Jonas Group's Blair Miller on Ashe, Whitney, and Going Viral With Lanie Gardner
Blair Miller is creative director of Jonas Group, where she oversees marketing strategy for artists such as Lanie Gardner (Republic Records) and Melanie Pfirrman (Curb Records). Some of her current responsibilities include artist/brand development, release plan strategy, influencer marketing, and music video production.
Miller began her career as a digital marketing manager at a Nashville-based social media agency before launching Jonas Group Media with Kevin Jonas Sr.
We caught up with Blair for our Liner Notes series to learn more about her musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work she's proud of and admired.
Blair, tell us...
Your earliest musical memory.
Sitting in the back of my mom's car listening to Whitney Houston's Whitney: The Greatest Hits CD on repeat. I would always ask my mom to skip to track 3, "Greatest Love of All," which to this day is still one of my favorite songs.
Your first concert.
My parents took me to an Earth, Wind & Fire concert when I was 7. The amphitheater atmosphere, especially for a first concert, was exhilarating. I will never forget running and dancing around on the grass to "September."
Your favorite band/musician.
Whitney Houston. Her range, power and soul are unmatched. I wish I would have been able to see her in concert.
How you get your music these days.
I find new music through Spotify playlists and friend recommendations. Whenever my friends share music on social media, I always check it out, regardless of whether it is similar to what I typically listen to.
Your favorite place to see a concert.
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. It feels like home. While studying music business at Belmont University, I volunteered at countless concerts and award shows at Bridgestone, so it was an amazing full-circle moment to see the Jonas Brothers perform there on their Happiness Begins Tour last year. Also, with the abundance of passion for music in Nashville, there is always a special magic in the air at Bridgestone shows.
Your favorite music video.
I love Kendrick Lamar's "HUMBLE." music video. The imagery is spectacular, and no matter how many times I've seen it, I'm drawn to watch it on repeat to catch all of the details and references.
Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.
I love the And the Writer Is... podcast. I have always been captivated by the art of songwriting, and I love seeing a light shone on these talented creators.
A recent project you're proud of.
Lanie Gardner went viral with a TikTok cover of "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, which culminated in a deal with Republic Records. We led two big marketing strategies for her, including a creative plan on how to sustain and capitalize on her viral moment, in addition to the surprise remixed release of "Dreams" with stars David Guetta and MORTEN. In just one month, Lanie gained nearly 800,000 total social media followers, while her cover amassed over 40 million total views across platforms.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
I admire Ashe and every piece of content she has put out recently. Ashe takes fans along with her on her journey to stardom, and her content is consistently unique yet relatable.
How musicians should approach working with brands.
Musicians should be somewhat selective when it comes to partnering with brands. Fans, and especially Gen Z, easily recognize when content is inorganic. I'd advise musicians to do thorough research to make sure they align with the brand's mission and values. They should also partner with brands they are passionate about, or brands that tie well into the marketing of their current projects.
How brands should approach working with musicians.
Brands should work hand-in-hand with musicians to decide on the creative for campaigns. Musicians know their platforms and fanbases better than anyone, so brands should definitely take the musician's content ideas into consideration.
What music can do that nothing else can.
There is a song for every phase of life—the good, bad and everything in between. Understanding your own feelings can be difficult, but I've always found that lyrics and music help me process my emotions unlike anything else.
Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.