We’re excited to welcome the enigmatic and very special Chelsea Schwartz (Founder of High Voltage) to our community of curators on Fluence. Chelsea’s wealth of talents include artist & tour management, music publicity & marketing, artist development, DJing, social media strategy and writing about all things music & nerd culture related since the age of 14. She’s 32 now…
Besides all that, Chelsea is also the executive producer (engineer and on-air talent!) for the High Voltage Radio Hour which airs twice a week on The Independent FM and is also available for streaming through the iHeartRadio app, Independent FM, Mixcloud and High Voltage website. Many past show archives are available via Mixcloud (whose co-founders Nico Perez and Nikhil Shah are also on Fluence), here’s one of our favorites featuring OK Go as studio guests:
We recently had the opportunity to ask Chelsea a few questions about herself, High Voltage and her advice for artists in the music industry today.
You founded High Voltage in 2003 – how did it all start?
It started when eight OK Go fans, who became friends through the band’s message board, realized we wanted to do something bigger than just attend shows. I had been a music writer for seven years at that point (and done tour marketing for three years), and always possessed that entrepreneur spirit.
We launched High Voltage online to instant success, and with the encouragement of an old boss of mine expanded it to a print format within three years. Somewhere along the way all my original partners left the music world for careers in other industries (or other personal pursuits) and I was left to run the show. That was how it started: music fans wanting to spread the gospel / give back in a bigger way than just being a fan (and possibly not have a boss to report to).
Favorite artists right now?
Newer artists: Nightmare and the Cat, Taymir, and Mother.
All-time favorites: The Black Crowes, Hanson, New York Dolls and Beck.
Advice for musicians and artists in the digital age?
Here’s the biggest piece of advice I can give any artist who is stressed about their social networks or the digital age. At the end of the day, the end goal is still the same: Connection.
The digital age just provides an easier way to connect to your fans. Instead of unauthorized biographies, fanzines and rumors, we have blogs and social networks. Remember that when you’re posting on Facebook and Twitter; let your voice shine through. Don’t just spam your message (‘buy this’ or ‘watch that’ or ‘go here’); build a community and let your fans into it.
You don’t have to giveaway everything; some mystique is fantastic. But you do have to craft a presence that allows your fans to see you’re a human being just like them. Do that and you’ll watch your post reach, retweet count and overall engagement soar; creating a domino effect in everything you do.
What’s new and upcoming for yourself and High Voltage?
High Voltage is a magazine, event production, social media marketing and artist management company. We have a radio show. We even do publicity for music and indie film/TV. We’ve recently started to produce more comedy shows and we’re loving it. Our latest development is bringing lifestyle & nerd culture content to our print issues. We’ll be spending some more time next year in the realm of ultimate fans at various conventions (WonderCon, Comic-Con, etc). I think there’s an untapped market for music there and I think High Voltage can help bridge the gap.
So, what’s new for myself? Sleep! Got a big year ahead of us 😀
Keep up with the latest music on High Voltage here, follow Chelsea on Twitter here, and don’t forget to send Chelsea tracks that rock here on Fluence.