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Meet Kerry Oliver of Green Kite Records

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kerry Oliver.

Kerry, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started in the music industry back in 1999 with my son’s band, whom I managed to an international touring level. After our successes, I started to manage other bands, soon realizing that the music industry, as a whole, was not headed in the direction I wanted it to go. I saw a lot of amazing talent being forced into “regular life”, giving up their musical dreams, because they had to get on with the reality of living. I believed that the only thing their lacked was guidance and knowledge of how to move forward in a very complicated and ever-changing industry.

In 2011, I started Green Kite Records as an indie label, but with a stronger focus on artist development. Our primary goal: Get as many bands in front of as many established major/indie labels as possible, and be instrumental from a mentorship position in increasing their signing opportunities, and their ability to survive as a self-sustaining band within the industry.

We have, since our inception, through mistakes and lessons learned, elevated our operation immensely, with a fantastic group of hardworking and dedicated staff, interns and industry notables offering their support to the rising bands from across the United States. Our company is beyond most other artist development and label companies out there, because we go one-on-one with each of our bands, teaching them how to get a stable income, growing into the thousands each month, giving them the funds they need to jump from local to regional, and eventually national levels of the music scene.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Our biggest struggle at Green Kite Records has been finding the bands and artists who really want to achieve a credible label signing and at the same time possess the strong songwriting talent potential we seek. Multitudes of bands, both newly started and seasoned, think that they want or have the drive to garner this, but in reality, only about 5% of bands have that necessary drive. As a result, we have had to be very selective in the artists we allow in, so we can increase our chances of finding those top bands whom we can prime to introduce to the established labels.

Our biggest mistake was failing to charge bands in the earliest stages of Green Kite Records. We gave all of our services away at no cost, leaving early artists to expect us to hand them success. That which is free is worthless; an invaluable lesson learned.

The bands are charged $200 per month, because it spurs the bands to work harder and show their true selves. This charge accounts minimally in our actual operating expenses, and feeds back into services the musicians need, such as stylists, choreographers, marketing and social media teams, graphic and web designers, financial accounting, legal services, and much more.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Green Kite Records – what should we know?
We are a Phoenix-based artist development company specializing in improving bands’ songwriting ability, performance skills and financial stability, so they can achieve recognition across local, regional and national levels, and be self-sustaining while maintaining longevity in their careers.

As a company, we ensure that our bands have a stable source of income to afford what they need to succeed, including professional resources or creating connections throughout the industry. We are looking for bands who are willing to work extremely hard to reach their full potential and who have open minds and patience in regards to their success. The bands we sign on must also be willing to make sacrifices and have a strong, true belief in themselves and their capabilities.

We are most proud of our singularity in concept and execution. As far as we are aware, we are the only company who does what we do, and have been doing for years, using the mentorship methods we created and instilling a unique financial infrastructure which provides the necessary funding for bands/artists to succeed.

Furthermore, we put great pride in our ability to operate as a non-profit, giving everything we earn back to the artists through their journey. We take no ownership of their music, and no percentages of their earnings. They keep everything.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Excellent communication, communication, communication… oh and did I mention communication! Throw in follow-through, organizational skills, diligence and hard work.

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