A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk with John “JR” Roberson of BIG Foot Music and Outdoor about the services his company has to offer those in the music industry. We covered a lot of topics concerning the insider workings of the music industry and what is on the horizon for John “JR” Roberson.
Now most of you know JR as a local Armuchee boy that moved to Nashville to live out the dream of a song writer, manager, developer, and consultant. The story of how JR went from local football stand out to a music man is very interesting.
JR is a 1997 graduate from Armuchee High School located just a little north of downtown Rome, GA. Life throws a few curve balls and the straight path from point A to B to C and further, isn’t exactly the path you had planned. JR had plans to play high school and college football, as well as going into coaching. His back up plan was to go into engineering, which he had a great deal of success as an intern in high school. His career path had to take an unexpected turn once his father was diagnosed with cancer. JR continued working while putting his dreams on hold to help his family.
After graduation, JR was able to get into fiber optics by designing for telecommunications. He was making a nice salary and providing a nice life in that industry until 2013. In 2012 he began dabbling in the world of music management finding that was where his passion truly was in the industry. JR was an aspiring singer/songwriter as early as 2003. His love of music started as a songwriter but JR saw that he had the ability, passion, and drive to manage and develop acts. Of course, as any loving father will tell you, the duty of being a father called him away for awhile until he felt that he had the resources and network to go into it full-time. His first artist that he managed was Preston Summerville in 2012.
Once again JR finds himself taking another leap of faith and moves out to Nashville and take up music full-time in November 2013. He started his company Bigfoot Music and Outdoor off of his unemployment. At that time he was managing Season 5 Nashville Star Runner up, Zac Hacker. He has consulted fairs, record industries, and other management agencies.
Now in 2016 Bigfoot Music and Outdoors has merged with Banner Music in Nashville on Music Row. They represent artists from all over the country. Trust me when I say, JR will be working with some legendary performers, platinum selling artists, as well as many up coming artists. You will be truly impressed at the list he will be working with.
The aspiring songwriter in JR will also keep the drive for him to continue with showcases. He wants to give people the tools needed to make it in the industry. The showcases are set up so the artist can consult with them about ways to improve, work that can be done, etc. JR feels he excels by showing artists that they may have the deals, managers, you still have to get out and hustle. Fans are the most important thing the artist needs and JR tries to consult the artists on making sure they are doing everything possible to draw fans. JR also tries to show the “Georgia Effect” on the industry. Georgia is taking over the country music and that building relationships with these established artists is important.
JR has the right to brag that his group of performers is packed with potential new artists that can break into the scene at any time. Organic approach is the way JR likes to have an artist grow. With the Organic approach, you are creating a product, growing a fan base, with pure and honest lyrics, sung with no help from the studio. Chris Stapleton is a great example of what a pure, Organic, system to grow the craft.
JR knows the fans are going to be appreciative with the approach of hard work to produce quality music from the artist.
Big Foot Music and Outdoors will live their name well this year as “Come big or Go home”. JR feels that he is finally in the position to leave his imprint on Nashville. JR always refers to coming home, doing shows, as a great homecoming. “It is a good feeling to come home and be able to entertain the folks I grew up with.” JR told me. JR also told me that Rome is becoming a hotbed of music.
JR is always looking for ways to improve the music industry and I know that he is the one to help cultivate and produce great singers with the potential to have longevity in the business.