Can SoundCloud Be the Facebook of Music?

By Jugrnaut on Sep 01, 2015 in Scoop.it - Comments Off on Can SoundCloud Be the Facebook of Music?

“In ripped white jeans and a midriff-baring SoundCloud T-shirt, 20-year-old Toni Romitibelts one of her modern R&B-flavored songs to a roomful of strangers. She hits the notes, bobs to the beat, flips her long, magenta-streaked hair. Still, as she finishes her opening number, there’s a hint that she’s not yet a polished live performer: “That was the first one,” she says abruptly.

Her audience is all enthusiasm. Romiti is singing to the New York office of SoundCloud, the fast-growing Internet audio service that’s attempting to turn the corner from popular app to viable business. SoundClouders, as the company refers to grass-roots music makers such as Romiti, are the soul of the enterprise. If her career takes off, she’ll owe much to SoundCloud. She made her first recording on its app and has since attracted 70,000 followers and scored a handful of gigs she hopes will lead to a tour. When her first successful song took off, she recalls, she was getting 1,000 plays an hour. “I just sat at my computer and cried all day,” she says. “SoundCloud changed my life.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bloomberg.com

How Dumb Are YOUR Song Lyrics?

By Jugrnaut on Aug 31, 2015 in Scoop.it - Comments Off on How Dumb Are YOUR Song Lyrics?

Studying the dumbness of popular music


When someone says “literate songwriting,” I think of Lauren Hill, Nas, Tupac, Eminem, Kanye West.


But let’s think about it more… literally, as songwriting that requires the listener to have some level of reading proficiency.


If we printed out the lyrics for 225 recent #1 songs onBillboard‘s Pop, Country, Rock, and Hip Hop charts, we’d see that the “texts” of modern popular songs now average between a 2nd and 3rd grade reading level — which is down from a 3rd-4th grade level a decade ago.


Yep. Data now proves that music is getting dumber.Well, the lyrics of chart-topping songs are getting dumber at least. Plenty of contemporary songwriters are penning literate lyrics, of course. And you can write great lyrics, spin an imaginative metaphor, and stir emotions without using big words. But still…


Of all the artists with #1 songs over the past few years, the awards for ‘most literate’ go to Kanye West, Drake, Eminem, and Rihanna. Want to know which artists would flunk 3rd grade reading class? Check out the details of the study

http://seatsmart.com/blog/lyric-intelligence/

Sourced through Scoop.it from: diymusician.cdbaby.com

If You Want To Use Music, You’ve Got To Pay For It”: Music’s Crisis, and How To Fix It

By Jugrnaut on Aug 28, 2015 in Scoop.it - Comments Off on If You Want To Use Music, You’ve Got To Pay For It”: Music’s Crisis, and How To Fix It

Jeff Price slaps his hands on his desk. As he details the flaws he’s found in the music industry since the early 2000s, his words fly out faster and faster until he has to stop to breathe in the middle of a sentence.

“Music is important,” says Price, the former owner of the indie record label Spin. “Music has inherent value. And if you want to use music, you’ve got to fucking pay for it.”

In 2005, Price co-founded a company called Tunecore. At a time when the only other option for digital sales was the iTunes Store, Tunecore allowed musicians to upload their music to sell on the internet. Artists, Price believed, no longer had to get locked into contracts with labels, ones where they signed away their copyright. Price realized the internet had the potential to change the music industry’s whole business model.

“I think what happens in the next three years will really decide the future of the industry”

“I launched Tunecore because I thought artists were being screwed, and you know what? I was right,” he says.

Tunecore became part of the revolution that overthrew the old system of music and helped introduce a new digital Wild West. It was radically successful in helping artists get their music online.

Now Price is trying to do the same thing for streaming. In 2013, after being ousted from Tunecore, Price founded Audiam, a service that attempts to help artists get paid for digital streams.

Price is a controversial figure in the music industry. He yells and rants, even on the phone with me. He isn’t right about everything, but he’s right about this: the music industry has a problem with ownership and pricing transparency, and nobody who could do anything seems to care about fixing it.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.vox.com

How to Turn Your Worthless College Degree Into A Job In The Music Industry

By Jugrnaut on Aug 27, 2015 in Scoop.it - Comments Off on How to Turn Your Worthless College Degree Into A Job In The Music Industry

Congratulations, graduates! You’ve earned your degree, stepped out for one last wistful toss of the frisbee, and completed your final celebratory keg stand. The future is yours. You’ve made it. You’re ready for the real world—or at least ready to stare into the abyss of post-graduation ennui. Maybe you have a job all lined up. Good for you, you go-getter! Maybe you’ve realized, with increasing dread, that none of the jobs you bulk applied to on Gorkana.com are going to get back to you. Maybe you still have no idea what you want to do with yourself because the only thing you like is music. But don’t start panicking; stay calm. There’s hope.

Working in music can seem like an unattainable dream job: After all, part of the reason we buy into the fantasy of pop stars is precisely because it’s a fantasy. But you don’t have to be the world’s greatest guitarist to get a job in music; in fact, you don’t need to have any musical talent at all! Outside of the spotlight, there are thousands of people in the music industry doing all kinds of jobs that let them spend their entire day around music, shows, and the artists they love. From scouting artists as an A&R for a publishing company to handling label relations for a tech startup to being a music supervisor for a TV show to working in publicity to being a music journalist, there are plenty of ways to have a job in music at all levels of the industry without being a musician—jobs you may have never even known existed!

What are those jobs, and how can you, the diehard music fan, get them? Good questions! We reached out to more than 20 people with jobs around the music industry to find out what it is they do and how they got to where they are in the hope of alleviating some of the mystery.

Talia Miller, Publicist and Manager at Brixton Agency

Photo courtesy of Talia Miller

What do you actually do, day to day?


So many things, from pitching to updating reports to creating proposals to designing innovative launches. But I also spend at least 50 percent of my time designing new projects and managing expectations! Right now I also manage Pity Sex and Wildhoney as well. [Editor’s note: This is a shameless plug, truly the mark of a good publicist.]

How did you get that job?

I started my own company! This was after playing in bands for years (I have our first demo tape I can show you!), setting up festivals, working at venues, booking shows, etc. Eventually I ended up working for my friends for a while at an independent record distributor who trained me to do press. After that folded I moved to Brooklyn and eventually ended up founding Brixton Agency with my friend Sean Rhorer, who was the one who brought me into doing publicity in the first place!


What was your first job after school?


Operations assistant at the Richmond Symphony. I booked travel and escorted soloists when they were in town. I also helped ensure an entire symphony was at rehearsal on time!

What was your first job in the industry?


I’m not sure… Maybe playing bass in a band? Or being an organizer of Ladyfest DC 2002? If you aren’t counting those, in terms of being paid, probably being hospitality manager at Toad’s Place in Richmond, Virginia. It was a weird mix of dropping towels that New Found Glory had just used at the laundromat and then driving people like Joan Osborn around while humming “what if god was one of us” under my breath.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?

Don’t be afraid to ask everything about anything. It doesn’t make you look dumb, and it makes you more allies in the long run. You can always learn something.


What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?

You can’t teach being a social savant. Going out is just as important as staying in and studying. Your grades won’t ultimately get you jobs, but your skills with people will.

Matt FX, music supervisor for Broad City, Man Seeking Woman, and Difficult People

Photo courtesy of Matt FX


What do you actually do, day to day?


I listen and sort through new music, place tunes in the cut with an editor, and make sure I can afford said tunes.

How did you get that job?


Long story short, I unknowingly planted a seed that sprouted a couple years later into my first position as a music supervisor.

What was your first job after school?


After I dropped out of school my first job was as an outdoor food vendor on the Highline. It was October and very cold.

What was your first job in the industry?


[Music supervisor for] Skins.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


I wish I’d known that the job title itself was called ‘music supervisor.’ I actually ordered my first set of business cards with the position of ‘music curator’ because I didn’t know any better!

 

Lauren Nostro, Music News Editor, COMPLEX Magazine

Photo courtesy of Lauren Nostro


What do you actually do, day to day?


My actual job is running all music news—premieres, aggregation, reported news, news features, etc. But, as anyone in media knows, you’re doing way more than your actual job role, especially with news. Music news is a different beast. It’s constantly around the clock—and with surprise album releases, your faves made our jobs pretty fucking insane. At Complex, our music staff is the deputy editor, Damien Scott, managing editor Christine Werthman, social editor Edwin Ortiz, and then me and my team of five freelance news writers who hold me down and keep me from losing my mind. Over the last few months, we’ve really grown Complex Music to an all-encompassing music site, and our freelancers and staffers are constantly on top of music news—plus, we’re growing our TV vertical by the day. So, a lot of my job is also assisting the Complex News producers with their scripts, interviews, news videos, etc.

How did you get that job?


I started interning under our associate editor Insanul Ahmed while I was in grad school. It was hard. I was balancing restaurant jobs to pay off student loans and living with too many people in Queens, but I worked my ass off, fucked up two transcriptions really bad twice and never fucked up again… Or, at least, I did a better job of hiding it. After that, I permalanced for the site—which, essentially means I was doing posts and features for every vertical. I was hired as an editorial assistant for Complex Music, where your job is basically doing everything from transcribing to news to features, interviews, helping the editors, etc. Then I left! And I worked at Noisey (!) as a guest editor for a few months before I came back to Complex and ran their music news.

What was your first job after school?


After undergrad, I worked at the Jersey Shore for AOL’s failed hyper local journalism site, Patch. I lived in a studio around the corner from MTV’s Jersey Shore house, my editors only communicated by email, and I ended up dipping the fuck out once someone tried to break into my house after a long night at Karma at 4 AM. It was cool. I had a police scanner and essentially would roll up to crime scenes and go to community board meetings, which, for all of its fuckery, is something a lot of bloggers don’t have the experience of doing. I also worked at two restaurant jobs in NYC as a hostess—which, if you know me, makes absolutely no sense, but restaurant money in NYC is fire.

What was your first job in the industry?


Complex! I’ve only been in the industry since 2011, I’m a baby. Back in 2011, I really wanted to intern for Vibe, but they never got back to me, so I applied for Complex not even really being that familiar with the brand. But I’d stay late, read the mags, read everything I could. And I’d say it worked out pretty well.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


There are rarely full-time gigs in the music writing industry that just require you to know how to write. A lot of what I learned in school was the art of writing—which, yes, is invaluable—but chances are, if you’re working at a publication these days, you’re going to need to know video, photo (at least Photoshop), SEO, social media, etc. There’s less of a focus on news in school, as well. There’s an art to news writing and reporting that can be applied to every single industry if you know the basis, and I find that it’s a hard thing to teach in school. So intern or work at your student paper, at least. It’s helpful.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


No one is going to do shit for you. People will help you, they’ll mentor you, you’ll find some solid people to have in your corner—that’s great. But unless you’re your biggest cheerleader, ain’t shit about to happen for you. Believe in yourself and for the women, don’t forget, men are trash—especially in the music industry.

 

David Castillo, Owner/Talent Buyer at Saint Vitus Bar

Photo courtesy of David Castillo


What do you actually do, day to day?


My day is usually split between talking to booking agents, managers, and bands trying to book shows at the bar via email and taking meetings. My nights are spent going to shows and checking out music.

How did you get that job?


I was booking shows independently around Brooklyn when the guitar player of my band Primitive Weapons, Arty Shepherd, started a bar and asked me to book shows there.

What was your first job after school?


Do you have a minute for the environment?

What was your first job in the industry?


I worked PR at label and fucking hated it. I quit and started doing more of my own shit.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Learn what you can about the way things supposedly work, but always have in mind what you want to do and how you would do it better.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


You don’t need to necessarily get a job; you can make one.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


Trust yourself and don’t let outside expectations limit you.

 

Jeff Rosenstock, musician, record producer, record label owner, graphic designer, and video editor

Photo courtesy of Jeff Rosenstock


What do you actually do, day to day?


It depends. Some days all I do is mail out a handful of packages for Really Records and dick around on the internet. Days like that are getting rarer, but I kind of hate not being productive anyway. Today is an example of a somewhat busy day. I’m in the middle of editing a lyric video for Chuck Ragan. Later on Chris Farren and I will get started on the next Antarctigo Vespucci record. I’m going to finish scheduling overdubs for a record I’ve been producing the past three weeks and hopefully iron out some more wedding plans.

How did you get that job?


I ended up getting this job by not trying to make this my job. I’ve always found work elsewhere outside of my “passion projects” so to speak, and I’ve generally shunned trying to make it my main source of income because I don’t want to put pressure on the things I love. While doing little jobs for friends in bands, whether it’s helping to record demos or doing album layouts, I developed a reputation for being somewhat decent and reliable, and now I’m working with those people on bigger projects.

What was your first job after school?


I was fortunate enough to be the art director at a great club in Long Island called The Downtown. After helping them design a handful of flyers, they brought me in full-time at $8 an hour, and I made all their posters, calendars, advertising, micro-sites, even food menus while I lived with my parents in Baldwin. I definitely lucked into that one, though. They just didn’t have anyone doing that before I showed up there, and I think they needed someone often enough and I was fun to have in the office.

After that place closed down, my string of shitty jobs started. My favorite of which was washing dishes at Transmet in Athens, Georgia, and my least favorite of which was walking in a circle around a big financial firm making sure the conference rooms had the right amount of soda.

What was your first job in the industry?


While I was in school, I worked for an EDM music distributor for one day trying to get people over the phone to buy the new Echobelly record. I think that’s when I realized I’m not a salesman.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


We live in a society that conditions us to think that every job is a potential career, but that’s not the case. Some jobs are just jobs and that’s totally fine. If you don’t allow your job to define you as a person, you’ll feel a lot better about your life and probably be a lot easier to work with. Then when that job comes along that DOES suit who you are as a person, working hard and being positive will feel so much easier.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


I wish I had known how much more important it is to be friendly and outgoing than it is to have a good resume. Any temp job I’ve ever landed has been due to not really giving a fuck during the interviews, just being relaxed and answering questions honestly (aside from whatever design skills I was lying about). The jobs where I’ve been overqualified are the jobs where I never heard responses.

Also, 95 percent of jobs will not reply to your awesome cover letter and resume. It’s a super huge downer. But something that I wish I knew while I was applying for those jobs, is that 95 percent of people looking for work go through the same exact experience. No one writes back to anyone. We’re all in this world of shit together.

 Megan Ryte, DJ and Midday On-Air Personality at Hot 97

Photo courtesy of Megan Ryte


What do you actually do, day to day?


In short, I host and produce my own show on Hot 97 from 10 AM to 3 PM Monday to Friday, and I am a mix show DJ.

What was your first job in the industry?


Morning Show Radio Personality and DJ at WOWI in Norfolk, Virginia.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Don’t pay attention to what the next person is doing. With social media, it can be easy to compare your life and success against someone else. Don’t do that. Everyone has something unique to bring to the table… themself. I used to think that I had to do what someone else was doing to succeed. When I stopped listening to the comments of others and started being true to myself, things fell into place.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


Once you figure out what field you want to work in, learn five major things surrounding it.  There’s always more than one way to get a foot in the door, but you have to be able to bring what they need to the table. Once you are in the building you can shift around.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


How to correctly do my taxes. Something else they don’t teach you in school. I would have saved a lot of money!

 

Joe Armenia, Global Head of Label and Artist Relations at Rdio

Photo courtesy of Joe Armenia

What do you actually do, day to day?


I talk on the phone, all day, every day, around the clock. But I am talking about music, so I can’t complain. My job is to work closely with all record labels (indies, majors, distributors, aggregators) and artists/management around the world to create ways to surface priority releases every week, through content marketing programs, through editorial and merchandising, through curation opportunities on our platform, and through the creation of original content, like Rdio Sessions. There is no typical day, which is great.

Entire days are spent sorting through release schedules around the world, sharing priority releases with our global teams and developing plans around those. There is one amazing day every month where we spend hours just listening to music that was released in the past month, so that we can assemble what we call “Rdio Recommends.” And we really mean it. We truly recommend those albums and tracks. That’s quite a privilege. Then there are days (and weeks) where I travel to meet with label partners to brainstorm new partnership opportunities around their emerging and legacy artists and to learn more about how services like ours can help them grow their business and grow ours at the same time. The balance of the time is rounded out working closely with our Marketing team, so we can find other places to highlight content (via radio partners, email communication, telco partners, press releases, events, etc),

What was your first job after school?


My first job came out of my only internship, where I worked at a radio station during college. I was then hired by a big station to do overnights on-air and to be an assistant in the promotions department. I loved it. Until I hated it.

What was your first job in the industry?


Even though the radio job counts as industry, it was that job that led me to my real first job, where I was hired for two months as a part-time assistant in the marketing department at MTV. I stretched those two months to 14 years, leaving as Vice President of Music Marketing.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


All the cliché things still apply: Get a foot in the door. Work in the mail room. Use a connection to get you in somewhere you want to be. You can craft it from there. And if you don’t have it, make a list of all the places you might want to work and aim for those, in order. Find an angle… roommate’s father’s cousin’s neighbor knows someone who works at one of those places? Then get to that neighbor somehow and get in. Do that for everywhere you want to be. 

And also, don’t expect to go from temp to CEO in a year. Paying dues still matters, and you still have to earn everything. I’ve found as a hiring manager over the years that that notion is a bit tainted, that there is more a sense of entitlement among young jobseekers. Everything is a learning opp. Manage your own expectations and take lots of learning from everything you come across. If you’re an assistant sending packages on someone else’s behalf, make sure you know what is in the package, why it’s being sent, and what the recipient will do with it. Patience and learning.

 

David Strunk, Talent Agent at The Agency Group

Photo courtesy of David Strunk


What do you actually do, day to day?


Career development. Agents develop acts from baby bands to national touring artists. The “brick and mortar” portion of the job is setting up live shows including the negotiation of artist fees and all ancillary terms.

However, the most important aspect of agenting is artist relations. I need to ensure my acts are comfortable (on a daily basis) with their career growth and development. Included in this is an understanding of realistic expectations and growth. More bureaucratically I manage a small staff who I educate to be agents themselves while handling internal daily client/show maintenance. I also handle and maintain relationships with managers, labels, publicists, tour managers, lawyers, and business managers.

How did you get that job?


While in college I was an intern at The Agency Group, where I work now, and I transitioned from intern to assistant and ultimately agent.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


To stay involved and put aside entitlement. I’ve spoken with countless people who want to work in music and “give up” because it seems too daunting or because “they deserve more.” People make their own opportunities and by staying active in music (in literally any fashion): interning, volunteering or trying to keep any relationship with anyone in any part of the business opportunities will open up.

Secondly, if you want to work you’ll have to put in your dues. It’s rarely lucrative immediately. Starting salary at a major agency is bleak (I repeat, bleak). Put aside your ego, suck it up, and push forward. Be confident in yourself, and remember this initial sacrifice is only temporary.  

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


There’s a difference between “trying to achieve a goal” and actually “achieving a goal.” I see too many people feel satiated by leaving a voice message. If you don’t get that person on the phone you didn’t do anything. You may feel like you did something, but actually speaking with the person is why you called (not leaving the voicemail).

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


No one knows what they’re doing when they start. The important thing is you to go into action regardless. If you get something wrong learn from that mistake and move forward and try again.

 

Jen Appel, Senior Publicist at Press Here Publicity

Photo courtesy of Jen Appel


What do you actually do, day to day?


I execute and manage the publicity campaigns for artists throughout the industry, including Phoenix, Weezer, Local Natives, The Killers, Lykke Li, Best Coast, Sleigh Bells, Blood Orange, and lots more. This takes myriad shapes and forms—everything from securing and setting up interviews and photo shoots with artists, booking them on television shows, writing and sending out press releases about album releases and artist news, placing mp3 and music video assets across the web, getting record reviews confirmed and assigned, supporting an artist via promotion while they’re touring for an album, problem solving, pitching ideas to media, following up on those ideas, listening to music while I work…

How did you get that job?


Music was—and still is—everything to me. Getting into certain bands and scenes helped define me as a teenager, so I knew that, no matter what, I simply HAD to work in music somehow. When I was 17, I had a college advisor whose friend’s sister was a managing partner at a music PR firm. She introduced me to this woman, Linda Carbone, who took me on as an intern between my junior and senior years of high school. As the summer ended, she told me if I ended up in New York City, where the company was based, for college, she would give me a part-time job.

When I was accepted to attend NYU’s Gallatin School in 1999, she was one of the first calls I made. I worked for her part-time throughout the school years and full-time as a publicity assistant during the summers. When she founded Press Here with Chloe Walsh in 2004, I went with her, and that’s where I’ve been ever since due to the amazing artists we work with and the incredible work ethic of all of my colleagues that inspires me to work my hardest and do my best. So basically, if I hadn’t met Linda Carbone, things would have gone very, very differently for me indeed.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Get as much real life experience as you can as early as you can. Don’t wait until your senior year; don’t wait until you graduate. Many of the people I met in my first summer working as a publicity assistant are still people I know and work with today, in both the media and the industry at large, and those relationships go a very long way.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


That being responsible for and to other people beyond yourself is an important part of working culture and a skill that must be honed and developed unto itself. So much of academia is based on what YOU bring to the table—whether or not you go to class, whether or not you get your papers done, whether or not you study for a test, etc. When you join a company, it’s not just about you anymore. Your performance affects every aspect of the team.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


I wish I had known the iPod was going to be invented. (And that, folks, is a wonderful indicator of how much the music industry has changed since the start of the millennium.)

 

Bryan Cullen, Producer and DJ at Sirius XM

Photo courtesy of Bryan Cullen


What do you actually do, day to day?


It changes depending on who is coming in live or what show I need to deal with. I produce radio production, bits, and parody songs for The Jason Ellis Show on Faction. I also make the show promos and edit up best-of segments for replay and on-demand. I produce weekly punk rock music shows for Tim Armstrong and Marky Ramone. Once a week I produce a one-hour live show with pro skater Tony Hawk. I have my own show from 11 AM to 3 PM Monday to Friday where I spin tons of punk and some metal and occasionally some cool classic hip-hop like Wu Tang. I also have artists up and coach them through takeovers or interview them, depending on who wants to do what. I also work remotely, sometimes at a festival, or X-Games, or a big NYC event. I am out there with a recorder collecting content and trying to make radio worth paying for.

How did you get that job?


I was in a shitty high school band that used to rehearse at a studio. The head of the studio made me an intern/PA on the HBO show Reverb in 1999. I would show up at 6 AM, help load a truck with camera equipment, drive to NYC or Pennsylvania, set up, watch sound checks, and then work the show. Then we would break down and drive home. Sometimes it was 6 AM to 6 AM by the time it was all done. For this I was paid 150 bucks. Big time! I was also in college and doing a radio show. I took my love for music and some of my college bits and sent them to Howard Stern’s show. I was a production intern for Howard Stern for six months and then got hired by K-Rock for an unbelievable $13 an hour. But I never said no to work. Sometimes I ran the Stern Show best-of shows on Thanksgiving or Christmas, sometimes I worked overnights, sometimes I came in for someone who was sick, but I always went hard.

I was hooked up with another DJ named Sluggo in LA, and I ran his show in NYC and became a sidekick. Working with Sluggo taught me so much and helped me find my voice. He was the best kind of guy to work for because he let you take chances on bits, but if it wasn’t good enough, he would tell you. He helped make me a better DJ. From there I was given a handful of overnight DJ shifts on air at K-Rock NYC. Then in 2004 I was hired away by Sirius, who later merged with XM. I have been working with Faction on Sirius XM for ten-plus years and have gotten to interview and work with some of my punk rock heroes, seen a ton of shows, and talked copious amounts of shit on the airwaves.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Intern as much as you can. And learn, don’t just hang with the cool people and get good at getting them coffee. Learn the equipment, make tapes or videos, write ideas down, go harder than the people around you. This industry is shrinking and changing. Never turn down an opportunity to learn something or work on a project. Also stay up on tech. Back in the day it would take multiple people to go on the road and collect material from an event and make it broadcast ready. Now it’s guys like me and a laptop.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


Try to be the best at what you do. If you see an angle someone else isn’t working or an open lane, jump on it!

 

Rachel Bisdee, Director of International Marketing for Republic Records, Island Records, and Def Jam Recordings

Photo courtesy of Rachel Bisdee


What do you actually do, day to day?


I help manage the international marketing and promotion for our artists. The international department of a record label will create and implement global artist campaigns. We act as the liaison between the artist and the overseas record labels and international media. In addition to my marketing responsibilities I set up and accompany artists on international promo tours that include TV appearances, radio events, award shows, etc.

How did you get that job?


It took more than ten years of hard work, including five years of unpaid internships at record labels, music magazines and music television. I joined Universal in London in 2009 and moved to Universal in New York in 2014.

What was your first job after school?


I started working unpaid at NME when I was still in school at age 16 and then at Rough Trade Records and other independent record labels in my late teens and early 20s. I also DJed at college radio and indie clubs in Brighton while at university in the UK.

What was your first job in the industry?


One of my most important first jobs in the industry was in the International Talent & Music department at MTV. In this role I worked with MTV production teams, record labels, and artist management in the planning of the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008, and I also coordinated all bands and artists on the day of the show.  That was the job that set me on path for a career in an international role and helped me develop some key relationships in the music industry.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


Relationships are e v e r y t h i n g.

 

Jess Flynn, tour manager, tour photographer, merch slinger, designated driver, videographer

Photo courtesy of Jess Flynn


What do you actually do, day to day?


When I’m on tour, my day to day includes the following: make sure everyone’s awake on time/we leave on time; send out day sheets for the following day or two; finalize any advancing for the next week or so via email on the way to the show; coordinate merch drops; stop all of that stuff to take some candid photos in the van of people sleeping with their mouth open; when we get to the show, meet the promoter/DOS contact and make sure they have everything they need from me; make sure the band knows everything they need to know about the show; set up/count in merch; try to find the band to take more candid photos; doors open, sell merch, and then run to take live shots for about ten to 15 minutes of every band’s set, go back to merch; if no one is trying to buy merch when I get back to the table, I import, edit, and then post/send photos to the band right away; depending on who I’m working for, setting up whatever I need to on stage before they go on; count out merch, settle with the venue, drive the band to the hotel after convincing them that we need to stop at Taco Bell (this usually works if they’re drunk enough); get to hotel, log all receipts from the day, and sleep.

When I’m home from tour, my day to day includes the following: editing photos from whatever tour I was just on, posting said photos, hanging out with my cat and my boyfriend/hibernating/watching Netflix, attempting to make a trip home to see my mom, freelance/shooting shows/shooting weddings/etc., and advancing for my next tour.

How did you get that job?


I shot shows non-stop for about three years in Philly before really doing much other than promos here and there. I shoot for JUMP PHILLY, which has allowed me to work with bands that I wouldn’t necessarily have met otherwise (Modern Baseball, The Wonder Years). But I think the biggest spark of motivation was when The Menzingers asked me to shoot the cover for “Rented World” and the promos surrounding that release. We collectively spent four or five days working on that, and at the same time I was shooting a cover story for them for the magazine. After that I met and did promos for Beach Slang, who I ended up doing several tours with. I met PUP when they were touring with The Menzingers and basically just harassed them to bring me out, and now I regularly tour with them.

Honestly, mostly by harassing bands to let me do short runs with them (if it’s only four to five days, they think “even if she sucks, its not a big deal”). And then almost always those bands have asked me to come back for longer tours. Now I mainly work for Beach Slang, PUP, Modern Baseball, and Cayetana.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


It makes a big difference to understand the world that you’re shooting in. Don’t be an entitled asshole. It’s really noticeable and obnoxious being at a show and seeing a photographer literally run around the stage or be shitty to bands. The band is way more important than you, and the show is way more important than you. Not understanding that is what gets music photographers a horrible reputation. Test your flash with the band and the sound engineer during soundcheck to make sure it’s not going to bother them. And when pushing through a crowd to get to the front, apologize to people. Move around so you aren’t blocking the same people for the entire show. That’s a really long-winded way to say live what you’re shooting, know your place, and don’t be a jerk.

 

Dan Lloyd-Jones, Vice President of A&R at Sony ATV Music Publishing UK

Photo courtesy of Dan Lloyd-Jones


What do you actually do, day to day?


Sign artists and writers to music publishing deals, set up sessions and camps for album projects, help develop and nurture musical talent, try and get songs placed onto big campaigns. Oversee a personal roster of acts I’ve signed which includes, Plan B, Knife Party, Nero, George The Poet, Gorgon City and PJ Harvey.

How did you get that job?


I had a successful club at Camden’s Proud Galleries in 2006 called Another Music = Another Kitchen. The guys who I ran it with and myself put on early shows by MGMT, Calvin Harris, Dev Hynes, Lethal Bizzle, Frank Turner, Chromeo, and Bombay Bicycle Club. Kenny Mcgoff, who was the Head of A&R at EMI Music Publishing, came down every week, and we became close friends. He and Guy Moot, our President at Sony, offered me a role as A&R manager and took me away from Warner Brothers who I was working for at the time.

What was your first job after school?


I worked at the KP Crisps Factory and in the kitchen at McDonald’s literally flipping burgers.

What was your first job in the industry?


Press Assistant at London Records/WEA Records, which became Warner Brothers.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Don’t sit around waiting for the dream job to come along, go and get it. You are in control of your own destiny.

 

Lizzy Goodman, Contributing Editor at ELLE and frequent contributor to the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, and Billboard

Photo courtesy of Lizzy Goodman


What do you actually do, day to day?


It really varies. I’m usually working on a bunch of stuff at once—maybe I’m pitching a story for ELLE or researching something for an upcoming New York Times piece while I’m in the final closing stages of something for Billboard. I’m also finishing a book right now, so that’s on my radar in some way every day. But what that really means is, every day, I try to further in some small way, each of the big projects I’m working on while also staying sane. This doesn’t ever work. So I guess what I do every day is fail. All writers talk about this. David Foster Wallace famously said something like, he spends eight hours a day writing—seven of them spent worrying and one spent actually typing. That’s about right. It’s labor. It’s ugly for a long time before it gets pretty. And toggling between raging against and accepting that process is really what I do every day.

How did you get that job?


I got here by putting myself in a position to have doors open up for me, and then walking through them when they did. That meant, internship at SPIN, which led to my first byline and then freelancing while teaching second grade, and then a column at NME and a job at PBS that allowed me to keep freelancing, and then a real gig at Rolling Stone and a move to Blender and … just say yes. Try everything.

Indulge huge, absurd, embarrassingly ambitious goals and never allow yourself to be told they are ridiculous (people will, all the time, they are wrong). But also apply yourself with equal vigor to the small stuff. Humbly take and be grateful for every ever so slight opportunity to get your foot in the door that opens to a hallway that leads to an elevator that sometimes stops at the floor where you eventually think you might want to work. Being humble is key to making it big, basically.

What was your first job after school?


Selling saddles and bridles and other horse-related equipment at a tack and feed store in Albuquerque, New Mexico. No joke. In a parallel universe, I became a professional equestrian instead of a rock journalist.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Embrace failure. The biggest thing that has held me back is fear. Fear of not knowing what I’m doing. Fear of being discovered for the fraud everyone secretly feels they are. Fear of finding out I’m not up for it or everyone else realizing the same. That fear is totally normal and totally useless. You will absolutely fail. You absolutely don’t know what you’re doing. You are without a doubt a fraud in some ways. But so what? So is everyone else. The only cure is work. There is no greater feeling than facing all that shit down and finally figuring out how to solve a problem in a story or do a great interview or just generally express what you see in the world. Embrace failure. It’s the only way to get free enough to find out how far you can actually go.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


Life is not a meritocracy. I did very, very well in school and was therefore shocked, upon graduating, to discover that no one outside of academia gave me points for being dutiful and potential-filled. I wasted a lot of time being baffled about that. No one cares what a good kid you are. This is not to say go behave like a sociopath in the workplace, but it is to say that you want to give yourself time to adjust to a very new ecosystem with its own hierarchy and set of rules. Don’t be dutiful, be respectful, but keep your own counsel. Your boss is not your professor. Also, don’t “network”; just be useful. At school, the attention is on you. The system is built to serve your education. In the world, the system is built to serve those who already are running the show, so be useful to them. That will help you advance and also help you get a real look at whatever world they have access to that you want in on. A friend said to me, early on, “your job is to make your editor’s job easy.” That little idea is probably responsible for my career.

 

Sarah Lewitinn, DJ and Music Director for Aritzia

Photo courtesy of Sarah Lewitinn


What do you actually do, day to day?


I’m the Music Director for Aritizia, which means that I program the music for their stores, Spotify, and Soundcloud (we’re the number one fashion retailer on Soundcloud!). I also select the music for any video content as well as develop music partnerships with bands/artists. Check out the Haerts video we produced.

How did you get that job?


I was Music Director for NYLON prior to joining Aritzia. My job at NYLON was mainly marketing focused, with producing the music events and tours, selecting bands for events, and other music related partnerships. NYLON’s former Executive Editor, Luke Crisell, joined Aritzia and brought me aboard when they opened their NYC office and launched Aritzia Magazine.

What was your first job after school?


I was working professionally in my field since I was in high school (started out as an intern and music writer for ABC’s AOL portal), and worked about a dozen internships while attending college, including one at SPIN‘s AOL portal. I started writing for SPIN magazine when I was 19 and joined an internet marketing company the same year as Marketing Coordinator.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


They don’t really tell you how dangerous credit cards are. They also don’t tell you how important it is to intern.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


I wish I had better grammar when I started out. I also wish I drank less.

 

Griffin Lotz, Associate Photo Editor at Rolling Stone Magazine

Photo by Jason Bergman, courtesy of Griffin Lotz


What do you actually do, day to day?


My day-to-day duties involve finding photos for each story in my section and for the Random Notes pages. I search photo agencies, reach out to photographers, research photos from the archives, and hire and book photographers for shoots.

How did you get that job?


I started as an intern and was then hired at RollingStone.com. After two years of that there was an opening at the magazine. I applied and got it. Oh, and I worked my ass off the whole time.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


If you know what you want to do, do it!  If you want to write, write. If you want to shoot photos, shoot photos. Do those things you want to do well and get out there.  No one is going to hire the guy who only talks about his aspirations but never actually attempts them.

 

Ricki Askin, Head of Music Licensing and Archival for VICE

Photo courtesy of Ricki Askin


What do you actually do, day to day?


I help source, place and clear music and archival for all VICE properties including their digital suite of channels, the HBO documentary series VICE, and an increasing number of VICE Films. I also oversee all of music and archival for our in-house creative services group, Virtue, and manage all incoming licensing requests to sell and syndicate VICE programs on different screens.

How did you get that job?


After three years of learning the ropes of Music Supervision within MTV’s News & Docs division, I caught wind of a permanent Music Supervisor opportunity at VICE, the first of its kind within the company. I had a great series of interviews that allowed my strengths and true rough-around-the-edges personality to come out and it was apparently well received.

What was your first job after school?


I was part of MTV’s former in-house temp pool program in the hopes of landing a permanent position there and ultimately, after only a few months of bouncing around the building, landed a spot as an executive assistant to the Senior Vice President of MTV Communications. I spent three years learning the PR world before realizing it wasn’t the best fit for me.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Talk to as many people as possible who work in your desired field; look at each conversation as an opportunity to suss out if the path you think you want to choose feels right.

 

Famuel Rothstein, manager for Childish Gambino and Kari Faux

Photo by Jimmy Marble, courtesy of Fam Rothstein


What do you actually do, day to day?


Clean up shit.

How did you get that job?


Somebody saw me cleaning up some small shit, liked it, and proceeded to let me clean up bigger shit.

What was your first job after school?


I made bagels for senior citizens in Santa Monica, California.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


You don’t need to be there, all you need is to be friends with somebody who was. (You’re using school as a metaphor for the music industry, right?)

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


Everybody’s making it up as they go along. We’re all just kids in elementary school trying to establish ourselves.

 

Luke O’Neil, freelance writer

Photo courtesy of Luke O’Neil


What do you actually do, day to day?


The blessing and curse of the freelance life is that what you do every day is never really the same. That’s the appeal of it to me anyway—not having to grind out your brief time on earth in some soul-sucking office. And yes, all of them are soul-sucking, even the ostensibly cool ones like VICE or what have you. But on a more practical note, if you want to do this job, you need to spend your days pitching stories, then following through on them. And by stories I mean things that an editor will actually be surprised to hear about, not the 500th thinkpiece on the same shit every other asshole is writing about that day. Easier said than done of course. Other than that, I spend most of the day looking at porn and chainsmoking.

How did you get that job?  


I started out with a couple of media jobs, but after a while I realized that being an editor didn’t appeal to me. Which is to say being a manager didn’t appeal to me. Expenses and meetings and phone calls and the other parts of the job that aren’t writing or editing or doing interesting things in the world and then writing about them. It took me a long time of waiting tables on the side to finally be able to just freelance as a writer, and it’s something I highly recommend due to the flexibility of schedule, amount of money you can make, and how it doesn’t drain your creative energy like some tangentially related jobs in “media” might.

What was your first job after school?


I was an editorial assistant at Conde Nast. Fancy! It blew. This was around the time when magazines still didn’t know what the internet was going to mean for them, and a lot of them still didn’t have any sort of meaningful web presence. After that I went to grad school to study creative writing (LOL). Don’t do that. Then I got a job as an arts editor at the alt-weekly in Boston, the Weekly Dig.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Don’t pay for grad school. Make friends with as many people in the field as you can, because having relationships is the only way you’re going to get work. No one wants to field cold pitches. But if they can put a face to the email, they’re a lot more likely to open it.

 

Shira Knishkowy, Director of Publicity at Matador Records

What do you actually do, day to day?


Do my best to not annoy writers while also convincing them to listen to and write about my bands while also keeping managers and label folks up to date on what’s happening with their artists.

How did you get that job?


When I learned my dream job was hiring I had to go after it, after working my way up the music PR ladder at Big Hassle Media and Partisan Records.

What was your first job after school?


Assisted booking agents at WME (a.k.a. William Morris Endeavor, formerly William Morris Agency)

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Your first job out of college is NOT your last. Don’t get bummed out if you need to work at a coffee shop to make some money while applying for other things. We all start somewhere, and no one is too good for service jobs. Not even a fancy liberal arts graduate like you. Expect to work as some sort of assistant or support staff role for at least your first few years out of college, and don’t complain about it. We all were there once, and that’s how you learn.

What is one thing they don’t tell you in school?


They don’t tell you how to send professional emails, how to talk on the phone, how to sign up for a ConEd/National Grid account, how to network without seeming like you’re trying too hard. College mainly just taught me about critical theory and how to hold my liquor… the liquor part does apply to my professional life, though.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


LinkedIn is bullshit.

 

Mike Fink, Senior Director of Industry Relations at Pandora

Photo courtesy of Mike Fink


What do you actually do, day to day?


Help build and maintain relationships with artists, labels and managers, including partnerships between artists, brands, and Pandora across events, branded content, marketing, and curation opportunities. Day to day, this involves a ton of phone calls (yes people still talk on the phone!), in-person meetings and emails, along with attending industry events and shows.

How did you get that job?


During my time in traditional radio, I began interacting with labels on the programming side. Some of those relationships from the mid 90s are ones that are still going to this day. I started working with bands around this time as a manager, and after leaving the radio gig I went on to co-run a record label for ten years and helped produce and stage manage shows at The Kennedy Center in DC. I have followed my passions and am fortunate to have found a role where my previous experiences have prepared me for my current role.

What was your first job after school?


Worked briefly at a local gourmet grocery store outside of Baltimore.

What was your first job in the industry?


Promotions Assistant at WHFS-FM, an alt rock station covering two markets, Washington and Baltimore.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Be mindful on what you post on social networks. It’s true that places you may be interested in may check out your social pages when considering you for a position. Don’t be shy: Network, network, network. The worst that can happen is the person won’t respond to your request to get a coffee or take a phone call. This is an industry where your network base is always interweaving and cross-pollinating.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


Don’t run out of gas when driving the station promo van.

 

Jessica Lehrman, freelance photographer

Photo courtesy of Jessica Lehrman


What do you actually do, day to day?


Take pictures of people. Edit pictures. Try and make some sort of money from those pictures. Drink a lot of coffee, go and take more pictures and then go to a rap show and probably take more pictures. My work is mainly focused around artists that I know and love, so a lot of days I am assigned to photograph my friends.

How did you get that job?


Every photo job I get is a different situation, but I got to having steady clients by constantly making new work and being excited about the work I’m making and by focusing my energy into stories that I actually care about and want to share.

What was your first job in the industry?


Before college, I took two years off, and while living in LA I met a wonderful woman at a yard sale who ended up giving me a job at a newspaper in Santa Monica as a photojournalist. Not exactly the music industry, but it was my first job in the photo industry.

What advice would you give to recent graduates?


Don’t model your career path post-college after how everyone else you were taught to worship has lived their lives. I think it’s easy to compare yourself and your trajectory to those around you, but I see the people that I admire in life have really carved their own way and did things in a creative way that works for them. Also, trust your intuition and start from the very beginning only working with people you feel good about. When you do meet someone you love in your field, put them on your team. Start making a team of awesome people early, and keep them around forever.

What is something you wish you had known when you were starting out?


To keep a journal. Honestly that is my biggest regret post-college. The second things got hard I stopped writing, and I wish now, looking back, that I had put more of an effort into recording my life at that time as that was really when shit was the most interesting and intense and life changing.

Want more career advice? Don’t follow Noisey on Twitter.

Written by: Noisey Staff

Sourced through Scoop.it from: noisey.vice.com

Selling Out – How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?

By Jugrnaut on Aug 26, 2015 in Scoop.it - Comments Off on Selling Out – How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?

It’s a new day, with plenty of different ways for artists and producers to earn online.  Take a look at the breakdown, and make sure you’re getting what you deserve for your music.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: icdn3.digitaltrends.com

How Hip-Hop Conquered Streaming

By Jugrnaut on Aug 24, 2015 in Articles - Comments Off on How Hip-Hop Conquered Streaming

Earlier this year, on Valentine’s Day, much of the internet was enamored of Drake. The Toronto rapper’s commercial mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which had been released with little warning two nights before, was played more than 6.8 million times on Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming service, more than doubling the previous single-day streaming record. Like a capricious lover, however, that same record would soon move on to another. Almost exactly one month after Drake’s mixtape, and a week ahead of schedule, Kendrick Lamar crashed streaming servers with a surprise release of his own — his second major-label album, To Pimp a Butterfly, which demolished the record set by If You’re Reading This by racking up an unheard of 9.6 million streams on its first full day of release. Read More »

What YouTube, Apple, Spotify, and TIDAL Are Paying Artists… – The Sad Truth

By Jugrnaut on Aug 23, 2015 in Articles - Comments Off on What YouTube, Apple, Spotify, and TIDAL Are Paying Artists… – The Sad Truth

 

These days we are working with more independent artists than ever.  Artist have big dreams, but the reality is, the new business can be a nightmare.  Our goal at www.arkatechbeatz.com is to empower artists and producers about the music business, and support them on their journey.  We came across some info in regard to what the major streaming companies are paying artist.  It isn’t pretty.  Shout out to www.tidal.com for trying to do the right thing when it comes to streaming and artist royalties. Read More »

Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine on State of Industry, Apple’s Future: Kids Won’t Pick Music Over Instagram

By Jugrnaut on Aug 23, 2015 in Scoop.it - Comments Off on Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine on State of Industry, Apple’s Future: Kids Won’t Pick Music Over Instagram

“A lot of the real artists are not motivated to go into the studio,” Dre said in a recent interview. “They have real jobs”

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have very little hope for the state of music — at least, beyond what they’re doing at Apple.

“If you tell a kid: ‘You’ve got to pick music or Instagram,’ they’re not picking music,” current Apple Music boss and former cofounder of Interscope Records Iovine said in this month’s Wired cover story. “There was a time when, for anybody between the ages of 15 and 25, music was one, two and three. It’s not anymore.” Read More »

Do Music Streaming Services Devalue Music?

By Mike Trauma D on Mar 30, 2015 in Articles , Uncategorized - Comments Off on Do Music Streaming Services Devalue Music?

music stream pic

Music Streaming Services Devalue Music

Since the Internet boom, record labels have been trying to find a way to keep a handle on music illegally being available for free downloads. For years they have been losing the battle. Is the music industry doomed to failure?  Read More »

What Does The Blurred Lines Verdict Mean For Artist And Producers?

By Arkatech Beatz on Mar 27, 2015 in Articles - Comments Off on What Does The Blurred Lines Verdict Mean For Artist And Producers?

blurred-lines-verdict-imageWhat Does The Blurred Lines Verdict Mean For Artist And Producers?

As of now, most of us throughout the music industry have heard about the decision handed down by a Los Angeles jury ordering artist/songwriters Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay a hefty 7.3 million dollars to the Marvin Gaye family for copyright infringement. While the verdict will most like be appealed, the question lies for many artist and producers: Can we be sued for infringement for creating records/songs inspired by our favorite artist/producers/songwriters? Read More »

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