by: Terri Cox (Mom of Keisja Cox)
If I can make any current or future young emerging artist’s parent’s journey smoother, even slightly smoother by sharing some of our experiences and lessons learned thus far I would be very pleased. At the beginning of our journey with our daughter I would have loved to have been able to pick up a handbook or article for some guidance on balancing artist management, family life and being the “Mom”ager.
Keisja’s Dad and I knew very early on in her life that music would be a part of her future. At age four, she would sing from the time she opened her eyes until bedtime. Around this same age she began to create her own musical versions of popular nursery rhymes (much to her brother’s horror) so it did not come as a surprise when she announced at 10 years old she wanted to enter a local singing competition. After being one of the winners in this competition she announced “I want to be a singer and record my own CD.” Fast forward to age 14, numerous songs written and co-written, many hours in the studio, numerous performances, a growing passion for her craft and a debut CD being released October 11, 2012.
Over the past four years, I have had the great fortune of witnessing many goals set and achieved by Keisja and some that have not been achieved; life lessons have been taught good and bad but the experience has made not only Keisja a better person, but me as well.
Lessons we have learned; communicate as frequently as possible with each other, always have a backup plan, ask your music industry contacts questions as they come up, clearly define your parenting role from your music manager role, always put time aside for music business so it does not overflow into family time, and never book more than two concerts a week when in main stream school. Each one of these lessons has helped us to balance the demands of artist management and family life. This is very important for all members of the family.
I work fulltime, so does Jason (Dad), and Zach (brother) is actively involved in Air Cadets and sports; because of these dynamics combined with Keisja’s growing popularity we practice some pretty creative organizing. In 2011/2012 school year, she did concerts at 20 Elementary schools. In addition to the concerts Keisja performed at fundraisers, festivals, spent many hours in the recording studio, attended vocal coaching, all the while going to school and maintaining Silver Academic Honor Roll. If our family did not work as a team half of these events would not have been possible. Teamwork is a must.
Keisja and I have attended three Vancouver Island Music Business Conferences; learning as much as we can from current and active music industry professionals. Their advice and direction has been invaluable. When we started this journey we had no connection to the music industry therefore we were entering into uncharted waters. At the conference Keisja had songs critiqued, attended song writing retreats, spoke to fellow artists while I attended workshops to learn about funding, touring, radio, producers and publishing. At the end of the first conference I was overwhelmed and my brain was swimming with information, all good but so much! After a nights rest and a chat with Jason, we sat Keisja down and asked her “Are you sure this is what you want to do, because it is going to take a lot of hard work from you and the rest of the family, so we want you to be sure?” Without hesitation she said, “Even more than before!” We have not looked back!
As the CD release approaches our excitement builds and I have found myself reflecting a lot. I have thought about the people we have met, the friends we have made, the events Keisja has been a part of, the opportunities, the assistance and the advice we have received from the contacts we have made these past four years. It is because of all these lessons, experiences coupled with her talent and passion that Keisja has been able to realize this goal! In closing, the parent in me cannot help express how very proud of Keisja I am and the “Mom”ager in me would not allow me to miss utilizing this blog to promote Keisja Cox’s’ Debut CD “Take Me Away” available at www.keisjacox.com and iTunes on October 11, 2012. Thank you for being part of our journey.