A2IM Featured Executive: Rebecca Sansom, Record Label Owner/Artist Manager, Blonde Records
Welcome to A2IM’s Featured Executive feature. We will highlight executives making moves and supporting the growth of the independent community. Do you or someone you know fit the bill? Submit an executive here. Please meet this week’s featured executive, Rebecca Sansom, Record Label Owner/Artist Manager at Blonde Records.
Rebecca Autumn Sansom was named the NY Chapter of The Recording Academy’s ‘Member of the Month’ for August 2020. She is guided by the promise of a powerful, consciously evolving humanity. As a filmmaker she was invited by Oregon’s Congressman Blumenauer to screen her feature documentary Trainsforming America at the Capitol in DC. She won a 2015 Midsouth regional Emmy for her work on Tout Your Town, a travel series produced by Genuine Human Productions, Nashville TN. As a native Nashvillian, Rebecca’s life has been steeped in the sounds of Music City. Now she is hoping to disrupt the entertainment industry by creating a safe space for artist development, career enhancement and artistic vision with Blonde Records.
Rebecca had three iHeart Live Sessions set up for her developing artists, Celeste Krishna & Monarchs, M the Myth and Goldilocks, starting in mid-March 2020. When the lockdown postponed them indefinitely, she was grateful that her friend, and founder of Left Bank Magazine, Kristyn Potter had the idea to host the very first virtual indie music festival during quarantine. Together with Sam Sumpter from Brooklyn-based blog and radio show Bands do BK, they organized and produced the week-long event, Left Bank Live, which kicked off on March 17th—just days after New York venues shut down—and featured performances by legendary country artist Verlon Thompson, Ryan Vanderhoof from Akron Family, Preston Lovinggood from Wild Sweet Orange, Adult Swim/Netflix comedian Abby Feldman, dozens of influential artists from the NYC music community and tons of talent from across the world.
The festival was not only a success, but resulted in the formation of a robust indie artist community. To keep up the momentum and gain more exposure for her artists, Rebecca then decided to put her degree in broadcast journalism to use and start an MTV-esque music news show geared towards indie artists. The result: Blonde Records Music News, a funny, sexy and informative 15-minute weekly broadcast serving up music and music news in an enjoyable and easily digestible format, hosted on Left Bank Magazine’s YouTube channel. Each episode features one performer (usually female identifying, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, or an ally); segments on music tech start ups; at least one hard-hitting news story (ie: Liberty Media); special guests such as entertainment lawyer, Mike Lawrence; and her artists as correspondents. Sam Sumpter also serves as a correspondent and harnesses her knowledge of and connections within the Brooklyn music scene for Quick Picks, a regular segment in which she covers the local music that people are listening to and loving right now, and highlights five new songs or videos each week.
Comedic bits are a hallmark of Rebecca Sansom’s storytelling style. She says she grew up with MTV news and misses the visual way of discovering new music. She believes in the power of a consciously evolving humanity and that artists, through their influence, will have the greatest impact on that evolution. Kristyn, Sam, and Rebecca share in the hope that there can be a post-pandemic paradigm shift in the music industry that amplifies underrepresented voices and prioritizes equity. That’s enough for them to keep the show going, but the ultimate goal is to find sponsors and funding in order to pay the featured artists and correspondents for their time and talent.
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.