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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

6 Questions For IK Multimedia's Starr Ackerman

Musical artists the world over know and love Starr Ackerman, the PR and Artist Relations person for IK Multimedia. How could you not? She's fun, gregarious, accommodating and knowledgeable. But Starr is also an artist and producer in her own right, so she knows of what she speaks by virtue of her own experience. Visit Starr's blog and her YouTube channel for a real treat.

1) How did you break into the business?
My first real job was in radio, but I realized I wanted to make music rather than sell advertising or be on the air... So I went back to school to learn - Full Sail in Orlando Fl. I started out as a music producer/vocalist, and had gone to recording school to learn the art of recording, producing electronic music and mixing sessions (which is SO IMPORTANT if you expect to have real knowledge of the craft).

Once that was finished, I worked in studios as an engineer (for Mario Winans, and other heavy hitters), and on the side I was making music and playing electro-house shows with my pal DJ “Rolan Live” Sereny. It was a lot of fun playing the Hard Rock in my hometown of Tampa FL!!! But both jobs are sort of hectic in the “earning money” category, so I always had a side job...and that was at IK Multimedia and Sonic Reality (where I was doing freelance public and artist relations/marketing). Of course, now it is more of a full-time gig, and I still get to make music with the best software and work with some of the best artists for music software promotions. I still have releases on iTunes and Beatport (and like 300 download stores all over the planet for electro house and breaks).

2) What makes you unique?
I guess that I am a girl and I know how to produce music from start to finish, and use that knowledge to spread the craft to others. I don’t know too many girls who have done a kickass remix on an NIN song, or released their own music (and made the video too...). But I guess if you look at the NIN site, there are probably a LOT Of girls who made NIN remixes...and who knows. I do have a unique perspective as a female who works both on the business side of things in addition to the stage performance ( I’ve also thrown some pretty large scale concerts and festivals). I also thoroughly enjoy my job(s), so I think that’s why its easy for me to do PR and AR, as I naturally gravitate toward musicians, because we all speak the same language. So yeah, basically Here is a video I made when I was in Ibiza, Spain last summer for a song I solely produced and wrote, called “Anything”. I guess you could consider the genre- deep house, or electro.  

3) Who was your biggest influence? 
OMG... There are too many to count. On the female side? My Mom - she is a natural in PR, and hilarious! Bjork and Jewel, because they made their own music too, and it was really out there but still commercial enough to get notoriety.

Males - well of course, the CEO of IK Multimedia, Enrico Iori, is an absolute genius, so its easy to be inspired by his passion for music production software and hardware (pro audio toys!). Same with Gary and Dave Kerzner from IK Multimedia and Sonic Reality. Those two guys could sell ice to an eskimo, and have amazing talent at building unique teams of people that all get along and love each other! Bands? NIN- obviously, U2, Rabbit in the Moon (my friends!), Jane’s Addiction, The Cure, Massive Attack, Daft Punk, Delirium, Justice, Armin Van Buren....I am sure there are a lot I have forgotten to say- but you get the idea. I love alternative rock, beautiful vocals, French electro, trance and tribal music.

4) What's the best thing about your job? 
I love making music, so mostly that anything I write, say or breathe turns into someone making music at the end of the day, if I am not actually in the act of producing it myself. I also get to meet famous musicians all the time, and they are actually happy to meet me, because the software is so incredible and I am hooking them up. Mostly, I have met a lot of my childhood music heroes and they were some of the most down to earth people- to name a few- Trent Reznor, Nikki Sixx (he taught me how to use Logic!!!) Eric Avery, Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stefan Lessard from Dave Matthews Band, Outkast, Daft Punk and there’s a lot...

I mean, who could not be happy doing that? I could always be marketing toilet paper....talking to people about what is the best way for them to say “I love the way this wipes”, Or “This wipes the best!”. So I am pretty lucky that I get to market the tools that inspire musicians to make music/get Grammys, etc, instead of handing out toilet paper. When I was younger, I was a Smirnoff girl, dressed in a lime green cheerleader outfit handing out free a lot has changed over the years!

5) When and where were you the happiest? 
Hmmm, I guess that would be in 1 of 3 places, all the time: 1. Sleeping in my bed after a nice night in the club or a concert laughing with my friends. 2. On the beach in the morning before work- either surfing or just swimming in glassy clear water of South FL. 3. In the studio making music.

6) What's the best piece of advice you ever received? 
I’m not a huge fan of advice, so I try not to spread those “opinions” too much. But I am a big fan of kindness, and I would have to quote some lyrics from Jewel on this one: “In the end, only kindness matters...”.

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Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.


JLiRD808 said...


The Geeks said...

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