Stellar Award Winner Jessica Greene: How She Got Here

by Louise M. Moore

Just two years ago, Contemporary Gospel artist Jessica Greene was unsigned and preparing to independently release her debut project 4 THE WORLD. Now, two years later, this Baltimore, Maryland native recording sensation is watching her music career reach new heights. Her remarkable success is mostly due to hard work and persistence, but also because she just picked up the 2009 Stellar Award for New Artist of the Year. It's an honor she shares with Gospel superstars like Smokie Norful, Martha Munizzi, Dwayne Woods, Myron Butler and RIZEN who previously won the coveted award.
"Winning a Stellar Award opens a few more doors than average like album features, additional platforms and it changes monetary value of calls for new things," explains Greene. "For example, Black Entertainment Television's Sunday Best program is giving an opportunity for me to offer commentary and advice on auditions for the 2009 season."
When asked about her ascension to Stellar status, Greene is quick to point out that her journey has not been an easy one. "There are no short cuts," she admits.
Working hard as an Independent to promote her CD to college campuses and Internet radio, Greene says she employed all sorts of grass roots marketing just to get her music heard. "We used text messaging and MySpace pretty much the same way President Barack Obama used it during his campaign," says Greene whose diligence resulted in a momentus buzz about her music on the East Coast.
Nevertheless, it wasn't until she signed with Independent Gospel label Habakkuk Music that Greene began to make significant strides in the industry. Recognizing the promotional support and industry knowledge of Habakkuk's CEO, April Washington-Essex, Greene insists that "at the end of the day, if you don't have an engine behind you with radio savvy that can push your product, it's difficult to get your stuff played."
Having reached this pivotal point in her career, Greene has sage advice for Independent Gospel Artists. "Know the business and be smart about decisions you make."

The Stellar Awards will air on the Gospel Music Channel on March 1, 2009 at 7 p.m. (ET). For other local air dates, visit
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About Airplay 360

AIRPLAY 360 is a monthly published digital magazine designed to inform, empower and motivate independent inspirational musical artists by offering a soundboard of information provided by artists, producers, label executives and other industry professionals.
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