Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 19th 2013 Contents B1
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
Kelli Richards was born and bred
in Cupertino, Silicon Valley. It s
where Apple s headquarters is based
and where she spent ten years as
At the age of eight, she knew she
wanted to become a record producer.
There was a slight problem though,
she was female.
Richards said, "It was a lock-out
field" despite California being pro-
On evenings, while attending high
school, she studied recording tech-
niques for four years.
Her career started with a focus
on the music industry. To get
through college, she worked at Guitar
Player and Keyboard magazines in
her hometown and then moved to
Los Angeles to work for EMI Music
as a young executive after she grad-
uated. She was then recruited to
launch the music focus at Apple.
She spent a decade driving all of
Apple s music and entertainment
Richards is a powerhouse woman.
She s a consultant, mentor, speaker,
producer, coach, author and is pres-
ident/CEO of The All Access Group.
She also brokers deals and has a
bestselling eBook called The Magic
& Moxie of Apple---An Insider s
She facilitates strategic business
opportunities in digital distribution
between technology companies,
established articles and celebrities,
film studios, record labels, and con-
sumer brand companies to foster
new revenue streams and deliver
compelling consumer experiences.
She said as a woman she chose
to be involved in fields that are heav-
ily dominated by men.
"I was one of those rare people
who knew what they were gonna do
from a very young age, eight years
"I wanted to be a record producer
and work with big artistes recording
their albums. And I studied seriously
for four years in high school but I
was the wrong gender, that s a field
that s closed to women so I wound
up doing other things to channel
that energy," she said in an interview
on May 7 at the lobby of the Hilton
Trinidad and Conference Centre,
Richards spent five days in
Trinidad and delivered several lec-
tures to filmmakers, authors, musi-
cians and other interested stake-
holders on digital media and how
they can market their work online.
Her visit was sponsored by the
US Department of State under the
Embassy s US Speakers Programme.
Under this programme, local
organisations partner with US
experts and renowned people in their
respective fields, who share their
'Ignore gender issues...
just do the work'
Richards stands out in a male-
After leaving Apple, she went out
into her own practice in the music
and entertainment industry. She
focuses on consumer entertainment
initiatives working with "all kinds
of new technology" and new forms
of digital distribution to reach audi-
ences and new ways to make money
for content creators.
She s also had a 25-year career
channelling her record-producer
energy as a talent producer. Richards
has been producing award shows,
celebrity concerts and fund-raisers.
She produced the Bay Area Music
Awards, more commonly known as
the "Bammies," for almost 20 years,
and for ten years produced the Poll
Richards also produced Adopt-A-
Minefield Benefit Gala with English
musician Paul McCartney of the
She s a thought leader in content
distribution through digital strategy,
published several books and articles,
has a monthly newsletter and a
weekly radio show online with close
to a million listeners.
But she admits she is not a worka-
holic. "It s a lot of activity to juggle
but it doesn t all happen at the same
time," she said.
Richards said as a woman she
stands out in a heavily male-dom-
inated world. She said, "There aren t
many women doing what I do.
"So I have found a way to not let
the gender issue get in the way. I
just do my work."
Her advice to young, female exec-
utives and professionals who are try-
ing to cope in a male-driven envi-
ronment was to do their best.
"Do what you do, have your vision
and set your intention."
Josh Rudder CEO, Cott, left, and Junior Lett, producer/radio personality/songwriter, centre, chat with Kelli Richards,
CEO, The All Access Group, following a lecture for musicians on Creating Powerful Connections Across Music,
Entertainment and Technology at Napa, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: ANDY HYPOLITE
Digital distribution isn't new
Digital distribution began in the
early to mid-1990s.
There were forward-thinking and
progressive people whom she said
saw that the Internet could change
"everything" before mobiles,
tablets and smartphones.
"The Internet by itself was going
to be able to squash traditional
distribution strategies or at least
level the playing field.
"So that it used to be before the
Internet, if you were a musician,
you had to be signed with a record
label or you would never be heard
by an audience.
"If you were a filmmaker, if you
weren't distributed by a studio, you
would never have your work seen
by anyone," she said.
She added that if an author did not
go through a publishing house,
"forget it, it wasn't going to
Richards said the Internet changed
"Ever since 1995, I have been
driving new ways for content
creators to reach their
audiences...for artistes to see
themselves as the brand and
create a brand for themselves and
build an audience."
She said by doing that they could
keep more of their own money
because the "middleman" who
used to make everything happen,
was keeping the bulk of the
"I realise that in certain parts of
the world, including in Trinidad ad
Tobago, that you might not be as
far along as we are in the US.
"And even in the US, there is still
evidence of people trying to hold
on to those older models when in
fact, the audiences moved to these
at St Lucia Jazz
---Pages B6, B7
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