Q&A with Natalie Edell, Northwestern junior and founder of 18LoveMusic

Communication junior Natalie Edell founded 18LoveMusic to provide professional services to budding musicians.

James Bien/The Daily Northwestern

Communication junior Natalie Edell founded 18LoveMusic to provide professional services to budding musicians.

James Bien, Writer

Communication junior Natalie Edell is the founder of 18LoveMusic, a pioneering start-up music company that provides professional services ranging from management to promotion for independent artists, no matter if they’re instrumentalists, DJs or vocalists. Her passion for music has taken her many places; at the tender age of 18, she signed her first artist, Luke Christopher, to Interscope Records. She has also worked with Grammy Award-winning producers DJ Khalil and Organized Noize. Edell sat down with The Current to talk about her views on the rapidly changing music industry and the effect her company will have on it.

The Current: How did you come up with the name 18LoveMusic? What does it mean to you?

Natalie Edell: I signed my first artist to Interscope Records when I was 18, so that’s how that came up, and “love” was because tennis was a huge part of my life; I played it since I was probably 7 or 8, and I was on the varsity team here my freshman and sophomore years. When you’re killing somebody in tennis, it’s like “40-love,” so I figured I can make it 18LoveMusic. It was step by step.

The Current: What would you say is the coolest experience you’ve had in the past few years, having worked in different fields of the industry?

NE: I would say being in the studio with Grammy Award-winning producers and just seeing how they create a track from zero to a full song. I think that would be the coolest experience that I’ve had.

The Current: How would you describe your taste in music?

NE: My favorite genre is R&B. I just love R&B. I love amazing voices; it’s my favorite thing. To be honest, though, I have a really eclectic taste because I love everything from oldies to techno to rap to R&B to alternative rock to hip-hop.

The Current: The way music has become so accessible to people through the Internet has drastically changed the music industry in the past decade. Do you think it’s more difficult for musicians to become successful now?

NE: No. I think it’s the opposite. I think it’s extremely beneficial to artists, and that’s how I created 18LoveMusic: off the fact that the music industry is transforming and is no longer artists being found and signed into labels. They’re creating a following through Facebook, YouTube and different social networks, and they can even thrive without signing to a label these days. I definitely think it’s much easier for artists to make it.

The Current: Beyond 18LoveMusic, what other goals do you want to achieve in the short and long run in the industry?

NE: Right now, we’re working with a reality TV company and we’re starting a whole YouTube network for 18LoveMusic. We’re going to have 18 artists, and it’s basically going to be a real reality TV show, but on YouTube. I’m hoping that when 18LoveMusic gets big enough, I’m going to have a real reality TV show, and then on top of that, I want it to eventually become more of a label, so that artists can become 18LoveMusic artists. Besides that, I just want to be the next Jimmy Iovine, the next top music exec, the go-to person. That’s my main goal, I think.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.