Marissa Mah on Being a Top Female Tour Manager in the Music Industry

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Passion in any given industry is the driving force to help you excel in your career. But, you need to consistently work hard to excel. Marissa Mah shares her remarkable and inspirational journey in the music industry. Her undying passion for music began when she was young and played a couple of instruments and sang in the choir.

Marissa’s journey in the music industry began with an experience working at a nonprofit, the Color of Music Collective, which she secured via a Facebook music networking group. While Marissa was working at the nonprofit, her current company asked them to advertise an internship posting. Marissa ended up being recommended internally for the position and eventually got the job. A year and a half later, Marissa has continued to scale new heights and is currently working on some of the most successful tours and big festivals for some of the brightest young stars across North America.

Often, music tour management is male-dominated. Still, Marissa has managed to beat the odds and is part of the 30% women tour managers. Nothing will stop her from becoming a motivation to other women that they, too, can make it as tour managers. Besides being a minority, she stands out by going above and beyond for her clients. The simple acts of showing compassion and tirelessly trying to better the lives of others are what make clients come back looking for her services. Marissa affirms that she always ensures everyone is happy and feels well taken care of. She provides exceptional services for her clients: grabbing a bottle of water when needed, helping carry items, assisting the assistants, and providing constant moral support to artists and their teams or carefully navigating any possible situation that may arise between artists.

Marissa, a touring and marketing specialist, has had some bright days in the music industry. She was a tour manager for NLE Choppa’s Canada tour, which sold out almost 50% of all dates. In addition, Marissa also managed Tay Money’s first US tour, juggling multiple local support artists in each city while fully remote. In the last two years, she has managed tours for over eight artists during multiple Rolling Loud festivals. Earlier this year, she was invited to talk on the Kelly Clarkson Show on a segment about the music community, “Girls Behind The Rock Show.” Unfortunately, it didn’t air, but Marissa was pleased to have been asked to share her journey in the music industry, her experience in live music, and being a woman in music.

Gender and ethnicity can sometimes pose a challenge in some careers, which is one of the hurdles Marissa has faced as an Asian woman. She confesses that she is sometimes harassed verbally and restricted in her movement backstage. To overcome this challenge, Marissa assists other minorities in getting jobs in the industry and supporting other people of color. She has also managed to reach out to other women and women of color who face similar issues, and together they are navigating through this journey.

Most importantly, Marissa wants people to understand that you can always learn something from anyone in this business, no matter the length of time they’ve been in the industry or their expertise. According to her, even if you don’t think you have much to give or contribute to a conversation due to your lack of expertise, your ideas still matter and can transform the world around you.

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