Breaking into the music industry

There are many different jobs you can do within the music industry. But how do you get a foot in the door and find the job you love?

BBC Bitesize asked some music professionals attending BBC Music Introducing Live 2019 for their top tips on how to break into the music industry.

Do it with love and passion. Whether you want to be an artist, whether you want to be a record producer.

Seven top tips on breaking into the music industry:

1. Get work experience

These professionals say getting work experience is a great way in. “Just get out there and get all the experience you can – whether it’s at an official company, or whether you’re doing it yourself, on your own website.”

2. Write your own blog

“Blogging is an excellent way to get into music. You get to meet lots of people, you get to experience the music industry first–hand.” Blogging can also help you decide what you’re passionate about. “Whether that’s styling artists or recording records with artists. There are so many roles in music these days.”

3. Consider practical study courses

Practical skills can be really useful in the music industry. Recording engineer Paul Pritchard says: “I was encouraged to go to university. I didn’t just want to do a course for three years and then not have that carry through. So, I looked at courses that had a placement year. I was lucky enough to get my placement at Abbey Road. I went back there after uni and I’m still there now.”

4. Find a way in

There are lots of places to begin a career in the industry. Lauren Down is managing director of End of the Road Festival. She says: “We’ve got people who came as volunteer stewards and who now help out in the office.” Christian Wright wanted to be a musician, but ended up as a mastering engineer at a recording studio. “Like a lot of people with dreams, you end up moving into different parts of music. I discovered that there was a whole other world of post–production.”

Always say ‘do you need anything else?’ before you go home. That really is endearing to people. – DJ Trevor Nelson

5. Know what makes you tick

Vocal coach Joshua Alamu says: “I never got the buzz that singers get when they step off stage. But at the age of 19, I was thrown into a room and asked to teach people some riffs. I came out of that session and I was literally shaking with adrenaline, and I thought ‘I want to do that again, how do I get to do that again?!’”

6. Be passionate about what you do

Co-founder of Transgressive Records, Tony L, says: “Do it with love and passion. Whether you want to be an artist, whether you want to be a record producer, whether you want to start your own record label, do it from a really pure place and when the time is right it will happen for you.”

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice

Ray Pope is head of talent acquisitions at Universal Music. She says: “Tap up the people that work in the labels, see if they’ll go for a coffee with you. Don’t worry about thinking that you’re stalking us – you’re not, we want to hear from you!”

Ray’s story: Talent acquisition manager
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