As previously featured here on Fuzzable, The Other Nashville Society (a.k.a TONS) is causing disruption in Nashville’s music scene, where they are promoting ‘other genres’ beside the town’s notorious country tune.
The said organization has opened up opportunities for budding non-country musicians ever since its founding last year.
Talking us through the changes in the Music City’s diverse music community, one of TONS’ co-founders, Ally Venable, speaks to us about how the organization came to life and what opportunities they offer to the musicians in Nashville.
Hi Ally! Welcome to Fuzzable and thank you for lending us your time for this interview. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hey! Thanks for taking the time with me. I’m Ally Venable – originally from Los Angeles, CA now turned into a Nashville local. I started out at Paradigm 7 years ago and most recently was a manager at Iconic Entertainment where I managed pop-country act Kelsea Ballerini (from day 1) for the past 4 years. I literally JUST transitioned over to our parent company, Centric, to head up their TV Development division.
I’ve always been incredibly passionate about the alternative music scene here in Nashville and have produced/created a few concert series to provide content and a platform for these ‘other’ type of genres here in Nashville. Here’s one of our most recent shows.
Can you please tell us the story behind The Other Nashville Society and how the organization came together?
My buddy Josh Cullom and I sat down for drinks once and found we both wanted to create a gathering place for the alternative music community in Nashville. We got really excited about having a similar passion, so we decided to recruit a few more industry bad-asses to help us get started. TONS was Co-Founded by Josh Cullom (Sorted Noise), Katie Fagan (Prescription Publisher), Mark Abromowitz (Kobalt Publisher), Holley Maher (Singer-Songwriter / Graphic Designer) & myself. Together our skills and connections came together beautifully. Our first launch party had over 400 people show up! We all looked at each other that night and were like ‘OMG what did we just do?’ [laughs]. It was obvious Nashville was hungry for something like this.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle that non-country music artists from Nashville face in making it in the music industry? And how does TONS contribute to helping resolve the issue at hand?
I’ve had the honor of working one foot in country and one in alternative, thanks to Kelsea’s multi-genre reach and a couple other artists I’ve worked with, Crouse for example. You quickly realize how many opportunities there are in Nashville for country and how little there are for any other genre (except maybe CCM). You could do an entire press junket for country in Nashville but would have to travel to LA or NYC for any other genre.
I really believe that Nashville’s lack of alternative platforms is because no one in the ‘other’ genres knew where each other was! There was no group or organization focusing on the ‘other’ artists here, so we decided to jump in and do it. There have been so many people that have connected and ended up creating or doing business together through TONS! It’s already working and crazy to hear the stories of people meeting at our events and how they’re now working together in some capacity. Our TONS community is vibrant and inspiring, to say the least.
Can you please tell us more about what TONS can offer to the budding musicians from Nashville?
Connections are our main goal along with education. We want to inspire everyone to come together, learn more about our craft and business, and support this movement in Nashville. Beautiful and new things always come from a community.
Looking into a few years from now, what innovation and changes does the organization hope to achieve in Nashville’s music community?
We hope to create more platforms and ideas with and through our TONS members. And while we love our country colleagues and equally need them in this city, we hope to gain national recognition for Nashville as MUSIC CITY – not just country music. We also want to be a place people can come to partner with on their ideas and use our help to bring more awareness to a project.
Lastly, are there any upcoming “TONS Talks” events that might be of interest to the budding music artists out there?
Yes! We’re still finalizing our final Talk topics, but they will cover areas such as digital promotional platforms (such as Spotify, Amazon, Apple, etc.), pairing up with artists and their teams to talk about their different journeys (especially some unconventional ones) and a few other topics we can’t reveal yet [winks]. You can check our website or Instagram for all the upcoming info on our events and TONS TALKS as well as apply to become a member.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions and we hope to see a welcoming and diverse music community from Nashville in the years to come.
Thank You! -Ally
Share your thoughts with us, tweet @Fuzzable and share with your friends! We’d love to hear your take on TONS’ goal to achieve a diverse Nashville music community.