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Ep. 43 - "A Healthy World Begins With A Healthy Artist" - An Interview With Tammy McCrary

by Hearts Rise Up
April 6th 2021
Tammy McCrary is an entertainment consultant, an entrepreneur, and the architect (CEO and Founder) of Artistology, a wellness community with resources for members to reach their highest potential and ... More
Come on, thank you for tuning your heart's in for another episode of the Hearts Rise up podcast. I'm carol chapman, your host along with my co host and Siri and Concetta antonelli. We share our own personal experiences, tips and strategies along with powerful stories and compelling insights from guest interviews. We're here to inspire and empower your conscious evolution, help you tap into your inner wisdom and rise to your heart centered higher self. Together we can rise to a higher level of consciousness, an elevated state of being and experience more love, joy and freedom. Mhm. Mhm. Welcome back, Heart centered listeners, thank you for joining us for another episode of the Hearts Rise Up podcast.

I'm carol chapman, your host and I am very thrilled to introduce my featured guest today on the show. Tammy McCrary. Let me share a little bit about tammy. She is the ceo and founder of artist Ology, the first exclusive online and offline community offering courses, experiences and other valuable resources to support music artists. Tammy is an entertainment consultant, an entrepreneur. She has lived and breathed innovation and entertainment for more than 25 years from her time as a hands on artist manager and her role as a brand strategist to her success as a senior level entertainment business executive and non profit sector. Later, tammy has excelled at reimagining what it means to be a music industry pioneer, passionate proponent of collaboration, tammy co created the energy tuner app and co authored two amazing amazon number one best sellers, the transformational power of sound and music, a handbook for the sound healer and musician and succeeding through doubt and fear tammy a very warm welcome to the show.

It's so wonderful to have you here, oh my goodness carol, it's so wonderful to be here. I've been looking forward to chatting with you, I so enjoyed our first conversations and I'm so looking forward to diving in deep with you today. Me too, and I am so thrilled that I yell at Baron introduced us a while back. I love connecting with heart centered souls and it's even better when I can bring them on the show, like you to share your journey and the wisdom that you've gained along the way and the conversation that we had previously was just so fascinating to hear about your career, your life and like most of us we have lots of twists and turns and challenges and things that we have to deal with in life and life takes us along, you know, a windy path, so I would love To know more about the 25 years that you've spent in the entertainment industry and how you found a new purpose and path to pursue first.

I think it would be great to know a little bit more about your journey and some of the challenges and defining moments in your life that really have got you to where you are today and who you are today, where would you like to start? Well, you know, it's interesting because I think I was just kind of destined to be in this space and working with artists because I come from a family full of artists like originally from Chicago and literally my mother, all my siblings and now my Children too are all music artists. My mother is also a fine painter. Both of my sisters are our sketch artist. The gift of creativity and creative expression is just everywhere around me. So I think I was destined to work and be around creativity. It's amazing how it just runs in families. You see it so much and what's really interesting is sometimes when you find somebody in your family who is not like the rest of you, you kind of wonder, well, where do they come from?

But go ahead, tell me a little bit more about some of the defining moments in your life that have really gotten you to where you are today. And I think it's fascinating. I'm always fascinated with people who come from a long history of creative people in their family, it's just wonderful to learn more about the things that they go through and what they bring to the world, so share a little bit more. Yeah, so my eldest sister, who is a shock a con when she, she's 15 years older than me. So, as I was growing up, I kind of grew up in the space of her being a successful artist because it was kind of at the time of when her career was taking off that I was coming into, you know, just kind of knowing what was going on, and I always just, I knew that as my reality, people would go well what is it like, you know, growing up in a family with Chaka khan as your big sister, and I go well, you know, I don't I don't know anything different, but what I did see throwing up is the power and the impact that she and I was blessed to be around a lot of her peers as well, because she was a great collaborator and I would see just the impact that the gift of song and music would would have on people, and I thought, wow, I mean, like literally just see people be so moved and and share stories of how literally their lives were changed as a result of experiencing someone's music was just fascinating to me, so as I started growing up and trying to decide what it was that I wanted to do with my life, and I went to university, I initially was intending to study to be an accountant, business manager, because with my mother's prodding, she was like well you need to go to school and learn how to manage money, so you can help too, you know make sure that your sister and our family is going to be okay, and I went in with that intention originally, and then I started on the path of pursuing you know just being a business manager, going into accounting and found that that really was not giving me life, I wasn't excited about it.

So I actually took up a job on campus to work with our on campus production company that put on the concert, I was at cal Berkeley and it was an organization called Superb Productions and we were responsible for putting on the concerts and I had the job of being like the artist liaison and just making sure that the artists were okay and coordinating all of that and I just loved it, it just you know, it's just like I was like okay, I want to do something in this space and it evolved to me actually going into management, I started managing my niece, I actually put together a group with her and four other young ladies, it was like one of the first versions of a multiracial group and it was amazing, amazing singers, all young girls, I had a chance to really get immersed in the whole experience of developing an act from ground up and got them signed to Motown Records and had that whole experience there and then after it's actually one of the young ladies developed lupus and another young lady, but actually my niece became pregnant and the group just kind of disbanded after that, but then I started managing my former husband was a jazz musician and we moved to europe and we traveled all over europe with him doing jazz festivals and just experiencing the music scene in europe and during that time my sister was also living in England and I just started kind of just assisting her with some things and one day she just said you know what, Why don't you manage me?

So I started managing her and that relationship went on for 20 years. We accomplished some amazing things together. I think what I'm most proud of helping my sister do was to really establish her as a philanthropist. We started her Chaka khan foundation, I mean along with you know, she earned a lot of Grammys and you know she won two Grammys with an album that I executive produced, but I think what my most proud and even for her, I mean she's not she's not crazy about the Grammys, which you know, people lead with that 10 time Grammy Award winner to Chaka khan, What she's most proud of is her philanthropic work and just being able to connect with her audiences in meaningful ways. And so the nonprofit work is really, really near and dear to my heart because I do have a special needs son who is on the autism spectrum. And although when we started the Chaka khan Foundation, the focus was on serving at risk women and Children because Shaq has been very vocal about her challenges with substance abuse and so she wanted to create an organization that supported women that were challenged with the things that she was challenged with.

And then when my son was born and my son was actually the vaccine injured. He had normal developmental milestones. And then right after he had his mmr vaccine, autism developed well that developed, it was like instantaneous. And so I really became very committed to just bringing awareness to families, especially in the black and brown communities where the resources for special needs were not as readily available because they just didn't have the awareness of how to get a proper diagnosis and then what resources were available to them. And so we did a lot of work in that space just bringing awareness to those communities. We partnered with an organization called cure autism now, which is now a part of autism speaks is the largest autism based organization right now. So we just did a lot of awareness things around autism. And then we also continue to do work around just supporting at risk women.

And then I've also been involved with co founding another nonprofit around autism with four other mothers. And we actually did a documentary that one at the con Film festival actually called diagnosis, which was a documentary that just kind of takes a person on a journey. Takes the viewer on the journey of what our experiences were getting the diagnosis of autism and how we dealt with that as a family philanthropy, autism have been very, very important to me as a group. Us women as moms also went on Capitol Hill along with Shaka actually, we all went on Capitol Hill and lobbied for a bill to bring more resources to the disability act. And we actually lobbied with the fan of caucus and the Black caucus And actually were very instrumental in having the bill passed and it brought $3 billion dollars into the disability community for research and services.

So that is something that I'm very, very proud of being part of wow kudos to you and you know, the people that you surrounded yourself to get that done. That's an incredible feat. It really is and particularly with the drive and the passion. Obviously it was very close to home for you with your son. That's just amazing. And that that's just sort of the tip of the iceberg of some of the things that you have taken under your wing too make an impact. I know that there have been some other challenges in your life as well that have kind of been defining moments and you know, most of us our careers, they tend to take these twists and turns and and that and that's the beauty of it, is that it gives us these kind of experiences that can enrich our lives and even through the good times and the not so good times, so continue.

I just wanted to just kind of elaborate on just kudos to you for what you accomplished there. Well, thank you as a music manager. One of the things that I really, really became very clear to me is as I said before, is the power of the platform and the voice that the artist has. And I always say that I believe that artists are the cultural architects of society, that the messages that are delivered through music, film, television and now gaming is like one of the biggest entertainment platforms. But they all the messages that are delivered through those mediums. We then see them manifested in our world, especially music, because music is the thread that runs throughout all of those mediums. Mm hmm. And so as I looked at that and I looked at, okay, well the state of our world and then we we have this recurring theme around artists, this idea of the starving artist and I'm going, you know, there's is something wrong with that.

Like they're like these unsung heroes in our society and how can we support them to be the best that they can possibly be. So ultimately as humanity can be the best that we can be because the better they are than they will create content that is inspiring and support humanity and being its best. So what I got to the point where my sister and I Parted ways, she came to me one December evening and said, you know, Tammy, I think I want to get a new manager and what and you had been with her a long time, hadn't she? We've been going over 20 years, 20 years and so didn't see that coming. And it truly was a real turning point in my life. I went through what people call the dark night of the soul, like I really had to go through finding me because so much of my identity was wrapped up in being her sister and being her manager and you know, I just kind of, you know, we had we co founded this Foundation together, so everything was kind of tied up in her vortex in her world.

And so I had to really find, okay, what is it that I'm really here to do? And what is it that I'm passionate about? Aside from working with my sister? So I I went through a couple of years, I've kind of just taking that time to did a lot of workshops and retreats and just reading and studying and really trying to find that space where I was finding my my joy and my passion and as I started looking, I I saw, okay, clearly my life path is definitely to work with creatives. I got that. Then I started looking, okay, well we're going to work with these brilliant artists that I so love and respect then how can I support them in shifting this whole idea of starving to thriving? How can we make it, how can we make it to to a place where we see artists as the change makers.

The way show Urz the light bringer hours and revere them in a way that we do other professions. You know, it's almost like, you know, if you're an artist and I was like, look at like it's your hobby, you know, it's cute, it's this fun thing, but it's not respected unless your top level and, you know, a lister. But you know, if you're, if you're just if you're creating and that's your passion in your livelihood, but but it's not something that is seen as, you know, you're very successful, then people don't give it the level of respect. So I wanted to to find a way to create this community this space where artists can be supported in being their very best and where they can actually thrive as artists and wound it's a huge calling to just step out and be an artist and you've probably been there and you've seen so much what would be in your opinion based on your experience and your observation that artists struggle with the most good question.

So, as I started researching, my company is called artist Ology, which literally means the study of the artist. So I spent a lot of time doing that and came across some studies that were done by an organization in the UK called Help Musicians UK in partnership with Cambridge University and they actually came back with some startling statistics. They found that music artists in particular suffer from anxiety and panic attacks 71% Depression 69%. And then substance abuse and suicide were at much higher rates than the general population. When I saw those numbers and those numbers were pre covid and I saw those numbers, I'm going, wow, why is why is this demographic so impacted by these issues? As I started looking at that, I came to find what I have come to call the cycle of invalidation.

So I looked at it and I saw kate. What what happens when a creator creates it creates something that they're passionate about. They love it. They share it when they share it. There's a choice that's made in the sharing. They're either going to share it from the place of just sharing it and standing in their authenticity and truth no matter what or if they share it and they are looking for validation for what they've done. Then that's when they fall into this cycle of invalidation. Because then they open themselves up to being criticized and that criticism can come from the media, it can come from quote unquote fans. It can come from even we can be our own worst critics. But the moment that we open ourselves up to our art being criticized by others. Then we're onto this cycle. So the next thing that you make yourself susceptible to is compromise.

So the cycle begins with making the choice of either standing in your creativity and your authenticity or yielding to being reactive to critics want. You yield to being reactive to criticism, then you start to compare yourself against others because you go, well, if that's good, then maybe I need to, you know, kind of look at what they're doing and put some of that into what I do to make myself marketable. And then you compromising, we'll get there, hold on. So then that comparison leads to competition because you go, well, if that's good, then I'm going to be better then. And entertainment, there are competition shows, there's the award shows, there's charts, there's all these different things that are Making the public choose between one artist being better or best Number one, Top 10, All Those Things.

And honestly in the space of artistry competition, if you think about it really doesn't have a place because artistic expression is unique unto each individual. When we consume art. We're not consuming just one expression were like we listen to all different types of music and film and tv programs and all of these different things because they're they they all resonate and connect with us in different ways and at different times. You know, we want to feel and connect with multiple artists. So this whole idea of competition is something that I think has a lot to do with those high numbers because it puts a lot of pressure on an artist and even a foreign artist who's had great success, it's having to meet match and surpass they're their own success. So it's it's creating this whole culture that is, is not healthy for, for creativity and for the artists well being.

So that competition, that competition is what then leads to compromise because when you've gone into agreement with criticism and you started comparing yourself and then you've gone into competing, you've gone far away from that original authentic expression that you originally had and so now you what you've created is something that is inauthentic, it is something that you kind of, you're in a place where you don't even recognize, you may not even recognize who you are or what you created, what you've become and that's when you start to see a lot of artists that fall into substance abuse and all sorts of other operative behaviors that really communicate that they're not at peace with with themselves. That's when I decided that, you know, with, with artist ology, I wanted to create a place that was specifically focused on the well being of artists and I felt it was important because I didn't see that really being the focus for a lot of organizations, there are amazing organizations that support artists, once they fall in the ditch musicares is amazing, they have helped many artists that I know when they've gotten into to trouble, needed to go into rehab, needed, you know, help with paying a bill, I mean they come to the table and help with a lot of different things.

There's a lot of other organizations that do that. Mhm. But being proactive and focusing on well being before an artist finds themselves in those places. There was a lack of of those types of resources. And that's what what led me two found artist ology. Because our histology is a community where first artists can come together and be supportive to one another. And there's nothing like, you know, someone understanding you from a place of having been there themselves. So, having a like minded community with others that truly know your journey and can give you some guidance because they've been there or you can mentor because you want to help others not go the path that you've already traversed. Mm hmm. So there's a lot of power in community. But what makes our community even more special is that we offer mental health support, which we call creative health support with actually therapists and practitioners of a variety of different modalities but all there to deliver support to the artists.

So, we actually have a telehealth platform that we partner with, that. We actually are able to deliver one on one and group therapy to the artists in our community and the beautiful thing is through our platform. The artists are able to remain anonymous if they so choose. So we don't We want artists to be able to get the help that they need, when they need it and not have consideration on, you know, someone knowing who they are and not being able to access because of that privacy and confidentiality is so important. Yes. And I mean in therapists innately, you know, I mean within their their they have to maintain confidentiality but there's still the factor of an artist that maybe high profile that is dealing with something that you know, there's so much maybe shame or concern about anyone knowing.

Sometimes they just might not even get the help that they need at all and they might to use drugs or some have taken their lives. And if that could be prevented by just being able to connect with someone anonymously and discreetly, that's powerful and we do it on a hipaa compliant platform and what makes it so that we it is hippo compliant and they can keep their anonymity is that we have supervision over the whole case. So the supervisor actually knows who the person is so that they can be, you know protected if they do in fact present themselves to be of harm to themselves or someone else. We can get to them and help them. That's what I'm most excited about. And that's that is the new initiative. We've been developing it for some time now really working on, you know, finding the right practitioners were certifying practitioners so that they really know how to deal with this particular demographic and really just making sure that we're we're helping artists be the best that they can be so they can do what they do well, particularly in light of the current environment with Covid, I can just imagine things have been magnified because the music industry has been turned upside down and I can just imagine the amount of just struggle and need actually for this even more.

So, I mean, we know it's always been needed and you're you're filling a gap in the marketplace because I've never heard of anything like this before, and you're using some of the newest technologies that are out there to do this, you know, virtual communication and, you know, virtual meetings and meet ups and using a community platform that really, you know, is state of the art and that really provides you that opportunity to do this in a virtual world right now because people can't come together and and connect up face to face what has been the biggest challenge for you and, you know, getting the word out of our artist ology, getting it out there and, you know, any other big challenge that you've had with the concept. Honestly, honestly, carol me, I didn't expect that Alright, share it has been something that I've just been trying to Perfect.

Perfect. Perfect, Perfect. Perfect. Before putting out there that mm I haven't put it out there and it's gonna I mean, there's gonna be things that we're gonna work out along the way, I know and I just have come to a place now where it's like, you know what tammy you you are doing a disservice now because this is something that is needed now more than ever. And by not making it available, then you're you're not serving. So I just said, okay, imperfect perfection, I'm just going to you know, we, we have a lot of it in place and as we go, it'll get better and better. But that's really been the thing of late because I've really put a lot of work into putting this together and finding amazing people and now it's just time to connect the dots. Exactly. I can appreciate that wanting to get it as perfect as possible. But at the end of the day it's never going to be perfect, right?

So you just got to get it out there and let it fly. And I can just imagine that when we do that, it's sort of like surrendering because sometimes, you know, we want to control things control the outcome. But if we just surrender, you've got the foundation there, you've got all the parts that are coming together. Sometimes we just have to allow ourselves to get out of our own way and let it fly Absolutely absolutely. You know, in my meditation the other day, it was just so clear to me, it's like, well, hold on, this is not just you, this is bigger than just you and when I got to really look at that, it's true. I have to really just yield and allow myself to be a vehicle, a vessel for, you know, something greater than what even I can imagine to come forth and it's so much bigger than just what I can do or see. So you're absolutely right. Get myself out of the way.

Well, I'm glad to hear that you're a meditator before we wrap up. I'd love to know what lifts you up. I think I know what the answer to that is. It's seeing how what you do can help others, but there's something probably deeper there, what really lifts you up, What gets you fired up. You know what, what really gets me fired up is is having amazing friends and like minded people that I can support and can support me and I can just see that they remind me they're mirrors of our greatness and our purpose for existence. You know, I like, I always say that as a spiritual being, we come here with a purpose, like to come here and fulfill something that is going to allow our souls to evolve and I always think, okay, if I don't, if I don't fulfill that, that is going to be my greatest disappointment for myself as a spiritual being.

So I'm always conscious of getting back in the saddle and doing what I know I'm here to do and surrounding myself with people that share the same viewpoint on life and are committed to helping other people and bettering themselves. I'm just, I'm always about learning more about growing more and just really understanding that truly, truly love and it might sound very cliche but love really is the only thing that matters like all these things that evoke fear and worry and all those things. They are just things that are there to their illusions, there are just things that are there for us to grow through and really, really be able to use as a strengthening vehicle to grow into our greater yet to be exactly and it's time to use fear not to stop us in our tracks, but to enable us to take action and the right action and sometimes we might not take the right action.

It's okay because it was the action we were supposed to take at the time. No, not everyone has that perspective on life, but I, you know, I I tend to, I think it's important for all of us to not get caught up in what other people think, but truly what is authentic and true for us. I can see where you have done that for yourself. You have found what is authentic and true for you. You found your purpose, you found your path that doesn't mean that you're going to be doing this for the rest of your life. Life is a journey and you're evolving it and who knows what this could be could be become and evolved into. But I just want to commend you for stepping out and taking a risk to do this because it's not easy, you know, you're trying to fill a gap in the marketplace that's not been filled and it's a badly needed gap right now. Even especially so today with what is was happening with Covid and everyone needs support, including you including so I have a couple of questions.

If you had a genie in the bottle and let's just say, it's your inner genius and you had just one wish, what would that be that we would learn to listen and have compassion for one another to get understanding of another person before judging. And just ultimately for humanity to exercise love love more because I think that the ignorance and the fear is what is causing so much of the problems that we experience in the world today. And if we just had had a greater understanding and more compassion for one another, we could create some amazing difference in this world. Well, I think that that is a beautiful wish and a great piece of advice for for everyone and all of our listeners out there. That tuning into this what tammy is doing with our histology is really important because all of us are creators, all of us are artists and sometimes we just have shut it down and we need and there's a lot of reasons why And you've covered a lot of them with the criticism and the competition and the comparison and the compromise and time to release ourselves from those constraints and move ourselves forward.

I just want to commend you for what you're doing and I'd love to for you to share. How can people find out more about you about artist Ology and how they can share it with others very easily. Just go to artist Ology dot com for music and performing artists. If you would like to join the community, you can download the artist Ology app from the google play and Itunes stores and request to join. And we'd love to have you if anyone is interested in learning more about our histology in general are histology dot com. A R T I S T O L O G Y dot com, awesome. Okay. And we'll be sure to include all of this in the show notes, and also links to your books and anything else that you want to to share as well. I just want to thank you so much tammy for coming on the show and just sharing the the beautiful work that you're doing for artists, which is really for everyone because everyone appreciates creative expression.

Thank you. Thank you carol. Thank you for this opportunity to share and for such a great conversation. You're awesome. Thank you. And I want to thank all of you listeners. Thank you again for tuning your heart's in for another episode. Be sure to check out our website at Hart's Rise Up dot com and our community Hearts rise up dot com on the mighty Networks platform will have links to that in the show notes. And I do want to reference real quickly that this podcast has recently been named and listed on the top 35 wisdom podcasts that you must follow by feet spot. So that is such an accolade and we're just so thrilled. Yes, we are. We should be Congratulations. That's awesome. Thank you. Yes, I was really quite shocked. We are very excited and we hope that all of you continue to tune in, subscribe to our channel and share it with others and just feel free to reach out to myself at carol at Hart's Rise Up dot com if you need anything.

And to please be sure to reach out to all of our guests who have been on the show as well. And thank you again for a great episode. Bye for now. Goodbye. Thank you. We hope today's show helped to bring a bit more joy and happiness into your heart. We hope it inspired you to unleash your inner power and rise up to your best and loving heart centered, highest self. We'd be grateful if you'd leave us a review on Itunes. Those reviews are important to spreading this valuable message. We'd love for you to subscribe to our podcast and share the show with others, visit Hearts rise up dot com for heart centered courses, guided meditations and are popular notes from your higher self until next time. Keep rising up and may all that you love thrive.

Ep. 43 - "A Healthy World Begins With A Healthy Artist" - An Interview With Tammy McCrary
Ep. 43 - "A Healthy World Begins With A Healthy Artist" - An Interview With Tammy McCrary
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