Did you know … he started off at ED Publications as an editorial intern?
Did you know … he’s been at ED for over a decade?
Did you know … he became ED’s head sales person in September 2017, after serving in both an editorial and marketing capacity?
Did you know … instead of being upset at the person who replaced him as the Assistant Editor … he married her?
Did you know … he saw Slayer for the very first time just a year ago?
There’s probably a lot of things you don’t know about ED Publications head of sales, Kristofer Kay, from his time as an ED intern (who drive over an hour just to talk with ED’s Associate Publisher Dave Manack and learn all he could about the business), to his current, key position as the main sales guy. Without further adieu and in conjunction with Concret Marketing and StripJointsMusic.com (check out Kris’ Spotify playlist at the end of this article), here’s five questions with the nice guy who definitely didn’t finish last.
ED PUB: In September 2017, you became ED’s head sales person. That was obviously a big leap for you. How have you adjusted to such an important role within the company?KAY: The short anwer is, “better than I expected.” I am being self-deprecating to an extent but I don’t have any formal education in Marketing; I received my degree in Creative Writing, which only lends itself in this arena to decently constructed emails, on a good day. But I love this industry, and moreover, I’m fascinated about the business logistics of this industry, especially putting particular businesses together with club owners and seeing those types of relationships flourish.ED PUB: You began your career at ED Publications well over a decade ago as an intern. How would you describe your evolution within the company and the twists and turns your career has taken?
KAY: After my first day as an intern at ED, I never thought about wanting to work anywhere else. I only wanted to ascend here. It sounds like I’m rubber stamping the sentiment as a company man but it’s true, at the time I wanted to be the best staff writer ED has ever had. I wanted to meet everyone and learn everything so I would grow into a position to become more than just “the intern” or the assistant, because sometimes that label sticks like a scarlet letter. Fortunately, I’ve been mentored by a great teacher, Dave Manack, our Associate Publisher, who has taught me how to properly navigate like a professional in this industry. And there have been seismic changes, on a fundamental personal level even. If it wasn’t for our Publisher, Don Waitt‘s, insistence that I move over to our marketing department, I would have never met the beautiful blonde who was eventually hired to take my position as Assistant Editor. Some twists, some turns and some two-odd years later she became my wife. So the evolution is constantly in motion at ED, on all sides, and that’s what makes me excited to come into work every day. It’s never ever stagnant.
ED PUB: The Expo is clearly the company’s focal point each year. How many Expos have you been a part of now, and what are some of your favorite convention memories over the years?
KAY: 2018 will mark my twelfth Expo. As far as memories, I’ve been lucky to recount so many. Off the top of my head I recall the times where I managed to inadvertently piss off Vince Neil twice, the time where I was able to ask the late, great Vinnie Paul about metal bands and in turn he asked me about strip clubs, and the odd instance where I spent the evening with Vernon Reid of Living Colour looking for his lost wallet at Mandalay Bay. There was so much drama that night I never got around to tell him how much his band meant to me growing up.
ED PUB: As the previous Assistant Editor at ED Publications, you were actively involved with Concrete Marketing and StripJointsMusic.com by interviewing a number of bands over the years. Of those, which were the most memorable (the best and/or most fun, and the … shall we say, not the most fun)?
KAY: My all-time favorite interview was Nick Cave. As an artist Nick is a bit of an enigma, going into the interview I had no idea what to expect with the man and the whole idea of a Nick Cave song being played in a strip club alluded me. But on the phone he was not this dark lord of goth punk but this very affable Australian gentlemen who, to this day, has the best “phone voice” I’ve ever heard. The conversation was going to be about his latest single from his group, “Grinderman,” featured on StripJoints, but what it eventually morphed into was a captivating discussion about art and literature, and movies. He went on to tell me his concept for “Gladiator 2” (which he was commissioned to write, but never produced) and it totally blew me away. I think it’s online if people are interested. He was intriguing.
As far as not the best, well, I’m a die-hard, old-school, rap fan, so having to speak with trap artists is … challenging. Living in the south, and remembering how rap came up from here, I simply can’t connect to this modern iteration of hip-hop. Although, my wife likes Migos. So I guess that means I like Migos.
Years employed at ED Publications: 12 years
Favorite recording artist: Prince
Industry hero: Joe Redner
Favorite feature entertainers: Zoe Britton, Christina Aguchi, Lacey Rain, Roxi D’Lite
Favorite part of your work day: Whenever a contact comes back with full payment attached!
Pet working peeve: Industry apathy
Advice for industry pros: Moderation is key; speak less, listen more; always be grateful