K-Interview: Music Publicist and Founder of Moonlight PR – Laury Verdoux

Kaamaakshi Bhat, Zirakpur, Punjab

Laury Verdoux is a French Music Publicist, Freelance Music Writer and Founder of Moonlight PR who has worked with several music artists including managing PR and events for K-Pop artists. We got an opportunity to have a conversation with her to know more about her career and experience, especially in the K-Pop music industry. On behalf of the Hallyuism team, we would like to extend our thanks to Laury for taking out time for this interview.  Let’s take a look at the excerpt from his conversation with Hallyuism:

Could you please give a brief introduction to our readers about yourself and the work you do?

Hi Hallyuism, thank you so much for having me! 🙂 I’m a music publicist which means that I am helping artists with everything related to promoting music: from articles/interviews to radio airplay and playlist placement.

When did you think that music was the field you wanted to start your career in and how did your journey in this field start?

I always knew I wanted to work in the music industry since I was a teenager, I just wasn’t sure what job I wanted to do. I absolutely loved going to concerts, so I thought it would be nice to be involved in that field. I went to university to study Cultural Management with an emphasis on Music and Events. So after my studies, I started working in music booking, which even led me to work for Elton John’s French tour back in 2019.

Were you always interested in Korean music or did you get interested in it after you started working in Seoul?

I listened to some Korean music when I was in high school but I never intended to work with Korean artists. It came rather naturally when I went to Seoul to study music production. I have been interested in various sides of the music industry and after booking, I wanted to study music production and found a nice program in Seoul. It wasn’t full-time so I decided to try and find an internship to make the most out of my time there. After hundreds of emails, I was lucky enough to do an internship with HYPLE Entertainment. One thing led to another, and that’s when I started working with more and more Korean artists and labels.

You have worked with Korean artists such as Kebee, GreatGuys, UNVS, SoRi, April 2nd etc. Do you have any memorable experiences with any of these artists?

I got a video interview opportunity for April 2nd when I was working with Chili Music Korea. It was an in-person interview so we rented a studio in Seoul and I attended the recording. The guys did the interview, it went really well, their answers were really funny and when it was done… The 2 interviewers realized that the camera wasn’t filming and they had to do it all over again. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as spontaneous as the first time, but the interview still ended up nicely and we had a great laugh.

You are currently working with Choi Suhwan (ex Produce X 101 contestant), oceanfromtheblue, BIXIZ XOUND (TE.O, PRSNT) and TRENDZ. What tasks do you usually handle for these artists? How has your experience been working with these artists?

I’m helping with writing a press release in English and sending their upcoming releases to the media, like Hallyuism, for interviews, radio airplay and placement on Spotify playlists. I am really lucky to be able to work with Korean artists from different genres (K-pop, K-R&B, pop-rock, and ballad) so it never gets boring. For some artists like PRSNT, I’m also doing some tasks as a promoter to help them to get gig opportunities outside of Korea. The work is different for every artist as some of them want to focus on some countries in particular, or only press, radio, or playlist placement. It’s always a great experience for me to start a new campaign and make sure it is tailored to the artist’s and company’s needs.

You worked behind the scenes of the online version of The Fact Music Awards 2020. How was the experience working on it? Did you face any difficulties while working on it?

That was one of the most challenging things ever! Since it was online, we had to collaborate with streaming platforms to stream the event live. I was in charge of the Southeast Asia part and we encountered a lot of issues regarding payment. Fans had to buy a ticket to attend the show, but in some Asian countries, Paypal and Mastercard are not used so we had to find local ticketing platforms for each Southeast Asian country. That wasn’t taken into account at the beginning and we ended up doing a lot of extra work on that part.

On the day of the ceremony, I had to check online if anyone was illegally streaming the Fact Music Awards for free on other platforms and report them. Unfortunately, so many people were able to hack the system and stream it illegally so we had to chase them to make it fair for the people who paid a ticket 🙁

What is the typical day for Laury as a Music Publicist/PR Manager? How is it different from when you are not working?

I always start my day by checking my emails to see if I got any answers for my artists. I would also send follow-ups in the morning and reach out to new journalists and radio hosts to contact. Usually, I tend to write press releases in the afternoon as I find it easier for me to concentrate. That’s also when I would be sourcing more publications, radio stations and playlists that could be a fit for my current artists.

When I’m not working, I try to stay away from my (work) emails, which is not easy all the time, I must admit haha I’m using my free time to discover new artists so there isn’t one day without music for me.

It must be hard working with so many artists at the same time. How do you balance all the workload?

I’m still trying to figure out how to balance the workload 😀 I’m setting some boundaries otherwise I know I’ll be working 24/7 so I turn off my laptop at 6 pm and stop checking my emails and I avoid as much as possible to work during the weekend.

Please tell us about Moonlight PR. How did you think of starting your own company?

Moonlight PR is a music PR boutique helping artists of all genres get their music heard. It is called Moonlight PR because the moon is the limit: it’s the levitating power of moonlight that illuminates spaces. Through Moonlight PR, I am working with artists from all around the world and not just Koreans. It is very important for me to be versatile. One important thing is that I only work with artists I like and believe in. After working for PR agencies and labels, I realised that to make sure I can work with the artists I want to, I have to be my own boss.

Is there any artist you would like to work with whether it be a K-pop artist or any other artist in the future?

As a hip-hop fan I’d love to work with Korean rappers in the future like JUSTHIS, The Quiett, Giriboy, etc.

Since you have worked with k-pop artists as well as pop rock, ballad,  traditional music and many more. What is the main difference you find between k-pop artists and other genre artists? 

When it comes to K-pop, unless you’re working with big names, it is hard to get them into mainstream publications and radio stations. Especially in Europe, there is still a stigma around K-pop but it is slowly changing. Fortunately, there are a lot of outlets and radio shows focusing on K-pop music only but I find that limiting sometimes. If I’m working with other genres of Korean music, I won’t really focus on the Korean side and I will just use my contacts based on the genre, in a way that opens more doors but the competition is also harder because you’re competing with artists from all around the world in the same genre.

How did you start freelancing for Korean artists?

During my internship at HYPLE Entertainment (Kebee’s label), I met other music industry professionals and some new opportunities came afterwards. Networking helped me a lot in securing more contracts with Korean artists and labels. Now I’m securing some PR deals through word-of-mouth. If people enjoy working with you they naturally give your name to others and that’s the best publicity I can ask for.

If not in the music industry, what would you be doing right now?

That’s a good question since I worked in various positions in the music industry so far (booking, marketing, PR) :)) But I love reading and books so probably I’d be working in a bookstore!

What would your advice be to those who want to pursue the same career as you?

Don’t give up! I didn’t have a smooth path, I struggled a lot and it took time for me to reach where I am now. If I could do it, everyone can as long as they’re motivated and dedicated.

What is your 2023 resolution? What can we expect this year from you? What dreams do you want to achieve in the near future?

My 2023 resolution is to reach the moon.. Kidding haha!

I just want to keep doing what I’m doing now and hopefully work with more and more artists. As I mentioned before, I’m a big hip-hop fan so I would love to work with more rappers in the near future. Not necessarily for this year as I know it will take time, but one of my dreams is to establish myself as one of the go-to music PR agents for both Korean and Western artists.

Hallyu Wave/Korean Wave is growing rapidly in India and fans are showing interest in Korean culture, food, music, dance and drama. What do you think about this? Do you think K-pop agencies will target Indian audiences and bring their artists to India for concerts?

Speaking from my music point of view, I feel like there’s a lot of potential for Korean artists to come to India. With my work, I can see that there is a lot of interest in Korean artists in India, not only for K-pop but also K-R&B and K-hip-hop. I think that if one artist or music festival was showing the example, it would lead the way for the others.

Once again we would like to thank Laury for taking her valuable time for sharing such insights with us, thank you so much for your time. Best wishes!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Mamoni says:

    Glad to know about her✨

  2. Moumita Mondal says:

    One of the best interview♥️

    1. Thanks ☺️

  3. It was a pleasure to interview Ms. Laury. Thank you for giving your precious time for this interview.

  4. You are doing such a commendable job! Thankyou so much for sharing your thoughts through this interview!

  5. DJ says:

    Best interview 💜💜..

  6. Tirna says:

    I like how she talked openly about the prejudice about Kpop and how it’s changing. Great interview, very detailed.

  7. Woww that’s a career many people actually don’t know about much! Thank you for sharing such insights through this interview ♥️

  8. ThatMoleGirl says:

    Very informative article and nice interview about behind the scenes yet very important role in the music industry

  9. anishanath says:

    This was a new kind of article, I really loved reading the interview. PRs play an important role in the k-pop companies and this article was amazing.

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