Rachel Feigelson is an incredibly accomplished young woman in the music industry. Two years ago, she created her own music consulting and management company. Rachel works with independent artists who already have established and successful careers, but are in the process of rebranding, growing their fanbase, and reaching new demographics. She’s worked with artists such as Drew Chadwick of Emblem 3, Shae Brock (check out my article on her work here!), and Taylor Dayne, an 80s singer who was ranked by Billboard as the #35 Top Female Artist of all Time and has toured with Michael Jackson. One of Rachel’s biggest successes occurred while working with Taylor–for the 30-year anniversary of Taylor’s hit single “Tell It to My Heart”, she organized a promotional video that included celebrities such as Kris Jenner and RuPaul lip-syncing to clips of the song. Rachel has been incredibly successful in her career thus far, and she got her start right her at Boston University.
Rachel was a member of BU’s class of 2018, where she got a Communications degree in Public Relations. She was involved in student government for two years before she decided to focus more exclusively on her music career, and she was a member of Sigma Delta Tau. It was actually through her involvement in this sorority that she was able to pursue one of her first big opportunities in the music industry. As her sorority struggled to find a performer for one of their philanthropy events, Rachel decided to use some music manager contacts she had acquired through a previous internship in the music industry to see if she could find someone willing to come out. She thought that one of these emails was going to the manager of Emblem 3, but when she got a response, she realized that it wasn’t their manager at all–it was Drew Chadwick, a member of Emblem 3 himself. They set up a FaceTime call, during which Drew showed Rachel some of his new work since becoming an independent artist, and he expressed the difficulties of being an independent artist as he worked to rebrand and find a direction. It was this conversation that inspired Rachel to help artists like Drew professionally, and she ended up flying to Los Angeles later to work with him. Her experience helping Drew allowed her to discover a passion for music management and consulting, and she knew she wanted to start her own company someday.
Rachel went on to study abroad through the BU LA Program in her spring semester of senior year, a common track for COM majors at BU. She secured an internship with Matt Graham, who manages artists such as Cody Simpson, Jasmine Thompson, and Nicky Romero. During her time in LA, she was able to sell over 200 tickets for a Nicky Romero show in LA that conflicted with the first weekend of Coachella. She was also able to gather contacts and create a network that helped her feel comfortable enough to stay in LA and continue building her career after graduating.
Rachel knew that she wanted to go to law school to continue her career fighting for artists’ rights, so in her gap year after graduation, she wanted to work for a music management company. It was during this time in LA that she met 80s singer Taylor Dayne, and they become instantly connected. Rachel wanted to help Taylor rebrand and grow her fanbase, but she had reached a fork in the road of her career–she could take a job in music management, which would mean that by contract she’d have to stop working with Taylor, or she could take a job outside of the music industry and continue working with Taylor. Rachel made the bold decision to take a job at a nonprofit, which allowed her to work towards establishing her own company, and the decision seriously paid off. It was during this time that Rachel put together the video for “Tell It to My Heart,” and this gave her the momentum to leave her job and focus on her company full-time. Through Taylor’s encouragement, Rachel was able to invest all of her energy into this project, and she now has a successful music management and consulting company through which she has continued her work with both Taylor Dayne and Drew Chadwick. Now, almost two years after the establishment of her company, Rachel has been named a Top Entrepreneur by Yahoo Finance. Rachel is now pursuing a JD in Music Law at Southwestern Law school, and she hopes to continue advocating for artists as a music lawyer.
Rachel’s story is so inspiring, especially because she got her start right here at BU. Her advice for making the most of your BU experience is to really enjoy the time you have here. College will fly by, and it’s so important to make the most of your experience. Get involved by joining clubs, but also make sure you’re prioritizing your grades. Rachel’s advice for finding a balance is, “Look at things that bring you present joy with long-term rewards. If you’re going to be spending so much time doing something, make sure it’s worth it.” For her, this meant leaving StuGov in her junior year to focus more energy on her budding music career. She was still able to develop her leadership skills and find joy and passion in what she was doing, just in a way that more directly benefited her career path–it’s all about finding that balance.
For COM kids at BU, Rachel specifically recommends really paying attention to your classes. She took so many influential courses here that are still helping her today (including the infamous COM101). She also took a 500-level course entitled “Persuasion and Public Opinion” that has seriously benefited her in her career. The class focused on persuasive writing and networking, and it gave her the skills necessary to convincingly reach out to people like Kris Jenner for the production of “Tell It to My Heart.” She also highly recommends a PR class called “Managing Corporate Crises and Issues” to anyone who is able to take it; this class gave her a background in crisis journalism that she has been able to fall back on during the current COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has been detrimental to the music industry, as so much of this business is reliant on personal contact. Without the ability to tour, play shows, or engage with fans in-person, musicians have had to resort to livestreams and online communication. During this lull in concerts and events, Rachel has been able to write articles on the pandemic because of her well-rounded background in Communications. This sort of flexibility is so important, and BU’s diverse curriculum really prepares us for the dynamic nature of the work force. One last COM-specific piece of advice: if you have the opportunity to study abroad through the BU LA Program, do it. This program was so influential as Rachel started exploring her career in music management and consulting, and if she hadn’t done this program in the last semester of senior year, she never would’ve had the contacts and resources necessary to feel comfortable moving there after graduation. Although it’s definitely a little sad being away from campus for your last semester, you’ll have no regrets once you land that dream job.
Rachel’s last piece of advice is also the best she’s ever gotten: it’s better to be annoying than to be forgotten. When you’re reaching out to people, it’s always better to follow up and be persistent than regret not trying harder. If you don’t get a response from a hiring manager or potential client, wait a week, try again, and move on. Don’t take rejection too hard–great things don’t happen overnight. As long as you’re persistent in pursuing what you want, you are bound to do great things. She also says to keep in mind that people can often tell what your motives are; she’s found that working in the music industry, clients know when a consultant is only interested in them for money or fame. Passion leads to more effective work, and when you are operating with good motives, people see that! Stay dedicated to the people you are helping, and you’ll be more successful.