For young people who want a job in the music biz, the industry can seem like a big, bad, scary place. But it doesn’t have to be. I knew from the moment I entered college that I would somehow be involved with music and the industry. Once I made it, I had a lot to learn. My philosophy on learning fast: get thrown into the lion’s den. It works.
Since arriving in our nation’s capital to work for Altavoz Distribution, I have spent time in the den and learned a lot about the music industry. To help you newbies, I am going to share some things I learned while taming and making friends with those lions….I call it “SOCO”, and I don’t mean the drink. You want to be successful? You need to SOCO. Trust me.
1. Be Smart – Stay on top of trends and events. Reports and publications covering the music industry are loaded with bias and opinion, so be sure to absorb the facts, and question everything. Find reliable music business websites and publications, and read them every single day. Weave your new found knowledge into daily conversation and people will seek you out for your info. Good luck on all those cool convos!
2. Be Original – Music is a creative process and artists respond best to creativity and originality. You can’t expect to appeal to an audience full of people who appreciate music and love art if you are boring. It’s more than just having visually appealing marketing materials. Get creative and be remembered.
3. Be a Connector – My job at Ferris State was to network with people at all times, and today at Altavoz, it still is. Whether I was running for a spot on the school’s entertainment programming board (check), trying to land a job after graduation (check) or meeting bands and other music industry professionals (check, check), my LIFE always has and always will include networking. The world is made up of lots of connections. Make them work for you. Do it online and in person, and do it aggressively.
4. Be Open – There are many different types of people pushing out their unique ideas and cool art. Opportunity is endless. As a music businessperson, you have to be full of thoughts and ideas. Most important is to acknowledge that all artists are full of passion. When working with passionate people, acceptance and understanding their emotions is vital if you want them to work with you. Bottom line — people have to like you, so (if you are) stop being a hater!