While most young girls were engaged in play with dolls or dress-up clothes, Keonda ‘KG’ Gaspard was setting up for the music business.
For as far back as she can recall, KG imagined herself running her own music administration and education business. As a child, she knew very early that she’d delve into the music industry and charted her course. What the young school girl did know was a.) she wanted to educate musicians, b.) she wanted to earn her own money, and she wanted to make her own rules.
Fast forward to the present, and it’s easy to see that she’s more than fulfilled her childhood aspirations. But along the way, she identified loftier goals and honed in on exactly how she’d get there. One of the things to which KG attributes the shift from child’s play to fulfilled ambitions was her serendipitous meeting with the Urban Marketing Researcher at Red Distribution/Sony Music in Los Angeles, California, who eventually hired KG as the department intern.
“I eventually got hired at Sony where I worked as the front office receptionist,” KG remembers. “Three months in, a man came into the office to ask a question about the business’ accounts, and I told him I could only provide the information to his boss. He laughed, and he very kindly informed me that he was ‘the boss.’ “Steve Lobel was the first successful music business manager I met and became my first mentor.”
Through networking and using her new resources, KG was hired as the National Sales Rep for Music Merchandisers, the position taught KG to focus on building relationships and the importance of learning from her co-workers. Unfortunately, Music Merchandisers closed, yet this small blunder became an opportunity for KG to be mentored by the one of the entertainment industry leading music Public Relations representative, Lynn Allen Jeter, who’d built wealth through representing musicians and artists. Jeter’s self-made success inspired KG to set her sights on music administration, and her irrepressible entrepreneurial spirit was born.
KG earned a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business, all while managing her household as a single parent. To enhance her music theory aptitude, she took additional music studies courses at UCLA. She also completed her Masters of Liberal Arts from the renowned University of Chicago.
Taking a leap to the corporate world, she was hired at Fox Cable Networks and transferred to Fox Sports Music as the Contract Administrator/Music Supervisor placing over 1000 songs for broadcast television. “After working with Fox for four years, I realized that artists and musicians were unaware of the business side of the music industry. I learned that most had no mentor and made costly mistakes, but I also learned a lot about music placement and I became very creative,” KG recalls. “I read as much as I could – I still do. And I went to every free event – training, networking, whatever – and I started teaching myself the nuances of this industry.”
Just as she began to gain momentum, the impact of the 2009 decline and fall of the major record labels cut many corporate opportunities. But while many executives were laid off and record companies closed for business amid the crisis, KG maintained her focus and launched, The Aver Agency, a Music Administration – Strategic Marketing firm and redirected her efforts toward diversified marketing and more targeted networking. Her efforts in 2009 catapulted her business in 2010’s first quarter, marketing and more targeted networking. Today the company specializes in title registration with Performance Rights Organizations and the Copyright Office, in addition to, creating and maintaining Wikipedia pages.
As a rebranding initiative, KG professionally changed her name to ‘Professor KG’ after a conversation with platinum selling producer/artist DJ Quik. Currently, Professor KG owns, The Producer Suite, a music education series that features workshops and conferences featuring renowned music producers and executives. The series encourages musicians to learn the music business to maximize their profits and visibility. She provides her clients with the industry acuity that assists them in making sound studio and recording decisions which enhance their portfolio growth. Guests have included Grammy Winners/Nominees & Platinum-selling producers: Terrace Martin, Focus…, Dave Foreman, Steve Lobel, Thaddeus Dixon, Knotch, Willie B, Phonix Beats, DJ Battlecat, Mike & Keys, Sir Jinx and more. Sponsors have included ASCAP, SESAC, Propellerheads, Novation, Focusrite and HomeGrownRadio.
Most recently, KG founded The Producer Suite Radio Show, a joint venture with music producer DAE ONE discuss premier topics pertaining to music trends and production in the U.S. and abroad. The Producer Suite Radio Show offers its listeners advice and tips on music production.
KG also is establishing the framework for a nonprofit effort, Music Techs, which will coordinate the talents of skilled producers and the donations of production equipment and supplies to teach music technology to underserved students.
In her rare moments of free time, KG enjoys studying astronomy and cosmology, traveling and spending time with family. She is an ASCAP, BMI, NAMM YP, NARIP and Alpha Gamma Sigma member.