Detroit-based Jessica Golich is so multi-talented it hurts. A social media influencer, concert photographer, and eminent music journalist, she’s interviewed and photographed mega-stars such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Keith Urban, Quavo, Wu-Tang Clan, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Chainsmokers, Snoop Dogg, and the list goes on.
Prior to the pandemic, Jessica covered events like the High Times Cannabis Cup, Breakaway Music Festival, Chicago Open Air, and The Forbes Under 30 Summit. As an Instagram influencer, she’s hooked p with the crème de la crème – Ooze, Skunk Bags, and CBD MD, fostering responsible use medicinal consumption of Cannabis and CBD.
She’s also the founder and driving force of Life Beyond The Music, a unique online music magazine probing the personae of artists and their muses. And if that’s not enough, Jessica was recently hired by TikTok’s Creator Growth Program. Her TikTok account focuses on concert footage, going behind the stage to film and talk with megastars.
Without a doubt, Jessica Golich is one of the world’s premier music journalists and photographers, whose knowledge, warmth, and style break through the formality, creating a casual atmosphere conducive to earning the confidence of artists.
CelebMix spoke with Jessica Golich to discover more about how she’s handling quarantine, where her head is, and what’s next for her.
How did you get started interviewing and photographing musicians?
Back in January of 2016, I sporadically responded to a Craigslist AD that was seeking bloggers for a Major Entertainment/Niche publication and pitched the idea to the Editors that I was interested in working toward building the relationships that were necessary to elevating the music column of the website. Though I had been writing creatively my entire life, I had absolutely no prior experience with professional journalism and just allowed myself to learn as I went along. I jumped in and created a lot more out of what could have simply just been another freelance gig; I am grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.
Of the myriad musicians you’ve interviewed, who was the most exciting?
That’s a great question that I have come to realize changes over time. I did have a very memorable experience interviewing Greta Van Fleet at Coachella in 2018. I was in a trailer with the guys backstage and we talked about everything from essential oils, the California desert, life in Michigan, sensory deprivation, fruit and so much more.
Of the artists you’ve interviewed, who was the most difficult?
I mean, this was back in 2016-2017 and I have no idea how the experience would be now but I have to say Doyle W. Von Frankenstein of The Misfits. Candidly, the lack of synergy between Doyle and I was evident within minutes and him and I both concluded to cut the interview short. Although the experience with Doyle did lead me to analyze what I tolerated along with my interview style, it was truly a one-off experience. I have interviewed over 500+ musicians that range from Top 40, Rock, Rap, Oldies, Hip Hop, Indie, you name it……90% of musicians/artists are just as human as you and I and if I can give any advice to fellow journalists, treat them as such.
What motivated you to become a cannabis influencer?
I was ready to challenge myself to break into a new industry and coalesce that with my experience in the music industry. As an avid cannabis and CBD user, the natural passion was there and I knew that it was more so, time to learn the business acumen, and build relationships throughout the cannabis industry.
How do you determine whether to work with a cannabis company or not?
It is critical that the cannabis company offers Vegan/Gluten-Free products that are lab-tested. Also, what they represent as a brand must align with my core brand values.
Exactly what does an influencer do?
To be a successful influencer, you have to be business and tech-savvy, yet in regards to what an influencer does, it depends on the campaign. The campaign means the partnership and deal between “Influencer” and “Brand/Company.” An influencer is hired to use their platforms and audiences to market. Some campaigns that I get pitched are fully detailed and laid out by the PR firms and once we work out a mutually-beneficial deal and I receive the product, I get professionally photographed to their exact likings to further push the product/brand. Others, I am able to create freely which has led to many creative photoshoots, videos, and brand partnerships.
How do you prepare for an interview or photo session with an artist?
In regards to an interview, as a trained mind, I can commonly peek at an artist’s latest press release and get a feel of their brand and latest press round within a very short amount of time. I’ve become an SEO junkie so a few keyword searches and I’m good to go. I’m also a big Apple nerd so I use a lot of Apple products (MacBook Pro, iPhone, iCloud, iPad) and document on-the-go.
As for a photo session, it is a bit more intricate as I have to location scout and/or rent a location for the shoot. Creatively, I commonly prep any props involved, wardrobe, creative direction and equipment the night before.
You have a massive following on TikTok. What makes the platform more viable than Instagram?
Thanks. TikTok’s algorithm currently allows for immediate growth as both a creator and casual user. The app is very user-friendly, entertaining, and provides leverage for so many creative types all over the world. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Instagram, but TikTok is beginning to rewrite the way that social media works.
You also operate Life Beyond The Music. What’s the mission of the site?
I launched Life Beyond The Music because I had built a reputation for conducting very unique interviews that touched on the human components of artists rather than the highlight of their latest press round. It is elemental for me to provide a humanized approach to press, media and content. And to do so independently.
How are you handling the coronavirus situation? Looking to the future, once the pandemic is in the past, what’s next for you?
Fortunately, I am able to handle the coronavirus situation calmly due to having learned long ago not to put all of my eggs in one basket. As a creative entrepreneur, I think that COVID-19 has showcased that it is elemental to diversify both your income streams and industries that you contribute work to.
It is my ultimate desire to collaborate with a local Detroit Cannabis brand on building-out a product line. I’ve been developing some strong relationships with local brands and look forward to continuing to do so in hopes of a future collaboration with the right brand that aligns with my core values.
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