Behind the Board- Anya Wilson

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Behind the Board- Anya Wilson

What do the Kinks, David Bowie, T. Rex, Gypsies, Jack the Ripper and Scrabble all have in common? In two words,… Anya Wilson.

Born on the northeast coast if England in Grimsby (a town populated by sailors and gypsies), Anya grew up at a time when music was really influencing England. The Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks were all the rage and one young girl had had enough of parochial school, secondary school and private school. She dreamt of being a dancer on ‘Ready, Steady, Go’ or ‘Top of the Pops’, but instead she worked in Grimsby for a timber importer, a secretary at an aerosol company and a sniffer for a fragrance manufacturer. To make ends meet, she also worked 3 nights a week at a local nightclub as a cloakroom girl. The clubs’ owner was also a talent booking agent and was always going to London for business and Anya envied his access to the vibrancy of the capitol city. So when she was 18 she and a girlfriend from secretarial school got a ride with him and moved to London themselves. They rented a room from her Aunt Millie and began looking for work. Amazingly they both landed secretary jobs at Pye Records and so Anya’s life in the world of music began. She worked her way up to record tracker and was instrumental in getting T.Rex’s ‘Ride A White Swan’ all the way up to number 2 on the British charts. That got her noticed as a force to be reckoned with in the industry, so she soon started her own company doing more tracking and publicity, eventually realizing her earlier dream of working with the Kinks! As well as T.Rex, David Bowie, and punk acts, The Jam, and The Stranglers, Anya also worked pop/classical acts like Nana Mouskouri and John Williams. A client invited her to Canada to work for his management company. When the company folded she was contemplating moving back.. until she met her future husband at a music conference… trade journalist, Larry Leblanc. They were soon married and had two children. She began to love this country and took a real liking to country music that has only grown through the years. Her youngest child was born handicapped so Anya and Larry, along with the help of the major labels raised over $1,000,000 for the Safehaven Project for Community Living to purchase a mortgage free, respite house for children on Bloor St. in Toronto, a project of which they’re both very proud.

So fast-forward to today, Anya runs Anya Wilson Promotion & Publicity and represents many country artists in a field she has come to love. Acts like One More Girl, Hey Romeo, Aaron Pritchett, George Canyon and many more. When asked what it takes to become a successful artist Wilson says, “You have to be a doer, there’s no room for lazy folk who think it’s easy.” And she adds, “Don’t give up and learn as much as you can.” Good advice for any vocation really. So where does Jack the Ripper figure into all of this? Well she’s a bonafide ‘Ripperologist’ having read everything every written on this dark figure. And she’s developed a few theories of her own. And as for Scrabble, well she’s never, ever lost a game. That makes sense too, as a good publicist is never at a loss for words.