Five A Side: Vanessa Picken (Comes With Fries)

Five A Side is a blog series that spotlights exceptional women in the music industry through a five-question interview.

In part six of our series, we interview Vanessa Picken, founder of Sydney-based digital agency Comes With Fries, who have worked with such clients as The Jezabels and Jaxsta Music. Vanessa is a longtime professional in music and digital, having worked in the past at NokiaT-Mobile and EMI to name a few. She also manages Sydney artist Allan Smithy.


Vanessa Picken, Comes With Fries.

You worked previously in communications and at EMI Music before starting your own company, Comes With Fries. What has the experience been like going out on your own?

Comes With Fries has challenged, inspired and driven me beyond any role I’ve ever had. Having your own business allows you to dictate its story. For me, managing the dream and meeting the expectations of that desired state for Comes With Fries is really a daily task. Who we work with, what service we deliver and the value the team deliver to every project. Plus, when I say daily, there are no such things as days off, no-go device zones or getting off the grid. The nature of our business is that there is no off time. We encourage our clients to be committed and consist, so we live by our words.

Tell us a bit about what you do day-to-day. What would people be most surprised to learn about your job?

I love a good document. As we manage a number of clients, across a multiple of services- nothing says completed more like a great plan, solid documents and killer staff. My day is new business, client liaising, implementation of strategy and content plans, learning (digital moves so quickly and our role is to be all things digital to help our clients navigate this landscape) and networking. For me this is key. Conversing, engaging, living and breathing the world in which we ‘work’ is paramount. It’s a community, a family even, that we find ourselves in so it’s important to respect, support and encourage each other. Our industry will be stronger for it!!!!

Who is someone you draw inspiration from, male or female?

I am going to select a group! The Sounds Australia team – MillieGlenn and Esti. A team dedicated in paving the way to allow Australia musicians from all genres access to the greatest platform to showcase their works internationally. Their passion, hard work and their little black books of the who’s-who in the global industry are undoubtably a force that we are so incredibly lucky to have. Their showcases, networking events and respect has enabled Australian music to be on everyone’s lips. We have great talent here and there is 100% something in the water however we should shine a spotlight and draw inspiration from a team that every country in this world would be lucky to have. Truly inspirational!

What does Women In Music Sydney mean to you?

It’s not about gender so much for me, it’s more about empowerment, it’s education, it’s a community.

Who would you like to nominate for the next Five A Side and why?

Jo Cave, CEO Support Act. With over 20 years experience Jo is the driving force behind Support Act, a charity that every person in this industry should know about and support. Jo’s vision to drive the awareness so that the music industry can give help and get help has been an unsung hero to many. Her passion for this industry and those in it has been an inspiration, so I would love for those involved in this community to get to know Jo and Support Act –