We had the good fortune of connecting with Sherry Finzer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sherry, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Music was only a part-time career for me at the time that a woman named Nancy approached me, and told me how much one of my recordings helped her with a physical ailment that she was dealing with. I had been exploring the possibility of recording relaxing music – music that would potentially help others in healing and well-being, and after this interaction, I felt compelled to turn my career from classical music to a direction of helping others to heal. It was in 2009 that I recorded my first “New Age” flute album titled Sanctuary, and since then over 20 albums have followed. One album was with guitarist Darin Mahoney, a stage 4 liver cancer survivor. After hearing Darin’s story of how relaxing acoustic music helped get him through his time in the hospital while in an induced coma, it then became a mission for me to help release music into the world that would help others, whether through my own music or other artists. Both my record label Heart Dance Records and radio promotions company Higher Level Media were created for this mission to help me reach as many people as possible with music for peace, relaxation, healing, and comfort.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
People tell me that it is my vibrato that reaches their soul and touches their hearts. As a musician, I am a classically-trained flutist, who switched gears by composing and recording in the genres of New Age and Contemporary Instrumental music. This was not an easy switch as I had to learn to let go of the many years of training I had and learn to play without reading sheet music, and instead, played from my emotions. Like anything new, it took some practice. But once I learned to trust to let my fingers and my mind go where they wanted to, it was one of the most freeing feelings in the world and now has given me great improvisational skills, and the ability to perform and record with other musicians on the spot with no rehearsal.
As a record label and radio promotions company owner, there have been many challenges along the way. Learning the skills that I needed came from my own research and connections with others in the industry who eagerly gave me advice and supported my mission. I quickly found, as my companies began to grow in a predominately male-run industry, that others saw me as competition and tried to stop me with threats, roadblocks, and fabricating lies about me to those I was working with. I did not let this deter me, and in time, people began to see my integrity and put their trust in me to deliver. This was done by meeting deadlines, following through with promises made to artists and clients, and delivering more than they expected. It gives me so much satisfaction to know that I started these companies by myself, and in five years have grown the label to be one of the premier award-winning instrumental record labels in our genre, and now have a radio promotions company that provides the best service and results to hundreds of clients around the world, while helping them to monetize their music.
I would like people to realize that it is never too late to follow their dreams or to begin a new adventure. I dabbled in music while raising our children but returned to music seriously after our children had left the nest. It was not easy, but the best advice I can give is to just go out and do it. Don’t worry about what other people think, make connections, be respectful, and hone your craft. Seek others out who inspire you and have gone through what you are trying to do and ask for advice. I hear many stories from my listeners who let me know how much my music helps them to sleep, get through bouts of depression, and helps them alleviate physical pain. It is my mission and purpose to create relaxing and healing music and to get it out to the world in as many ways possible, reaching as many people as possible who could benefit from it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is easy! One of the first stops would be the Desert Botanical Gardens. It is a must-see for anyone who has never been to the desert. If there was time, we would then head over to the Phoenix Zoo. The Musical Instrument Museum is also a must-see. Unbelievably beautiful, interesting, informative, and educational! Another fun thing to do is drive to the top of South Mountain for beautiful views of Phoenix and our valley to the south. Definitely there would need to be a trip to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona.
A place that I feel is kind of a secret, that not a lot of people know about, is Crown King. It is an easy dirt road drive right off I17up to the top of the Bradshaw Mountains where you can grab a bite to eat at one of the 3 restaurants including the Saloon, visit the general store and buy fudge if you like. There are also cabins and campgrounds up there if you want a longer stay and plenty of off-road trails. The temps are so much cooler in the summer, and it is not as far of a drive as going to Flagstaff. I also would take them off-roading in my Jeep on one of the many trails here in Arizona!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely! My private flute teacher from high school, Glennda Dove-Pellito, for providing much encouragement to play, teach, perform, and record when I returned to music later in life. Emilie Barry, who encouraged me to teach group exercise classes at the YMCA, which led me to overcome my fear of stage fright and public speaking. Engineer John Herrera from Clamsville Productions, who helped me move out of my classically-trained music box and begin to play from my heart and soul. Guitarist Darin Mahoney, for introducing me to some of the most beautiful music on the planet with his compositions and playing, for trusting, performing and recording with me for almost a decade, and becoming the big brother that I never had. My husband Chuck, for supporting me, believing that I can help make a difference in this world with my music, and taking care of the household when I am on tour!
Other: http://heartdancerecords.com http://facebook.com/heartdancerecords.com http://instagram.com/heartdancerecords
Nate Decker Darin Mahoney Chuck Finzer Zone Music Reporter AZ Central