Industry Interview with:

Sherry Finzer

Higher Level Media

Tell us a bit about the career path that led to where you are now.

My musical career has taken me from a classical flutist in Rochester, NY through many genres of music after relocating to Phoenix, AZ in 2005. After delving into the area of Contemporary Instrumental, New Age, and Ambient music, I hired a radio promoter to help get my music out to the world. He did a great job and things started to happen for my career, but there were some things I had hoped for my promoter to do which he was unable to do. I then attended an awards show in New Orleans in 2014 where I was able to network with many like-minded musicians, radio programmers and promoters. I left the show very excited to have established many new connections in the industry and when I reached out to programmers to ask them what they thought about me going into the promotions end of the business and they were all very encouraging. I felt that there was a better way to help serve the needs of musicians and what would be more useful to them with promotions.

I ran some free campaigns for musician friends of mine in the Phoenix area to test the waters. These went well, so I began my promotions company Higher Level Media in 2015, where we mainly focus on campaigns for Contemporary Instrumental, Ambient, Electronic, Chill, New Age and Solo Piano artists. At the beginning I worked endless days and nights to establish HLM, and am proud to have built a team over the years who work with our clients in providing a wide variety of promotional services.

What is your favorite experience you’ve had in your career? Perhaps a musical idol you got to meet? A festival you were able to attend? A project you were involved with promoting?

I have always been upfront and honest with the artists that we work with, not making false claims or promises. This credibility has given us the privilege to work with GRAMMY Award-Winning Artists/Nominees, Top 10 on Billboard Charting Artists, long-standing record labels, and hundreds of famous and up-and-coming musicians. The most memorable campaign so far has been for Peter Kater, who at that time was a 10-time GRAMMY Nominee. Not only were we thrilled to see his album Wings go to #1 on several industry radio charts, but we were also able to celebrate when Wings received a GRAMMY nomination. It was a thrill to attend the GRAMMY Awards in person that year, and to be there to watch Peter cross the stage to receive his award for Best New Age Album.

What aspect of your job gives you the most satisfaction?

Knowing that we are really helping artists to get their music heard and providing great services at reasonable prices. I can remember the first time that I heard my music on the radio and how exciting that was, and it gives me a lot of pleasure to provide that same excitement and satisfaction to other musicians.

What band/artist or style of music outside the realm of your college/community radio promotion would people be most intrigued to hear you love?


What job do you think you would have if you weren’t in this industry?

Being a guide for the Pink Jeep Tour up in Sedona!

What destination would you most like to visit and why?

I have had the opportunity to see many places in the world but believe it or not I still have not been able to explore the Northwest US. It is on the bucket list. I believe there is much inspiration that is drawn from nature and I would love to do some hiking and off-roading in my Jeep up there.

You just won 10 million dollars. What are you going to do with it?

I would purchase a house with a huge wall of glass on top of a hill. One which would have a huge adjacent space with a view for performances so I could host amazing concerts of all styles of music and support the career of performing musicians.

Entertainment Time: What is/are your current favorite TV obsession(s)? What’s a great movie (new or old) you’ve watched recently? What is your current favorite album?

Recently I was hooked on the series Midnight Mass on Netflix. Right now I am a fan of ambient guitarist Brian Fechino’s newest release Of the Light and have that in heavy rotation while at work in my office.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in town for take out or to take out-of-town guests to?

We actually have a new wine bar that opened up close by called L’Entrata that we like to take our clients/visitors to. I am a fan of red wine!

You’re stranded on a desert island. What five well known people (dead or alive) would you like to have there with you?

Les Stroud – Survivor Man of course
Theresa Caputo – The Long Island Medium – so I would know if we were ever getting off the island
Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) – could very resourceful
Rachel Ray – for quick and excellent meals
Richard Simmons – we gotta stay in shape!