Naomi Westwater is a powerhouse, indie singer-songwriter, and producer from MA, USA. Mixing organic Americana and electronic indie, her imaginative stage presence, intimate lyrics, and emotive voice inspire and provoke audiences. Like a rose with many petals, Naomi’s music is layered, striking, and tender, mixing organic Americana and electronic indie.
Naomi is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with her Master’s degree in Contemporary Performance Production Concentration, and has been working in entertainment and music industry since 2011. She started as a program coordinator at The Gopher Hole in Baltimore, MD she then worked for The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, MA on their Summer Concert Series, Pops in The Park, and Pop's by The Sea, which is Cape Cod's largest cultural event.
In 2013, Naomi released the Americana EP, Coyote Love, about love and pining in a long distance relationship. Starting in 2015, Naomi was an Associate Producer at the comedy production company Pretty Good Friends. She produced live shows, podcasts, and festivals including the comedy stage at Wilco’s Solid Sound, StarTalk Live! with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye The Science Guy, the annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, and Modern Love Live for 90.9 WBUR (Boston’s NPR Station) and The New York Times.
She has produced sold out shows at famous theaters and festivals around the US including The Apollo Theatre (NYC), The Bellhouse (Brooklyn), The Beacon Theatre (NYC), Fun, Fun, Fun Fest (Austin), Sketchfest (San Francisco), and she's had the honor of working with great bands, comedians, and public figures like Sen. Cory Booker, Michelle Buteau, Michael Che, David Harbour, Hari Kondabolu, Lucius, John Mulaney, Aparna Nancherla, Roy Wood Jr., and many more!
As a queer, woman of color and a modern day mystic, Naomi incorporates empowerment, nature, and magic into her music and artistry.
We asked Naomi about her journey to entrepreneurship, and here's what she shared...
What do you wish you knew before you started your first business?
People don’t convey to artists that being a musician is 50% talent and music skills and 50% business and networking. For most of my life, my teachers really focused on the talent side and me working on my voice and my artistry.
But, being a successful musician is so much more than that. You need to have a good network and community behind you to help and you need to understand business. Because as soon as you start selling music, tickets, or merch, you become a sole proprietor, whether your realize it or not.
How do you use social media for growth?
A lot of artists I know are still hesitant to use social media, but I love it! It’s a great way for me to interact with my fans in a formal or casual way. I’ve been able to grow my socials with the following rules I made for myself:
1. I’m consistent: I post often and I post content that is relevant to my brand and to my followers. I’m an artist, I am the brand, so I post a lot of pictures of myself and music clips. And when I have something off brand, like a cute dog photo or a joke, I post that in my Insta Stories or on Twitter.
2. I use hashtags that are relevant to me. Hashtags help me connect to new followers. I’ve even made friends via hashtags!
3. I post high quality content. What I post it is thoughtful and intentional. When I’m taking or selecting a picture to post, I always want it to be visually pleasing: good lighting, interesting concept, some kind of emotions. There’s nothing worse than a blurry picture that’s boring. Social media is inherently visual, everyone wants to see beauty in their feed.
4. I use advertisements sparingly. Nothing is better than organic growth, but sometimes when I have a new release, I do like to use ads. So I always make sure my social ads are good quality, but not too flashy, or it will look like an ad. I also never throw down too much money on an ad. With FB Business, if an ad is doing well, I can always add more money too it.
How do you achieve work-life balance as a business owner?
I schedule everything. Between being a graduate fellow, being a wife, owning my own business, and being a super social person, my life would be very unbalanced if I didn’t schedule things on my Google Calendar.
I use scheduling not just for important meetings or lunches with friends, but I use it like a budget. I know I need at least 10 hours a week to practice my voice, another 10 hours for homework, 25 hours to dedicate to my fellowship, etc. so I carve out chunks of time to make sure I’m getting everything I need done. There’s even a calendar event for Friday night dates with my husband.
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