Thursday, April 16, 2009

They’re not just roadies – that’s mom and dad

Malese Jow and Selena Gomez (from MySpace - photo by Patrick Rogers)

by Richard Kelleher, M.B.A.

Marketing Sociologist

Twitter and Friendfeed: phoenixrichard

If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will. Heard from Malese Jow’s mom, Lanae, and Jonnie and Brookie’s mom, Melinda recently. Not your ordinary soccer moms.

Melinda tells how her husband works a regular job at a major media company, then spends the equivalent of two others jobs fulfilling duties as one of their daughters’ two “people;” doing the mailing, equipment, lights, sound, photography and everything else a star like Britney Spears has about 100 people doing. Mom does the same, plus helps home school the duo.

Lanae reveals a grittier, more realistic side of the business called music. Describing not having a manager for Malese’s music side of her career, Lanae says, “This business is tough and hard to find someone 100 percent dedicated to that effort who is ready to embrace the new direction of where young music artists are heading.”

The point Lanae makes is valid. You going to trust your daughter(s) career to a 20-years old upstart who understands the Internet but doesn’t realize how ruthless the money hungry lions of entertainment are? I know; as a former writer for Billboard Magazine I was the vulture in many an artist’s career. Ask Gail Davies. I’ll never hear the end of that one.

Even though they’ve spent the month of April being a featured artist on Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing,” Jonnie and Brookie may have flown under the radar of management companies like William Morris that handles acts like Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Taylor Swift, Duffy, Prince and Rihanna. “Sign on with someone with too much clout, and you're at the bottom of the totem pole,” Lanae accurately stated.

So, for many up and coming artists like Jonnie and Brookie, Malese Jow, Labbadia Sisters (whose dad Rich seems to be in the same boat as Melinda and Lanae), mom and dad serve as photographer, agent, getting music up on the Web and one of the most daunting tasks – and I thank everyone who has contacted me this way – maintaining the MySpace, Facebook, Digg, Twitter and endless Internet sites.

“It's definitely a different path when you're doing it all yourself like we are; but hopefully the rewards will be much greater in the long run,” said Lanae.

Here’s an example of those tasks:

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