A new trade association wants to remind people that Nashville has more to offer than country music.
Five Nashville-based music industry professionals have started The Other Nashville Society, a new association aimed at bringing together non-country music companies, executives, and artists. The Other Nashville Society’s aim is to advocate and create a network for other genres like rock, hip-hop, pop and R&B that are thriving in the city.
“Nashville is like a small town, but everybody who writes and creates music outside of country is so spread out because they’ve never really felt like they had a place to go,” said Katie Fagan, one of the group’s five founding members. “I met a lot of people who were saying that anything that wasn’t country, they felt there wasn’t a central place for those people to go and be creative. It existed, but there seemed to be a lack of somebody to bring those people together.”
The Other Nashville Society plans to connect various music industry professionals outside of the country genre with one another, from artists and managers to songwriters and publishers. Fagan is an A&R Manager at Prescription Songs, while her co-founders include music licensing executive Josh Collum, publishing executive Mark Abramowitz, artist manager Ally Venable and singer-songwriter Holley Maher.
“Every genre is different when you are executing an artist. There is not necessarily a formula that works for country that also works for pop and vice versa,” Fagan explained. “We don’t want people to feel that they have to move to LA or NY or the UK, that Nashville is a place that it can be done.”
This week, the group began sending membership invitations to 150 professionals from record labels, music publishers, artist management companies, booking agencies and other businesses to build their community. For the time being, they plan to restrict membership to invite-only, but they also have a form on their website where individuals can apply.
“When we made our initial list of people that we wanted to invite in to be involved,” Fagan told Amplify. “It was agencies, music publishers, music labels, we even had some videographers and photographers and a lot of tastemaker-like people that we know. We wanted people who are very much interested in the shift that is happening in Nashville with all the other genres that are popping up. We want it to be a place where people can network, where artists can link up with an agent or the manager can link up with the unmanaged.”
Networking opportunities will be available through an online forum through The Other Nashville Society’s website where people can post important information about what is happening in the business, as well as share their creative endeavors. The group also plans to host in-person events throughout the year such as happy hours, showcases, and panels. The founders are in the process of organizing their first gathering for mid-July.
“We don’t want it to be this weird, exclusive thing. But we also want to be careful about the types of people we are bringing in,” Fagan explained. “We want to make sure that every person involved has something really great to bring to the table that can help one of the other people in the group.”
The group recognizes that in Nashville country is king. They have stressed that The Other Nashville Society shouldn’t be seen as an “us versus them” battle for the music scene.
“We love all of our friends, writers, artists in the country genre,” Fagan told Amplify. “It’s more that they have done an incredible job of making Nashville such an amazing home for country and it will always be there and we’re taking notes on what they have done. We just want to make sure that people feel that they can stay in Nashville even if they don’t write country or work in the genre.”
To learn more about The Other Nashville Society or submit to be part of the association, head to TheOtherNashvilleSociety.com.