This is a guest post written by Randolph Infinger (Brooklyn Basement Records assistant project manager + video guru + lots of other things)
You played a mean flute in high school. You put together shows for sweaty basement parties in college. You are THE person for new music.
But how do you make your passion a career?
Lucky for you it IS actually possible to successfully build a career in the music industry even if you don’t have the “inside connections” (spoiler alert: don’t need em’). Here are some tips to successfully navigating the winding road that is finding your place in the music industry and staying there:
Internships, Internships, Internships. Oh and go ahead and get another Internship!
By far the best way to have someone pay attention to your stunning resume (that every other job guide will tell you how to make) is to have an internship (or 3) in music. Take a look at your favorite musicians and who is behind them—they probably need interns! Reach out in every way possible and utilize resources that might be available to you; most colleges require an internship to graduate and help students pick one.
Keep bugging them until they say no
The number one thing that will separate you from the thousands of others looking for a job in the music industry is consistency. Keep following up and don’t take no for an answer until you absolutely have to. If you show how hard you are willing to work just to get an interview (or even an answer back) the hiring manager will take notice, giving you the advantage you need. This also includes doing the extra research to find out the details of the position (is the current position listed on someones LinkedIn profile?).
This of course can backfire—use good judgement and don’t flood peoples inboxes.
Make yourself irreplaceable
It sounds much more simple than it actually is, but be unique and find where you best fit in. You might think of yourself as a go-get-um manager, but in reality your skill lies in photography and design. That’s not to say you can’t aim to be a manager, but you’re now twice as likely to land a job because you have a skill that is in demand by companies looking for a social media manager with design skills.
Indie is the new black
Sony Music, UMG and WMG might seem absolutely huge and that’s because they are. However the landscape is changing at a rapid pace and it’s never been a better time to be “independent” in the digital age. Independent labels are not always incredibly small, but their tight-knit group is artist friendly and helps build lasting relationships with partners. We’re all here for the music right? Indie labels aren’t going to be “chart seeking” like the majors are, letting the artist do what they do best; making their music how they envisioned it. While majors may seem like a great way to start your career, the reality is most start as an assistant and don’t contribute to major projects. When working for an independent label you are a vital part of the team and will actually make decisions that impact your company. Sounds cool, huh?
Be your own label. Be your own publicist. Be your own publisher. Always invest in yourself.
Reason to ignore this advice: You enjoy low-ropes team building exercises with your cubicle neighbors on Friday nights.