If there’s one thing Kara Kharmah knows, it’s indie rock. OK. Make that two things. While Kharmah is now and forever an indie rock dynamo, versed in the fields of management, consulting, marketing, you name it, she has also been busy raising four children.
Kharmah breaks down her week for me,
“I’m anticipating a long week…I’m going out every night this week. I try to balance it and have days in between.”
But even her best intentions to balance sometimes need to give way to the artists that need her. And need her they do.
Once a full-time band manager, Kharmah has turned her considerable talents to nurturing emerging indie bands trying to find their footing in the vast and often complicated music world. To that end, earlier this year she launched PRIA Music Marketing.
“I like helping DIY indie bands, bands that are starting out, just figuring out this crazy, complicated industry. I have the most ADD job ever, I am everything to everybody, but most musicians have no idea where to start and that’s where I can help.”
Situated in western New England, Kharmah finds herself in a hotbed of incredible indie talent. She frequents open mic nights sometimes scooping up a new act and bringing them on board, leading them toward the day when they can fly on their own.
Kharmah teaches the nuts and bolts of the music industry today. From basic marketing to how to navigate the necessities of social media, her background in small business marketing, as well as her band management experience, help her guide bands toward turning a passion into a career.
“I wanted to work with bands who needed this information that is really scattered. There’s a lot of information available on the internet, but how does it apply to your band and how do you access that information?”
“I tap into not just their music but their experience that sets them apart. What is it that fans are coming for? Why are they bothering to listen and pay the price of admission? And why are they bothering to come back the next time? It’s not just the music, you’re going for a full experience.”
This experience, this specific set of characteristics that makes a band who they are is where Kharmah starts. From there she helps weave a tapestry designed to not only enhance the band’s presence but to engage the audience. Bring them along on the journey.
It’s a formula that has worked again and again. Over the years, Kharmah has worked with bands like The Alchemystics, Roots of Creation, and punk circus band Bella’s Bartok, among many others.
“This is an intense process. Most bands, when they go through the process with me, come out the other side saying wow, that was hard, that was work, but the end product is that they understand who they are as a band more, who their fans are, and how to connect. All of this comes together with the understanding that you have to understand your fan base first.”
Through PRIA, Kharmah is able to pursue her passion for taking bands to the next level. This unstoppable woman has had and continues to have a huge impact on the indie scene. It is an impact that is spilling across the nation piece by piece.
PRIA Music Marketing operates out of Western Massachusetts.