attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fl and graduated with a dual degree in Advertising and Public Relations. During my college years, I became fascinated with branding and creative strategy which led me to dip my toes into a wider world of marketing including helping local brands, often culturally-niche, develop their look and spend more “quality” time with their consumers in the digital space.
In March of 2018, while working my first post-grad marketing job, a friend from London raved about Sofar Sounds, a concept the website described as intimate shows around the globe in intimate spaces. I was immediately captivated by the idea and attended my first show where I met Molly Adkins, Sofar Sounds Orlando lead and now, one of my best friends! Together, and surprisingly quickly, we started to build Sofar’s online presence in Central Florida and translated our online followers into real attendees – creating a unique sense of community amongst the already beautiful Orlando music scene!
By December of 2018, with a clear vision of wanting to delve deeper into the music industry, I stumbled upon a music marketing opening at Nacional Records, a Latin indie record label that focuses on introducing local Latin artists into the right markets around the world. Their past repertoire included Bomba Estereo, Ana Tijoux, Little Jesus, etc. – all music I felt like I understood to the core! Within four weeks of applying, I was on a flight to Los Angeles, California – making the solo move across the country!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course, there have been some challenges along the way! Most notably – the many layers to marketing and, admittedly, my own ambitions nature to want to master them all! The analytics, creative strategy, ever-changing trends, investment in growing contacts, etc., there’s an endless list! Slowly but surely, I’m learning how to tackle each one – at least on a smaller scale – on a weekly basis to keep my strategy fresh!
On a more personal note, work-life balance can be a challenge for me and learning when to “log off” can sometimes be counteracted with my classic “I’m just going to answer this last email”. Downtime is something I’ve worked on particularly this year – rest really does optimize productivity!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Although music is really where I feel I have made my mark professionally, I do identify myself more generally as a creative marketing strategist. Buzz words like “Locally Owned” and “Culturally-Niche” are often what I am drawn to work with. My goal in my work is to assure the brands (or musical artists in my current role) are represented in the most authentic light are able to invite members of international markets to experience their local culture. This makes me a bit of a detective and involves really digging into the b-sides of consumer behavior to figure out where a brand’s “niche” is represented around the world.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family has played a huge role in positioning me and my siblings so we had the best opportunities possible. My mom and dad constantly kept us curious about the world around us and made us feel like nothing was ever too out of reach.
Moving out at 18 in my family wasn’t very common, so my friends in college and post-college have really integrated themselves into my extended family and have been an incredible support system throughout the years. I find a lot of my inspiration from my international friendships that I made back in college – they keep me continuously challenging my global mindset which is reflected in my work every day. And more notably, in my music career, I owe so much of my direction, confidence, and passion for local music to Molly Adkins, my Sofar Orlando partner!