Kristen Kanopka is the director of publicity at Capitol Music Group. She has been working in the music industry for over seven years, working her way up the totem pole at Capitol. Get to know more about the Capitol Music Group's woman-in-charge:
Take us through your day, starting from when you wake up.
You know, I’m so fortunate in that every day can bring something new in this industry. That’s what I love about it! Generally I wake up around 6:15am and check my e-mails. From there it’s straight to my Keurig, I can’t start my day without my coffee! I live in Santa Monica, it’s so beautiful to wake up with the ocean as your backyard. Once I get ready for work it’s in the car to commute to the iconic Capitol Records building in Hollywood. It’s a pinch me moment every time I walk in. Days are spent differently. For instance, tomorrow I will be on the first flight out to NY for an event with two of our upcoming artists Niykee Heaton and Love Dollhouse. A quick trip in Wednesday night, out Friday am! Then next week we are working with Tori Kelly at the GRAMMY Camp. In the office it’s anything from pitching my artists to solidifying press opportunities and always taking meetings. A breakfast, lunch, coffee, or just a quick meeting here at Capitol with various writers and TV bookers, that facetime is so important to me. Plus, I like to get to know people outside of just sending them a pitch. It’s why we do what we do!
What is the best part about your job?
I’d have to say the people. In this industry there are so many wonderful people I’ve gotten to know, and of course I love my team at Capitol. They are an unbelievably talented group of individuals.
When did you get your big break?
Mine came right out of college in late 2007, I’ve been with Capitol Music Group ever since. At the time, I interviewed for an assistant position in publicity with EMI (the label we were at the time). My soon-to-be boss and I clicked over our love for organization and Post-It notes! I got the call that afternoon that I was hired. I remember driving home and had to pull over I was so excited. From there I worked my way up from assistant to tour publicist, and one day our former and amazing SVP of Publicity, Angelica Cob-Baehler, and our current EVP, Greg Thompson, gave me the opportunity to move out to Los Angeles. I couldn’t pass it up, it was a dream come true. So much hard work went into building that dream, once I came out to California I was promoted to a manager and then director. The rest, as they say, is history!
Who is your childhood music inspiration & why?
Mariah Carey, has to be. She’s from Long Island, I am from Long Island. I own every album. Daydream was and still very much is the soundtrack to my life.
What is your high school makeout song?
Ooooh that’s a good one! I’m going to go with Eve featuring Gwen Stefani, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind."
In your opinion, what was the key to making an artist as big and successful as they are today?
I think with any artist these days, it’s getting the attention of the consumer. Most consumers have such a short attention span and the world at their fingertips, the question becomes how do we reach them across the map, and what can we do to make sure our artists stand out? Establishing a sort of intimacy with your fanbase and catering to tastemakers and bloggers is so important. You need to allow artists the space to open up aside from performing at shows. Let people see that they are human, and provide them opportunities and platforms to do so aside from just the norm. Social media has played a huge role in that today, and that will only continue to develop. So many late night hosts have hit the nail on the head with that. Those skits go viral and it allows you to feel a different connection with the artist.
What is the difference in promoting indie, pop, and rap artists?
Knowing your artist. Of course there are those publications that cover all genres, but spend time with your artist and their music before you start wildly pitching them for outlets that aren’t appropriate. If they are an indie folk act, chances are the reader of The Source isn’t going to be that into them. The same goes for writers and TV bookers. There are artists that are going to do better with the demographics that "Live! With Kelly & Michael" or "The View" draw in than they would maybe with a performance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." That’s not to discredit any of those shows of course. Also, think long-term ways to promote your artist beyond their album cycle. If they’re into yoga or interior decorating, there are plenty of creative outlets to promote their music and come at it from a fresh and different angle.