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January 2017: Takeoff
Written by:
Emily Plazek

20170109, 903amEST, PIT-LAX

1) The stewardess gave me a second cup of coffee and I feel indebted to her now. 

2) The guy in front of me reclined his seat back and I’m slightly worried that my macbook screen might crack because it’s wedged oddly onto this little pull-out table. It’s cool, he doesn’t know, it’s cool, we’re cool. 

3) Truthfully, I’m trying to be chill about not getting a window seat. I keep telling myself people love the aisle seat — but I don’t get it, this sucks I can’t see anything. 

4) This is the first few months I’ve had an iPhone and man, oh man, having my iTunes library automatically sync to it is a game-changer right now for this flight. I totally get why people like these.

5) My pen exploded all over me. I’m slaphappy tired, it made me laugh. It's whatever, man.

I took this picture all by myself.I took this all mI took this all by myself.Cali, baby.

The plane took from Pittsburgh off 3 hours ago, so we’re halfway to LA now. It's ironic that I'm starting all this while on the way to one of the music industry hub cities -- that was unintentional but cool.

I’m on my way to LA as the manager of a conscious female rapper, Kellee Maize. We’re going to film a Cartoon Network Adult Swim TV show episode Kellee is guest-staring as a “Pop Star” in, and hit up a recording studio to record the track she sings on the episode. We’re staying at the Jimmy McNichol beach estate, her childhood tv show star actor father that she just found a few years ago. Kellee, her husband Joey and baby Mateo are meeting up with me in a few days. 

Over the next 10 days, my plan is to run around LA informational interviewing as many music industry players and leaders as I can squeeze in between Kellee’s gigs. The IMBM is coming along so quickly but I have a few chunks that crave more insight. I even rented a car for the first time so I could be extra mobile (#babysfirstcarrental).

I’ve spent most of this morning airport adventure listening to the drafts of my next music project, LvF (it's an EP). Body, Airbnb, Grey Area, Airplane, Origami. My producer dERS is working on the final versions and I’m just basking in how long it took to find him and my MIC team. My music is finally starting to sound in real life how it sounds in my head. It took so freaking long, I’m relieved to be here. I can't wait to release the EP.

January 2017 has been on my mind for months and months. I’m one of those people that loves to plans things out (my rationale is that I don’t want to miss out on anything because I ran out of time to do it - I admit, sometimes I notice that bleeds into creating a lack of spontaneity, I’m working on that), but January 2017 wasn’t quite about that. Not a new years resolution or anything either— January 2017 is the beginning of the journey I’ve spent the last decade preparing to begin. Everything I’ve worked for and research has finally assimilated, and I've known it in my gut for a while. I'm pumped.

Here is an example of the puppy I wish was mine. We met on the boardwalk. Can you tell he's missing an eye because he was abused as a puppers? Sweet puppers.

I’m Emily Plazek, the indie musician, CEO/Founder of MIC PGH (Music Industry Connected - Pittsburgh), manager of rapper Kellee Maize, cycling/kickboxing instructor and senior corporate consultant. I'm writing here because little Emily, the younger me, always wanted someone to share their journey into being an indie musician (+more apparently), and I know there are many others out there just like her.

That sentence right there is what high school senior Emily Plazek could’ve never guessed (or even understood) when she sat alone at her piano super upset because she had no idea where to even begin with becoming an indie musician. Heck, she couldn’t even admit to herself let alone out loud to anyone else that that was what she wanted: to be an indie musician. (Oh the shame.) She had a long way to go: more real-world and university education to attain, a company to start, a corporate realm to conquer, some fitness instructing to learn and toss into the mix (who knew?), teaching experience to gain, and about 500 more piano/singer-songwriter songs to churn out before she got here.

But I finally got to January 2017: the beginning of sharing with the world the entire reason I founded MIC PGH in 2013, and why I went to the University of Pittsburgh to study business instead of music in 2009.

I finally get to share answers with all the other indie musicians out there who also asked “but, crap, where do I even freaking begin?” when they couldn’t knock the idea of their own music career dreams from their minds. I am finally ready to start sharing answers with 18 y/o Emily and all of you who can relate to that specific frustration.

"...but, crap, where do I even freaking begin?"

--- Indie-Artists-to-be around the world

If you follow the Sanctuary blog, and all the @EmilyPlazek & @MICPGH social media all year-long, you’ll get to watch the grand finale field experiment of my company’s flagship product we’ve been developing for nearly a decade: the IMBM, the Indie Music Business Model. I created the IMBM because it didn’t exist and I wanted it — and I knew so many other musicians like me wanted it, too. (Most of us just didn’t know it yet.)

I'm staying with some nice people, and here is the nice puppums who'd turn and jump up when I stopped petting her to type again. Heaven. Distractive Heaven.

If this is the first time you're hearing about the IMBM and what MIC is all about, here, I'll fill you in:

The IMBM (Indie Music Business Model) is the business model indie musicians can follow to create successful, full-time, income-generating indie music careers — on their own terms, anywhere. It emphasizes the following:

1) independence (avoiding the financial and legal risks usually involved in signing to a record label), 

2) living in any non-hub city you want (you don’t need to relocate to NYC, LA, or Nashville),

3) keeping your butt covered by managing your business basics (and always treasuring ownership of your product), 

4) balancing finances and branding with adjacencies (I’m taking the rapper I manage to LA to act on a TV show — lifestyle branding is the secret to income-generation, man)

5) and understanding the whole landscape of options in your career so you can see the connections and then choose for yourself what you want to do, to get to where you want to be (vague but epic sentence.)

There are a ton of good books, blogs, podcasts, classes on how to become an indie musician - they’re useful, I’ve enjoyed most of them. However, I’m writing the IMBM via a blog and a book printing (later on) as the book I always wanted but couldn’t find: an actionable, cross-genre applicable, real-time relevant manual with specific lists of to dos and options so I can comb through and understand the big picture. 

I also wanted to hear something new for once, I wanted a new angle. So I pulled in corporate analyses that no one’s done yet, and I led the entire development while being an entrepreneur leading a business team, and a songwriting indie musician myself. Everything we at MIC add to the IMBM is real-time relevant (one day my beloved iTunes will be obsolete, we all need to keep up with reality.)

Where I am right now.

At the end of the day, I can’t tell any indie musician why they should be pursuing music, or which route to take. There’s no right or wrong answer, try not to let anyone convince you of that. I’m personally not a fan of being gung-ho about quitting your day job to dramatically start your life as a full-time musician, with a flourish of your cape as you shout “sayonara” to your former employer - but for some people, that’s the dream. If so? Dude, ignore me. You do you. 

The IMBM is all about figure out your dream, build it into reality by educating yourself with the IMBM and other materials (keep learning!), and pace yourself so you never give up. It’s that simple. 

Heck, the IMBM is relatable to most dream careers -- we focus on musicians here at MIC but you can see the overlap if you follow along this year. Seriously, I work with entrepreneurs in all industries (see the Marketing side of MIC) and I know this is applicable.

2017 will see the release of the IMBM concepts through this blog, and the application of its concepts through Emily Plazek music to prove that the IMBM works. I'll keep writing these Sanctuary blogs in this format because it's how I write usually, and it plays into the IMBM. You'll see. The LvF EP is coming soon.

Follow the @MICPGH and @EmilyPlazek Social Media and sign up for the mailing list here, you'll be glad you did. And please share all your thoughts and comments!

Till next time,

Em

January 2017: Takeoff
January 2017: Takeoff
MIC is my baby.

20170109, 903amEST, PIT-LAX

1) The stewardess gave me a second cup of coffee and I feel indebted to her now. 

2) The guy in front of me reclined his seat back and I’m slightly worried that my macbook screen might crack because it’s wedged oddly onto this little pull-out table. It’s cool, he doesn’t know, it’s cool, we’re cool. 

3) Truthfully, I’m trying to be chill about not getting a window seat. I keep telling myself people love the aisle seat — but I don’t get it, this sucks I can’t see anything. 

4) This is the first few months I’ve had an iPhone and man, oh man, having my iTunes library automatically sync to it is a game-changer right now for this flight. I totally get why people like these.

5) My pen exploded all over me. I’m slaphappy tired, it made me laugh. It's whatever, man.

I took this picture all by myself.I took this all mI took this all by myself.Cali, baby.

The plane took from Pittsburgh off 3 hours ago, so we’re halfway to LA now. It's ironic that I'm starting all this while on the way to one of the music industry hub cities -- that was unintentional but cool.

I’m on my way to LA as the manager of a conscious female rapper, Kellee Maize. We’re going to film a Cartoon Network Adult Swim TV show episode Kellee is guest-staring as a “Pop Star” in, and hit up a recording studio to record the track she sings on the episode. We’re staying at the Jimmy McNichol beach estate, her childhood tv show star actor father that she just found a few years ago. Kellee, her husband Joey and baby Mateo are meeting up with me in a few days. 

Over the next 10 days, my plan is to run around LA informational interviewing as many music industry players and leaders as I can squeeze in between Kellee’s gigs. The IMBM is coming along so quickly but I have a few chunks that crave more insight. I even rented a car for the first time so I could be extra mobile (#babysfirstcarrental).

I’ve spent most of this morning airport adventure listening to the drafts of my next music project, LvF (it's an EP). Body, Airbnb, Grey Area, Airplane, Origami. My producer dERS is working on the final versions and I’m just basking in how long it took to find him and my MIC team. My music is finally starting to sound in real life how it sounds in my head. It took so freaking long, I’m relieved to be here. I can't wait to release the EP.

January 2017 has been on my mind for months and months. I’m one of those people that loves to plans things out (my rationale is that I don’t want to miss out on anything because I ran out of time to do it - I admit, sometimes I notice that bleeds into creating a lack of spontaneity, I’m working on that), but January 2017 wasn’t quite about that. Not a new years resolution or anything either— January 2017 is the beginning of the journey I’ve spent the last decade preparing to begin. Everything I’ve worked for and research has finally assimilated, and I've known it in my gut for a while. I'm pumped.

Here is an example of the puppy I wish was mine. We met on the boardwalk. Can you tell he's missing an eye because he was abused as a puppers? Sweet puppers.

I’m Emily Plazek, the indie musician, CEO/Founder of MIC PGH (Music Industry Connected - Pittsburgh), manager of rapper Kellee Maize, cycling/kickboxing instructor and senior corporate consultant. I'm writing here because little Emily, the younger me, always wanted someone to share their journey into being an indie musician (+more apparently), and I know there are many others out there just like her.

That sentence right there is what high school senior Emily Plazek could’ve never guessed (or even understood) when she sat alone at her piano super upset because she had no idea where to even begin with becoming an indie musician. Heck, she couldn’t even admit to herself let alone out loud to anyone else that that was what she wanted: to be an indie musician. (Oh the shame.) She had a long way to go: more real-world and university education to attain, a company to start, a corporate realm to conquer, some fitness instructing to learn and toss into the mix (who knew?), teaching experience to gain, and about 500 more piano/singer-songwriter songs to churn out before she got here.

But I finally got to January 2017: the beginning of sharing with the world the entire reason I founded MIC PGH in 2013, and why I went to the University of Pittsburgh to study business instead of music in 2009.

I finally get to share answers with all the other indie musicians out there who also asked “but, crap, where do I even freaking begin?” when they couldn’t knock the idea of their own music career dreams from their minds. I am finally ready to start sharing answers with 18 y/o Emily and all of you who can relate to that specific frustration.

"...but, crap, where do I even freaking begin?"

--- Indie-Artists-to-be around the world

If you follow the Sanctuary blog, and all the @EmilyPlazek & @MICPGH social media all year-long, you’ll get to watch the grand finale field experiment of my company’s flagship product we’ve been developing for nearly a decade: the IMBM, the Indie Music Business Model. I created the IMBM because it didn’t exist and I wanted it — and I knew so many other musicians like me wanted it, too. (Most of us just didn’t know it yet.)

I'm staying with some nice people, and here is the nice puppums who'd turn and jump up when I stopped petting her to type again. Heaven. Distractive Heaven.

If this is the first time you're hearing about the IMBM and what MIC is all about, here, I'll fill you in:

The IMBM (Indie Music Business Model) is the business model indie musicians can follow to create successful, full-time, income-generating indie music careers — on their own terms, anywhere. It emphasizes the following:

1) independence (avoiding the financial and legal risks usually involved in signing to a record label), 

2) living in any non-hub city you want (you don’t need to relocate to NYC, LA, or Nashville),

3) keeping your butt covered by managing your business basics (and always treasuring ownership of your product), 

4) balancing finances and branding with adjacencies (I’m taking the rapper I manage to LA to act on a TV show — lifestyle branding is the secret to income-generation, man)

5) and understanding the whole landscape of options in your career so you can see the connections and then choose for yourself what you want to do, to get to where you want to be (vague but epic sentence.)

There are a ton of good books, blogs, podcasts, classes on how to become an indie musician - they’re useful, I’ve enjoyed most of them. However, I’m writing the IMBM via a blog and a book printing (later on) as the book I always wanted but couldn’t find: an actionable, cross-genre applicable, real-time relevant manual with specific lists of to dos and options so I can comb through and understand the big picture. 

I also wanted to hear something new for once, I wanted a new angle. So I pulled in corporate analyses that no one’s done yet, and I led the entire development while being an entrepreneur leading a business team, and a songwriting indie musician myself. Everything we at MIC add to the IMBM is real-time relevant (one day my beloved iTunes will be obsolete, we all need to keep up with reality.)

Where I am right now.

At the end of the day, I can’t tell any indie musician why they should be pursuing music, or which route to take. There’s no right or wrong answer, try not to let anyone convince you of that. I’m personally not a fan of being gung-ho about quitting your day job to dramatically start your life as a full-time musician, with a flourish of your cape as you shout “sayonara” to your former employer - but for some people, that’s the dream. If so? Dude, ignore me. You do you. 

The IMBM is all about figure out your dream, build it into reality by educating yourself with the IMBM and other materials (keep learning!), and pace yourself so you never give up. It’s that simple. 

Heck, the IMBM is relatable to most dream careers -- we focus on musicians here at MIC but you can see the overlap if you follow along this year. Seriously, I work with entrepreneurs in all industries (see the Marketing side of MIC) and I know this is applicable.

2017 will see the release of the IMBM concepts through this blog, and the application of its concepts through Emily Plazek music to prove that the IMBM works. I'll keep writing these Sanctuary blogs in this format because it's how I write usually, and it plays into the IMBM. You'll see. The LvF EP is coming soon.

Follow the @MICPGH and @EmilyPlazek Social Media and sign up for the mailing list here, you'll be glad you did. And please share all your thoughts and comments!

Till next time,

Em

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