3. Artist Relations (Annabel Lukins, Cloud 9)Annabel Lukins has worn many hats in her career in music. In college, she interned at a record label, where a chance encounter with Steve Miller revealed her potential skills in artist relations. A memo had gone around the office saying that Miller would be in the office, and that in no way was anyone to approach him -- but Lukins took this edict with a grain of salt and approached him about signing a CD. Not only was he receptive, he was curious about her role there.
"It was at that moment that I knew I would be successful in the music business," she recalls. "I didn't even know what artist relations was at the time, but I felt very comfortable around a big musician. He's just a person, like all of us."
After stints at MTV and Planet Bluegrass, Lukins started booking, managing, and emceeing the Sonic Stage at Bonnaroo, and landed an interview for the marketing director position at Cloud 9 Adventures not too long after. That opportunity opened the door to the role of director of artist relations.
"With Cloud 9, I created my position and took it to new heights year after year," she notes. "Not only do I run artist relations, but I am the emcee of Jam Cruise. My nickname is Julie McCoy, who was the cruise director on the Love Boat. The great thing is that any of the passengers who weren't born in the '70s don't know who Julie McCoy is and think my name is really Julie. A little anonymity goes a long way with me."
For Lukins, it's the music, plain and simple, that keeps her in the game. Because she's befriended so many of the artists she's worked with, she gets to work and spend time with the people she loves. "I feel immense passion for what I do. My interests are taking care of people who surround themselves with music. Plus, I have ADD, and I'm skilled at multitasking and dealing with multiple personalities at once -- a great asset when handling a hundred musicians all with their own agenda."