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San Francisco - Greetings From The San Francisco Chapter Board: Suzanne Mino Koga
Suzanne Mino Koga - Artist Manager/Music Marketing Consultant
San Francisco Secretary & Governor
How/When did you get your start?
I have been in music my whole life, but my first paying gig was singing in a Waikiki showroom for Melveen Leed in 1984 for $50. My first music business job was with Roberta Flack in 1986. I had to pursue that opportunity for 5 years. Long story. Ask me about it.
What was the most interesting experience you’ve had while working?
Trying to make a living in recent times for myself and for the artists I represent have been extremely challenging. Not necessarily interesting but very complex and difficult.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve worked with and why?
Roberta Flack who is my friend, my mentor, a teacher at heart, a born artist. She remains one of the best storytellers I have ever heard and had a voice that has never been paralleled.
Who is someone you would like to work with and why?
I would love to learn from Simon Cowell or Roger Davies. For different reasons, they have created opportunity and built artists and empires. I admire their talent.
How does a band or artist become a brand?
Marketing, baby, market the talent to the right audience, align with like artists, products and your brand. It is a delicate process.
What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?
Laptop, Mac of course.
Where/how do you hear about new music?
My assistant, Graham.
What’s the best part about the San Francisco music scene?
How we all know each other. I love the community and sense of support.
What artist or band should people know right now?
Wendy Colonna and Davell Crawford.
What book would you recommend as a must read for someone?
Shubumi by Travanien
What’s a piece of advice you’ve learned that you wish someone had shared with you?
Do not give up, do your absolute best always, don’t be afraid to ask for help and to ask questions.
Growing up, which artists inspired you the most?
Carpenters, Roberta Flack, Jennifer Hudson (recently), Shirley Horne, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan.
How are emerging technologies changing the music industry in general and specifically your field?
Internet levels the playing field to a large extent. It’s a new world with much more competition, far less to be made with so many more entertainment options available today than before.
What Social Networking sites do you use the most?
Facebook and LinkedIn
What are your favorite performance venues in San Francisco?
Yoshi’s Bimbo’s and Teatro Zinzani
Do you believe mentorship is important? Who were your mentors early on in your career and what impact did they have on your experience in the business?
Of Course. Melveen Leed, Pam Sanridge, Roberta Flack and my parents, George and Ruth Koga. The 5 them are my greatest teachers in life and they gave me my backbone.
Who are your favorite new artists right now?
Roberta Flack, India Arie, Davell Crawford, Wendy Colonna. I love that I work with artists that I love who are some of my best friends.