Career Capsule: Donna has worked in the music industry for over 30 years in five (and sometimes more) capacities (singer, songwriter, touring artist, producer, radio promotion and marketing). She and her husband, Zane, have a duo, Zane & Donna King. They are signed to StowTown Records. She returned to radio work with StowTown Records because of her love and appreciation for the label and how well they represent their artists. As a radio promoter she has celebrated numerous Number One songs, but she is ever aware that it takes a great team. She feels that is exactly what she has at StowTown Records. She says she is blessed to serve with an incredible label team. And, she is honored to work with amazing radio stations and networks and the wonderful artists she represents.
Donna, tell us about what’s new with you, your latest adventures, happenings at StowTown Records?
While I continue to write music and make music as a duo with my husband, Zane, I am honored and blessed to help represent the awesome roster of artists at StowTown Records! So what is life right now? Writing, Radio, and Relationships… I get to share incredible music with the world as a partner in ministry with radio stations everywhere. I get to work with an amazing team at StowTown. Every day is an adventure!
Since you have a such a busy schedule, how do you best manage your responsibilities and priorities?
I am big on time-blocking. Setting certain hours for certain things is helpful to me. However, I always add a caveat of “be flexible” for myself! I am big on To Do Lists and Excel Spread Sheets (exciting I know HAHA) and even iPhone reminders… In fact, I set an iPhone reminder for this interview. It is an honor to be asked to share a little about my crazy and grateful life and I wanted to carve out the time to sit down and share with you!
Complete this sentence: The best way to get a new artist recognized is to____________ ?
Make sure they make great music and have a solid and relational marketing plan.
Generally speaking how do you see the state of Christian radio?
I see it as multi-faceted and vital, from internet growth and social media outreach to still being there on the dial in the car for folks who need to tune in and find some hope. I also believe because of the expansion of the digital music world, we must remember that there is nothing like the relationship that radio provides. When there is someone behind that microphone, playing that music, it means something. I have a lot of hope for the future of radio.
Regarding record sales how has it changed ….please explain?
That is a challenging question… I think it has been dramatically affected by digital streaming. I also believe that artists and labels find new and innovative ways to reach their audience and listeners and that is powerful. Music must continue to bring revenue or the musicians will have to stay home. And, where would we be without a song? So, I am grateful beyond words to radio. Radio is that faithful friend who, amidst every challenge, continues to strive to be there, partnering with artists and labels in Christian music to touch lives. Thank you to every one of you reading this right now.
What promotions with radio have you been involved with personally that are most memorable?
There is nothing like calling an artist to tell them that their song has reached number one. Over the many years I have worked on the music industry side, I love those moments. But, there is something I love more… I love promoting the love of God. I love heart action over chart action. And when a song touches a life… that is the most rewarding part of my job.
Do you feel the record/radio relationship is still as important as it has been in the past………..explain how its same/different?
The only things that have changed to me are the many ways we can communicate with each other now…But relationships are still so meaningful and so important. No matter how we connect, connecting is important. If you get an email from me, you’ll notice that my title is Director of Radio Relationships. That is very deliberate. Everything good starts with a good relationship. From fellow labels, to stations, to artists… we are all working together with a common goal… Jesus be magnified. I hope that, in my own heart, I will always keep that my first goal. I am surely blessed and so grateful to serve StowTown, our artists, and our radio stations.
Who are your industry heroes, people you admire and look up to?
It’s hard for me to name my heroes because there are so many. But, some that come to mind immediately are Dusty Wells (A & R for Daywind Records), Joel Lindsey (My publisher at Sunset Gallery Music), and Al Andrews (Porter’s Call founder, which is a ministry to full-time artists). Heroes, to me, are those who know why we do what we do and they keep doing it, despite obstacles and doubts that might arise. And they do EVERYTHING with so much love, care, and prayer. And that describes these I mentioned for sure.