Name: McKee Floyd
Company: Glassnote Records
Role Title: Head of Marketing and Creative
Headquarters: New York City
What does the Glassnote brand stand for?
The Glassnote brand is 100% our artists - they are always bigger than the label. We stand for the best live artists and supporting their success from the smallest clubs to the biggest stages at festivals. Our values, led very much by Daniel and his personal values, are family, a team spirit, open door inclusive policy with our artists and managers and pushing the boundaries of the art form. It’s hard to find truly alternative music right now and I think we like to push what that word, “alternative,” really means in the industry.
How do your personal values impact upon the way you operate in your role?
You have to take care of yourself in order to do your job and you need to think critically about what you want for your job and your life. If you can’t visualize what you want from your life or vocalize it how can you ever go after it? I try to take that kind of energy into every part of my job as well as my life.
What workplace values are important to you?
Respect and trust are the pillars of the team at Glassnote. I also constantly question our ideas, strategies and tactics for artist development. Are we doing something because it is smart and will move the needle, or just because it fits into a template we’ve relied on in the industry for years? The second you stop thinking critically about how you’re spending your resources and time you start to slip.
Tell me about the last year you’ve had personally and professionally?
We’ve had our busiest year yet and with that has come more shows, more travel, more new faces. I’ve reached a point where I can no longer tell where my professional life ends and my personal life begins - the stuff somewhere in between is the meatiest.
What challenges have you faced?
Staying balanced and prioritizing quiet time. When I’m going non-stop for weeks on end it can be hard to wind down. A glass of warm lemon water every morning helps. Exercise is crucial, especially right after red eyes.
How would you describe the culture at Glassnote?
Focused, patient, and lean.
Looking into the future, what excites you most about the potential of the music business? Tell me about growth areas?
From a marketing perspective there is no more playbook - anyone who tells you they have the key to breaking a record is faking it. I find that kind of landscape so liberating.
What are the emerging opportunities that inform the kind of new connections you seek?
The landscape is polarizing itself. The internet is exposing more artists than ever, but people are drawn to live, in person, meaningful experiences. Streaming is growing, but vinyl is the fastest growing format of consumption. Hip Hop is alternative and alternative feels more and more mainstream. I’m drawn to work with executives, artists, and partners who embrace these dichotomies and use them to fuel new opportunities as opposed to fearing them and digging their heels into old formulas.
What milestones are you working toward at Glassnote?
Historically we’ve broken most of our records through radio. I’d love to break a record - really break it wide open - through a completely different avenue in 2016. What will be the first record to break through snapchat or spin classes? I think anything could break a record if its the right record.
Tell me about a creative project that you worked on where you learned about process and the importance of wisdom and creativity?
No one has taught me more about the importance of wisdom and creativity than Daniel. Can just sitting in his office every day count?
From your perspective, what are the issues facing the music business today?
Courage and patience. Music is the driving force of culture and, more importantly, counter-culture. We need to have the courage to throw our full weight behind music that pushes boundaries and the patience to shepherd it to success over 40, 50, 60 week record cycles. That is what artist development should be and unfortunately it’s no longer the industry standard.
What story/insight have you found in the past twelve months that you can share with our community?
There is no better time than right now to take action. If you sit around waiting for right moment you’ll be waiting forever.
*Photography by Zackery Michael