Q&A with Jennifer Buglione, Artist Manager and Public Relations
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Buglione, by Albert Baez.
“At Berklee, I gained a global understanding of the music business and met a global network of people who became like family.”
In December 2016, Jennifer Buglione, M.A. ‘15 founded Buzz Brigade, an artist management, booking, and public relations company. Previously, she was a freelance publicist for Giant Noise, one of the top public relations firms in Austin, Texas, where she worked with a variety of clients including South by Southwest and Twang Partners.
Prior to joining Giant Noise, Buglione worked with notable New York City agencies 5WPR and Sayles & Winnikoff Communications, where she created and implemented strategic campaigns for jazz musician Stanley Jordan, Hallmark, Little Airplane Productions, Hyperion Books, NBCUniversal, Syfy, Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame Awards, and Sonar Entertainment.
Through her years of experience, Buglione has delivered consistent results in local, regional, and national US media, including outlets such as The New York Times, The Huffington Post, CNBC, USA Today, and Indie Shuffle, among others. Currently, her roster of music clients at Buzz Brigade includes Tje Austin, Tish Hinojosa, Latasha Alcindor, Digital Den Records, and Just Gift, among others.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree in Berklee’s Global Entertainment and Music Business program at the Valencia campus?
Since I can remember, I always loved music, especially hip-hop. I had my finger on the pulse with new releases, tracks, rumors, gossip, etc. As my musical repertoire expanded, I began to explore more. I treated music as a hobby and didn't know that I could turn it into a career. Once I became an entertainment publicist, I had a few side music projects, and the hunger for the music industry grew stronger. When I applied to Berklee, I was at a big turning point in my life, first because I'd gone through rounds of interviews with music-related companies like Grooveshark, Warner, or Sony, and second because I was ready to commit to music but music wasn't ready to commit to me. Applying to Berklee and getting accepted proved to me that I was ready for the next iteration of my professional life.
How has your Berklee experience influenced you as a professional, and what experience do you carry with you now?
I've gained a plethora of music business knowledge that I think many people don't know about. I'm armed with a global network of people that are like family and a global understanding of the entertainment industry. Once you see yourself as a small piece of this big world, you notice all the other small pieces and how you can work together to become a big piece. That’s one of the lessons that we were taught.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career, your startup, and anything else you are currently working on?
I've officially launched Buzz Brigade, an artist management, booking, and public relations company. It took me some time to figure out how to combine my previous professional skills plus the skills I learned at Berklee. I'm focused on working with creatives that have a fan base to empower them to be independent while operating at their fullest potential. Starting a company isn't easy and takes a few wrong turns to teach you valuable lessons. Also, you need to have a team of people who believe in your vision, and you must be prepared to deal with your worst critic: you. In less than one year, my management roster includes Tish Hinojosa, a well-known Latin American folk artist; Tje Austin, an R&B singer known from season 1 of The Voice; and most recently, Latasha Alcindor, an amazing poet and hip-hop artist. Each are touring and releasing new music. I also have the pleasure of doing PR for Digital Den Records, a techno and house label run by Berklee alumnus Kareem Clarke M.M. ‘15 and Ian Cahill M.M. ‘12, along with two emerging artists, Just Gift and Fouled Out. If that wasn't enough, Will Stone M.M. ‘15 and I are looking to produce a series of livestreamed concerts to raise money for various causes and charities.
What aspect of working at your own company is the most fascinating and enriching?
I'm one of those people who has two jobs at all times. I've worked in many industries— from fashion to a Bikram yoga studio—so there isn't a job I can't do. At every single job I've worked at, there was always something missing, a desire for more. Since I've started to work for myself, I don't have that feeling anymore. I can choose the type of clients I work with, even if doesn't pay well. I can choose the strategy to implement and make the tough decisions. Our program director Emilien Moyon always told us to learn how to do one thing really well and use that as your starting point.
What are the tips you'd give to current students who will be entering the professional world this year?
Know what you want to do, and if you don't know, try everything. Don't be afraid to reach out and network with people you don't know. Most importantly, take a risk and step outside your comfort zone. Some people wondered why I moved to Austin and didn’t stay in Brooklyn, and the main reason was finances. It was cheaper to live in the ‘live music capital of the world’. The internet is a beautiful thing because you can create what you want where you want. Look at secondary cities if you want to create a startup, it's cheaper! Also, don't do things just for the money; you'll never find happiness.
Is there something else you want to share with us?
I'm always looking for ways to expand my roster and collaborate with everyone, whether it might be producing a show, create music, or bookings. I'm open to everything and everyone.