What you will hear in our discussion with Indie Musician and Songwriter Bree Noble:
- How to Build Powerful Connection with Your Audience
- How to Succeed as Indie Female Artists
- How Indies Can Succeed in the Music Industry
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More about our featured guest Bree Noble
Bree Noble is an entrepreneur, musician and speaker. She founded Women of Substance Radio & Podcast to promote quality female artists in all genres. The Podcast, a 5 day per week show which promotes Independent female artists, hit #1 in New & Noteworthy in all 3 of it's categories and #4 Audio Podcast on all of iTunes. She draws on her extensive experience running her own music business, both as a solo musician and as an Industry professional, to train and mentor other female musicians through her “Female Musician Academy”. On her weekly Podcast, Female Entrepreneur Musician (also #1 in New & Noteworthy), she conducts interviews with successful Indie female artists and industry pros that are both inspirational and informational.
[00:00] Joel Boggess: Musician and podcaster, Bree Noble, welcome, welcome to ReLaunch. This is the first time we've done a show together.
[00:08] Bree Noble: I can't believe it.
[00:10] Joel: So good to have you on.
[00:11] Bree Noble: Long time coming, yeah.
[00:13] Joel: We've been looking forward to having you on the show, so thank you for your time Bree. And as you know, this show, it's highly practical because it is all about the ReLaunch, and how you did it. And it's also a little bit about becoming known in your niche, again, how you did it? And while, most of us, well, pretty much all of us have experienced numerous launches and relaunches throughout our lives.
[00:35] Joel: I generally ask our guests to zero in on the ReLaunch that has been the most transformational for them. And then we just unfold the story from there. And gosh, if you don't mind, let's just go ahead and do that with you right now. Let's jump in to the ReLaunch for Bree and then we'll weave in to what you're doing today with your podcast and some of the other things that you're working on. So go ahead, if you would. Bree's ReLaunch.
[01:04] Bree Noble: Sure. So, I am actually I'm a musician, but I'm also I'm a weird hybrid because I was a finance major as well as a music major. So I started out working in finance and I worked as a Director of Finance for an opera company. And it got extremely stressful because we, Opera companies don't have a lot of money, and we're constantly shuffling money around. So, I did that for five years and I dealt with a lot of stress in the job and on top of that I had these genetic markers that put me toward having Crohn's disease. And so, that and combination with the stress, I got really sick after I had my first daughter and trying to deal with the stress of work and my Crohn's disease escalating, and I ended up in the hospital.
[01:52] Joel: For those who don't know, and that would be me, what exactly is Crohn's disease? And what… Yeah, Go ahead.
[01:59] Bree Noble: Okay, it's like an ulcerative bowel condition. So, you can get to the point where you just can't keep food down, you can't absorb any nutrients, and you can loose a lot of weight, get really, really weak. And so, there was a point that I just said, “you know what, I cannot deal with this stress. I have a new baby, I have this job, and I have this condition.” And so I decided to quit my job. We moved a lot closer to my husband's work and I decided to stay home with the kids. And on top of that, I had been trying to be a musician on the side for years. Being that I had a major in music and I was a song writer, and I just… I was a performer and I just loved it. But it just never was working out for me on the side, so…
[02:46] Joel: When did you start, had that love always been there in you to perform, to sing, to act, to be on stage, or was that something that you grew into?
[02:57] Bree Noble: I'd say it's been there forever. I use to sing in the grocery store when I was three along with whatever was on the radio.
[03:06] Joel: You did that, too? You did that, too? I wasn't the only one?
[03:08] Bree Noble: No, yep, but really loudly though.
[03:11] Joel: Okay. Yeah, I would never do that, that would cause way too much attention to me. Don't you think so?
[03:15] Bree Noble: Yeah. No, I pretended I was on stage and stuff and I wanted people to look at me. But when I was in high school, I got really into music. I was in all these performing groups, I was in a barbershop quartet. I was in… I went to all these competitions and won awards and I just really loved it. And in college I did the same. I was in a performing group that advertise for the school. We toured like two weekends a month and went all over California. It was an awesome experience. We made two CDs when I was in that group. So, I just had this taste of the awesomeness of the music career and I wanted that, but I knew it wasn't practical. So, I went into the finance thing and constantly on the side I was always trying to join these bands, find a way to do music.
[04:02] Joel: Sure.
[04:02] Bree Noble: So, when I did quit my job and stayed home with the kids, after a while, I realized I've got more time, I could focus on music, but the biggest problem that I found was I didn't know how to do it like I just thought I wanted to find somebody else that was already doing something like another band or another group that maybe look like they were gonna have success, and I wanted to join alongside them.
[04:28] Joel: Right.
[04:28] Bree Noble: And I couldn't figure out how to do it on my own and I was scared to do it on my own. So, at this point, I did a lot of research on people that were doing what I wanted to do that were being successful, 'cause I prefer [04:43] ____ Churches, and I do a lot of inspirational kind of music. And so I decided to create this program, but it didn't come easy to me because I was super freaked out to make myself vulnerable because…
[04:56] Joel: Okay. So, Hold on, hold on before… You're blazing way too faster.
[04:59] Bree Noble: Oh, oh. Okay. [chuckle]
[04:59] Joel: Pei has already got her hand up, so we gotta, go ahead Pei.
[05:02] Pei Kang: It's amazing what we fear… When you were talking about earlier, you wanna be on a stage in front of people.
[05:09] Joel: I had no clue. I can't relate with that at all, by the way.
[05:12] Pei: Joel, I mean…
[05:15] Joel: I came out of the womb and I went, “Tadaa!” True story.
[05:19] Pei: For some of us, that's our biggest fear, but then you're talking about the fear when you start to launch or relaunch into this different kind of business. Could you expand on that a little bit that what were you fearing about?
[05:35] Bree Noble: Well, I realized that I needed to be my authentic self when I was on stage, and I hadn't been doing that pretty much all my life because I was born with glaucoma, and so, it was something that I was trying to kinda hide on stage. I felt like, “Oh they should accept me for my talent and they don't need to know about this.” And I was pretty good at hiding it most of the time. But I realized that if I wanted to really connect with my audience, I had to be authentic and I had to talk about it, so what I did was I created a program where I integrated songs that I'd written that were about my life and then talking about my life growing up with glaucoma, this visual impairment and basically, being legally blind since birth.
[06:24] Pei: Wow.
[06:25] Joel: Wow. Wait a minute. You know what? You and I are friends and I don't even know that Bree.
[06:27] Pei: You didn't know that, did you? I've been saving it for this moment.
[06:32] Joel: Wow. Thank you, thank you. I appreciate your transparency and your vulnerability here. Go ahead Pei.
[06:37] Pei: Yeah. So. Well, how was it when you first shared openly?
[06:43] Joel: Good question Pei.
[06:44] Bree Noble: Well, it was really scary, but the first performance that I ever did was at a fundraiser for the visually impaired. So I was really kinda smart in that way of like easing myself into it because it made a lot of sense at that event and people there knew that I had the visual impairment 'cause my mom was one of the people that worked for the organization. So, that was the first time. But the first time I actually went out to a church and did it, yeah, I was pretty scared 'cause I'd always wanted people to judge me on my music and then I'm afraid, well, this other thing's gonna come in and it's gonna change their judgment of me.
[07:21] Pei: My goodness.
[07:22] Joel: And it probably did actually.
[07:24] Bree Noble: Yeah.
[07:26] Pei: But you know to me that is so inspiring. For you to be able to perform while you actually have this vision impairment, that… If there are any other people listening or watching you perform and knowing that this is what you walked through and you didn't put that limitation on yourself, they will be inspired too. And if you don't mind I know Joel, you possibly forgot the story. Bree, could you bear with me? I wanna share a little story.
[08:07] Bree Noble: Sure.
[08:07] Pei: Quite a few years back when our dogs, Bubba and Jake, Golden Retrievers. They were therapy dogs, and we took them to a, it was a Lion's Club sponsored, part of… Kind of an event, a special Olympic.
[08:27] Joel: Yes, it was a version of the special Olympics, but it was for blind kids.
[08:30] Pei: Right.
[08:31] Joel: Blind and visually impaired.
[08:32] Pei: And we had this little girl coming and she couldn't see, but she was holding Bubba and she said, “Oh, you smell like a dog” and I said “I'm so sorry. He possibly needs a bath” and this little girl she just buried her head, her nose into Bubba's head and then took a big inhale and says, “I love dog smell.”
[08:57] Bree Noble: Ohh![laugher]
[08:58] Pei: I know.[laughter]
[09:01] Pei: So thank you for letting me share that story.
[09:04] Joel: Pei is waving at me right now. So…[laughter]
[09:05] Bree Noble: That's sweet.
[09:07] Joel: So. A few minutes ago, I said or you said that you were scared that they would change the judgment they had of you, if you came clean?
[09:18] Bree Noble: Right.
[09:19] Joel: And then I merely said, “Well, they probably did.” And it sounded like you kind of agreed or at least understood the direction that I meant with that answer. What did you think I meant when I said that?
[09:32] Bree Noble: I think you meant that it helped them identify with me because what I've found is that people… Everybody's struggling with something.
[09:40] Joel: Oh yeah?
[09:41] Bree Noble: And if someone gets up there and shows their true colors, like warts and all and their struggles, people immediately identify with you. I've had people come up to me and say “I don't have visual impairment but I struggle with depression and all of your songs just really hit me and just made me feel like I wasn't alone. That I'm not the only one struggling with things.”
[10:04] Joel: That's exactly right. And so when you put down your dukes basically, is the way I like to frame it, then its amazing that people will join with you and link up with you. And what happens in an entrepreneurial way is doors open for opportunities that you didn't even know were there. Has that happened for you? You put down your dukes and…
[10:30] Bree Noble: For sure.
[10:30] Joel: Okay. Yeah. Tell me about that.
[10:32] Bree Noble: Yeah. At least in my music career for sure. I was amazed at how many people, after concerts, would take my flyers and go tell people about me and I'd get all these referrals. When I was full on doing my music career and touring and stuff, I didn't have to call and get bookings, because I would get people calling me. And that was because they were fully identifying with me and feeling like, “Oh, my gosh, I wanna support this person.”
[11:01] Joel: That's awesome. And any entrepreneur regardless of what your business model is, that's what you want. People basically knocking on your door.
[11:11] Bree Noble: Yeah.
[11:11] Joel: Yeah. For sure, for sure. As long as you position yourself correctly, and you do it with authenticity, which is exactly what you did. So, I'm curious about this Bree, so what were some of the things that you learnt about yourself and your possibilities, your potential and your value as you started to drop the guard and to just be more you on the stage and in the lobby, and just talking with church goers, and people that were coming to you to share their story. What were some of the things that you learned or re-learned about yourself?
[11:51] Bree Noble: Well, I for sure learned that as a performer, you can't think of yourself as separate from the audience, and at the end of my performances, I would always talk about, I learned that I can't have a wall between myself and the audience. And, because, what's the point of being up there if you're not being your real self, you're not giving your all to it. And I also learned that I really performed better when I really focus on the words to my songs because it related to the stories that I was telling on stage, oh my gosh, my performance has gotten so much better. I wasn't thinking about technicalities. My voice was sounding perfect on every note, it was more about emotion.
[12:36] Joel: More about emotion, okay. Expand on that a little bit more because she's making an important point, that the connection was what really moved her on stage. Now, do you see, 'cause you probably watch and study, other singers, other performers, other people that are in the biz. Now, are you able to pick up on when other people are really, sing from their heart and other people that are just going through it like a transaction?
[13:07] Bree Noble: Definitely. I mean, with my, online radio station and podcast, “Women of Substance” I mean, that is what I'm looking for, we're called “Women of Substance” because I want them to have, number one, substance in their lyrics, I want them to be high quality, but I want them to just have substance in the stories they're telling and the emotion that they're exuding from their music, and I can tell. Number one, you don't want the production to overpower the emotion. If people are doing that, because they wanted to sound like this perfect pop gem, it's really gonna ruin the effect of it because you can't hear the emotion anymore, they've taken it all out.
[13:50] Pei: I so agree, because when we connect with other people, the words and all that, that's our left brain, the logical side, process the word. But then our right brain actually could feel, and that's a lot more powerful as we communicate.
[14:11] Joel: So let me ask you. Let me jump in and ask you this question: From a practical point of view, because everyone listening to the show is not a musician, what does that mean, when the production value overrides the emotion, in a practical way? We understand what it means on stage, but just regular people to people communication.
[14:33] Pei: Yeah, writing, it could be… Authors listening to the show could be other content creators.
[14:42] Bree Noble: Well, I think if you try to make it seem like this perfectly polished thing, like you're trying to achieve perfection, I think you actually don't have… Even if it looks and sounds like perfection, it's actually not, because you've taken out all the humanity of it.
[15:01] Joel: Oh, I like that, you've taken out the humanity by trying to overproduce your song, or your YouTube video.
[15:10] Bree Noble: Yeah, and I think that can be true about podcast, too. Sometimes, if it's too low produced, I think that these people have a personality. You know what I mean?
[15:18] Joel: Yeah.
[15:19] Bree Noble: And that's not this show, by the way. You guys really have a personality.
[15:20] Joel: Absolutely. Okay, good. Thank you, that's the right answer.
[15:24] Pei: So they give us a reason not to take out that “um”, “ah”.
[15:27] Bree Noble: Right. Right.[chuckle]
[15:29] Joel: That long dramatic pause. Okay, so talk about “Women of Substance” I love what you've done with your podcast because it is such a unique angle and you have chosen to really give a platform for female independent musicians, which I think there is a huge need for that. So why did you decide on that particular genre? And just share a little bit about what you're doing with the podcast, and the value that people are getting, your guests and then also your listeners.
[16:09] Bree Noble: Well, it started out because that's the kind of music I liked to listen to, so I made this little online radio station just for myself to listen to. And then I thought, “Why not let other people listen to this mix of music that I like?” And then, as I was, an independent artist myself, I started meeting all these other artists and I'm like, “Oh my gosh, there's such great music out there and it's not being played on the radio. What's the deal?” And so, I just decided, when I was deciding not to tour as much as a musician because I then had two kids and it was just getting too crazy to be gone all the time. I decided, what can I do from home and how can I help propel the community of independent artists, and that's where I came up with the “Women of Substance”, because it felt like they didn't have a voice as much as they should.
[17:01] Bree Noble: And I think… I mean, I've been shocked at how much quality music there is out there by female artists. And if I'm shocked by it, continuously… I mean, I've listened to tens of thousands of songs over the years by female artists and I'm still shocked about how amazing it is, that how many other people just don't even know that this stuff exists. So, that was why I created the platform.
[17:25] Pei: Awesome.
[17:25] Bree Noble: The radio station, the online radio station, combines regular music, like label artists along with Indies. But then when I decided to do the podcast, I wanted to highlight independence, so the podcast is entirely independent artists and it's a 30-minute a day show, five days a week.
[17:45] Pei: Wow! I mean, that got me really interested. So what do you think the top reasons why these Indie musicians actually didn't get a chance to have their voice out there?
[18:00] Bree Noble: Well, I think there's a big barrier. There's kind of this like in-crowd in a way, and it's hard to get yourself inserted into that, and it's hard to know who to trust as an Indie artist and a lot of times you have to have money, you know.
[18:18] Pei: Right. Oh yeah.
[18:19] Joel: Yeah.
[18:19] Bree Noble: Get your… A radio promotion is so expensive and even then there's no guarantee that the big stations are gonna play you.
[18:27] Joel: Sure. Gotcha. Hey Bree, refresh my memory. Did I introduce you to Charlotte, Charlotte Eriksson, did I introduce you to her? Has she been on your show?
[18:38] Bree Noble: She has not, but I did get an email from her, so I'm not sure if that was through you or not.
[18:42] Joel: Okay.
[18:43] Pei: The Glass Child.
[18:44] Joel: Yes.
[18:44] Bree Noble: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[18:45] Joel: Yeah.
[18:46] Bree Noble: I got something from her, and I haven't responded to her yet, but she's on my list.
[18:49] Joel: Yeah. Do yourself a favor and book a show with her.
[18:53] Bree Noble: Okay.
[18:53] Joel: Because she is phenomenal, and at the end of the show that we did with Charlotte we put her on the spot and she didn't know that we're gonna call her up, but we had her sing a song. She was sitting there on her kitchen table I think it was and she just sang out the most hauntingly beautiful song acapella style that I've ever heard.
[19:16] Bree Noble: Wow!
[19:16] Joel: And phenomenal story and interview, so. Go ahead Pei.
[19:22] Pei: That's actually a Relaunchshow.com/159.
[19:25] Joel: Which one, what is it?
[19:26] Pei: 1-5-9.
[19:27] Joel: Okay. Fantastic. Charlotte Eriksson, The Glass Child. Talking today with Bree Noble, her podcast is called Women of Substance, and we'll of course include the links, all the social media hotspots in the show notes and the article that accompanies this episode. But Bree, final words if you would on Women of Substance, not your Podcast, but just the whole idea of women being of substance and sharing their voice and the message that was put in their heart. Last words on why its important to really get in touch with what's down deep?
[20:18] Bree Noble: Well I think that that is the way you're gonna distinguish yourself as an independent. You don't have the power of the big labels, but like what happened to me when I started being authentic people gravitated toward me. I had that law of attraction thing going, and you don't be authentic just because you think you're gonna be attractive, you have to really be authentic, but it is the way that you're gonna distinguish yourself as an independent artist and that you could build a career because I really believe that you can't build a career if you're just trying to be like everybody else.
[20:51] Joel: Very well said. So being authentic really is a hitch ride on our theme, and the theme of elite which is learning how to rise above the noise in this case it would be by being authentic so that you can in fact be seen, heard, and recognized.
[21:08] Pei: Yeah, indeed. We don't have millions of dollars to market to everybody, so we have to share what's true for us and what's true in our heart, the value that we really wanna bring, so narrow it down our niche, our brand, our authentic brand is very key.
[21:29] Joel: Well said Pei. Bree Noble you're welcome back here on ReLaunch anytime. Really appreciate you taking the time to be on the show today. Thank you so much. Bye-bye.
[21:37] Bree Noble: Thanks a lot.
[21:38] Joel: You're very welcome. Bye-bye.
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