Category: Entertainment

Join Me in June for a “Fireside Chat” with the Leading Minds in Branding, Coaching and

I’m pleased to share with all of you that my weekly “All Access Radio” Show has developed a strong and loyal following!  Over 20,000 downloads in just a few months.  I’ve been graced to interview some of the top digital visionaries and leading voices in the music and technology industries, as well as some great voices in the music and entertainment industries, including Finbar O’Hanlon, Hollywood Producer, Gary Goldstein, Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard; the President of Rafelson Media (and well known songwriter) Peter Rafelson; and entertainment technology visionary (and one of the sharpest minds in digital music) Jim Griffin. That list continues in the upcoming weeks.  I hope you’ll be able to tune in during June as I interview:

Monday 6/6 – 5pm Pacific TimeLibby Gill, CEO of Libby Gill & Co.

Branding Guru, Libby Gill is an entertainment industry veteran. Libby Gill spent 15 years heading public relations and corporate communications as senior vice president at Universal Studios; and vice president at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Turner Broadcasting. She was also the PR/branding brain behind the launch of the Dr. Phil Show.  A widely acclaimed speaker, Libby has delivered keynote speeches to organizations including Microsoft, Disney-ABC, Cisco Systems, Comcast, the US Travel Association, The Conference Board and many others. She is also the author of the best seller, “You Unstuck – Mastering the New Rules of Risk Taking in Work and Life.”

Monday 6/13 – 5pm Pacific TimeTerry McBride

Terry McBride is the current CEO and one of three founders of the Nettwerk Music Group, which includes Nettwerk Productions (Canada’s largest independent record label), Nettwerk Management (artist and producer management), Nettwerk One (publishing), and Artwerks (graphic & fashion design). Nettwerk has corporate offices in Vancouver, Boston, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Hamburg and London. Since its inception, Nettwerk has released over 500 different albums and sold over 150 million albums worldwide. In the past few years McBride has spoke at dozens of international conferences about advances in digital technology, intellectual property rights and the future of music distribution. Terry has twice been awarded the Pollstar Industry Award for Personal Manager of the year for his work with Sarah McLachlan (1997) and Avril Lavigne / Coldplay (2002).

Monday 6/20 – 5pm Pacific TimeAlan Cohen

Alan Cohen is a respected keynoter and seminar leader for professional meetings in the fields of personal growth, inspiration, holistic health, human relations, and achievement of work/life balance. He conducts Life Mastery Trainings around the world, and is the founder of All About U., a university without walls dedicated to higher learning for the higher self. Alan is a faculty member of Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, and has appeared on national radio and television, including Good Morning shows around the nation. His seminars have regularly been broadcast via satellite on the Wisdom Channel.  Alan is the author of 24 popular inspirational books and CD’s, including the best-selling The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life, and the classic Are You as Happy as Your Dog? He is a contributing writer for the New York Times #1 bestselling series “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” and his books have been translated into 24 foreign languages.

Monday 6/27 – 5pm Pacific TimeIan Miller, CEO of The Brand Practice

Ian Miller is the CEO and Founder of The Brand Practice LLC, a business and brand strategy consultancy. Ian Miller is an expert brand and marketing strategist with 30 years experience in building rapidly accepted/competitively advantaged brands. A recognized expert / lecturer in Ingredient Branding, Ian Miller has led the creation and global launch of the ingredient brand, NutraSweet, and worked closely with 50+ partner brands including Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. Ian has applied this expertise to the successful growth of the Splenda brand and similar launches in consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, retail and grocery.  For 10 years Ian has lectured and authored and founded a successful business/brand strategy/design company based primarily on his Rocket Branding strategic and insight research techniques. Additionally, Ian has taken on partnership and leadership roles for RightPoint, a fast growing digital technology and marketing firm with several fortune 500 clients.

So please join me each week as I host an intimate “fireside chat” with some of the leading minds in technology and digital music and media.  You can find my entire library of recordings at as well as some personal interviews where I share about my own experiences over a twenty plus career in music and tech.  See you there!

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC




God Only Knows. Minefields and Memories…

I was recently speaking to one of my clients about high points of our careers, and I wanted to share one with you all.

I’ve had the chance to work on some really amazing projects over the years. I got to be part of the team that launched music at Apple, I’ve helped produce the PollStar Awards show year after year, with my good friend Steve Macfadyen (see our recent interview), and I’ve been part of the team on some amazing, very private, celebrity gigs.

These are often private fundraisers for a celebrity’s own foundation or choice pick charity. One of these was the “Open Hearts – Clear Mines” Adopt-a-Minefield benefit concert given by Sir Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, where they joined together and sang, “God Only Knows.”

The concert and the song definitely live in my mind as one of the most moving and inspiring events that I ever participated in. Although there isn’t any video from the event to really speak of, there is a snippet of it in an Access Hollywood interview, speaking with Sir Paul and host, Jay Leno, about the event. (See below.)

As an event Producer and Celebrity Wrangler, it’s events like these that become knots in the thread of one’s life. I’m proud to have been part of that moment. To donate to Adopt-a-Minefield, go to

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

Peter Rafelson – A New Chapter in a Long Hollywood Legacy

When you talk to Peter Rafelson, whether you know him or not, you cannot help but feel like you’ve been friends for years. His open demeanor and easy going style just feel warm and familiar. That laid back nature is a strong irony, of course, when held up to his long list of achievements in the music and film industries. For those of you who don’t know, Peter Rafelson is from some pretty good Hollywood stock. The Rafelson family has an amazing legacy in Hollywood – beginning with Samson Raphaelson, who wrote The Jazz Singer in the 1920’s. Peter’s father, Bob Rafelson, was among the first catalysts of the independent film movement of the 1960’s (and the Producer of cult favorite, The Monkees).

Growing up surrounded by Hollywood royalty, like Jack Nicholson, The Beatles and Bob Dillon, and being immersed in the renegade, independent film business of the 1960’s, Rafelson was blessed with a myriad of artistic role models. He shared this thought with me in a recent interview, “Growing up in that environment, it was very hard to distinguish between dreams and reality. For me, seeing people in my living room and then watching them on TV that night didn’t seem unnatural. Because of that, I was encouraged to and supported in pretty much anything I wished to pursue.”

Of course, it’s a certainty that being surrounded by a successful family tapestry can go either way. It can create a weight so heavy that it weighs down its subject – or it can become like wings, moving a person to even higher achievements. Thankfully for Rafelson, and for us, it’s always been the latter. Believing he could create his own legacy, he went into the music industry at a very early age and began a long, long success story that continues to be written.

As a songwriter and musician, Peter has worked with industry giants like Jackson Browne and Sir Elton John. He’s written a long list of successful songs, including Madonna’s # 1 single “Open Your Heart” (with 27 million sold) and top 10 singles for Stevie Nicks and Britney Spears, among others. In fact, Rafelson has had more than twenty #1 songs. (In addition, he has acted in over 10 feature films, including fame.) In his current life, he’s signing and producing artists for his own label, RM Records, as well as developing projects for film and TV – and he recently traveled to Southeast Asia on a diplomatic mission to develop business relations for the entertainment industry. He’s also the President of Rafelson Media, which produces and consults for new technology and media companies, and his client list reads like the Fortune 500, including industry giants like Microsoft, Apple and Toshiba.

None of this defines who Peter Rafelson is as a person, of course, and how the rich tapestry of the Rafelson legacy affected his life. Before going into legacy further, be assured that Peter Rafelson is, quite simply, one of the good guys. He’s gracious, talented, extremely smart, inspiring and a thought leader in the world of technology and media. And he’s always up for a new challenge and a new project.

As a Producer and the CEO of the All Access Group, one of my passions has always been to produce a series of legacy artists who come from Rock and Roll Royalty or film royalty and how that impacts how they live their lives. So this question of legacy is one I take very seriously. Asked about this, Peter responded with his typical, uncanny honesty.

“It was intimidating. My heart goes out to anybody who has a legacy to live up to… It’s tough, because expectations are higher, and the bar has been raised substantially. The caviat is constantly comparing yourself to family members and not being discouraged and trying to find your own identity and establish and position yourself apart.”

Luckily for us, establishing his own identity was only the beginning for Peter Rafelson. A visionary, an artist, a writer, and a friend, his is a story that is surely to be continued.

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

To hear my entire interview with Peter Rafelson, see my Industry Insider Interviews at

Join Me for a “Fireside Chat” with the Leading Minds in Tech and Digital Music / Media

I’m pleased to share with all of you that my weekly “All Access Radio” Show has developed a strong and loyal following!  Over 15,000 downloads in only a few short weeks.

I’ve also been graced with some of the top digital visionaries and leading voices in the music and technology industries, including Ty Roberts, Ian Rogers, and Tom Silverman (among others).  That list continues in the upcoming weeks.  I hope you’ll be able to tune in as I interview Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard; the President of Rafelson Media (and well known songwriter) Peter Rafelson; and entertainment technology visionary (and one of the sharpest minds in digital music) Jim Griffin.

Here’s the schedule and some background on each:

Gerd Leonhard – Monday 4/11 – 5pm Pacific Time

Gerd Leonhard is a media futurist, writer, keynote speaker and strategist with 25 years in the tech and entertainment industries in all major markets. Leonhard’s focus is on new technologies in content and media and technological convergence.  You can listen online at or you can simply call in and listen over your phone (626) 696-8608.

Leonhard’s work focuses on digital content, media, telecom, marketing and communications. He was the Co-Founder and CEO of SONIFIC and in 2010 Gerd Leonhard established The Futures Agency. The Futures Agency offers think-tank and training events, workshops and executive seminars, keynote speeches and advisory services to leading companies in the telecom, media, advertising and tech industries.

Peter Rafelson – Monday 4/18 – 5pm Pacific Time

Peter Rafelson is the President of Rafelson Media, which produces and consults for new technology and media companies – with a client list that includes industry giants like Microsoft, Apple and Toshiba. Peter is a well known writer and musician, working with music greats like Jackson Browne and Elton John. He’s written many successful songs, including Madonna’s # 1 “Open Your Heart” (27 million sold) and top 10 singles for Stevie Nicks and Jane Wiedlin of the GoGo’s. In addition to scoring and composing, he has acted in over 10 feature films, including FAME. You can listen online at or you can simply call in and listen over your phone (626) 696-8608.

Peter is currently signing and producing artists for his own label, RM Records and developing projects for the film, TV. Peter recently traveled to Southeast Asia on a diplomatic mission to develop business relations for the entertainment industry. He is currently a staff producer for 2K/Virgin Records, an EMI record label.

Jim Griffin – Monday 4/25 – 5pm Pacific

Jim Griffin is an entertainment technology visionary and one of the sharpest minds in digital music. Griffin is the Managing Director of OneHouse, a company dedicated to the future of music and entertainment delivery.

Jim Griffin is focused on accelerating the pace of scholarly research thru collaborative tools and open access to knowledge. He started and runs Choruss LLC, incubated by Warner Music Group, and successfully led the team that built a new model for sound recordings: Sharing music with flat-fee access to unlimited downloads for students.

He also ran the tech dept at Geffen Records for 5 years (distributing the first full-length commercial song on-line, by Aerosmith). He is often a keynote speaker or moderator (Internet Summit, Giga Conference, Comdex, CES, Webnoize…) and lectures at business schools (Harvard, USC, UCLA, Berkeley). He also serves as an expert witness in digital entertainment. You can listen online at or you can simply call in and listen over your phone (626) 696-8608.

So please join me each week as I host an intimate “fireside chat” with some of the leading minds in technology and digital music and media.  You can find my entire library of recordings at as well as some personal interviews where I share about my own experiences over a twenty plus career in music and tech.  See you there!

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC


Making a Mark at Digital Hollywood Spring

I’m very excited to share with everyone that I will be moderating a panel session at Digital Hollywood Spring at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey on Wednesday May 4th.  Here are the details on my panel, and some more information on the event itself.

Music Apps for SmartPhones, Tablets & Social Media is one of the hottest issues and opportunities in the digital arena right now, and I’m excited to have an amazing panel of experts to lead in that discussion.

My panel:

Wed. May 4th from 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Track III:  Music Apps for SmartPhones, Tablets & Social Media – Reaching Millions – Monetization

Panel Members include:

Larry Miller, founder – Chairman, ROBA Interactive
Michael Schneider,CEO, Mobile Roadie
Les Borsai, founder, Gridmob
KamranV, CyKiK
Timo Poijärvi, co-founder, Hitlantis
John Rudolph, CEO, Bug Music
Nik Miskov, VP of Business Development, CamUp
Robert (Leo) Rodgers, Sr. VP & Label Liaison, Bungalo Records

The entire event runs from May 2 through 5 and is jam-packed with a schedule of in-depth discussions and networking focusing on the top business issues impacting technology in entertainment today.  The Summit’s unique environment enables attendees to engage, debate and refine the latest tech developments in the entertainment marketplace. With an unprecedented group of opinion leaders, the summit will focus on how companies can capitalize on innovations in technology and is a “must-attend” event for individuals and companies working at the intersection of content, technology and entertainment.  *Attendees will be free to move from conference room to conference room during the day.

If anyone has any questions or wants to make arrangements to connect with me, please reach out directly by email at

Kelli Richards, President & CEO of The All Access Group, LLC

Author of the forthcoming book:
“You Say You Want a Revolution:  An Artist’s Manifesto
for Success in the Digital Age” (due out 11.11.11)

Co-Author of  “The Art of Digital Music”

The Futures Agency

I was recently invited to be part of The Futures Agency by my good friend and colleague, Gerd Leonhard.

For those of you who do not know, The Futures Agency is the name of Gerd’s company, but he’s also created an online industry think-tank of friends and colleagues. I’m super excited to be part of this think-tank and elite group of leaders in the digital industry. I’ll be writing more about this over the coming weeks and months, but for now, I’d like to invite everyone to *like* The Futures Agency Facebook Page: to become part of the growing conversation around creating meaningful change in how data is shared, sold and created.

Here’s a great example of Gerd Leonhard (at TEDx Warwick).  For more information about Gerd Leonhard’s company, The Futures Agency, please visit his website:

TEDxWarwick – Gerd Leonhard – Friction is Fiction: The Future of Business, Communications and Media
To your success!  Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group

* A few notes: TFA is based in Switzerland and is currently comprised of 15 Associates working directly with Gerd Leonard on an independent basis: Jack Myers, Glen Hiemstra, Ross Dawson, Mike Masnick, Alan Moore, Jonathan MacDonald, Kei Shimada and Didier Marlier, to name only a few of them. Gerd Leonhard will serve as CEO and plans to grow his company into one of the most amazing agencies on the planet, based on 5 key principles: 1. Knowledge grows when shared, therefore we share everything 2. Proudly find elsewhere (PFE) 3. Do what you do best and link to the rest (*Jeff Jarvis) 4. Spend less time being important and more time being relevant 5. The leaders of the future are connectors – not just directors.

Gerd’s free iPhone / Android apps are available here:

An Intimate Q&A with Tom Silverman, CEO of Tommy Boy Entertainment

Tom Silverman, CEO of Tommy Boy Entertainment and the Force Behind the New Music Seminar Speaks with Kelli about where the Music Industry is Headed.

Here are a few excerpts of my interview with Tom Silverman on my All Access Radio Show. To hear the entire interview, please visit my website at


Kelli:  Tom, where do you see the future of music and artistic control of content heading?

Tom: Artistic control. Wow. I don’t like to use the word control when I’m talking about artistic. I think the problem with the business right now is it’s based on control. The old music business was based on control. And you know, we’re starting to build a new music business that’s based on different values altogether … The old business really was based on power and control and coercion… all that “nice” stuff, and the new business really is based on cooperation, community, connection and collaboration.  It’s a much different paradigm.


Kelli:  Tom, why do you think traditional labels are so afraid to hire new artists and how do you think a new artist can succeed despite these roadblocks?

Tom:  … Whenever you have a consolidated business or industry, they become risk averse.  The more companies roll up and consolidate, the less risk they take.  That’s true in any business. The labels would rather be conservative … it costs a million dollars to roll the dice every time you sign a new artist.  It’s at least a million dollars in America even to see what you have.  They’re saying,’ let’s sign less artists and let’s spend less money on those few artists that we do sign them, in marketing, and then let’s do 360 deals with them so we have a bigger return’


Kelli:  And some artists, the smart ones, aren’t signing those kinds of deals, right?


. … If you want to be signed in the early part of your career, when you don’t have any hits yet and no history, you’re going to have to do a 360 deal – or you’re not doing a deal – that’s just the way it is – unless you go with a small independent.

Kelli:  How should a new artist succeed, if in fact, they don’t get signed by a label?

Tom: Okay, a lot of what we’re talking about now is New Music Seminar curriculum.  An artist has to do it themselves anyway at the beginning – there’s almost no artist being signed off of just hearing a tape or CD.  That’s just not happening any more.  They have to have some action – some story – some heat.  They have to bring heat to the table before anyone cares about them.  Before a booking agent cares about them, before a manager cares about them, before a label cares about them.  Think about a label as an investor. If you’re a venture capitalist, you have to have some reason to sign the deal. It’s about managing risk and reward.  We can’t get caught up in the emotions of music. It’s just a business reality.


One of the things we’re trying to do is to create a new business reality, an alternative to this. One which would please the artist in the long run, make money for the investor in a five or ten to 1 return on a hit, so that more money can flow back into the business and more artists get signed and more artists have an opportunity to break through. Not that you can’t break through on your own, but I have to say, I’ve done some research … in 2008, there were only 1500 artists that sold over 10,000 albums that year.  There were only 200 new artists that had never done it before, and that includes Lady Gaga.  So let’s use that number.  I like to call it the obscurity level – when an artist breaks 10,000 albums, they’re in the game. So out of those 200, 192 were actually on independent labels; only 8 were doing it themselves.


Kelli:  Tom, you relaunched New Music Seminar a couple of years ago (and I’m thrilled to be part of it this year, by the way). Share with the audience more about New Music Seminar.  What’s behind it?


Tom: … Our message is a very specific one.  The record business is dying.  It’s sinking.  There’s nothing that’s going to happen that’s going to change that.  But there will still be a music business. We just don’t know what it will be, and the purpose of the New Music Seminar is to build the next music business, hopefully a profitable and sustainable music business.  So we’re convening the architects and designers of the next music business. I mean, everyone knows how bad the record business is right now, and for the last ten years they’ve known it.  We don’t waste a lot of time talking about that, because talking about a bad situation doesn’t change it. We want to be constructive. We’re not trying to fix a broken boat. We’re trying to build a new boat. It seems like other conferences talk about how do you bail water out of this boat to slow the sinking. Do we bail to the left or to the right?


Kelli:  Yes, this is all about solutions and hope and a design for what comes next.




You can catch my show every Monday at 5pm PST.


Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

Hot Stuff from Hot Caramel – Excerpts from my Interview with Irene Cara

Being able to support great artists and entrepreneurs as they break away from past successes in their lives and embark on the new is one of life’s biggest highs for me.  Few performers have had the amazing success and influence of Irene Cara – I had the chance to interview Irene recently and to hear about her new group, “Hot Caramel.”  The direction Irene Cara’s sound and life has taken is deeply inspiring.  Just to remind everyone about Irene’s lifetime of successes, as an actress, Irene received the Image Award for Best Actress for her work with Diahann Carroll in the NBC Movie of the Week, Sisters.  She also received an NAACP Image Award Nomination for her portrayal of Myrlie Evers in the PBS movie on Civil Rights Leader Medger Evers “For Us the Living.”

For Flashdance alone Irene won 5 major awards, including Top Female Vocalist-Pop Singles and Pop Single of the Year. As a songwriter her talent earned her an Academy Award, 2 Grammys, a Golden Globe and a Peoples Choice Award for Flashdance. She was also the first African American female to win an Academy Award since Hattie McDaniel in 1939, plus the first Hispanic female since Rita Moreno and the first bi-racial female ever to win in any category – pre-dating Halle Berry by nearly 20 years.

Here are a few excerpts from our interview.  You can hear the entire Q&A at

Kelli Richards: “You know, Irene, there’s just so much to say about the amazing career you’ve enjoyed.  Your list of awards is long and impressive. If you’re able to choose just one or two, what have been the most shining moments in your career that you’ve been most proud of?

Irene Cara: “I think this new phase is really the most important thing to me now. I mean, I don’t like to look backwards.  I like to live in the present and look forward – to look toward the future.  I started in the industry as a child … and I did a lot of work as a 5 year old, 6 year old, 8 year old, 11 year old.  You know, I did Electric Company when I was a child.  I did my first movie at fourteen, a highly acclaimed, pretty much is considered an African-American classic called “Sparkle.” At the time that was unique, because that was during the whole black exploitation genre of films.  There were very few films about people of color.


Of course, Roots was iconic classic television series that started the whole miniseries genre.  I played Alex Haley’s mother as a young girl.  I started my entire career as a child and then into my teens.  And then, you know, Fame and Flashdance were pretty much the end of an era for me.  Pretty much the highlight of a 20 year career for me…

So now, this is the stage where I consider the beginning of my adult career.  It really embodies who I truly am as an artist.


… I’ve been a working artist since childhood, and this is the first time where I’m now free to express myself as an adult artist the way I see myself … not fulfilling someone else’s vision of what that is.


To learn more about Hot Caramel’s new double CD, visit

Kelli Richards, CEO, The All Access Group, LLC

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