Determined music industry manager looks to help musical artists across the nation
By Ashanti Lee Seabron
(DETROIT) The journey of founding a management firm for young musical artists has been a long road for Cheyanne Powell, but it hasn't been one that deterred her from following through on her dreams.
Powell, a Michigan native and founder of The RŌZ Projects, spoke with NewsBreak about the firm's unique roots as well as her own journey through the music industry after graduating from Michigan State University in 2018.
Across the globe, COVID-19 played a forceful role in changes to various industries. Through the pandemic, however, Powell cultivated the motivation to create RŌZ.
After moving from Los Angeles to Boulder, Colorado, in late 2019, Powell was working for a booking agency called Madison House, Inc., where she worked alongside an agent for touring and booking for artists across the country.
Powell discussed how after COVID-19’s arrival, she refused to allow her career in the music industry to be deterred.
"When the pandemic hit, everyone in touring lost their jobs, and I had actually lost my job due to the pandemic," Powell said. "Everyone was like 'well you can just wait it out and go work somewhere else than music' but I was very stubborn to that and said 'no, I want to work in music.'"
With the help of a friend, Powell created The RŌZ Projects, which, according to their website, is a PR, marketing & management firm for musical artists.
The firm initially started off hosting livestreams for artists, as well as providing design and branding packages. After cultivating relationships among up-and-coming artists in the industry, however, RŌZ was able to transition into a management firm.
As the company was growing in the midst of the pandemic, Powell noticed changes occurring in the music industry. One of the biggest changes she's recognized is the situation behind vaccinations.
"Prior to October 1, you were able to go to a lot of events if you had proof of vaccination if you had tested negative [for COVID-19] within 72 hours [of the event], but starting later this year events will start implementing that you have to have the vaccine," Powell said.
Alongside issues regarding health, traveling restrictions into other countries have also had a major effect on the music industry, according to Powell. Despite this, she praised the music industry for its innovation by working through these issues.
"Going through the cancellations and postponements that we just had to [go through] last year was one of the hardest things that a lot of us had to do," Powell said. "I think our industry is really strong to where, we're very innovative and we come up with solutions, so together a lot of us were able to come together and figure out how we were going to move forward to take the pandemic one day at a time."
Over the past year, The RŌZ Projects has gained numerous up-and-coming musical artists, which include:
VADR, a producer and DJ based in Detroit who has music available on Spotify and Apple music.
Esseks, who performs music and creates art.
CHOFF, who performed at the Big Fam Music & Arts Festival last weekend in Lake Ann, Michigan.
Chevy Woods, who has 468k followers on Instagram and 88.8k subscribers on Youtube.
And Fedd The God who has 25.7k followers on Instagram.
For some, the process of managing artists could seem daunting, but Powell says the job can be different for different people. While she admits that she's still learning the tricks of the trade on a daily basis, Powell has been able to construct a way with people that has brought her success.
"I feel like I'm learning every single day," Powell said. "Speaking for myself, it's really all about connections and relationships. Being able to connect with people, not only as a manager but as a friend, is important."
She also dug further into COVID-19's impact on her work, and how she worked to ensure that her co-workers and clients knew that she was looking out for their best interests.
"During the pandemic, there wasn't a lot going on, there was no touring, everybody didn't have money, and people were losing a lot of things," Powell said. “So at that point, for three to six months, my management role was calling and checking up on people."
When asked about her future plans, Powell said The RŌZ Projects conquered so many goals that she couldn't have even imagined and expressed a desire to continue growing a community and helping the artists currently under the RŌZ firm across the United States.
Placing a limit on RŌZ's reach, however, isn't something that Powell has any intention of doing.
"In a few years, I have plans to go back to Detroit, and I'll have goals to go out to the east side [of the U.S.] to New York," Powell said. "To put a limit on RŌZ, I'm not going to do that because it could go anywhere. Maybe it'll go international and be all over the world."