A Message From Jan
I have been on a musical journey my entire life. I came into this world as a singer and have lived 54 years as an artist, continuing to hone the gifts of music that God put in me from the beginning.
Having written my first song at the age of nine and recorded my first album at the age of fifteen, I’ve spent a lifetime of working towards the ultimate goal of making a living at my craft. It hasn’t always been pretty—the music industry is anything but—though I can’t complain for all I’ve learned along the way.
As life would have it, and choices, too, I now own and operate Jan Smith Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. We are a full-on vocal coaching and artist development facility sporting a client roster of the “Who’s Who” amongst today’s most sought after singers and artists. I also own Mama J’s Productions, which is a state-of-the-art production and recording facility adjacent to Jan Smith Studios.
Having seen most of what the music business has to offer (typically at the expense of artists), I decided to keep my business very separate from the ownership of any one label. Certainly providing services to them all, or at least to all their clients, but never pledging any allegiance to a label having any say-so over how I ran my business or treated artists therein.
It’s almost always a matter of money that prevents some of the greatest talent from seeing the light of day where the general public is concerned—sad, but true. And most artists have no clue of how to do the business that is necessary to move them forward in an industry that doesn’t care who they are, only what they can sell.
And so, meeting Jim Ramseur was like a breath of fresh air. Here was a businessman, who admittedly had been taken advantage of somewhat by our industry, all in an honest effort to help one singer/songwriter come that much closer to living her dream. I work in the “dream business” on a daily basis, and honesty is hard to come by, so Jim and I began discussions about how to provide a different option for artists who were already struggling and being eaten alive by the same animal that we wished to somehow cage.
That opportunity has now come to fruition with the formulation of the Bridge Music Foundation, an organization whose sole purpose is to provide philanthropic financial support and artist development for those talented musicians who would otherwise never have the opportunity to follow their own musical journeys. The remainder is yet to be seen, but I believe the rest of this story will be told by those artists who are lucky enough to benefit from such a groundbreaking concept in how to do music business.
I hope that you will join us in creating an artist-friendly platform for up-and-coming talent, whether as an artist, corporate sponsor or private donor.
Owner, Jan Smith Studios, Inc.
Founder, Bridge Music Foundation