Charese Fruge Talks To Chelsea Colvin
This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on January 19, 2021
Chelsea Colvin was born and raised in Dallas, and majored in Public Relations at the University of Texas in Austin. She moved to Los Angeles as soon as she graduated and started working at Republic Records in 2014 as a coordinator in Radio Promotion on the West Coast. She was promoted to Southern Regional in 2016 and moved back home to work out of Dallas. “I’ve been back in Texas enjoying quality BBQ ever since,” she says.
Chelsea always knew she wanted to be in the business. “I’ve always loved music and knew I wanted to be involved in the industry,” she says. “I grew up sneaking into venues in Deep Ellum to see local bands play almost every weekend when I was in high school. I spent all of my free time discovering new music, sharing those songs/bands with my circle, dragging friends out to shows with me, and getting excited every time some band that I had ‘discovered’ would move up to playing a bigger venue and thinking that I had some small part in it by spreading the word about them – which looking back at it now isn’t too far away from what I’m doing.”
How did it all start for Chelsea? “I was lucky enough to have several internship opportunities while I was in college at various labels and management companies both in Austin and in Los Angeles, and kept up with those relationships through the years,” she says. “After I graduated, one of those contacts knew of a coordinator position in Radio Promotion at Republic and the rest is history! I’ve learned a lot through the last 6 years from Gary Spangler and the incredible promotion team at Republic and I’m challenged every day to keep striving for the best.”
Republic records has an impressive A-list line up of artists. For Chelsea though, breaking new artists will always be the best part of the job! “Watching artists like Julia Michaels, Shawn Mendes, or Hailee Steinfeld go from playing conference rooms to becoming household names is so exciting and knowing I played a tiny part in that is so rewarding. Conan Gray is another one that is blowing up and I can’t wait to watch his continued growth,” says Colvin.
“A few of my favorite moments over the years would have to be getting to work with the Jonas Brothers during their reunion tour after attending shows as a fan when I was younger,” says Colvin. “Also watching Taylor Swift become the first artist to ever play back-to-back nights at AT&T Stadium in Dallas and hearing the Lollapalooza crowd sing back every word of Dean Lewis’ “Be Alright” after we got him his first number one earlier that year was amazing.”
It hasn’t always been easy for Chelsea though, “When I first started in this role, I had to learn that part of my job was being told ‘no’ on a regular basis,” she says. “That was NOT an easy pill for me to swallow and I’d take it personally every single time a PD would tell me that my record wasn’t getting added that week. With time, I’ve learned how to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ and that thrill is what motivates me every day to do better than I did the day before. It’s a competitive environment and every single ‘no’ that becomes a ‘yes’ is a victory that day and pushes me to tackle my next ‘no.’”
Last year was a tough one for everyone, including Chelsea. “2020 will forever be known as the year of change. It’s been extremely challenging but learning to adapt to every curveball the year has thrown has created a sense of pride. If we can make it through this year and succeed, we can truly get through anything,” she says. “I feel very grateful. I’m lucky that I have a job, and that my family is healthy and safe. My pets are very happy that I am home and available for a lot more snuggles than normal. I’m thankful to be enjoying this “new normal” where I’m able to see and keep up with programmers and friends virtually while we’re all stuck at home.”
As far as the COVID-19 impact on the industry, Chelsea is optimistic. “Entertainment is still growing as people are constantly looking for ways to entertain themselves through the pandemic. Music has always been an outlet for people (myself included) to cope with what is going on around them and act as a healer and this year has shown that it’s just as important as ever,” she says. “The biggest impact; however, has been on the live aspect of our industry and how the small independent venues and live music spaces will be able to come back in a long-term and healthy way. Live shows create that special bond between artists and fans – we’ve got to get creative and innovative on how to safely bring that connection back.”
What keeps Chelsea up at night? “Endless episodes of Below Deck, my neighbor’s toddler, and my newly adopted kitten that thinks 3 am is the PERFECT time to play fetch,” she says. As far as how she stays balanced, “Right now I’m focusing on taking some of this time to feed my brain by diving into new music and books and learning some new recipes! Usually when I’m traveling, I only have a few minutes here and there to feed my brain, so I’ve been enjoying listening to full albums, or the luxury of reading a few chapters in a row before I’m interrupted,” says Colvin. “I’ve loved the bonus time in the kitchen as well, being able to fully plan a meal and try out new recipes has been a fun way to get a break from the screen and do something with my hands.”
As far as what’s ahead for Chelsea, “Growth! This unique time has really given me a chance to focus on my goals and continue to learn as much as I can to grow toward the best version of myself,” she says. “2020 has been the year of overcoming obstacles and challenges and I’m looking forward to putting the new skills I’ve learned to use towards a kick ass 2021!”
Follow Chelsea Colvin on Instagram @chelspcolvin and Facebook @ChelseaColvin