Bestie Feature: Nina Elcao

Even though Nina lives in Los Angeles, I feel like she's an honorary Nashvillian. She fits in perfectly in her plaid button up and love for Music City. Nina helped organize one of the first Nashville Bestie Meetups and it was so great to be able to connect in person. I love that our music industry journey stories are so similar - driving to a new city right after college with no job and no place to live. Guess things always work out how they should, right? Nina, come back to Nash soon!

Tell us about yourself! What do you do and what has your journey been like getting to this point?

I grew up in New York and drove out to Los Angeles right after college with no job, no apartment, and a car full of essentials. I worked my way through the film industry and accidentally landed at a little digital startup company called Maker Studios where they marketed, produced, and grew YouTube talent. Years flew by and Maker was eventually bought by The Walt Disney Company. 

I have spent my time [in Los Angeles] becoming a digital strategist and video producer, with a specialty in brands and marketing. I have now expanded my roster to not only YouTube and Disney IP, but independent musicians and management companies who see the important of growing an artist-centric business.

What’s a usual day-in-the-life look like for you?

Oh my! What don't I do? I develop custom ideas and oversee the execution of video content for our top network of talent. I also strategize the "how, what, and where" to post with every campaign and piece of content that rolls under me.

My freelance digital consulting work consists of speaking to an artist or company, and after determining their brand and researching their audience, I put together a strategy that allows them to amplify their social media presence or specific album/music video launches, while separating themselves from the rest.

Does community play a role in your career? How so?

If you're not collaborating, you're not learning. I don't pretend I know everything, especially when marketing is MOSTLY trial and error with new apps popping up every month, so I constantly need new perspectives. I enjoy learning about musicians and what they need within the Nashville and LA communities. As far as I'm concerned, the artist and the brand manager must work together to produce the absolute best way to get their voice out there.

What’s your favorite part about the music industry?

Catching a show and hearing THAT artist--the one who unexpectedly grabs your gut and rattles it around a bit, then you head home and immediately subscribe to all of their socials and replay their songs on Spotify. When you're in the industry, you're constantly rediscovering fulfillment and sharing that feeling with others. Music is a universal connection; we're all just energy, anyway.

Knowing what you know now, if you could go back 5 years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would that be?

Trust the process and always show up--even if it sucks. There were a few early networking opportunities that I missed out on because I thought I was too naive or uneducated to show my face. Now I realize no one knows what they're doing and we're all just figuring it out together. Show your face.

Teach us something! (Related to your expertise or something random just for fun)

An object has the most stored energy in the moment right before it acts.

Follow Nina Online

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn


Katherine Forbes, Founder of Designing The Row

A Music City girl obsessed with creating confidence in my clients through design, marketing, and community. In today’s world, your visual branding and online presence will either make or break you. I’ve got my Diet Coke in hand and am ready to get started on your next project.


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