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Working in the recording industry takes wits, skill, and the keen ability to make opportunity happen. That means most people just aren’t cut out to work in audio, music, or, honestly speaking, anywhere near media and the arts. Then there are those who, whether through natural inclination or sheer determination (or a mixture of both), have what it takes to grind, network, and chart their own unique path towards success and satisfaction. Recording Connection graduate Desiree Holiday is one of these people.
First interviewed for our newsletter back in July 2016, Desiree has spent the past few months working a number of freelance audio gigs, including cleaning up old master recordings for a local Nashville based rapper, assisting her former mentor Ric Web on a super hush-hush project, and generally getting her face known to those in the know. This means she’s even done a number of gigs free of charge.
As it turns out, Desiree was just one degree of separation away from making the connection that would lead to her getting hired as a producer and board operator at the streaming radio giant. Desiree explains:
I asked a friend of mine, Montoya Martin, she owns her own business, Healthi JunkFood, that’s the name of her business. So I’ve been a loyal client of her for a long time and I just asked her, ‘Do you know anyone in radio or in audio that needs help?’ And she said she knew a guy, his name is Ruben Hunter who had a show he was trying to get aired on WLAC 1510, one of the local radio station down here.
She hooked me up with Ruben, and he worked at the radio station at iHeart with 1510 WLAC. So, I helped him produce his podcast as far as making interviews, editing audio, doing a lot with him on that. And so from there, he kept his ear to the ground for me and just let me know, ‘Hey, they have an opening here, such-and-such, you ought to apply for it.’ I was like, ‘Oh, crap. Let me do that.’
And I did. Just being in that environment, having been able to meet the manager…when they got my resume, they were able to put a familiar face to it. They got me in for the interview and I got the job.”
People in the arts and media need other people who can do the work, who are trustworthy, dependable and hardworking. Get someone in the ecosystem to vouch for you, either through talking you up, or simply working with you, and that’s often your ticket to bigger and better things. Desiree was smart. She knew she had to connect with the right people and get into the right ecosystem to be able to show the pros what she can do.
And if you’re thinking Desiree is just one of those people who have a way with words, a naturally outgoing people person, Desiree will be the first to tell you otherwise:
I don’t consider myself a social person at all. I’m a true introvert. I find complete joy in staying at home watching TV…I had to tell myself, like, don’t be afraid of people. You know, you gotta be willing to meet new people and make new relationships no matter how uncomfortable you might feel. I had to learn the art of small talk and through small talk, I’ve gotten to meet so many people and just make different connections.”
Besides the regular gig at iHeartRadio, Desiree is still using her newfound connection-building skills to expand in several exciting ways. Now she’s setting her sights on another side of audio:
A friend of mine has been working on an animated series that he needed sound design for, so I’ve started working on that. And that is something I really want to do and focus on when it comes to sound and engineering. I just feel like that’s where my expertise is. I like producing, I like music, but I really prefer, you know, to work on Foley noise and producing, even soundtracks for film.”
We can’t wait to see what’s next Desiree!