Industry Insights: A Beginner’s Guide to the Music World
By Pavitra Reddy
So you want to get involved in the music industry? But...don’t really know where to begin? For starters, the music (and honestly entertainment industry as a whole) industry could be navigated completely through the connections and experiences you make along the way. Although the pandemic has put a stop to most live shows and in-person events, we’re still lucky many people in the business have been more open about sharing their lives online and using their time off the road to share their knowledge with music lovers. Here’s a few of the resources that could be helpful to start building those connections and learning more about the industry online from people on the inside who are more than willing to help.
The Recording Academy created Grammy University specifically for students who are interested in the music industry by supplying them with resources like networking, educational panels, and opportunities for just a $50 fee. Pre-COVID, Grammy U members would be allowed to go to artist panels, soundchecks, and have the ability to utilize many of The Recording Academy’s music resources.
Street teams are your new best friend….literally! Street teams are a great way to get to meet like-minded people or just make new friends that love music as much as you do! A few popular ones are Fan To Band and Team Jonas Group (which was created by Kevin Jonas Sr.)! Street Teams are also a great way to get experience in the music industry, and show that you are really interested in the material! In addition, street team members have the ability to organize fan projects, create graphics for artists, as well as meet other creatives through the team.
Utilizing Social Media and Writing for Blogs
Apart from Street Teams, there are tons of Instagram accounts and resources that people in the music industry are constantly sharing! For starters, accounts like @amplifyhervoice, @girlswholisten, @1824, or @wimindustry, are great resources to surround your feed with some music news and student-friendly events that you can go to! Other than those accounts, I would also recommend that you follow people whose job you are potentially interested in. In other words, if you want to be a tour manager, follow other tour managers!
There are also tons of music publications and magazines that will take on people to write for their blogs or even photograph shows for them. If you enjoy writing or taking pictures, this can be a great way for you to create a portfolio centered around music and live performances.
Going To Shows
This might be the most obvious point I make (although this might not seem like “advice” for music lovers), but going to concerts can actually be a great way to network at venues! Talk to the staff at venues (when they aren’t busy) and ask questions. You could talk to the people working at the merch table, the front of house staff, or even security at the venue. Make those connections and show the staff that you are interested and willing to help in any way. Although you might have to volunteer your time at first to make progress, the networking that you do while working there can help you in the long run.
Navigating this world of music can seem difficult and hard at first, but people are always more than willing to give advice to those who are interested and willing to learn! In addition, it’s important to understand that although these people have “entertaining” jobs, they still have work to do and might not be 100% available to you when they are. Don’t be discouraged to reach out to them via email or even DM them on Instagram!