Alicia Yaffe

Ever wondered who creates social media posts and updates for artists who are no longer with us like Janis Joplin, or bands like The Doors and The Ramones? Well, I got to meet and interview the lovely mystery woman behind these and many more artists’ social media interactions. She is the incredibly smart and funny, CEO and founder of The Spellbound group Alicia Yaffe.

Like me, Alicia believes rock n’ roll can change the world! Learn about her amazing story and the project she works with to help develop a vaccine for HIV that may one day improve millions of peoples’ lives.










LLL: How would you describe yourself in general?

Alicia: In general, like personality wise?

LLL: Yes.

Alicia: I would describe myself as open, inquisitive, driven. Good at what I do, I want to be better, but I think I’m pretty good at what I do, and generally happy.

LLL: What has your experience in the industry been like? How did you begin to work in the industry? .

Alicia: I wanted to be in music because I truly believed that rock and roll can save the world. I was really inspired by Freedom Festival particularly in 1998, but before that Live Aid. And the way that people respond to music is so much more, I think, engaged than any other art form or media because unlike movies, which of course are phenomenal that can really motivate people to action.

Documentaries tend to be somewhat of a limited audience and really impactful, really emotional movies I think are somewhat removed from the experience because they take place in a fictional, or fictionalized world, whereas music inhabits and surrounds people and attacks your emotions and your psyche in a very real, very present way. So, when you identify with an artist, when you love an artist if that artist has a message or stands for something, I think that fans really internalize it. So, that is how I got into the industry, and I used to book shows in high school and when I got to college I was on the programs committee and worked to produce the concerts and promote the concerts and stuff in college.

When I moved out here I didn’t have a job. And, It’s is kind of a funny story, my sister’s former roommate’s ex-boyfriend’s best friend was at the time a singer songwriter who also worked at ICM and Sarah who is the roommate called Harris, I think his name is Harris and said, “My friend’s little sister just moved to Los Angeles and she has no friends, do you think Michael would take her out?” So we met up for dinner and during the course of this dinner he sort of mentioned that he was trying to get on the college touring circuit. And that was awesome, I don’t have a job so I’d love to help you do that, because I’m actually, that I can do.

I’m really good at that. Michael and I are still friends to this day, he is no longer in music but I booked some gigs from him. And when you called these numerous universities in the program’s councils and the venues and you know because I didn’t do more than just college shows at the time, they are like, “Well, who are you?” so then just to cut to the chase and save myself the energy I would say, “I’m his manager.”

So, he was by default my first client and I got an interview at a very small management company that at the time had Unwritten Law and Bradley Nowell’s estate from Sublime, Moving Units and The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and a couple of others up-and-coming bands and when I went to that interview they were looking for an assistant and I said, “Well, I’m a manager but I’m happy to be your assistant but I’m going to need you to understand that I am going to work on my client as well.” And for whatever reason they said yes, okay, whatever.

So they hired me as an assistant and I ended up by the nature of the cycles working mostly on Unwritten Law’s account. And I eventually became Unwritten Law’s co-manager because their manager Les Borsai left Ride Management which was the company to start our own company in which we were partners so I worked with that for an additional year, doing Unwritten Law and about two other people, Blaine eventually came to join us with sublime and we were more of like a collective or a cooperative rather than a company. And, we had a couple of other managers Robyn Mitchell was managing Peaches at the time and she came to work with us.

Brian Klein who was managing a band called The Sun and now manages Fitz and the Tantrums came to work with us. We had a nice little crew going on, but still mostly worked on Unwritten Law and some of Les’ other clients, and we had eventually, you know, I had different aspirations, different philosophies on running a business. It’s like you start to, some of the sunlight falls away, “I’m in the music industry” when you get down to the undervalue that you know so I wanted to change some things and I ended up going to a company called Rocket Science which was the label services company.

It was actually one of the first label services company, companies, and Rocket Science was doing the sales for the record that Unwritten Law was working on right then, because they still love the band and still do to this day, I had this opportunity to jump laterally and keep working on the projects that I was already working on. They had the benefit of me really knowing the band inside and out and having a good working relationship with them and they hired me as an operation’s manager.

And, at the time they were just a sales company and then I moved into the role of digital sales and expanded that from digital sales to digital marketing, then from digital marketing to strategic marketing department that really encompassed sort of holistic campaign, became a vice-president and the company grew, I mean it was still a tiny company, but that’s, that’s sort of how that went.

Again, same sort of thing, I got to a point where, you know we were doing okay business but I had some disagreements with the guy that owned the company about how business should be done and you know, sort of found out some of the rumors were true, and that really upset me. And, I decided to leave and start my own company and I brought two clients with me to start with.

The grand irony is with those two clients paying me directly rather than paying the company and me working on a salary, my salary jumped up by like 80% I was like, rich, I wasn’t close to rich, but I was making a substantial amount of money that was like, “Wow, okay, I can breathe now” and like my roommate moved out, I didn’t have to get another roommate, like that was phenomenal.

So yes, I have been running the Spellbound Group now for three and a half years, it will be four years in December and I’m still specializing in strategic marketing with an emphasis on digital and I create a lot of social content I work with. I am really focusing now because one of the clients that left with me was Jampol Artist Management and Jampol is like the guy for pop culture. Like heritage brands, he manages The Doors, Janis Joplin, Rick James, Peter Tosh, Otis Redding, The Ramones; he consults for Michael Jackson.

He and I developed a pretty good partnership where I started providing social strategy for all of his clients and working with the labels and the families or the estate holders. And, we are actually now sort of expanding that partnership so I will be sort of, if all goes well, I will be the first stop for any pop culture legacy brand. Because it is really different than running social or running a campaign for an up-and-coming actor, or an actor with people that are alive. I am fortunate to have five years of experience now running campaign side by side for both estates.

And, baby acts and even some sort of mature acts, and different stages to really learn how audiences respond differently how to keep audiences engaged with older content, and keeping that content fresh and relevant and new and engaging on platforms that didn’t exist when the artist was alive.

LLL: So for example, you, let’s say, you manage the content of their Facebook page and twitter?

Alicia: Right, so I create all the content for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, we are just now diving into YouTube. YouTube has been a really interesting challenge, partly because of the nature of the platform. You have the really successful YouTubers making new content every single week and we just can’t do that. Partly because the rights are really convoluted, a lot of our clients came before the era were making music videos was really common.

The Doors have a lot of music videos for example because they used it sort of to replace touring, they were one of the first bands aside from the Beatles to use music videos as a promotional tool, but the owners of those videos and the rights to that music has been so convoluted over the years. Plus, there is a little bit of economic incentive not to post things, you know, because we can make more money out of that content packaging it with DVDs or as bonus content to CD release or something like that. So if we just put it out there for free the advertising revenue doesn’t make up for sales revenue. So, I actually literally in the last two weeks, finally, like it’s been four years that I have been trying different things and I have been trying to pitch different things and it’s always been shut down.

And I have just come up with this strategy that I think not for everybody but can really work. Again for pop culture legacy brands, where rights are really convoluted, that could be a nice little money maker for me and sort of hack the platform as it is to benefit. To benefit our clients and I write all the content that goes up on Michael Jackson’s Facebook, I don’t actually manage his account, it’s the only one that I write content for that I don’t manage the account. But, with him I am the man conduit through which fans communicate with the estate.

LLL: That’s interesting. Takes a little bit of the magic out of the situation now that I know it’s you. Okay, now.

Alicia: Sorry.

LLL: Because you’re a fan and then you see like Janis Joplin post something on the page, you’re like, “Oh, mysterious.” Who is doing it? Who is the person behind the scenes like the wizard of Oz?

Alicia: Exactly.

LLL: I’m happy that we finally get to meet you.

Alicia: It’s me.

LLL: That’s awesome, no, that’s really exciting.

Alicia: Yes. So yes, it’s cool and it’s interesting being the voice and trying not to screw that up.

LLL: Right.

Alicia: It’s a huge responsibility with legacies. Somebody who is alive makes a bad post or just something that the fans rebel against they can always do something else, and they’ll be forgiven with our clients, every mistake you make chips away a little bit of their brand value, that can never really be taken back so, so it’s a, it’s a unique, unique niche that I love.

LLL: Definitely unique.

Alicia: Very lucky to be in this line of work.

LLL: That’s awesome, so interesting. So we like to focus on women, not necessarily just in the industry but in general, so I’m wondering if there’s been a woman in your life whether it’s character or an artist or some personal friend or family that you look up to or that has inspired you.

Alicia: I mean there’s not, there’s not one, there’s many. I am very blessed to come from a family of very strong, very inspiring women, my grandmother founded Planned Parenthood in New Jersey, she was one of the first in 1948. She actually got fired from her teaching job in the early 40s for putting students in groups to work together to learn how to collaborate which is a first standard practice now but then it was unheard of. She was a reporter, she was a city planner.

She went to law school to get her degree when she was seventy and practice until she was 85. She was just fearless and opinionated and optimistic and amazing. My mom is an incredible woman you know just because of the support that she gives and the sort of energy that she gives off, and you know again the way that she sees the world is just like, it’s her oyster, my sister, is wonderful she works in the Pentagon, she does, she is a policy advisor in weapons of mass destruction she is no juggling that and a family and she is always been very pragmatic.

She has always been the one to screw my head on straight when I get a little out of hand, and she is just, she is awesome. There is an incredible woman I met in Cape town who lives in D.C. but is all over the world like my favorite game is where in the world is she? and she is like light incarnate, she is feisty, she is brilliant, she works for either the World Bank or the IMF I can’t remember bringing sustainable energy to small communities and she is, she is a realist.

You know, she is not one of those people that goes around preaching love and light and sort of empty and whatever, she is like, “Here is what’s wrong with the world and here is what I am going do” she is a fighter and she is just beautiful and awesome and fun and brilliant and doesn’t get weighed down by all the tragedy that she is exposed to. And she is an incredible photographer.

Coco Pierce who is a friend of mine who lives here, is another woman who is just like, she just exudes goodness and positivity she just, you know she is like a renaissance woman she does all sorts of things, she is an amazing artist and you know she has jobs too but she, she is like, she is another one that she just provides a perspective that is so needed in the world, and is such a calming influence on the people around her that she is definitely one of my heroes.

And, last one I would say is this woman I recently met, who I have been friends for a couple of years who is another like, she is kind of tough she is very feisty and she is fun and she is inspirational because she just gets up there and does it. She used to take down corrupt politician, she is a very liberal activist, she is actually a P.R. woman for sort of liberal and she is in causes and now she’s got her own consulting agency.

And she just pulls no punches, she is just like you know, she tells it to you like she is, she is not really worried about you know, how you feel. But you know she is fun, and she is lively and she is brilliant and you know, also married, juggling motherhood and entrepreneurialism and you know the evils of the world that she just pulls out her sword and she is like, “I’m going to fucking get you.” Like she is awesome, so there’s yes, there is a lot of women in my life that I think are just magical creatures.

LLL: What an exciting bunch. Cool. So you’ve said you’ve been working in the industry for a few years now and I bet you have a lot of amazing experiences, could you share a couple with us? Like your favorite or maybe the ones that have impacted your life the most?

Alicia: I mean there are a lot, from the very beginning when I went to work back east and I was working with Unwritten Law and they were playing HFStival and I grew up going to that festival and it was a highlight of my year and going back there with credentials and finding my friends were backstage it was amazing. I write John Densmore’s twitter so I basically come up with a bunch of content and I send it to him for approval and then he sends it back and he called a couple of months ago after the Super Bowl and I answered the phone and he was, he as sort of singing in a Bob Dylan voice.

Something along the lines, I mean I don’t remember exactly what it was but something along the lines of, “My cow ran off with all of my money and now I am selling cars for Cadillac” or you know whatever it was, you know just making fun of the commercials and I was literally in my head I was like, “Oh my God, John Densmore, one of the most legendary drummers in history is serenading me over the phone to make fun of Bob Dylan.”

LLL: That’s amazing.

Alicia: I know, this is happening? oh my God. So that’s really amazing and I’m working currently on some projects, some Door’s related projects with Jac Holzman who founded Elektra Records and he and I dare I say it have somewhat of a mutual admiration society, I mean he is, he is incredible.

He is has done so much, he is such a pioneer both technologically and musically and he is all of the things that you imagine the music industry would be like, I am sure there’s some dirt under the rug but in general like he really conducts himself incredibly well and every time we talked I learned something new and he’s you know, he is super complimentary of me and you know he sort of offered me some advice on business development.

Like, “You’re JacHolzsman, you don’t have to take an interest in me” and he does and he is wonderful, he is wonderful. He is a legend, that’s amazing. Also amazing working with Linda Ramone, though, I work with Ramones and one day she called and needed me to stop by and pick something up from her house. And I happened to be picking up my dad from the airport and I was like, “I’m picking up my dad from the airport, can I bring him with me?” and she said, “Yes, no problem” and Linda Ramone is an awesome broad.

And, this lady is such a badass, like speaking of inspiring women, such a badass and so I pick my dad up and I was like, “Dad” and he was like, “Yes?” I was like, “We’re going to Johnny Ramone’s house” and he was like, “What?” and Linda was so gracious and welcoming and my dad’s cool he doesn’t get star struck or anything but he is a little bit like “Oh my God” like she loaded him up with all the memorabilia so my dad got to go back to his office, and he is a partner in a big law firm and, and yes, so it’s just like those sorts of things are amazing.

And then I think I’ve had these moments, I was on tour with Daniel Bedingfield in South Africa and he got on stage and, I am very lucky to be a huge fan of my clients, and it’s just like any tension, any stress or any whatever you are in that moment. He is such a magical artist, speaker, creature, and leader. I mean it’s what his music does, it’s what music is supposed to do, and I have been really like that particular show, I’ve been really mad at him right before the show and like he got on stage and I was just like, “Oh, right.”

And there are times where I have been on the road with The Parlotones and there are like all of these moments, and there are insane moments, I’m writing a novel, a novelized version of some of those to tell the stories because they are crazy but I will change everything to protect the guilty. But, yes, no, it’s been fucking great, you know.

LLL: Yes, awesome, sounds so exciting. What are some of the biggest challenges you have got to face working in the business?

Alicia: The bleeding of income and revenue in the music industry. Liars, cheaters, thieves, yes, there’s a lot of people who are not above board, and there are lot of people who will betray your trust. Yes, that’s probably, it’s just you know.

LLL: Do you feel like more than in other businesses or industries or do you attribute it to just human nature in general?

Alicia: I mean, yes and no, on a certain level I feel like there is a permissiveness of behavior in this industry that would not be tolerated in quote, real industries. But I don’t have the experience to answer that. I think that if you are in politics, it’s probably worse in politics. I think if you are, you know, but if you are a teacher, if you are you know, I think if you are in a consumer products industry, there is probably more standards of behavior to which people are upheld in more transparency but I don’t know.

Might just be the way people are. You know and then you throw in a little bit of drugs and a lot of drinking and you know the personalities are bigger. You know there might be the same sort of exaggeration everywhere else.

LLL: How has being a woman helped or hindered your process or the progress of your career?

Alicia: I don’t think it has helped or hindered, there are definitely experiences that I have had that I, I am sure I have had because I am a woman. The way that people treat me, the way that people interact with me, when you are on the road with a bunch of dudes, being confused for a groupie, being treated like a groupie is one of the most infuriating experiences that happens over and over and over again, or a girlfriend.

LLL: Because you are a woman and you are there.

Alicia: Exactly. That you are either a girlfriend or a groupie, and it’s not cool and then the flipside is I tend to go to the other side and do business, I belong there, you know, I’m one of the guys. Which is great and has worked well for me but is also on the flipside a little bit of loss of my, their recognition of the fact that I am a woman and I am not a particularly manly woman, you know so I don’t want to be, I want to be one of the boys but I don’t want people to freak out that I’m a girl.

For example there was this night, that was so funny, there was this night in New York and I was on tour with The Parlotones and it was like a couple of guys from the band, the tour manager and me and one of the guys’ lady friends. We were going out to a club and the tour manager says, “What are we going to do walking in like this, we only have one girl?”

LLL: Oh wow.

Alicia: And I looked at him and I said, “And between me and Lisa, which one of these would be the one girl?” And he goes, “I didn’t mean that, I just meant like, you’re like our mom” and I was like 26 at the time.

LLL: That doesn’t make it any better.

Alicia: It’s like, “Nope, nope, not your mom” but it’s that kind of thing, you get sort of excluded. It’s like, “Okay” and at times I certainly think it has hindered my ability to date and meet and somebody because it’s hard to meet dudes when you are hanging out with dudes all the time.

The grand irony is that should be a great place. I used to be a hockey player and I was the only girl that played, and you would think that would be a very awesome dating ground for me to potentially have my pick of litter. Maybe my personality sucks, I don’t think that’s what it is but it’s like there is this balance in being one of the guys and being able to maintain your femininity that’s really hard and like at the same rate, when guys recognize your femininity it is almost demeaning.

Because when they remember you as a girl it’s either because they’re making an excuse on the rank because you’re slower or you missed a pass, or you didn’t shoot as hard as you should or you got tackled and crumpled down and it took you an extra second to get up and they’re like….

LLL: “Because you are a girl.”

Alicia: “It’s cause you are a girl,” “No, it’s because I messed up the play. Thank you?” and in business I have cried and then you don’t want to remind people you are a girl because you are crying that’s the worst and that doubles the embarrassment of the fact that you are crying in the first place, you know? But it’s this weird thing, because you meet guys and you’re totally hommies and you are really into them and they’re like, “Yes, you’re like one of the dudes I just don’t think of you like that”, you know like –

LLL: I totally know what you are saying.

Alicia: But I mean from a business perspective there have only been a few occasions where I feel like people treated me dismissively because I was a woman and if I were a dude, you know because it’s the same thing, because I get dismissed as a bitch when I am assertive in certain situations and I know that if the exact same sentencing and the exact same tone came out of my, came out of a guy’s mouth, the dude on the receiving end of whatever the instruction was or the indication was would have respected him for it, but because it’s from mine, they go, “She’s bitchy. She is bossy” whatever, “I don’t want to deal with it, I don’t want to deal with her” you know, and that sucks.

There’s been like a couple of occasions where guys or artists or whatever that I am really close with and we have a generally respectful relationship cross that line where it’s, they are aggressive and demeaning. And I was having a conversation with somebody else because something like that happened relatively recently and I was like, “How often have you actually seen me get upset about what happened?” and he was like, “Never, never seen you get upset” that’s because if it’s in a friendly way if the intention is you know joking around that’s fine but his intention was to make me feel lesser then and I know it.

And he was very clear about it, his intention was to exert power and he would have never have done that to guy.

LLL: It happens.

Alicia: It’s been, you know, it’s been alright.

LLL: You are here.

Alicia: Yes. I’m CEO, I’m alright, I don’t think it generally is a differentiator. And I think also because again I am fairly laid back, so then some of the conversations that happened in here would have happened in an actual corporation with like human resources, we’d all get fired. But that stuff it doesn’t bother me, you know? And that’s just so, I think because I haven’t asserted any discomfort. It hasn’t affected my career so much that I’m a girl.

LLL: Yes, absolutely. Well, it kind of connects with the next question which is how has working in this industry impacted your personal life? You have already shared a little but about that but would you like to elaborate a bit?

Alicia: That pretty much covers it. It’s, yes, my social life is awesome, I go out a lot, I have a lot of amazing, wonderful friends, I suck at dating, you know? And it’s hard.

LLL: Of course, absolutely. The next one is asking for any like sex related or romance related stories that are kind of connected to the work that you do? I don’t know any way you want to interpret the question but, we just kind of want to get a little bit more intimate.

Alicia: Yes, I mean the one thing is, you know it’s interesting, because I am so determined not to be seen as a groupie or a girlfriend that even when there is the opportunity or there is a connection or there is somebody that I date who is a musician or a client or whatever I don’t, or can’t, or won’t you know, with few exceptions because it’s a power play, you know for me.

There have been opportunities and evenings where things have almost started to go there and then I have to like pull myself out of however much I drank, and go, “This can’t happen” even if I really wanted to and it would be like really awesome on like, out of context, I would totally gone there, you just can’t. Like I have had moments where I have had clients try and kiss, like really kiss me, you know. Again, out of context, yes, like I totally do it, you know. But you know just because of that nature, and because all of a sudden if I cross that line.

Even if it ended up being something, somebody that I fell madly in love with and we got married and lived happily ever after, there would always be the stigma of, “She is just another girl who got in the music industry to bang rock stars”, and I remember one of the most humiliating moments of my life was when I first started working with The Parlotones and I was at Rocket Science at the time and I was super excited after I saw them live for the first time and I went into my boss’s office and I was telling him about it, and all of these ideas and marketing plans and whatever and he literally looked at me and goes, “Which one of them are you banging?”

LLL: Oh wow.

Alicia: And I mean I got up and I walked out, and he emailed me and I ignored his emails. I made it very clear that in no universe was that an acceptable assertion based on my passion for the band. I was furious. It’s like I can still now, that was five years ago and I can still feel anger. And that’s why I never, you have to be careful. And it’s one of those things because we had a situation with a girl who was banging one of the guys in the band and she wanted to go on tour. And I was like, “You’re out of your mind” and the other thing is like girls break up bands, it’s true.

LLL: It’s happened.

Alicia: Yes, it happens often, and that sucks. And it’s awkward for all the other guys especially if there is just one girlfriend on the road or whatever, you know and I have always been in the fortunate position of being the exception because everybody sort of knows I’m one of the guys. Like I am not trying to sleep with the band member and I’m not going to sleep with the band members and that’s not my M.O.

You know, but then these other girls come along and pretend to be in the industry or pretend they want to be in the industry and do it and they almost always get on because no guy in a band is going to look at a pretty girl and say, “Oh, you want to sleep with me on the road, please stay home” they don’t. And that girl right now is actually out with this band for no reason, she serves no purpose and she’s not even dating the guy anymore, she just, she’s a groupie, she is like everything that I resent and everything that gives women in the industry like me a bad name. Or you makes people think that all we want is to, marry a rock star so it sucks.

LLL: Is there ever the situation where you would give yourself the opportunity to pursue a relationship with someone you work with?

Alicia: Not, not on a client basis. If it was like a colleague or something, maybe or if we were on a project that I was working on, yes. Like somebody on the business sure, but a musician, no.

LLL: Alright.

Alicia: There is just too many, you know.

LLL: Conflict of interests.

Alicia: Yes. There is too many opportunities for people to say, “See? All women want is to bang a rock star” I don’t. Artists are a mess, they are a mess.

LLL: Do you think it would be different if you were a man like with female clients?

Alicia: Yes. I think so, look at Christina Aguilera who married a dude from her management office, I mean obviously it didn’t work out, but I think that happens a lot, ironically because as a manager you kind of are a mom, and you are a protector. So if this artist falls in love with you and you are a man and she is a woman and you have been guiding her career look at Tommy Mottola and Mariah Carey, it’s accepted because it’s paternal, you know.

It’s this protective, “Oh, that’s so wonderful, he takes such good care of her and then they just fell in love” but it’s a difficult relationship it always is and it always has been, I can’t think of one that’s really worked out. I am sure there are, but I can’t think of what they are. But, yes, no I can’t. I think it’s accepted to be, because it’s also a little bit of you see a hot girl and you see a dude and people think, “Yes, of course he is banging her, how could he not? He is a dude, she is hot”, but again it’s a double standard when you are a woman you are a slut. It’s like a guy gets laid a lot because of the position that he is in, that is his prerogative as a guy, but a girl gets laid a lot, she is a slut.

LLL: How unfortunate, huh? So unfair.

Alicia: Sucks. It sucks, it’s such bullshit but I mean that really is, and I’m guilty of thinking that way too. You know, I think about girls negatively, I think of this girl negatively and she is really a nice girl. I don’t really have a problem with her, except that I despise that behavior.

LLL: Yes it’s the politics for women, they are very complex, but it is pervasive I think in women’s jobs everywhere.

Alicia: Oh, absolutely and I mean especially in something like the music industry where you are so close, you know.

LLL: And you are kind of in the spotlight as well, so yes, absolutely. So remember we talked a little bit about Immunity project, and I would like to hear a little bit about that, can you tell us what it is.

Alicia: Awesome, Immunity project is amazing, it’s a new vaccine that’s being developed by outsider doctors in San Francisco that have an idea that if you could upgrade the immune system maybe we could fight and get around the billion mutations of HIV and that we could do it quickly if we could crowd sourced it rather than just going to foundational funding or just going to this, and that it’s time to destruct the pharmaceutical industry.

So the immunity project is a new vaccine for HIV that is in development and we are sort of calling it an open science project, we put out a blog an people are in the lab and figuratively through our successes and our failures and our goal is to end HIV and AIDS. We want to distribute the vaccine for free, we want it funded by the public and we want it sort of unfettered by politics.

So, what I am doing is some of the communication strategy although it has been a little bit challenging because they are based in San Francisco and I’m here and I am not in a lab and there is a lot of politics within both in our profit sector and the AIDS world specifically that I just, just know my world I am not cut out for it but what I am doing is organizing an LA-based advisory board that will work on fundraisers just like any other foundation has or like TJ Martell has but like really focusing the music industry on supporting this project, and this effort and going like, “Yes, we could fail, we don’t think we are going to.” You know, “And if we succeed we are going to literally change the world” like, “Come with us” you know and really sort of appeal with those disruptors like Troy Carter or Scooter Braun or Ian Rogers that doesn’t say like, “That’s not the way things are done, so, bla, bla” so let’s make it the way things are done. So, yes, so we are planning a gala for December 1st I have people from fashion, from music, you know and we are really working towards to get the word out within our industry to support this effort.

LLL: It sounds awesome, so it kind of connects with the first reason you got involved with music.

Alicia: Yes.

LLL: Which was because you thought genuinely rock and roll could change the world and now you found a project to link it to.

Alicia: Yes, yes, exactly, which for me is like, “Wow, I am doing exactly what I said I wanted to do with my life”, like how many people get to say that? It was kind of a curvy way here, it was kind of a, I mean but it’s not even like it’s good enough, like it’s close enough, like this is what, this is like what I want to do with my life. And I just finished working on a campaign on the anti-fracking campaign bringing celebrities to support that to put a moratorium on fracking until we have a better idea on what it does.

LLL: Absolutely.
Alicia: So I have done a couple of campaigns and I am sort of getting the word out like, you know, I believe in combining celebrity with social justice.

LLL: Of course.

Alicia: So, let’s do it together. So, yes.

LLL: That’s amazing. So finally, what are some of your expectations for the future, personally and professionally?

Alicia: I am going to continue traveling, I am going to continue, I am very lucky like I’ve got a really good life. I hope to continue growing my company and find more success and be seen as a thought leader. You know, I want to expand my reputation as the digital culture girl, as the girl that does sort of pop culture legacy brands that really understands that space. I want to get married, you know, want to move down to the beach, I want to you know.

LLL: Kids? Have you thought about that?

Alicia: Maybe. Like I said, kind of a thing in theory, sure I’d like kids if I find somebody that I want to father them but I am not really one of those women whose biological clock is ticking in the sense that I would never go for artificial insemination or anything like that, it’s like if I have the opportunity to have kids that will make the world a better place because my husband’s awesome and we are going to raise our kid to believe he or she can do anything, fuck yes.

LLL: That’s the way to go.

Alicia: But jut to have kids for the experience of being a mom.

LLL: Right. Well, awesome! Thank you so much, this has been great.

Alicia: Thank you for coming all the way over here. I’m very honored and flattered.

Here is the link for Immunity Project if you want to learn more:

And to Spellbound Group:



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