How I got my start in Nashville: "It was meant to be"

Since coming to Nashville I've had several "it was meant to be moments." When I first got to Nashville I didn't know a single person or much at all about the music industry. Thanks to my uncle for setting me up with friends of friends of friends I started to meet people and learn a little about the various aspects of the industry and Music City. One day (just a few weeks after being in Nashville) three of my new friends of friends of friends of my uncle's all forwarded me the same email. Shelley at DS Management was on the search for an intern. What was artist management? Who did DS Management manage? What did DS stand for? I had no idea, but if three people sent it my way, I figured reaching out to Shelley was a good idea.

A few days later I found myself sitting in front of Denise Stiff. (Google had told me maybe she managed Alison Krauss and Christina Aguilera!?! I still didn't know what artist management was, but I liked the sounds of it)! I remember sitting there in my new LBD and blazer dressed to impress. I quietly told her about how I play piano, love Sara Bareilles, and had interned at The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg. I knew some terms like "rider" and "stage plot" - so I was feeling good!

I walked out with three new CDs (Alison Krauss, Sarah Jarosz, and Alyssa Bonagura) and an internship that started the next day! Real life was treating me pretty well so far... new friends, new music, and a new internship. Oh, and I was house-sitting my uncle's friends' house in Belle Meade. This Nashville place was proving to be a good decision!

This week is Denise's birthday - so over the next few days I want to honor her by sharing some of the experiences and knowledge she's shared with me. For "being in the right place at the right time" and landing the DS Management internship really just by showing up - looking back four years later it sure does seem like it was actually "meant to be."


Photos L-R: In Blacksburg apartment before leaving for Nashville // Exploring Nashville // Post DS Management interview // With Denise & Sarah at the Ryman


Katherine Forbes

Nashville, TN