I got the opportunity to sit down and chat with Roslynn. If you’re in the industry, then you have to know this amazing woman. Keep reading to learn more about her journey into the industry, dealing with anxiety and more.
Jocelyn: How did your career in the entertainment industry begin?
Roslynn: I began my career, or what I’d like to call my “musical journey” in elementary school as a lunchtime DJ in 6th grade. I would watch programs like “Yo! MTV Raps” and listen to commercial radio show countdowns, like Hollywood Hamilton’s and record them to play at lunch. I loved the feeling of someone coming up to me and saying “what song is that?” or “I love that song too!” It gave me a feeling of enjoyment knowing that music can personify emotions whether it’s making you feel good or feel understood. I wanted to be someone that helped you discover those songs that made you feel a certain way, thus spawned years of working in music and artist promotion behind the scenes as a DJ, concert promoter, marketing consultant, strategist and currently CEO of the music artist and executive network I founded called the Third Floor Network.
Jocelyn: What’s your best piece of advice for someone that’s trying to follow in your footsteps?
Roslynn: I’m 5 feet tall on a good day – really 4’11 and 3/4. My feet are tiny so hopefully your footsteps are a lot bigger! 😉 Advice that I wish I had early on is to seek your passion before a paycheck. I could have expedited my career and goals had I followed my heart from the beginning. I thought I had to be a doctor or a lawyer to make my hardworking, 4 daughter single-parent mom proud of me, but at the end of the day all she wanted from all of us was to be self-sufficient and non-reliant on other people. It’s not what we did, but how we did it. As cliche as it sounds; if you do what you love, you will never feel like you are working. It doesn’t mean you have to be a professional arena selling pop artist to pursue your career in singing. You could be an elementary school teacher, teaching music, or you could pursue a job you enjoy and using your free time to continue your passion whether it’s DJing, painting, etc. Don’t think that where you work from 9am – 5p defines who you are and it’s NEVER too late to start doing something you love.
Jocelyn: How have you managed to build so many relationships that allow you to #ConnectTheDots?
Roslynn: Every relationship I have, I hold close to my heart. I don’t easily pass the relationship to someone I don’t trust to avoid losing the trust of the person. I only bring opportunities and people into their lives that I feel are beneficial to them, and when they aren’t, I am honest about the mistake and admit my fault in judging character fast. Because I was a lot of artists’ first radio interview or the person to help get them booked for their first TV appearance, first big paying gig by a corporate sponsor, the artists, managers and people around them always remember that and when I need a favor returned or to take time for an introduction to someone new that would be mutually beneficial; they listen.
Jocelyn: What does a day in the life of Roslynn consist of?
Roslynn: It’s always changing; I think that’s why I drive my poor assistant crazy, lol. I’m on the leadership team of various companies like Third Floor Network, FourXample Productions Video Production Company and mydiveo.com. Being a part of marketing artist’s careers or helping with publicity of artists like our FXP partner, Quincy or The Pharcyde, it’s nonstop. Literally, every hour we are helping to connect the dots, whether it’s grabbing a Popular Demand sweatsuit for Lil Wayne’s bassist for a GRAMMY event to helping book an artist for a meet and greet at Dash Radio to helping new tech apps strategize their marketing and funding; it’s never a dull day. One day we are shooting a music video, the next day we are producing a producer networking event. In the same day we are helping pick up an ALBA Legacy suit designed by Jhoanna Alba for one of our clients. We are known for “getting shit done – GSD”, which keeps people from constantly turning to us when needed. When I can’t get something done I am honest about it and turn to someone else to help or tell the person/company I don’t have the bandwidth to do so. I know how it feels for someone to say they are going to do something and they don’t (which I’ve done several times by spreading myself too thin), so I try to prevent that as much as I can, as well as train my team to act as efficiently.
Jocelyn: Favorite Myspace memory?
Roslynn: Ahh, way too many to name. I actually wrote a “9 Best Myspace Memories” story that details my favorite moments at nearly a decade with the groundbreaking website.My #1 will always be what I listed in the article: http://thirdfloornetwork.com/2013/12/11/my-top-9-myspace-memories-over-the-past-9-years-3/
Jocelyn: Was there ever a time that you felt like quitting?
Roslynn: Yes, I did and still do at times. It’s normal. I remember an exact day that I felt this way. After we successfully revamped the site traffic to 36M (unknown in history prior for a site to do so), we were told we needed to significantly cut staff due to budget cuts that was a reflection on too much money spent in various ways that I didn’t have control over, I felt defeated and my positivity was challenged. Everyone I knew that was there in the early days when coming to work was fun, collaborative and innovative were gone and I felt at that time I was one of the only ones there holding the yearbook trying to remind people of what we were in the past and could still potentially be to millions of artists and creatives out there, that we still had the potential to be. Towards my latter years at Myspace, I got several offers for high paid salary jobs at some of the biggest music or media companies out there but I was there close to a decade not only out of loyalty but because I loved helping people promote their passions and didn’t feel there was another platform that did that as well as we did.
Once I took the final walk out of the Myspace doors, I did not take another full time position right away but instead decided to start my own company continuing to help artists and executives “connect the dots” with the Third Floor Network. To be completely honest, I wanted to quit working for a company that I didn’t have ownership in or a direct line to how hiring, marketing and editorial budgets were spent indefinitely. It wasn’t until about a month ago, when meeting my current partner and mydiveo.com Co-Founder Driss Ouazzani via super successful, former Myspace alumni and Engage BDR CEO Ted Dhanik, that I felt rejuvenated in working with other people again aside from my core staff. I got the same feeling in my stomach that we were about to create something that would change thousands of people lives like I felt when the original Co-Founder of Myspace.com, Chris DeWolfe asked what I thought of the idea of them wanting to build a social, music platform for artists. While I was only 24 years old at the time, I know that it would be a huge benefit to artists, executives and music lovers and this is the same feeling I felt when meeting with Driss about his idea for a global video contest platform, again the initial idea is great in itself, but what is going to be built is bigger than just another APP or website with www.mydiveo.com – we are going to expedite the process of artist discovery, collaboration and monetization in a time that the industry, artists and content creators need it the most. The opportunity came when I was just about to sign on to another project that wasn’t aligned with my passion as much as this company was that I’m excited to be Co-Founder for. I’ve learned that God doesn’t work in mysterious ways, but he’s the greatest marketer of our time and works in very strategic ways. =) When you are at your lowest point and feel like quitting and hit rock bottom is the second that if you stay faithful, continue to work hard while being a person with good intentions, the challenging experience will actually be the opposite once you hit it, you will springboard higher than you have ever been before.
Jocelyn: You’ve conquered so much already, but where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Roslynn: In 5 years, I’ll be on an island with my FourXample Production partner Mike Navi filming a commercial for our other partner, Quincy’s latest tech APP that he just developed with tech partner Xavier Sharp, by that time we will all be working on projects we love because we have so much free time on our hands. They’ll pop over and watch my introduction of my motivational speech that I am giving at that same hotel that night just to say “hi” to the crowd and pose for pictures. I love people like Tony Robbins, and not necessarily because of I’m a huge fan of informational marketing, but I because I consistently want to inspire people from firsthand experience. People that are close to me know that I suffered from anxiety for years, it was difficult for me to sit on a plane at times or not experience panic attacks after my best friend, Monisa, passed away at such a young age. I want to speak to those people and let them know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Anxiety isn’t something you have to be ashamed of; that you don’t have to restrict yourself to taking medication for, it’s something that is curable and there are people out there that understand exactly what you are feeling even if you can’t explain exactly what it is that you are feeling. Millions of people suffer from anxiety in the world and if I helped even one person to overcome or learn how to deal with it, I’d be content. I also want to speak to the people that look like me, that have parents that come from a foreign country, and they might not feel like they could be CEOs or sit at the front of the table. As Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook said “Lean In”, because they are women or a person of color and have them understand the challenges they will face but could potentially overcome. Even as a leader in previous companies, there were plenty of times that I didn’t sit at the table for reasons that she speaks of in her book. Daily I am tested on my confidence, intelligence and strategy from people that judge me just by the way that I look. For example, the other day when I was interviewing someone, as I was walking around the front of the office, they walked in they asked for me for a cup of coffee. Being the hospitable Spanish Filipina I am, I grabbed the coffee. When I returned they mentioned they had an interview with the CEO. I laughed and told them that was me. They felt completely embarrassed, but I understand that they have to overcome their own stereotypes and it wasn’t my issue, we can’t take those experiences personal. As a motivational speaker and author one day, I want to address the issue of insecurity we all face and break those walls down that are self-inflicted by other people’s false perceptions or at times even our owns that might stem from how we were raised. A dream come true would be to walk into a boardroom and see equal seating not only of males and females, but various shades of color making the important decisions in the biggest companies in the world. Post Third Floor Network conference, I’d be back at the DJ booth playing with DJ Jazzy Jeff and Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) playing feel good music for the rest of the night where thousands of people who’ve met on www.mydiveo.com were now mingling, having a good time and most importantly, networking!
Jocelyn: What’s the most difficult aspect of your career?
Roslynn: The most difficult aspect of my career is dealing with people’s preconceived notions of the male and female dynamic in the workplace or in a leadership position. I’ve had to learn to control my emotions and not take things so personal when it comes to business. I’m a feisty Spanish Filipina that can have a temper especially when things go wrong for clients or artists that I care about, but I have learned to roll with the punches instead of attempting to deliver them.
Jocelyn: What’s the most fulfilling part of your career?
Roslynn: The most fulfilling part of my career is watching artists that I’ve worked with since the beginning start to manifest their dreams into reality. Knowing that I’ve been there to help expedite the process whether it be an introduction to a media or radio outlet for publicity, booking them for a huge live event, TV show or just offering strategic advice. I’ve been blessed not only to work side by side with artists that I love, but the individuals behind the scenes of the artists that I become an everyday confidant and cheerleader for.
Jocelyn: Can you tell us more about mydiveo.com?
Rosslyn: You can sign up for an early beta of the new APP and website launching this Spring. Imagine American Idol (if it was global and in the palm of your hand) + LinkedIn + Vimeo + IMDB for artists as well as everyday people who just love music. Not only will it be a global talent contest platform with quarterly amazing contests winning experiences with the biggest artists in the world and cash prizes, but mydiveo.com will be the world’s premier platform designed by music industry professionals where talent scouts, A&Rs, managers, labels, artists, musicians & brands discover talent from across the world. We are a multi-platform network through various partnerships which will expedite the artist discovery process, foster collaboration & increase monetization for everyone apart of the network via offline, online, radio, TV programs alongside integrated marketing campaigns and original branded content.
Jocelyn: It seems like every successful person has a mentor; who would you consider your mentor?
Roslynn: I’ve had several over the course of my career that I’ve worked directly with like Tess Taylor, Founder of the National Association Of Record Industry Professions (NARIP) to the original Myspace.com Co-Founders Chris Dewolfe and Tom Anderson to artist manager Polo Molina & will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas operate, DJ Skee/Ryan Tomlinson founders of Dash Radio and Skee.TV to indirect influencers like Bigga B. / Orlando, creators of the Los Angeles historic Hip-Hop club, UNITY, to Sway & King Tek of the Wake Up Show, but my biggest mentors, are the 20+ year successful business owners in my own family which include my mom Maria Alba (Farmers Insurance) and cousin Jhoanna Alba (ALBA Legacy Bespoke custom clothing), each boast over 1,000 loyal clients due to our family’s unique grassroots marketing techniques.
Jocelyn: How do you balance your personal life and a job that is non-stop?
Roslynn: (1) By having an amazing, understanding, patient boyfriend who is constantly supportive and continuously reminds me how much he loves me, even when I’m not always paying attention because I’m glued to my phone or traveling. He’s annoyingly positive and understands my stresses and looks to alleviate as much as he can.
(2) By having a crazy but lovable large Filipino Alba/Cobarrubias/Cruz family that doesn’t let you get away with missing a birthday dinner or Christmas party. They keep me grounded and accountable for making time for them. They don’t care about what you’re working on; they care about how much time they get to spend with you.
(3) By being from an amazing city like Walnut, CA that allows you to still have the same girl and guy best friends that you went to Junior High School with you that champion your successes but talk shit and laugh with you whenever you see them to remind you of how close your bond will forever be that have over 50 amazing little children between all of them that are impossible not to adore and you will want to play with all day. Check the hashtag #walnutgirls
Jocelyn: What are you working on? What can we expect from you in 2015?
Roslynn: Every day it’s something new, but our mydiveo App and website is definitely a priority. I can’t wait for helping people “connect the dots” and “network” is common language not only to people in the music or entertainment industry but music is just the gateway, when people of all industries are using our platform and helping themselves or their careers, I know my 2015 will be complete. You can also expect a lot of great syndicated content and events not only from our FourXample Productions team but of other artists and content creators that receive direct funding from private investors, advertisers, etc. looking to invest in the next generation of influencers by discovering them first on our platform.
Stay connected w/ Roslynn: