Bernard Porter first came to Nashville from Virginia when he was 14 playing pedal steel and guitar. One of the first people he worked for, Roni Stoneman, told him not to get in to the music business. He didn’t listen. He’s now been in the business over 27 years and Porter excelled in the business end of music and went on to work with well known artists such as Jason Aldean, who he signed to Broken Bow Records, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Mr T., Megan Mullins, Joe Diffie and Lila McCann among others. Porter served as Head of A&R (BBR/C4) a Sony Red Distribution label and has also served as an entertainment consultant to large corporations as well as venues including the Mall of America, Dave & Busters and Marriott Hotels.
Though he’s done almost everything in the music business, Porter is probably best known for his A&R skills. His love for developing new talent is what led to his position today as President and founder of PCG Nashville (Premiere Career Guidance), a full service artist development company dedicated to addressing the unique needs of the recording artist.
Here’s what Porter told Nashville.com about PCG’s holistic approach to artist development:
“Most people find us by referral. We have three programs. Athena/Bravo which is for people just getting into the business. We interact just like a doctor’s office. We don’t start out putting these kids in the studio. If you look up “Artist Development” on Google they’ll be 325,000 pages of people who say they do Artist Development. I only know of a couple that have a holistic approach like we do. You don’t put a horse on the track until he knows the track, until he knows how to hit the bell and he knows how to win. Just because you have a horse that runs fast doesn’t mean you put him on the track.
We have a very scientific way of developing someone and there are no guarantees. We have four unique stages a development in our company. Recording doesn’t happen until stage three, if you get to stage three. You have to get there. You have to earn it. Just like a doctor we write a prescription. We have several programs, and this is called the Athena/Bravo program, that’s for people just getting basic skills. We’re trying to define who they are. It’s designed to educate parents as well.
Our most coveted program is the Emerging Artist program. This is for people who are performing and building an audience. Record companies are not going to sign you just because you’re a great singer. We take these artists from their present skill level to record label recording artist readiness.
Then we have PCG PRO, which is our program for professionals. We deal with them on everything from their behavior to nutrition, addiction and spirit. It’s all on a confidential level. We work on everything from marketing strategies to red carpet skills. We customize it to their personal needs.”
Find out more about more about PCG Nashville at PCGNashville.com or email questions to: [email protected]
Coming soon we’ll talk to Bernard Porter about another project he’s working on called “The country music highway road to fame.”