Carina Glastris: Music Manager + Creative Director
Introduce yourself to us! What do you do in the industry? Where are you from?
Hey! My name is Carina Glastris and I am a music manager and creative director, and also work in creative marketing. I am originally from Chicago, and moved to LA in 2014 to attend USC. I currently manage the band Moontower and the fashion blogger Courtney Trop (@alwaysjuding), and I am the Director of Marketing at STEVIE, a CBD brand founded in 2020 by Courtney.
How did you get your start in the industry, and how long have you been in the industry?
I had my heart set on the music industry by age 13…. As such, I was extremely determined to go to college in LA. I didn’t have a clue what was in LA or anything about the music industry, but I knew all of the artists I loved went to LA to make their albums and speak with their teams, so I knew that’s where I needed to be. As soon as I got to USC, I joined the Concerts Committee and was lucky to get an internship in music management the summer after my freshman year. While at USC, I had a number of internships across many different areas of the music industry and stayed on the Concerts Committee for all four years, serving as Executive Director by my senior year. I fell into music management by accident while learning how to help a friend make a music video, began managing Moontower at the beginning of my senior year at USC and have never looked back.
When did you know being in the business is what you wanted to do? Was there a specific moment where you were like “oh god, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life”?
Actually there was! When I was 13, my mom’s best friend was facilitating a creative partnership between Fall Out Boy and Nintendo. After my mom declined the invitation insisting my sister and I go, I found myself backstage at the Allstate Arena in Chicago meeting Fall Out Boy – my heroes and hometown legends – and all of the support bands on the bill. That experience was literally my peak behind the curtain of the music industry operating at its highest level, and I was like a kid in a candy store. I was blown away by everyone backstage who was running around, wearing all black and looking very important. I promised myself from that day that I would work every day until I belonged backstage at a concert. :)
Is there anything you struggled with (or even still do struggle with) being in the industry?
I have struggled to find senior-level music management mentors who are women. Music management has been a deeply male-run section of our industry for generations, which makes the pool of voices to look to for advice quite limited. I hope to be a resource to women and non-binary people looking to join the music industry and looking to work specifically in management.
What is the best part of your job? Why?
The best part of my job is the beginning of the music release cycle, when the music is finished and the artist and I get to sit with a body of music to ideate a rollout plan. I love marketing and love that my job as a music manager allows me to work cross laterally between the creative and business development facets of the industry. From choosing branding elements, colors and stylistic decisions, to information cadence, budgeting, and the nuts and bolts of the distribution of the music, putting together these pieces to support a body of work is my favorite part of what I do.
An incomparable aspect of my job is being at shows and touring with my artists. If I could live in the feeling of watching fans lose their minds at a show, I would. My intention for my work has always been to give as many people the feelings of bliss and belonging that I have experienced at shows. I have developed a personal connection to the audiences of the artists I manage and seeing them enjoy themselves at shows is the most gratifying feeling possible.
Is there someone who you consider as your mentor in the industry?
I have worked alongside the legend Simon White who manages artists such as Phoenix, Modest Mouse, and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, and he has become a great mentor and friend. I have also been very fortunate to get to know creative director Molly Hawkins over the course of the pandemic, and am thoroughly inspired by her work and understanding of the industry. I was recently introduced to music manager Elena Awbrey who has the most insane roster of women including Lauren Jauregi, Kilo Kish and CHIKA [who is nominated for Artist of the Year this year at the Grammys!], and am really looking forward to getting to know her.
What advice do you have for women who want to get their start in the music industry?
Be bold in pursuit of what you want. Make friends with other women and non-binary people in the industry, keep them close and build your teams around them. Follow your heart and work your ass off.
There is no one way to get your start in entertainment, so you must pave your own way and go forward with passion!
Have you ever been turned down or not taken seriously because you were a female in the industry? What did you do when put into that position?
Unfortunately, this is the case for most women who work in the music industry. I believe we are in a positively evolving environment for women in the industry, but I have certainly been disrespected, talked over, had ideas stolen and overlooked by men in the music industry and in business. When I’m put in that position, I work to have compassion for why they might feel the need to be disrespectful to women and move on as quickly as possible. It’s not a matter of sweeping it under the rug, it is a matter of not making additional space for negative and outdated behavior. Rise above and meet disrespect with grace and maturity.
What do you do as the director of marketing at a CBD company?
First of all, I am so fortunate to have been able to join the STEVIE team this summer. To have been offered the opportunity to grow with a small brand I really believe in has been a gift in a challenging time for the music industry. As Director of Marketing I have designed the brand’s email marketing presence, developed product rollout cadences, designed and formatted marketing materials, and taken a leading role in finding creatives and commissioning assets for the brand. Additionally, where necessary, I have been producing and executing small and safe COVID-compliant shoots.
What are some of your other hobbies? What do you do in your free time (which we know can be very hard to find)?
To be honest, my hobbies are really important to me and have become even more so during the pandemic. I think having a diverse set of passions allows life to be really rich and puts perspective on the fact that as individuals we are more than our careers. I love interior design, gardening, writing, cooking, arranging flowers, running, meditating, and looking through retro interior design books and magazines, amongst other things. :-)
Who is your all-time favorite artist?
What is something you can't live without?
Exercise and self-care. I am very intentional to make time for myself and let myself unplug and reset.
Go-to Karaoke song?
You Stepped Into My Life by the Bee Gees or Let’s Go Crazy by Prince. Looking forward to belting anything off of Chromatica as soon as we’re able to get back to nightlife....
Tea or Coffee?
Coffee is a constant in my life -- but I have been drinking a lot of herbal tea recently and loving it.
What is it like managing a fashion blogger compared to musicians? What are some of the big similarities and differences between the two?
They are truly so different, as the core of the industries themselves function completely differently. Managing a fashion blogger involves managing incoming offers, outreach to potential collaborators, carefully keeping track of creative briefs, contracts, and posting timelines, and ensuring that Courtney has enough time in her week to make connections and spend time getting inspired to get dressed. Managing musicians you are operating on a longer time frame, with music creation, music releases, and touring being the central pillars of your business development. The similarities between the two include needing to have strong people-skills in working with creative minds. My job as their manager is to adapt the organization and central policy of the project to the needs of the person I’m managing.
First concert you went to?
I am actually not sure what the first concert was that I went to, but my first memory of a concert was seeing the Spice Girls when I was four years old. I have always adored pop music in all of its drama, choreography, makeup, costumes, and personas.
What’s something that you always have on you?
Who is your dream artist or band to work with?
Otis Redding in the late 1960s or Daft Punk in the 2000s if I were able to time travel in this dream. In a contemporary setting, either Harry Styles, HAIM or Lana Del Rey.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
In pre-pandemic times, workdays varied far more than they do these days. Alas, these days my workdays begin around 9 am, and are generally front-loaded with Zoom meetings and syncs with my teams across the various projects I work on. I then spend the rest of the afternoon ticking off and organizing action items and timelines, sending emails, and checking in on ongoing projects. I often have a day of the week that involves either a photoshoot or driving all over LA to pick up / dropoff / mail / deliver various items to keep projects progressing.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I hope to have continued to develop a diverse and inspiring roster of musicians and creatives alike that I manage & work alongside. I hope to be working on projects that are pushing culture and making a positive impact on our planet. With the ever broadening megaphones artists have, I believe my main goal is to support those who want to use their platforms for social good. Along the way, I hope to be a part of art that makes audiences feel vulnerable and understood, and makes them think critically about their place in the world.
What do you hope to see done in the industry within the next few years?
The first milestone I am looking forward to in our industry is shows returning; the joy of the fans getting to experience live music again, and our artists getting to connect with their audiences again. It’s hard to process how challenging this year has been for musicians and fans alike to have our lifeblood unavailable/wholly unsafe, and I cannot wait to get back to venues.
More importantly, I think it’s critical that the music industry reckons with the racism it has purveyed both internally and externally. It can’t be stressed enough that the bedrock of our industry has been built on the talent of Black artists: jazz, disco, funk, house, rock n roll, soul, techno, rap, trap, salsa, reggae, and so far beyond… These genres were built off of the voices and visions of Black artists that were in large part exploited by the white-run music industry. I hope to see the major labels who benefit off of Black artists the most put money and energy behind opportunities for BIPOC artists, put women of color in positions of power, and restructure their “urban” departments. Of course, we must see this level of reckoning happen at every level of the music industry, but my biggest hope is that the major labels who have the broadest cultural responsibility step up to the plate.
What are you most proud of?
Watching Mooontower perform at Reading & Leeds Festival in England in 2019. It was truly surreal to have it be not only Moontower’s international debut, but also their festival debut. I will never forget either of those performances.
Lastly, what saying do you live by?
Cogito Ergo Sum - it translates to “I think therefore I am.” I studied political philosophy at USC and have been deeply moved by the writings of Existentialist philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sarte. My interpretation of cogito ergo sum is that as beings with consciousness, we have the ability to doubt the things around us, subsequently we can make the decisions for ourselves that dictate who we become. In short, your destiny can in many ways be in your hands and in your decisions.