5 Questions with SAE Institute Atlanta Instructor Leaf Seeney

21 Apr 2021

Leaf6

21

Apr

5 Questions with SAE Institute Atlanta Instructor Leaf Seeney

21 Apr 2021

A major part of the success of our students is the passion, professionalism, and expert guidance from our talented instructors. This week, we sat down with Entertainment Business instructor Leaf Seeney, whose extensive background includes experience in entertainment law, artist management, music publishing, and radio. Being an artist herself, Leaf knows firsthand the importance of making an impact in the music industry through branding and marketing strategies, a skillset that she delivers throughout her instruction to students on a path to a career in the entertainment business. Follow along as we dive deeper into her background and career, and how a formal education can help open the door for opportunities in the industry.

 

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?

I have had an interest in music from an early age, but I was also good at sports as well. During my senior year at Syracuse University, I was making the decision to either pursue professional basketball or music. My college coach informed me that Russell Simmons was giving a talk on campus and that I should go and sing for him. Well, I did. Before he started he asked if anyone had any questions. I was the first to raise my hand and he let me come on stage, got me a bottle of water and listened to my song. Even though nothing transpired with Russell after that, I think that may have been the moment I made up my mind I was going to go for it.

 

WHAT HAS BEEN A HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

I've had a few highlights but I think the biggest accomplishment for me was seeing through the independent release of my project "Flowers and Grass."  When I won the reality singing contest "Welcome To Dreamland," which aired on BET  I thought I had finally made it by winning a record deal. But I never got the deal, and though I was disappointed that really just fueled me to complete my project myself, go back to school to learn more about branding and marketing,  and not let that stop me.

 

WHAT ARE SOME COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WORKING IN THIS INDUSTRY?

I think for aspiring recording artists, one misconception is that acquiring a major record deal is the only way to break into the music industry. There are many ways to be successful as a recording artist and I think other ways are not as well known. 

Another is that all you have to do is make great music, but there's more to that. You've got to make the music and have branding and marketing strategies in place to make your desired impact.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BENEFITS OF FORMAL EDUCATION IN THIS FIELD?

There's a lot you can learn from experience, without a formal education, but then there's a lot you will not know because of gaps in the experience that formal education will provide. In addition, there is a lot of information out there online, but having a formal education will introduce you to better, legitimate information and sources, as well as provide you with a network of professionals in our chosen industry. It really just helps you cross your T's and dot all your I's. Lastly, formal education will give you the opportunity to apply what you’re learning in a meaningful way while receiving constructive criticism from experts.

 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WHO ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING IN ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS?

The advice I would give to those who want to work in the entertainment business is to educate themselves about the business, intern to get different experiences in the business, network, never compromise your values, and stay positive. 


To connect with Leaf, visit her on LinkedIn or check out her music at www.leafnewman.com. For more information about our Entertainment Business programs, visit us online or on social media.