The weekly “My Music Row Story” column options notable members of the Nashville music trade chosen by the MusicRow editorial crew. These people maintain key positions that assist advance and promote the success of our trade. This column shines a lightweight on the invaluable individuals who spin the wheels and hold the music enjoying.
JoJamie Hahr serves as Senior Vice President of BBR Music Group, the place she guides and oversees the day-to-day operations of the label group, its imprints and its roster of artists, together with ACM Artist of the Decade Jason Aldeannearly as good as Dustin Lynch, Chase Rice, Craig Morgan, Blanco Brown, Jimmie Allen, Parmalee, Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll and extra.
Hahr started his radio profession in Florida earlier than shifting to Nashville to work in promotion at WSIX. His profession stops embrace time at MCA Information and The Valory Music Firm. BMG acquired BBR Music Group in 2017, and Hahr was promoted to senior vp of the label group in November 2020.
Hahr will likely be honored as half of the present class of MusicRow’s Rising Ladies on the Row on October 20. For extra particulars concerning the course and the occasion, click on right here.
MusicRow: The place did you develop up?
I grew up in Inverness, Florida. It was a really small city in Citrus County, Florida, about two hours from Orlando. I went to College of Orlando on the College of Central Florida.
How did you begin your profession?
I went to school early. I used to be 17 and had performed two years of twin enrollment at college. I used to be already taking public relations and promoting for my main throughout my first semester. Sooner or later I used to be strolling within the communications corridor and noticed a flyer. It mentioned “If you happen to like nation music and need to have enjoyable, name mike moore at K92 FM. I known as him and obtained an interview for an internship. I keep in mind that for 2 weeks earlier than my internship interview, I would not let any of my mates change radio stations. I needed to know all the pieces that was happening and to review.
My final day of internship, I keep in mind all day I attempted to not cry as a result of I did not need to go away. I preferred it a lot. Mike known as me into his workplace and mentioned, “We are able to rent you part-time, however we will solely offer you six hours per week. I simply began screaming. He mentioned it was the primary time somebody cried when he employed them, not fired them. [Laughs]
These six hours went to about 2 p.m., then 4 p.m. and eight p.m. All through school, it went as much as 39 hours. They put me on the morning present after I was 18 or 19. I used to be the occasions coordinator within the promotions division. I used to be working two different jobs and going to high school full time on the identical time.
Do you know then that you simply needed to remain within the music enterprise?
Sure. I wasn’t a type of children who needed to be within the music trade – I did not even realize it existed rising up. It is just like the flyer mentioned, “If you happen to like nation music and need to have enjoyable…” I fell in love with the corporate.
How did you get to Nashville?
Mike Moore, who my story begins with, left and went to Hartford to be this system director. I stayed in Florida. We have remained excellent mates as a result of he is actually extra like household to me. Proper after Hartford, he went to the WSIX in Nashville. He had been asking me for months to come back to Nashville. On the time, my complete household was in Florida and I simply wasn’t prepared to depart.
The morning after a Tim McGraw live performance in Orlando, I used to be the one individual exterior within the storage and I used to be unloading the promotion truck. I assumed, “It is time for me to develop up.” I known as Mike from the storage and mentioned, “Hey, I am prepared to come back.” It was Might 2003 and I used to be right here Memorial Day weekend. I took over the place of promotion director at 23 years outdated.
What was the subsequent step?
I used to be at WSIX for a little bit over a yr after which Mike left. He went to Portland, Oregon to be this system director there. At that time, I knew I needed to be on the file facet, in all probability as a regional promotion rep. I used to be assembly individuals throughout city attempting to get a foot within the door of a label.
I met Jimmy Haren and he gave me the very best recommendation I’ve ever obtained. He mentioned, “In your free time, sit down and take into consideration what you’d do in the event you have been a promotion rep at Damaged Bow or MCA. Collect these concepts and begin sending them to label VPs. I assumed, “I am unable to do that.” What in the event that they assume I am silly? He mentioned, “They don’t seem to be going to assume you are silly. Individuals see the initiative or an thought far more than they see a resume. I may even evaluation your concepts earlier than sending them. He was such an important mentor.
Scott Borchetta employed me at MCA as promotion coordinator. I did this for nearly two years. So Jon Loba employed me to be a promotional regional in Damaged Bow. We now have had Craig Morgan, Megan Mullins and this new man Jason Aldean, which nobody knew about. Jason did not do a conventional radio tour, however he did go and play full band exhibits for radio. I keep in mind the primary gig I took him to, he performed for 3 individuals in Alabama.
Then you definately went to Huge Machine.
I used to be in Damaged Bow for 2 years as a regional after which Jon and I left and went to Huge Machine to assist begin The Valory Music Co. We have been there opening day in 2007. I used to be within the Southeast promotion and Jon was Vice President of Promotion. Three years later Jon left and got here again to Damaged Bow and opened up the entire BBR Music Group. I stayed one other three years, so I used to be at Huge Machine for six years. We began with Jewel and justin-moore [on Valory] then we signed Thomas Rhet and Brantley Gilbert.
What introduced you again to BBR?
After my final a part of my contract ended, I known as Jon Loba and known as John Esposito in March. Espo had nothing for me till October, and Jon created a VP of promotion place for me, so I got here again right here.
Now you’re Sr. VP of the label group. In your expertise, how has the label modified through the years?
We all the time thought Damaged Bow/BBR Music Group was the little label that might do it. We simply stored hanging out. We had a lot coronary heart. We have been that label, I hope, that labored properly for everybody. We made mates, we constructed relationships. We’ve not all the time had the best artists. We have all the time had Jason and his trajectory has been so nice, however for a very long time we have been generally known as the Jason label. Over the previous two or three years, we’re so proud to have additionally turn out to be the jimmy allen label the jelly roll label the Lainey Wilson and white brown label. Many times.
How do you assume you grew up like that?
We all the time come again to the artists. These are the artists that we’ve got been capable of signal and promote their work and imaginative and prescient. This additionally comes all the way down to the acquisition of BMG. We had plenty of coronary heart and plenty of soul – we in all probability might have stored going, however when BMG acquired us, it gave us sources and a extra world attain. This gave us a range of sources which led to a range of listings.
What was an early profession second that you’ll all the time keep in mind?
Jason was within the working for ACM’s new male vocalist and Craig Morgan was additionally. Benny Brown, our proprietor on the time, had paid for everybody on the label to have a ticket to go to the awards because it was our first nomination. Every individual. Our seats have been actually the final row on the very high, however we have been so pleased to be there. Jason received and I simply keep in mind everybody standing up and holding palms. It is so tacky, however I really feel prefer it’s the epitome of Damaged Bow. Since then, I really feel like we’re all nonetheless arm in arm.
You’ll be honored to MusicRow’s Rising Ladies on the Row breakfast on October 20. What recommendation would you give to younger ladies beginning out of their careers?
Girl or man, I come again to the recommendation given to me by Jimmy Harnen. Relying on the job you intend to do, do not simply ship out a resume and hope somebody sees you. Assume such as you’re doing this job and provide you with concepts for presenting your self that means. Mine have been foolish radio promo concepts I despatched out each week, and it took me about eight months to get seen, however I persevered. I discover that individuals, particularly younger individuals, are so afraid of wanting silly. Fortunately, I by no means cared about wanting silly. [Laughs]
What’s your definition of success?
Happiness, ardour and pleasure. All of us get caught within the life sample, but when I ever get to a degree the place I am not excited or exhausted, I do not need to do this anymore. For me, my model of success could be to all the time be pleased and excited to come back to work day by day.