Much of what goes into running a label feels like a mystery. Often times, we only see the end result of releases which eventually make their way into live shows. But who is actually running things behind the scenes? And how are those running it creating a better and more inclusive industry for the future?
That’s a huge task at hand, but the Liquid Stranger brand is hard at work driving positive change. Chloe Suit, marketing director and Emily Mitchell, merchandise director for the Liquid Stranger-owned labels WAKAAN and SSKWAN, are two women leading the brand and creating space for other voices along the way.
Both women spoke with DMNW recently about what they enjoy the most about their jobs, balancing multiple projects, and their advice for building careers in the music industry. Read below for the full interview.
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How did you get started in the music industry? Did you begin your career with this focus or did you sort of find it through different means?
Chloe: I started at a promotion company while still in college in 2016. After being on the event promotion side of the industry for a few years, I wanted to take a step in a different direction. I started freelancing for artists’ social media and marketing on tours and I met LUZCID who then introduced me to WAKAAN in 2018 when I started full time with them! I started with marketing and social media and then eventually became the Marketing Director for the Liquid Stranger brand as well! Now I am also assisting with label management and am extremely excited to continue learning and growing.
Emily: My first job ever was working at an upscale consignment store and that’s where it all began! I worked there for 6 years and learned so much about buying, trends, visual displays, events, customer service, scheduling, etc. When I graduated from university and thought about what my ideal job would be it was something where I could combine my background with clothing and my love for music.
What’s been your biggest takeaway from this experience with Liquid Stranger?
Chloe: My biggest takeaway is consistency. A lot of people burn out in the industry because it is constantly evolving and growing; there is always something more to do and to learn! If I could give myself advice when I first started out in the music industry, it would be to stay confident and don’t be afraid to ask questions and make suggestions to break the norm.
What’s something that you’re most proud of for accomplishing in this role?
Emily: Developing the Liquid Stranger Ascension tour merch line! That was the first tour where my ideas were brought to life. I was pretty nervous if people would actually like the items I helped create. It felt AWESOME seeing people buy those pieces and hearing their feedback.
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How do you balance all of the projects you work on? Since merchandise and marketing operate on pretty tight deadlines, is it difficult to manage the stress of your jobs?
Emily: It’s definitely a season-heavy gig, sometimes I wish I could clone myself! One day I may focus on designs and garment sourcing and the next I can be completely absorbed by customer service and fulfillment. I look forward to getting merch prepared for tour, because while we’re on the road I can focus all my energy into it.
Chloe: My work life is my personal life. I know that sounds cliche but I really do eat, sleep, and breathe what I do, because I truly love what I do. The people I have met through the industry are my friends (some I would consider family) and sharing the work experience with them is rewarding. Having an amazing support system at home from my boyfriend and our little pet family, lets me “turn off” when I need to.
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