This past year, Fiona won a NARIP award http://www.soultracks.com/story-fiona_narip for best 2007 TOP CONSULTANT/STRATEGIST of The Year from NARIP (National Association of Recording Industry Professionals).
Fiona continues to push forward working many artists and mounting up an incredible list of Artists/Clients, helping them push forward with their artistry.
TP: How long have you been running your business?
FB: As far as this new entity The Bloom Effect it will be 2 years in October. I used to co-own a successful hip hop label a few years back and built another one from scratch before that so this is my third venture...
TP: Do your prefer one of the many hats your wear? Like PR over Artist Management?
FB: Um-- I actually really really love producing events. Specialized events like launch parties, releases and networking events. Nothing makes me happier than a smiling client and a packed house full of people young, old. International folks, Hipsters, Fashionistas, Media, Trendsetters, Tastemakers and overall lifestyle fan. I get turned on and totally high off it....Natural of course:-)
TP: You hail from London, but have lived here in the States for quite some time. What schools did you study Concert Piano at? Do you still play?
FB: Ah Piano- my other life--- I've had a few you see. I studied at Royal Academy of Music which is extremely prestigious and then when to Tanglewood for Summer camp and ended up at Philadelphia College of Performing Arts on full scholarship in their music department and University of Maryland. Hard-core!
TP: Did you study any other crafts and at what schools? Do you feel these studies helped mold your current business acumen?
FB: I took ballet for a while. My young years as a teenager in London. Part of me thinks I am a ballerina and therefore constantly on tippy-toes. They used to call me â€˜ Tip-Toe through the Tulips'. I love Tulips!
I also studied acting. I'm quite dramatic you see--- I'm also funny as hell- well depending what day it is. I've had people in stitches from my jokes which really aren't even jokes- they're my daily experiences and life in Fiona B world. I've also had folks pee in their pants-- a little extreme but they couldn't help themselves..... I love making people laugh. I think I was placed on this earth to bring joy in lives not just through the platform of producing great events and fabulous entertainment but......bringing actual laughter to a room and making people happy. Laughing is great therapy and has cured many illnesses over the years.....
TP: You've worked with many artists on the Indie Soul scene.
Can you talk about some of these artists?
FB: I started working in the soul scene after years of being a b-girl and loving hip hop and throwing parties and doing PR for some amazing Hip Hop acts over the years like Blackalicious, Mystic, MF Doom, C-Rayz Walz, Gang Starr, Rubberoom, Aloe Blacc, Atmosphere, Lyricist Lounge and many others. My first array into the soul scene was with DJ Spinna and Angela Johnson. Then artists started catching on to my fresh approach to publicity and first and foremost- Passion....Which is contagious. Hence, I picked up Anthony David- worked with him up until his newest release so close to 4 years with Anthony David and then Melissa Young, Heston, April Hill, Jennifer Johns, Reel People, Kissey Asplund, and now about to start work with Wayna, Abby Dobson and a couple International artists that shall remain nameless until the deal is sealed!
TP: Can you describe how your company has helped establish their artistry to their audiences?
FB: I think the biggest thing The Bloom Effect provides is a much bigger profile for these artists and we've been very successful in creating a BUZZ. The Bloom Effect endorsing an artist means they have to be GREAT or at least bring something different or unique to the table. Media, Tastemakers, Brands and other Industry folks have come to trust me over the years since I've been behind so many successful artists early careers and not only that but--- my reputation speaks for itself now- people have recognized my contributions and my endorsements around the world and have come to the realization that anything Bloom related is something you want to pay attention to. It feels great to know that this is how it is - but trust me- it hasn't been an easy journey and NOTHING happened overnight and EVERYTHING for the most part has been an uphill battle so I don't recommend this for the WEAK!
TP: Did you ever feel after studying Concert Piano for so many years that you would be helping out artists in a music business setting? Do you feel the result of accomplishment working with these artists?
FB: I always had grandiose dreams--- dreams of becoming â€˜famous' myself- a famous concert pianist or radio personality, host of TV show so--- my career hasn't exactly panned out the way I hoped - however, I knew- I was always going to be involved in Music behind the scenes in some shape or form- was completely inevitable--- there's nothing else I could really be doing!!! Well, Stand Up Comedy-- Watch out Def Comedy Jam!!!!
TP: Name some of the other jobs you've held in the music industry and how that has helped mold the current state of your business?
FB: I was an on-air personality/DJ in Atlanta in the early 90's - was quite successful. I loved that. I also used to book late nights at Joe's Pub/Public Theater. I also was a marketing manager at EMI Records and I did International Marketing at TVT Records....I had a few other jobs in the biz but those were the main ones I remember. All these gigs developed me and molded me and got me ready to be an entrepreneur because really throughout my 16+ years in the entertainment world- Being an Entrepreneur was something I always wanted to be when I knew being a concert pianist wasn't happening. I haven't really had any mentors per say and I realize throughout my career it's been extra difficult because of the lack of- so therefore- it's been very important for me to play a very pivotal role in young people's lives as a mentor and guidance person in their careers and I can proudly say that several of my kids have grown up and become very successful artists/entertainment business people themselves. Also- throughout my various roles within other companies it has provided me with the tools and ingredients to do my own business and has given me strength, more determination and a winning drive.
TP: How do you continue on this insane pace that you keep? I see you everywhere, when do you sleep?
FB: Haha-- Sleep- what's that???? Well- I try and get adequate sleep but it's never enough but I just get so excited about work or a project or an idea that even when I'm in bed- my mind is ticking and working and all I can think of is waking up and throwing myself into the idea and manifesting it..... Really though- it's being around young folks-- 18-25 year olds. I am forced to keep up but it's also an â€˜energy' they bring me that's youthful, vibrant, and fresh- keeps me on my toes and I'm very grateful that young kids throw themselves at me or like to be around me and I'm very grateful that they feel I'm not â€˜old â€˜ or that they can't relate to me. I learn so much from them and that keeps me excited and passionate and that my dear--- is the secret to keeping up with the insane pace!!!!
TP: Are you currently working on any new projects that you can speak about?
FB: I'm going to be co-producing a big International Hip Hop showcase during CMJ.
I also plan on building out my blog to eventually bring in ad revenue- I would say within the next 6 months look for some significant enhancements and growth with The Bloom Blog. http://www.thebloomeffect.com/blog
I also plan on MC'ing and hosting a lot more events/shows.
TP: Will you be at the Soultracks.com awards representing artists? Looks like a great event this October 3rd & 4th..
FB: Yes- I will be at The Soultracks Awards. Can't wait. I have 3 all up for â€˜Best New Artist' so it's been a little tough taking sides.....I wish all 3 could get the nod....
TP: Where would you like your business to be in the next 2 years?
FB: I would love to grow The Bloom Effect into a boutique agency - 6 people tops but have it perceived as an â€˜Army' of hundreds.... World-Wide of course which it pretty much is anyway-- interestingly- 56% of my web traffic is from outside the U.S. I also have been thinking lately of partnering with a bigger firm or folding into something-- being part of an â€˜umbrella'--- so many options-- so many possibilities-- will just have to feel it out and see where the 2 year journey ends up...
TP: Can you speak of some of the high profile artists, you've represented? In what capacity, did you represent these artists?
FB: In the past- I worked with Ice T's label, Gang Starr's â€˜Hard to Earn' when over at EMI and then of course Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins, and Pitbull over at TVT. I oversaw their International campaigns and touring outside U.S.
To be honest- my specialty has always been the underdog- the new or developing artist- I prefer that actually- I love the challenge and I love to see all my hustle and hard work pay off.
TP: What Indie Soul artists have caught your ear as up and coming artists?
FB: Musinah. I love her. Liv Warfield, Abby Dobson, The Fuzz Band, Codany Holiday, Karina Nistal, Monica Blaire, Eric Rico, Jimi James, Soha from France, SP from Portugal, Honey B and others I can't think of currently...
TP: Name some other Labels, PR, Promoters that you've enjoyed working with?
FB: I love working with Purpose Records, ONUTSS, Babygrande, Nomadic Wax, Christian with the Blue Note late night series, Justine from The Marksmen/Tillman's Lounge Mondays. Urb Magazine, Fusicology- they are my fam!!! Richard Dunn, Papa Jube at SOB's- he brilliant! Bill Bragin-- I wish we were still working together but I have a ton of respect for him. Giant Step of course and as far as PR goes--- there are 2 agency's I'm dying to work with- Musebox and Girlie Action. One day!!
TP: What are last 3 downloads or CD's of artists that you've purchased?
FB: Bardo State â€˜ Mariposa'-- absolutely gorgeous album. Classical Electronic. Eric Rico â€˜Higher Frequency' - I just bought that and....Dorian Concept from Vienna.
Here's the flyer for Fiona's next event in Brooklyn