Every other Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce the wonderful Jordan-na Belle-Isle…
The unstoppable force behind Canadian Invasion, a music management, publicity and touring company, Jordan-na Belle-Isle is managing the music business her way. Driven by a “sheer love of Canadian music”, Jordan-na now handles a roster of varied musicians and bands while continuing to learn everything she can about the business she loves and finding a way to take the industry to the next stage. Jordan-na’s tune is the new sound of the music biz, so listen up!
What drives you to do what you do?
I love the music business and just can’t stay away! Honestly, sometimes I think I’m insane as this industry can be a bit nutty and a lot hectic, especially since I run my own business. It sounds cliche, but I’m definitely motivated by passion and interest in what I do, plus I love the artists I work with and really do believe that everyone should hear their music! I love learning about the industry and regularly attend conferences, panels and courses and thrive on developing my skills and knowledge. I think that once you think you know everything there is to know about your chosen industry and are no longer interested in or passionate about your field, that’s it, it’s time to move on.
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
I really don’t think about gender. Career-wise, I find that there’s an even ratio of men-to-women. That being said, as a female music manager, perhaps expectations of my performance are lower, which works to my advantage when I do deliver. But all in all, I don’t think about gender. We all possess both feminine and masculine qualities.
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Are you crazy? Just kidding. No, I’d advise them, and this advice applies to all young women, to follow their instinct and forge their own path. Nobody ever did anything groundbreaking by following the status quo. We too often ignore our gut instinct and our inner voice and that’s when I’ve made my mistakes. It’s when I listen to myself, no matter what others say, that I succeed on my own terms. This is the most rewarding and definitely applies to any potential music managers out there, especially with the industry in a state of flux. Now is the time to be innovative and come up with new models that work uniquely for you and your artists. Learn as much as you can, go to panels, conferences, take classes, talk to people who are doing what you want to. Be a sponge. But at the end of the day, pick and choose what works for you, what speaks to you. And go out and find an independent artist or band you are truly believe in and offer to help them out with whatever they need. You will probably have to do this for free to start (I did) but it’s worth it to get your feet wet and see if you really like it. When you have more experience and more ideas to offer, then you can start charging for your services.
Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
Since your readers probably already know about the awesomeness that is Shameless Magazine, I think it’s okay if I plug ELLE magazine (the US version). Great writing, interesting topics and never silly or frivolous like other “women’s” magazines. ELLE writes about interesting and powerful women in a way that makes them human and multi-faceted. They recently came out with their Women in Music issue and profiled Atlantic Records head-honcho Julie Greenwald. It was a great profile of one of the most powerful women in the music business and how she got to where she is. Very inspiring and no silly questions about her makeup tricks or favourite places to shop.
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
That’s a tall order. I have a pretty optimistic world-view, despite some of the things that are happening and some of the things that need to be changed. I think that the most important thing is to be a positive force. I believe in karma; our actions affect and contribute to the universal energy. No action is done without consequence. Be aware of what you do and say. Think beyond yourself. How do my actions and words affect others? North Americans especially have this very insular, self-centered mindset. While it’s important to take care of yourself first, you also have to take care of the planet you live on and the people around you. No man (or woman!) is an island.
Check out Jordan-na’s work and all of Canadian Invasion’s musicians/bands at www.canadianinvasion.ca.