On Friday, November 4, Belmont hosted a Morris Family Mentor/Lecture Series in the Johnson Theater featuring Fletcher Foster, president and CEO of Iconic Entertainment Group. Foster shared his experiences starting his independent label and managing artists like country star Kelsea Ballerini. Foster is a 1985 music business alumnus.
Foster started in the music business as an intern at CBS Records, currently known as Sony Records, while studying at Belmont. While there, Foster said he was the guy who always wanted to answer the phones. By playing gigs on the weekends and working three jobs, Foster gained experience with many “tentacles” of the business.
Foster told students that when deciding whether or not to sign an artist, he thinks of Clide Davis from Big Visionary who said, “If I can’t see an artist playing in Madison Square Garden, I’m not interested.” He emphasized the importance of having a developed stage presence and artistry.
With a great stage presence and artistry, Foster said that Kelsea Ballerini has become the biggest success out of this town since Sam Hunt. The first female artist to become No. 1 in 10 years, Foster credits her ability to break the anti-women streak of country music with her magnetism and spunky personality.
Foster concluded by saying there is no replacement for being hungry and that balancing, listening, learning and taking in knowledge from the people around you will take you far in the industry. Foster was introduced by Harry Chapman, Belmont’s director of special projects and major gifts.