The Score Magazine July 2017 issue - Page 42

RENDEZVOUS WITH Jashoda Madhavji This time around, we wanted to bring to you an interesting Interview with a celebrity publicist and event organizer Jashoda Madhavji, who talks about how it is to be on the other side handling artists, managing large scale events, her journey and future projects. Tell us about your journey in the music industry PR was an accidental venture for me, I never planned it. In fact I have a degree in economics, politics and literature and a separate one in theatre from Trinity College of Dramatics. It has been over 14 years now as I started working real young, when I was 18 years old or so. Whilst I was studying in high school I was simultaneously spending my free time interning with my grandfather Ranjit Laxmidas Madhavji who is a world icon in portrait photography at his studio called Hamilton Studios. This is where I learnt the essentials of being a successful entrepreneur and learnt the ropes of running your own enterprise for close to 3 years. It feels fantastic to be the CEO of my own life and understand the true meaning of accountability, efficiency and excellence. I quite enjoy being the behind the scenes go-to person who’s available 24x7 for any kind of counsel and somewhere PR allows me to do that. I love building a brand out of nothing and somewhere I love to challenge myself to think beyond the ordinary. Someone once told me I would never be a successful entrepreneur and I took it upon myself to change their perception. God has been kind! Music was always something I was attracted to as a child and it was my calling so to speak. Justin Bieber, Bryan Adams, Akon, Pitbull, LMFAO, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, David Guetta, Avicii, Hardwell, Afrojack, Diplo, Fatboy Slim, Martin Garrix, Swedish House Mafia, Sunburn, Supersonic, Enchanted Valley Carnival, Tomorrowland, Windsong Music Festival, Future Music Festival, Niladri Kumar, Amaan & Ayaan Ali Bangash, AR Rahman Anoushka Shankar, DJ Bravo, Nikhil Chinapa, Mad Decent Block Party, Sensation India, Ultra Music are some of the top of the line clientele. Tell us about your fondest and most difficult experience in the live scene so far. I think my fondest memory would be the Akon India Tour. Contrary to his public image, Akon is a very unassuming 40 The Score Magazine non controversial kind of a person. The one thing I truly loved about Akon was the fact that he respected the press and the fans. He had no fear diving into a crowd of 30k plus people and in fact in one the cities the barricading fell apart and fans stormed into the backstage area and he was so not bewildered about it all. But since I was on the only girl on the entourage he made sure he lent his protection to me and got me into the car safely. Even at our after parties, Akon was very comfortable being surrounded by his fans and gave every single person a photo opportunity. The one moment I’m really proud of is that no one was allowed into his room and he asked his security to guide me to his room to meet with his wife since I had got her a souvenir. The most challenging experience would maybe be the Justin Bieber Purpose Tour since the artist had a global mandate of no press and sustaining the tour in the news for over 3 months was a task but we were successful because of third party associations and endorsements. Selective media was allowed in the front pit area creating a sense of discomfort with the rest of the press fraternity and a major backlash in post event coverage. A mandate of no press at public places the artist was visiting had to be maintained at all times so diverting press became another issue two days prior to the concert. The initial announcement was also jeopardized because of the news was leaked in advance hence a whole new strategy had to be devised when the tour had to be officially announced timing the artist’s post on social media with the media break. What are the challenges you face as a celebrity PR? Well celebrities come with their own baggage but it’s an art to be a celebrity agent. On the flipside, a lot of publicists and managers in India feel they are the celebrity themselves which sometimes creates a negative brand value for the celebrity because of the high handedness. In India, celebrities are very comfortable treating their publicists and