Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Finelli.
Lisa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Originally from Long Island, NY, I’ve been working in media, marketing, and music since 2001. Music has always been a huge part of my life as I studied dance and played string bass throughout my childhood. At 13, I discovered hip-hop and it changed my life, I found music that told a story I related to. During college, I took positions as the Producer of NCC News at Nassau Community College and Stage Manager of Q30 News at Quinnipiac University. Following graduation from Quinnipiac with a degree in Communications, I became a production assistant at MTV and later transitioned to a career in advertising, working my way through the ranks from Assistant to Media Buyer at NYC agencies Group M and Universal McCann.
In 2011, I received the opportunity to work at MPG Boston. My first year in Boston, I began working with a streaming radio station who connected me to local artists. I saw firsthand the need for artist support in New England and left the 9 to 5 world to become fully immersed in music. I worked with several Boston based arts mediums and curators including UNregular Radio, Dig Boston, and Leedz Edutainment. Each position allowing me to focus on Boston artists and events. My passion for hip-hop and connection to the Boston music community have remained the two biggest attributes of my career.
In 2015, I shifted focus to artist development, events, and talent booking, launching Xperience Creative. XC is designed to be of service to artists, by providing infrastructure, support, and development through branding, booking, marketing strategy, promotions, networking, campaign management, and education. Our tour initiatives have brought New England artists to venues and festival stages all over the world including Boston, New York City, Providence, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Hampshire, Hartford, New Haven, and even Europe.
We’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Do617, Lysten Boston, The City of Somerville, Killer Boom Box, Boston Smoke Shop, Laugh Boston, Hard Rock Cafe Boston, Paris Street Gallery, Social High, The Record Co., and Brighton Music Hall among others. My work with Xperience Creative has earned several Boston Music Award nominations including Promoter of the Year and Best Music Night. In addition to Xperience Creative, I’m the Communications Committee Leader for Women In Music Boston which has allowed me to work with powerful women all over the U.S. and prominent music brands including iZotope and Spotify.
Has it been a smooth road?
Looking back at my career, it has not been a smooth road, however, I learned the best lessons navigating those bumps. When launching your own business, no one tells you about the complications. First, being “the boss” is very rewarding, but it also means you’re making the tough decisions and you’re responsible for the success of people you’re working with.
The biggest surprise to me was how people react to your success. Often the people you think will be the most supportive, let jealousy or ego get the best of them. More often than not, I’ve been blown away by the support I’ve received from the most unexpected places. I’m grateful to those who didn’t believe in me as much as those who did, the non-believers forced me to work harder, the believers have been my support system.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Xperience Creative story. Tell us more about the business.
Xperience Creative is focused on events and client-services for creatives, we are designed to be of service to artists at all stages of their journey. We are broken out into three categories, event services, artist services, and development. The events component of Xperience Creative is specifically designed to create a unique experience for artists and event goers. Our tour initiatives, “BosToBK”, “BosEuro” and “United By Art Tour” have brought Boston artists to stages throughout the Northeast and Europe. We’ve curated several events of importance in Boston including The Boston Music State of the Union which addressed genre equality, The Workout, Xperience Sessions featuring Redman, and we booked Method Man and Redman for the 2016 Boston Freedom Rally in Boston Common.
Our artist services focus on management and support for seasoned artists who have performance and production experience. We assist the artist team in executing specific initiatives in regards to talent booking, tour coordination, marketing, endorsements, and apparel & retail support. Our development services are aimed at artists who are just starting their journey and are in need of infrastructure and brand development. We work with those artists to establish the brand and assist in booking, marketing, promotions, production, project rollout, digital platform development, social media strategy, and business organization.
Essentially, we connect artists to songwriters, producers, vocal coaches, choreographers, stylists, designers, photographers/videographers, venues, promoters, and media. The objective is to use their art to create a revenue producing business and a long-term, sustainable music career. We believe partnerships and team-building are integral components for growth, having the right team around you can move mountains, just as having the wrong one can be damaging to an artist’s success. Personally, I love that we’re invested in the long-term success of our artists. Most of our artists end up working with us for a year or more, which gives us the opportunity to gauge growth by setting goals, monitoring benchmarks, and analyzing results on a weekly basis.
I’m very proud of the range of artists we’ve been able to work with, it’s been incredible seeing the growth of artists like Marcela Cruz and Notoriety. Currently, we’re developing a very diverse group of artists including Genie Santiago, Ronin FM, and Zeke Martin, which is extremely rewarding. Additionally, we’ve worked with some more notable names in hip-hop including Redman, Method Man, Slaine, Cormega, Skyzoo, Snowgoons, Termanology, N.B.S., and Nappy Roots. I’m also excited about the Femme Fatale Boston platform, which provides opportunities for exposure for female singers, rappers, poets, comics, DJ’s, dancers, and entrepreneurs.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First, I’m grateful to all my clients for putting their faith in me and Xperience Creative. In terms of supporters, Brandon Matthews has been an event partner and teammate who always provides great insight. My best friend Sara Pereira who has taught me the definition of work/life balance. Devin Hill and Anngelle Wood have been great mentors. Alex Grigoryan is my branding everything and he’s a big part of the XC design.
I’m most appreciative to my fiancé, Ben Fallon and my dad Jim Finelli, who keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. They’re proud of my accomplishments, but always asking what’s next, which is the most important question any entrepreneur will face.
- Website: xperiencecreative.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xperiencecreative/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/XperienceCreative/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/YourXperience
John Mooney-Trespassion, John Brewer-J. Brewer Photography, Claudia Gonzalez-Xperience Creative, Katii Tornick-Katii Tornick Photography, Greg Caparell-Caparell Photography, Scott Bettano-Social High, Hostage Media, Bryan Trench-Ova Ez