Webp.net-gifmaker.gif

I'm a Chicago-based journalist, musician, and band manager who got into media during college when I realized I could make a profession out of being a dilettante.

Curiosity is the constant in my work. Whether I’m interviewing a touring band or during a meeting with a non-profit, I often get a small pause followed by “that's a good question.”

I currently work freelance either as a consultant or manager for music artists — services and roles vary from publicity, strategizing releases, booking, design, and label outreach.

A few artists include:

With my current work, my ethos is to be useful for artists to grow. I mostly do this by tackling of much of the “business” work of music, in order to buy them time to actually create and play music.

My work with music artists has landed them profiles in places like the Chicago Tribune, write-ups on web magazines like Paste Magazine and Noisey (Vice Media), as well as playlists, including Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” playlist.

I’ve also booked venues in Chicago — such as Virgin Hotel, The Emporium, and Sleeping Village — and strategized outreach for record labels, which ultimately led to brokering record deals for artists.

Before this venture, I worked in communications for arts and civic non-profits or institutions. I've served as the Marketing & PR Manager for the arts organization Silk Road Rising, which focuses on promoting works by Asian and Middle Eastern American artists.

I worked on the communications team at Illinois Humanities throughout 2017, focusing on their arts programming during the City of Chicago’s Year of Public Art.” I also have served on a board for the Japanese American Citizens League.

I have written about the arts, literature, and music for dozens of magazines and online publications. Here’s a list:

  • Third Coast Review, VAM Studio, Off-Kilter Magazine, Buried Muse, Performer Magazine, Melted Magazine, POND Magazine, Gapers Block, Hooligan Mag, Collide Magazine, Post-Trash, and many more.

When I write, I aspire to help document Chicago's ongoing and blooming cultural renaissance and to give music journalism a good name. (I feel most proud when I hear a musician say “I usual don't like interviews but this was really fun.”)

I've interviewed Waxahatchee, Diet Cig, Patti Smith's son Jackson Smith, A Giant Dog, Sugar Candy Mountain, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Walters, Japanther, Real Friends, and many, many more. I had been an organizer for Logan Square festival Warble Daze and have helped run shows with music companies Fifty50 Shows and Notion Presents.

Skills and other interests I'm exploring:

A few fun facts:

  • I debated in the Capitol Building for my high school's constitutional debate team (we made top 5 in the nation!),

  • I've led my college's paper,

  • I've written stories for a Nairobi-based magazine while I studied in Kenya,

  • I (proudly) got my writing torn apart by a New York Times reporter during an internship,

  • and one of my bands opened for Guster.

I’m a conversationalist. Say hi at colinsaburosmith@gmail.com.