Merida brings considerable music biz know-how

Merida with basketball legend Magic Johnson

Merida with basketball legend Magic Johnson

Stacy Merida is a Recording Industry assistant professor of music business and the faculty adviser to Match Records, the student-run record label. She joined Recording Industry in 2012 as a full-time lecturer.

Merida previously served as vice president of marketing for SONY Music Entertainment in New York, where she presided over the marketing campaigns for multiple award-winning artists. Merida is the president and owner of The MERIDA Group, a marketing and business-consulting firm based in Brentwood, Tennessee. Her corporate clients include SONY Music Entertainment, BET, Integrity Music and Warner Bros. Records, and she secured client performance on the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show as well as national appearances for other clients on ABC’s The View, the CBS Morning Show, CNN and ABC News.

A native of Frankville, Alabama, she is a 1989 graduate of Stillman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and minor in accounting. She is a 1993 graduate of the University of Mobile with a Master of Business Administration and is completing her dissertation for the Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. She is a member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association, Women in Higher Education TN and the Gospel Music Association. She serves on the board of directors of the Gospel Music Association Foundation and board member and treasurer of Women in Film and Television Nashville.

Merida recently answered questions about her career and teaching at MTSU.

Merida with Whoopie Goldberg on the set of The View

Merida with Whoopie Goldberg on the set of The View

What led you to a career in music business? 

While in business school, I worked at an engineering firm and commuted 90 minutes each way. After a year, a co-worker left the firm and began working for a record label close to my school. She informed me of a position at the music company because she knew of my love for music and that I wanted to be closer to my school. I applied for the job, was hired and as they say, “The rest is history.” Until this point, I really didn’t know there was a “music” business. I was in Utopia. I loved business and I loved music so this was an opportunity for me to have both. Over a 15-year span, I worked my way from being an assistant in Mobile, Alabama, to a VP in New York.

What projects did you oversee while VP of marketing at Sony Music Entertainment?

While at Sony Music, I was responsible for developing and executing marketing and sales strategies for several internationally known, platinum-selling artists. This included having all budgetary and financial responsibility for the department, along with providing creative direction and management of photo and video shoots, packaging design and marketing collaterals for such artists as Mary Mary, CeCe Winans, Kim Burrell and others. I also had the responsibility of working with strategic marketing partner, Kraft Foods, in planning national CD listening parties in major venues across the country to promote its corporate brand and our artists’ product to the general public.

What is the focus of your company, The MERIDA Group, and what projects are in the works?

The focus of the company is to provide strategic business planning, marketing and financial strategies, production, and client and program management. I resigned my position at Sony and became self-employed to return home after a parent received a terminal diagnosis. This ended up being a great time for my company as major record companies were downsizing and needed to hire independent contractors to do the work. TMG provides marketing, artist and business management, publicity and television production for various clients.

In addition to your company, you are also an assistant professor here at MTSU and the faculty adviser of the student-run label, Match Records. Was teaching always something you wanted to do?

I would say teaching wasn’t something I originally thought about earlier in my career. Perhaps I didn’t realize that you could receive a degree in music business nor did I think I knew enough to teach. However, after working for over 20 years in the industry for various companies and in various positions, I now feel I have garnered enough experience to share with students. My family and friends have stated that teaching and instruction seem to come naturally to me. It’s ironic that I would be so blessed to have this incredible opportunity to merge my experience along with academia. I have the coolest life!

Who are your favorite artists/fave TV show/guilty pleasure?

I love all genres of music, and I’m currently digging English electronic music. My favorite artists include Snarky Puppy, Sting, Jill Scott, Chrisette Michele, Ledisi, Kem, Maxwell, Taylor Swift, A Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar and Adele. I’m a huge news junkie, so my television and satellite radio are locked on MSNBC and CNN. I’m planning to discover some guilty pleasures after I complete my dissertation. In the meantime, eating superior food and drinking fabulous wine are at the top of my list!


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