A music lover at heart IndustryMe founder Ray Sang is dedicated to shining a light on budding talent. Fascinated by the constant stream of new sounds she started the music and entertainment platform to give a voice to the creatives she felt were being overlooked by the mainstream, choosing to specialise in pop and R&B.
As a journalist who has remained passionate about sharing stories, Ray has built her career by having candid conversations with creatives about their journeys and perhaps unseen struggles. Seeing each interview as an opportunity to learn something new, Ray's approach to journalism is centered around giving fans an unfiltered insight into the entertainment industry – the good, the bad and the ugly.
- CEO Hack: To-do list and scheduling
- CEO Nugget: Focus on the lead classification
- CEO Defined: Being a visionary, a leader and having a clear idea of what you want to achieve
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ray Sang of industry me. Ray, it's awesome to have you on the show.
Ray Sang 0:39
so special to be here? This is super weird. I can't lie.
Gresham Harkless 0:43
Yes, it's so funny. We were talking a little bit before we get started. But you're doing so many awesome things. I'm super excited to have you on the show. As I know you're the one that's always easy interviewing and hear from other people. So before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about race so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And A music lover at heart IndustryMe founder Ray Sang is dedicated to shining a light on budding talent. Fascinated by the constant stream of new sounds she started the music and entertainment platform to give a voice to the creatives she felt were being overlooked by the mainstream, choosing to specialise in pop and R&B. As a journalist who has remained passionate about sharing stories, Ray has built her career by having candid conversations with creatives about their journeys and perhaps unseen struggles. Seeing each interview as an opportunity to learn something new, Ray’s approach to journalism is centered around giving fans an unfiltered insight into the entertainment industry – the good, the bad and the ugly. Ray, are you ready to speak to the IAMCEO community?
Ray Sang 1:41
I am Hello, guys. Thank you for having me.
Gresham Harkless 1:44
No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we got more into everything you're doing phenomenal with with your company, I wanted to hear how everything got started. So could you take us through what I call your CEO story, and we'll let you get started with your business?
Ray Sang 1:58
Well, I want to create kind of a side by accident. So while I was at university, everyone had this period where everyone was kind of like starting blogs, and you know, just doing things because they were a bit bored. So for me personally, I just kind of started something with no background in journalism, kind of no idea of what I wanted to do. But kind of seeing that there was this huge gap in the mainstream for underground talent. People weren't getting the time of day if they didn't have a certain number of followers on social media, or they weren't having a number of certain number of streams. And I just thought, well, the industry is not reflective of the talent that's out there at all, who's going to talk about these people. So I just I decided that I would, I had no idea what I was signing myself up for. But I guess you never really do. And, and I just kind of wanted to be a voice for the people who are being neglected. And for me kind of music had become about vanity three, like vanity metrics about all of these things that don't really matter. And I just kind of wanted to be different and being bring it back to the talent and the importance of the industry. So yeah, that's how I started.
Gresham Harkless 3:01
I absolutely love that. And I love you know, you've been able to kind of highlight and make a more of a representative viewpoint on the music industry. Because I think I remember I think when I grew up, there was a kind of a phrase kind of unsigned hype, and I think it was even like a publication or a site or something like that. But it kind of speaks to that where there's much more than sometimes we hear and if you don't hit the certain quote unquote, metrics, or the certain certain figures, you don't get that opportunity to have that light shine on you. So that's why I love everything you're doing as far as giving the the voice to maybe what some might say, the voiceless to some degree.
Ray Sang 3:36
Yeah, I am, I really have a passion for for being a voice for people who don't necessarily have a voice. And I also think, in particular genres. So for example, pop it you see a lot of white faces all the time. And there are black people or people of color making music. And I think just just examples of things like that, you don't see it. So if you don't see it, you're assume that it doesn't exist. And I think that it's very dangerous to like, have people thinking that there's only one type of person that can make a particular type of music when it's really not like that. So,
Gresham Harkless 4:09
so yeah, and I would say especially and I think that obviously the more creative industries because I think that's where you start to get stymied. And you don't have the creativity because you like you said, you have that, I guess that model of what this is, what pop is whatever any, you know, genre might be, and you kind of, I guess, put a ceiling on the creativity and opportunity to kind of hear from different voices with different perspectives and maybe have different levels of talent and a different kind of flavor, so to speak, to kind of integrate into making the music even better.
Ray Sang 4:41
Exactly. And even with things like female rap, for example, a lot of the female rappers that the current aesthetic is very like hyper sexualized, or if you don't kind of fit the mega stallion type mode. You're just not going to have a career and there's so many talented female rappers out there that don't necessarily fit that box. So it's like for people like them also just, you don't have to fit a certain mold in order to be talented or, you know, get a platform or receive exposure.
Gresham Harkless 5:09
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's one of the beautiful, beautiful things about this time and age is that we have opportunity to kind of find those. And I love that you created that platform where we can find, you know, some of these phenomenal artists that we may not necessarily know about. So could you take us through a little bit more on what we can find on your platform and the people that are listening to this right now?
Ray Sang 5:29
Sure, okay. So we have quite a range of things that are happening with the site, and then the platform more widely on social media and as such, so in terms of the actual platform itself, you'll find a lot of reviews. So like song reviews, album reviews, that sort of thing, you will also more recently find a lot of opinion pieces. So with everything going on with the with the Black Lives Matter movement, with us being a black owned platform, it was vital that we spoke about that. So we've been talking about a lot of the things to do with back black musicians, black artists, and sharing stories and our opinions on everything going on, there's a recent story that we just said about black women within the dance and EDM world. And that basically how they weren't being credited. So what's happening is that their vocals are being used on songs. And, and they're like the, essentially the main part of the song, but they're not receiving credit, which obviously translated into the way that they're paid. And royalties and you know, has adverse financial implications to stuff like that is also what you'd find in our culture section. And then as well as that, we also have interviews with covering talent. And more recently, we started to do that on it live as well. So you'll find that on our social media too.
Gresham Harkless 6:40
Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And again, kind of like we've been talking about is like so many times, I think, obviously, it's probably discouraging for artists like that. But I think it's probably even maybe discouraging for people that maybe want to do EDM or maybe want to do pop, or and thinking of like going that route and not seeing that there's anybody or anything, so they kind of get discouraged in the very beginning. So that's why I love that you created a platform, because obviously, it gives that opportunity for us to hear kind of different artists and different types of music, so to speak. But it also I think, is very inspirational for those people that want to even go that route and realize that it's not not possible, it's actually something people are doing, they're just trying to get their their name and their voice out there.
Ray Sang 7:22
pushable. And that's kind of something else that we're trying to expand more on within the next couple of years in terms of the education side of things. So a lot of people, they want to do stuff, but they just have no idea where it is they should start. So a lot of our events will be set will be centered around, you know, teaching people how to network, how to write songs, how to, you know, connect with the right producers, that sort of thing. And then, on top of that, we also do that through our ag live interviews, as well. So we'll be we interview people from the industry, and we get their advice on how to one break into the industry or much of their as an advocate. So yeah,
Gresham Harkless 7:57
nice. Absolutely. Knowledge is definitely power. Sorry, I appreciate you at creating the analogy for that. And so I want to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally, or your your business and your platform. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Ray Sang 8:13
Um, what's my secret sauce? I mean, is it a secret if I share it now?
Gresham Harkless 8:20
It's only me and you.
Ray Sang 8:22
I think well, in terms of the platform or widely, I think our secret sources are priority on long form content. Because something that I found, especially with reviews is that everyone kind of wants to be the first. So because everybody's rushing to the beat the first like no one really takes time with reviews and things like that anymore. So you'll get 100 word which is most likely copied from the press release, which is not really journalism, but we're not going to get into that. So yeah, you'll have a lot of that, and I that really irks me. So I've tried to avoid doing that. And that's something that me and my writing team, definitely try to avoid. So we try and make sure that all of our reviews are relatively long form, quite in depth and actually take time to make artists feel that we've seen and heard them. Because that's something that I feel is really important. These artists, I think music is a labor of love. So I think with that being said, You want them to feel like you've actually sat down and paid attention to what it is that they've put their heart and soul into. So I want and I want that to translate into the review. So with that being said, I'd say yeah, prioritizing long form content actually sitting and taking the time to sit with music and let it marinate before we actually
Gresham Harkless 9:31
start. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an apple book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient
Ray Sang 9:43
to do lists, I could not live without a D list. I think with me because I'm working across so many different time zones, working all sorts of odd hours all the time. I think I would not be able to keep track of everything without to do lists. And one other thing that I was Say I use quite frequently is scheduling. And that's everything from emails to tweets to social media posts, like literally everything is scheduled for me. Because obviously, I don't think it's appropriate to be emailing someone at like 10pm their time, just because it's an appropriate time you will time. So I think Yeah, schedule them. And I think Google Mel's really, really helpful for that. And they are there. They are fantastic when it comes down to scheduling email, so scheduling, and to do lists, just just to keep track of everything. And also, I like to take things off, it gives me a sense of satisfaction. It makes me feel like I've accomplished stuff. So yeah, I love I love it good to do this.
Gresham Harkless 10:38
Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question which, which is the SEO nugget. And this could be like a word of wisdom or piece of advice is something you might tell somebody that's a client, or if you were to happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self
Ray Sang 10:58
focus on delayed gratification. And the reason I say that is part of what we do focuses on a lot of upcoming talent. And something that I found is people don't pay attention unless you give them a reason to, and you're not going to be able to give them a reason to instantly it's not going to happen straight away. There's just it's just how the human mind works. People tend to engage with things that they're already familiar with. So and so to build that familiarity takes time. So yeah, I would definitely say don't expect things to happen right away focus on delayed gratification.
Gresham Harkless 11:30
Yeah, that's extremely powerful in it. And I think the there's a saying like the secret to the overnight success is that it takes 10 years. And I think so many times we reach so much success. A lot of times we just see that, I guess that snapshot of somebody's life or snapshot of their their accomplishments, but we don't see kind of like the delayed gratification they invested in so that those things can happen. And I think so many times is to our detriment, as people that are getting started with things, but also to the people that have put in so many hours and time and resources into what it is that they do that we don't recognize that these people sometimes have been playing the long game. And we need to do that ourselves. And we want to be successful.
Ray Sang 12:10
Personal like no overnight success actually happens overnight. So I definitely would agree with that. It's all it's always about this kind of opportunity meets the right timing. And that will only happen if you invest in time and way prior to that happening. So
Gresham Harkless 12:25
exactly is planting those seeds when you don't always see them sprouting. And once they start sprouting and growing, that's when we start to see the fruits of our labor. And so now I wanted to ask you what I call kind of my favorite question, the glue question even of the podcast, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So Ray, what is being a CEO mean to you?
Ray Sang 12:46
Oh, to be a CEO, to me means being a visionary. So it's kind of like you are the captain of a ship, you have to choose throughout the destination, and then steer everybody else to wherever to wherever that destination is. So yeah, I think being a leader and being able to manage people, all of that is all well and good. But even prior to that, you have to have a vision. And you also have to have some type of idea as to how you are going to get people there. because no one's gonna believe in that vision unless it's kind of steady and secure. And you have a clear idea of what it is that you are trying to achieve.
Gresham Harkless 13:24
Yeah, I love that. And it kind of ties into what we talked about what the hack is just I mean, that nugget is just understanding the vision and where you're going to go and understand the process that it takes to do there. And I think a true leader is able to not only kind of articulate that, but also kind of maybe be that motivational person for the people on the team as well to to understand that this is the vision, this is what it's probably going to look like. And I think when you're able to do that and set those expectations, that's when you're really truly able to lead and really able to create some phenomenal opportunities for the world.
Ray Sang 13:56
Sure. And the thing about being the captain is, that's just one role, the captain also realizes that they need a crew. So it's kind of also this idea of realizing that you can't do everything at once, and you can't do everything that needs to be done in order to get the ship somewhere. But you do have a role in choosing the destination and steering the ship there. Once you've got that in place, then everybody else will fall in line. So
Gresham Harkless 14:20
yeah, absolutely. And it is kind of like you have to have that ego to be able to start something and create something. But you also have to be able to step back and understand that you have people that are on the team that may be better than us in certain aspects. And that's the reason that they're on a team so that they can really shine their light as best as possible and create that win win win opportunity. So definitely appreciate that. That definition and I appreciate your time even more. But I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you and your team are working on.
Ray Sang 14:54
Well, the best way to get in contact with me personally would be by my social media. I'm raysangxoxo across all social media I had a bit of a thing with Costco when I was a lot younger which is why all my social media but but we're gonna roll with it and then to find industryme on socials our Instagram is industry me official and our Twitter is industry mee with two E's. And if you would like to make a submission to us it's firstname.lastname@example.org. As industry me put two insights about the same way over Twitter. And yeah, look forward to more educational content, more interviews, more reviews, and more music discovery.
Gresham Harkless 15:33
Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that we will have the links and information in the show notes and from one journalist at heart to another I appreciate all you're doing and the way you're getting people's names and the work that they're doing out. So truly appreciate that and everything you stand for and I hope you have a great rest of the day.
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a www.CEOgear.co This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.