With our last feature of 2022 we are bringing you a true inspiration and boss, Katrina Frye the CEO of Lauretta Records. Lauretta Records is an independent music label based in Los Angeles, California with a unique focus on supporting underestimated artists to develop their voice and brand in a new way. They believe tv & film are the new radio to move music forward and an incredible arena to give songs a space to be shared. Lauretta Records partners directly with companies based in Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville, and have placed over 60 songs in the last three years from movie trailers, promotional pieces, television shows, and national commercial campaigns. Since graduating from Claremont Graduate University with her Masters in Arts Management Katrina has embarked on a new approach to “old traditions” in the arts economy. Launching Mischief Managed in 2013, she experimented with a subscription-style company offering management and marketing support for artists of all mediums. After working with over a hundred artists through workshops, lectures, and one-on-one coaching Katrina wanted to narrow her focus within the music industry. Founding Lauretta Records in 2020 from her living room floor, she seeks to create space for underestimated artists and musicians. She brings together her ten years of music industry experience, determined to engage indie artists in a sustainable way. By giving artists education and access to information, she believes empowered artists make our entire industry stronger.
Among everything else, Katrina is an adjunct college professor, part-time business consultant, full-time mother, and avid lover of surfing and skating.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
My now husband, then boyfriend was in a college band. It started to make money and get more gigs so I offered my help. From merch to business planning I was able to jump in a see this whole new world that I had no idea existed. I was able to tour and see even more jobs and sides of the music industry. I loved it and still love it now. There is no one way in and no one way to “the top”. As a women and women of color I am honored to make space for more people like me and hopefully for the next generation to come.
What is a day in the life like?
Right now, I have two kids so I work from home. I start my day with getting the kids ready and then clean up the house so I can have mental space to think. I get a to-do list going and read through all my emails. From there I usually have a zoom call with a client, vendor, or artist. I always listen through music from our catalog and spend most of the rest of day in operations, scheduling, and organizing.
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
I love walking with an artist from beginning to end of a song, idea, or visual concept. It’s so encouraging to cheer them on to see something moved out into the world and get affirmation.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Being CEO is a lonely job. I don’t say that for pity or empathy but the reality is you must make a lot of decisions for the present and the future by yourself and then work to earn trust and respect from your team to have them journey with you.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Take your time and don’t wait for someone to open a door for you.
I’m only here because all my ten years of experience culminated to me understanding this side of the industry but I’m also only here because I didn’t wait for someone to make me a CEO. I created this company based around my skill sets and my aspirations.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Yes, my parents were also collectors and they would put on vinyl every Saturday when it was time to clean the house and do chores.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
I love seeing mainstream artists now only offering vinyl as the only tangible item to sell/keep. I think it’s special but at the same has driven prices up for us indie artists. I would love to see more companies offering small batch vinyl product for people like us who want to keep up with this resurgence but can’t purchase 500+ vinyl at a time.
Who has been influential to you and your growth as a professional in this industry?
I’ve admired Madeline Nelson CEO of Heads Music and now the Indie Label Head for Amazon Music. I was able to chat with her during my Black Independent Music Accelerator program I participated in with A2IM. She was honest and open about her experience and I love how she focused her career on Independent Music.
Anything else you’d like to add; if not tell us what you’re listening to:
I’m a huge Lizzo fan and I’m getting ready to see her live so that’s all I have on repeat. For vinyl I just Sia’s album “This is Acting” and as always it’s even better on vinyl.
Lauretta Records: @laurettarecords
Lauretta Records: www.laurettarecords.com