Artist Spotlight - Erica Olsen

We're excited to feature on-air host, Erica Olsen, this week, whose show CBS Music Minute features some truly awesome independent artists. A true music fan, Erica has featured What's In-Store Music clients such as The Rua, Run River North and Hemming; and is a big supporter of indie artists. Despite her busy schedule, she took the time to answer our five questions ... and of course, throw in a shameless plug.

1. You’ve worked for CBS for a while now. Aside from the CBS Music Minute, what are some of the other things you’ve done there?

Luckily, other things involving music! I’ve hosted a half-hour series curated by Jason Scoppa from The Sayers Club, an Emmy-nominated show “Lexus Night Out” featuring unique talent like Hanni El Khatib, PPL MVR, and a Pitchfork event with Joyce Manor. Outside of music, I have a series called “Inside SoCal” which showcases

cool stuff around LA; and I’ve hosted some travel shows -- the best being our Australia special. Wombats are the coolest. Someone caught wind that I like to cook too, so have done a few cooking segments here and there. Thankfully I haven’t burned down the CBS Radford Lot yet.

2. What is your funniest memory you have from hosting for CBS?

Hands down my interview with The One and Only PPL MVR. These yetis are musically talented, very intense and ALWAYS in character. Last year, we met up with them to film their live performance and I was to interview them afterward. Though I knew they would stay in character, I don’t think it really sunk into my brain that I was going to have to guess what

they were saying ... err, screaming at me ... since yetis don’t talk, they grunt. There was a lot of panting, snorting and screaming for pancakes. While my brain told me there were “normal” people behind these costumes, I was seriously petrified, and yet it was all hilarious at the same time. They should get an Oscar for their performance and dedication to it. It took everything I had to not run or laugh during the interview. We ended on a nearly suffocating, fur-in-the-mouth group hug only to be broken up by their “trainer” presumably before they ate me. It was bananas.

3. You’re a big fan of live music, is that where the CBS Music Minute comes from? Tell us how it got started and when is it on?

I am a huge fan of live music, as is the Producer/Editor that I work with (Robert Dourisboure). We had been producing music shows for a few years and one of our partners came to us interested in underwriting something music related. We felt a short format music series would be perfect - a music minute highlighting new artists weekly, performing a song from their new album. From there it just blossomed. We’re particularly passionate about emerging artists doing innovative things vocally and visually, many of whom are just a year or two away from stardom. It’s a very pure and exciting stage in a musician’s career, and we just hope to jump start that climb. CBS Music Minute airs Monday-Friday at 11:50pm during The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, as well as on KCAL9 at just before 7:30pm. The full performance and interview lives online at It’s great exposure for the artist, and we’re thrilled to send really wonderful content out into the world.

4. Your focus on the CBSMM leans toward unique alternative artists. How do you find the acts that are on the program?

We find them all over the place -– from concerts we attend, to blogs, fan zines and sites like Hype Machine, Pitchfork, The Fader, Spin. It’s also fun chatting with the artists we feature to find out who they’re excited about. Festival line-ups are also a great resource -- opening bands at Coachella and Glastonbury. I’m also Shazam-ing everywhere I go. Plus, now that Music Minute has really taken off, we have Labels and Management/PR companies reaching out to us directly; and viewers are reaching out telling us about bands they’d like to see featured. It’s awesome creating this space that everyone is excited about. When it comes down to it though, the bands we feature are not only talented, but at the right place (in town) at the right time (we’re available to film) with a new release.

5. Who are some of your favorite artists that have been on the program so far?

No! That’s like picking your favorite child! But if I can’t say all of them, a few shoots had some really memorable moments – like when we’re standing by waiting to shoot Kamasi Washington during soundcheck. While tuning instruments, they suddenly were all so into the moment that they organically started performing their feature song for Music Minute. We all looked at each other like, “Are they starting the song? Wait ... yes! They are going for it! Somebody roll cameras!!” I also loved my shoot with Diane Coffee (Shaun Fleming). We rented a ’79 Lincoln Continental convertible limousine for the shoot so Shaun and I (decked out in 70s attire) stood on the limo seats with our heads out of the roof for the entire interview ... like it’s totally normal. And since I’m female, have to give a shout out to the larger-than-life performances from Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara and Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote.

Time for the shameless plug ... whatcha got for us?

Ecstatic to announce that we’re launching a Music Minute podcast with our featured artists from TV, with bonus questions from the interview, special guests, outtakes, and of course a music performance from the bands you should have on your radar. Check it out on on January 19th and every Tuesday thereafter!

Keep up with Ms. Olsen here:





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