“A dream is nothing without a voice to tell its story.”
That’s the tagline that Calley Bliss — the founder of Entertainment Jill – acknowledges is somewhat cheesy, but it perfectly describes what her new company strives to do: foster talent and give female musicians a voice.
A native of the Twin Cities, Bliss grew up singing, studied jazz voice at the University of North Texas, worked in the Dallas-Fort Worth musician circuit, moved to New York City, worked musical events, freelanced, moved to Boise, Idaho, taught at a small private school and built curriculum for music classes there (take breath … whew) before returning to her native area.
Bliss moved back to Minnesota not only to be with family, but to start working for herself. So she crafted a purpose-driven company that uses all the skills she acquired. Most importantly, she wanted to combat the trends of an industry that tends not to nurture female talent.
“I didn’t want to become irrelevant and I also recognized that there’s not that many females that are leading (in the music industry),” she said. “And when I look back at my experiences, it’s really hard to find strong female that weren’t competing with me, and that’s started to become more prevalent … all the boys are hanging out having beers and all the girls are sizing each other up. It’s something that we do to each other and it’s something that the industry does to us.”
That’s where Entertainment Jill comes in. The company offers services for those with background vocal and voiceover work.
“A lot of the time, it’s smaller companies that don’t have big advertising budgets … and then music using voices as a texture, and background vocals. People are starting to outsource fringe musical needs, like background vocalists,” Bliss said.
But that’s not where Entertainment Jill stops. Bliss has recently started a new monthly podcast called #LocalVocalList and has already interviewed the likes of Caroline Smith, Claire De Lune and Chastity Brown.
“I believe the music industry is in need of more discussion around how artists are doing what they’re doing,” Bliss writes on her website. “Press often covers the releases, the shows, the gossip, the fashion. But before any of that can happen, there’s a process. This is their work. This is their job. These are their experiences which shape the person, and the music. This podcast aims to showcase that process from the perspective of your favorite local lady singers.”
So, as the company evolves, what’s the future of Entertainment Jill?
“It might end up becoming an artist representation platform or a label one day. I can see it going that direction. That would be five years down the road,” Bliss said.
Local Music Tap is a blog aimed at promoting Minnesota-based musicians, bands, shows and events. If you have music blog ideas, please email email@example.com or leave a comment below. Also, follow the Local Music Tap on Twitter and on YouTube.