Among the most passionate people about music are those who work in the music industry: at labels, as press relation people, as concert promoters, as booking agents, as managers, as music critics, and so on. RREVERB proposes to its readers a series of interviews with passionate music artisans.
Today, we meet…
What’s your name, what’s your role in the company you are presently working at, and since when are you working there? Where are you from and where do you live now?
Ken Phillips / President at Ken Phillips Publicity Group, inc. Since 1997. I am from Los Angeles and live in Los Angeles.
When have you started to work in the music business?
1990, with Grammy Award winning songwriter Diane Warren
At what age have you started to love music?
Ever since I can remember. Probably since I was 2 years old, listening to Disney songs with my Grandma.
When you were 20, what was your dream (in the music world)?
I wasn’t exactly sure, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the music business working directly with artists in some capacity.
Have you ever been a musician? Tell us about your career.
No, except playing the trumpet in middle school for music class elective. I was absolutely horrible.
ABOUT THE MUSIC BUSINESS
Do you live from it?
With Jay Leno and Joan Jett, 2006
Is it still possible to make a living with music today? What do you need to do to make ends meet?
Yes, I think it’s possible to make a living in the music biz. If you’re creative and have the right contacts in the business along with a smart manager and well connected lawyer, you can certainly make a career in music.
Who did you meet in your musical path that was key to your development / success?
Three people led me to my success in the music biz. Radio DJ and program director Jhani Kaye. He introduced me to songwriter Diane Warren who gave me my first real job in the “music biz”. After working with Diane for 2 ½ years, I worked for publicity guru Bob Merlis at Warner Bros. Records. Bob is the reason I am a publicist today.
What do you like about your current position?
That I can absolutely make all my own decision and choose which clients I want to work with.
What would you change about the music business today?
Which great personal goal have you not achieved yet?
Working with the Foo Fighters, Shirley Manson of Garbage or Adele
With Dave Grohl, 2013
Vinyl, cassette, CD or digital?
with Pentatonix, winners at the Grammy Awards, 2015
ON ARTISTS AND MUSIC
What are your preferred music genres? Was it always the case through your life?
My musical tastes have always been all over the map, from pop to country to R&B and punk rock.
On a desert island you bring those 5 albums (no more!)
AC/DC BACK IN BLACK,
SADE- DIAMOND LIFE,
QUEEN- GREATEST HITS,
FOO FIGHTERS- GREATEST HITS,
Who is the friendliest artist/music celebrity you’ve met?
Quite a few, but the most friendliest and genuine were saxophonist Dave Koz, Terri Nunn of Berlin, Celine Dion and Lady Gaga.
Some artists weren’t friendly nor easy to work with. Can you pinpoint why or the circumstances of a negative experience? Is ego always the problem?
Ego is usually the main problem, sprinkled in with drugs and alcohol, but it always starts with inflated ego.
Which brilliant artist should have made it big, but didn’t (yet)?
Amanda F**ing Palmer
Who would you like to meet? What would you tell/ask them?
Barbra Streisand, you’re f**ing flawlessly perfect in every way!!
Thank you Ken!
To check out Ken Phillips’ activities, check out his web site (click on logo below).