Artist, Producer, Journalist Television & Radio Personality

Happy Birthday to Music’s Living Encyclopedia, My Mentor & Dear Friend Matt Pinfield

May 29, 2014

I grew up watching Matt Pinfield on MTV as he wowed music fans with his unparalleled ability to rattle off obscure music facts, his incredible artist interviews, and his one-of-a-kind personality that made him loved by absolutely everyone. After studying and idolizing him for years,  I knew that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be the female Matt Pinfield…with more hair.

And so my journey began. From spending every summer interning at record labels (read: stockpiling CDs for hours), to hitchhiking from college (Go Penn State) to NYC to “audition” for Wanna Be VJ contests, I was on a mission. I became the Sony College Marketing Representative at Penn State, and won “College Rep Of The Year.” Let’s just say I fully embraced the largest Greek System in the world to promote my Columbia and Epic Records artists.

As a result, I got a job offer at both Columbia and Epic Records upon graduation, but I knew that Matt Pinfield did A&R (aka scouts bands and makes records) at Columbia Records, so that is ofcourse where I accepted. Even though my assistant position had nothing to do with A&R or Matt Pinfield, I was determined to find a way to work with His Bald Brilliance. After months of pitching myself to Human Resources why we needed to create a coordinator position to work directly with Matt, the position was finally born. I was Matt Pinfield’s right-hand (wo)man.

For three years Matt & I were a team, scouting unsigned talent around the country, and overseeing the production of albums from artists like David Bowie, Cypress Hill, Kenna, and Coheed & Cambria. It was a dream come true to work with artists in the studio and eventually I had to leave my beloved mentor and venture out on my own. I left Columbia Records to become an A&R exec myself at Epic Records.

Me and Matt Pinfield

At Epic I worked with the full spectrum of genres from metal gods, Lamb Of God, to discovering one of the greatest voicesI have ever encountered, Juliet Simms. But the dream was still to transition from working with artists in the studio, to interviewing them on-camera.

I started to host/produce branded-content series for lifestyle brands like Steve Madden and Nikon and eventually got my television debut with Fuse. I hosted the Top 20 Countdown, Grammys specials, and covered every music festival under the sun…including Manchester, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo, which to this day is the hottest I’ve ever been in my life. It is also where I got the exclusive sit-down with Eminem…and by sit-down I also mean that I glued to my seat with sweat. Sorry for the gross visual. Wanted to share that with you.

From Fuse I went on to host The CW‘s unsigned music competition, “The Next”, where Gloria Estefan, Nelly, Joe Jonas, and John Rich were celebrity judges. It was my live primetime network debut and it absolutely surpassed my wildest dreams.

The Next group shot backstageMatt Pinfield went from being my inspiration to my mentor, but I feel most fortunate to call Matt one of my dearest friends. We are family. And that is the greatest gift of all…as well as an amazing Sister Sledge song, which got nominated for Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals in 1979. There. You’ve been Pinfielded with a twist of Hagendorf.