Brianna “Breezy” DeMayo cares about artists. She wants independent artists to recognize their power and utilize their leverage. If you’re passionate about your music and serious about your business, Breezy wants you to win. At 32, the Philly-born and based founder of TasteCreators, an artist-first creative agency, has a love for the music industry that is rivaled only by her desire to see the little guy become the big guy.
“I’ve been in love with music for my entire life and caught an interest on the business side,” DeMayo tells me over the phone. “My passion is helping artists thrive. We help artists build their leverage and not have to rely on a label or anyone else, [helping] them build a career on their own terms.”
After years of working on TasteCreators, DeMayo is ready to launch her newest venture, Music Business How To. Born of the patterns she and her TasteCreators team saw in artists they worked with over their five years of operation, MBHT is a full repository of courses, templates and articles meant to empower artists while also being a mentor and accountability partner. The goal is to hand artists the tools to take their careers into their own hands. If you’re a serious artist looking to cultivate your career, MBHT is the perfect resource for you.
“While you can easily Google information about the industry, and they’re gonna tell you what you should be doing, no one is telling you how,” DeMayo stresses. “That’s the gap we wanted to fill. Not everybody has a huge budget to pay a whole team initially. How do you help the little guy, essentially? How do you help the artist that doesn’t have a huge budget, but makes phenomenal music? The more you learn, the more you earn, I like to say.”
With that, MBHT is home to endless artist resources—articles, webinars, a private Facebook group, calls with DeMayo, and more—aiming to put the power back in the artist’s hands. The music industry can be a sordid place, but with MBHT, artists are arming themselves for the many battles they will face, and getting themselves in the proper positions to have lasting careers.
My full conversation with DeMayo about Music Business How To, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.
To start, give me the Breezy elevator pitch.
I am Brianna DeMayo, and I’ve been in love with music for my entire life and caught an interest in the business side. My passion is helping artists thrive. So, [I have a] huge focus on artist development and assisting artists in running their careers as businesses.
Now, the TasteCreators elevator pitch.
We are an artist-first agency. We’re on the artist’s side. Everything we do is based around the artist, their needs, and their goals. All of our services are geared towards, “How do we help artists do what they love for a living?” We help artists build their leverage and not have to rely on a label or anyone else, [helping] them build a career on their own terms.
How did your passion for TasteCreators lead to your new venture, Music Business How-To?
Because of the patterns we noticed. There are so many talented artists out there, but the music industry is constantly changing. The floodgates are now open. You don’t have to rely on anyone; you can now get the music directly to the fan. Throughout the last couple of years working hands-on with artists, we noticed patterns of what artists need to know. One of the most common things people inquire about is PR campaigns. But when you get down [to] the why behind it, artists don’t need PR campaigns. They need to learn how to get their music out and how to grow their fanbase.
The reason we built MBHT is because of the lack of transparency in the music industry. While there is no blueprint to the industry, there are some core strategies that every artist needs to know there are some core strategies every artist should know. How can we help more artists at once without breaking the bank? I spent the last three years breaking down everything we already do, teaching others how to do it.
While you can easily Google information about the industry, and it will tell you what you should be doing, no one is telling you how. That’s the gap we wanted to fill. Not everybody has a huge budget to pay a whole team initially. How do you help the little guy, essentially? How do you help the artist that doesn’t have a huge budget, but makes phenomenal music? The more you learn, the more you earn, I like to say.
What problems in the industry did you see that MBHT is here to correct?
I’m looking to smarten up artists. I’m looking to bring transparency to the industry. Stop withholding all the information. Show people how these things are done. Artists think it’s harder than it is [to have a music career]. Don’t get it twisted, it requires a lot of time and effort, but artists think they have to hire people. “I have to hire a marketing expert.” I don’t think they fully understand the power they have, that they should be embracing. We’re trying to show artists they have power.
What does MBHT offer that a simple Google search doesn’t?
The cool thing with the product itself is you get hands-on guidance. I was in our private Facebook group last week, telling everyone, “Hey, copy and paste your artist bios.” Let’s read them over, let’s make sure they’re A1. I researched a lot, and I haven’t seen anything that’s as step-by-step. Simple things, like [how to] upload your music to Audiomack, you can find online. But I haven’t seen, “Here’s how you pitch to press. This is what your email should look like, and here’s a template!” You can Google, but I haven’t seen anything as detailed. I’ve seen a lot of “Here’s what you should be doing,” but barely any “This is how to do it.”
You should have a newsletter. Okay! How do I collect emails? What should I be sending? There’s a lot more detail. MBHT is kinda like a school for artists.
An artist signs up for MBHT, what comes next?
You get your own member homepage, which gives you access to the important stuff on the site. There's also a list of common actions: Write my bio, write my press releases, create my marketing plan, etc.. Artists can click on whatever action they want to take, and it’s gonna take them to the piece that shows them how to do that step-by-step. They’re also gonna jump into the Facebook page and introduce themselves.
For our hands-on members, I email them to set up a phone call. During the phone call, I’m doing an audit. We’re talking about their current goals and what they’re working on and the next steps. After that call, I send pieces of content to check out based on their current situation. From there I check in with the artists every other week to make sure they are taking action and following the action plan I sent them after our initial call. In between, they can also email me if they have any questions, or if they want me to look over any of their work.
What are some MBHT practices for artists looking to get the most out of the platform?
They have to be active. They have to be working toward something. They can’t be part-timing their music career. If you’re just “Hey, I wanna be an artist,” but you don’t wake up every day saying, “What am I gonna do to further my music career?” MBHT probably isn’t for you. You’re gonna pay for a membership and realize it involves some real work. You’re paying for access to the knowledge and hands-on guidance. You have to be serious about yourself.
The goal is to connect with artists who really want this.
We care about the artists on the platform. It’s not just sign-up, and you’ll never hear from an actual person. We are invested in these artists’ careers. We are concerned with the results they’re getting, the things they’re doing, and we hold them accountable.
MBHT is a fantastic resource for artists, but what work does the artist have to put in to make MBHT work for them?
They have to be active. They have to want to learn. They have to want to do the work. They can’t just sit around waiting for a manager to come along. They have to want to build that leverage on their own for MBHT to be effective for them.
What’s your favorite thing MBHT offers?
That’s an easy one. My favorite article is one I recently wrote. A lot of artists have a hard time with social media. “What should I be posting? I’m in the studio; I’m always working. I don’t know what to post.” I created an article on MBHT laying out a long list of content, and caption ideas for that content. I took the different scenarios artists are always in, and I wrote out the content they could be capturing. I wrote another list under that, with ideas for the captions you can write when you post this. There are a lot of scenarios: Shooting a music video, in the studio, at the show. The artists I have here already [are] excited about it because it’s something they can keep handy. I haven’t seen anything this thorough.
We created an artist-geared social media “challenge,” of what they should post for 30 days. After those 30 days, they’re gonna have more followers, more engagement. It’s gonna get them used to posting consistently and interacting with their audience. We also teach artists how to set up their merch store. We train them on dropshipping; that way, they don’t have to pay for their merch upfront. We [help] them understand how much money they could be making, even with a small fanbase.
What’s one thing you wish all artists took more seriously?
I want artists to take themselves more seriously and realize the power they have. When you become an artist, you’re essentially starting your own business. Pay attention to the business-side, outside of creating the music. The music is the easy part.