How did you decide that you wanted to be involved in the music business? Did you always know that was where you wanted to be?
I always knew that I loved music and it was what I was most passionate about but it wasn't until I came to UGA and heard about the MBUS program that I really grasped the idea that I could make a career out of it. My thoughts on a future career were really abstract (as they probably are for most people in college) prior to hearing about it so I guess you can say that the program was a godsend and helped me solidify my vision for a future career and focus my efforts. (It was also a relief and made me excited for post-college life)
Where do you currently work? How did you get to where you are now?
I currently work at a music publicity firm in New York City called Sacks & Co. There's this whole side of the music industry that I never knew existed and this job has helped me understand how much work goes into every single thing that a team does to get a musician or band noticed by the masses. I got here thanks to, in large parts, David Barbe (of course). I did a lot of job searching and reaching out to people, but ultimately I lucked out and my boss (who was a Georgia grad) had heard about the program and came to David inquiring about tapping into some MBUS graduates. I got her information, flew to New York to meet her and here I am.
What does a typical day look like for you? If there’s no such thing as a typical day, what’s an example of one of the crazier days you’ve experienced?
Well every day is crazy so that makes things simple. I work with about 10 bands which can get overwhelming but it sort of forces you to be hyper organized and hone your time management skills. A typical day consists of fielding hundreds of emails from labels, management and media outlets while constantly pitching my clients to newspapers, blogs, radio, tv etc and then organizing and monitoring all of the opportunities that I score. When an artist comes out with a new record or is on tour you have to be on top of every little thing to make sure that there is constant buzz around the release or show and that your artist is talking to journalists to promote those things. I never realized how much goes on behind the scenes for these things but then again I didn't major in PR, I majored in art.
What was your favorite part about being in the Music Business Program?
Wow. The Music Business Program changed how I looked at music for starters. I loved learning about all of the various jobs in the industry and hearing from people that worked in them when they came to talk to us. I mean what's cooler than going to class every week and having someone new talk about rock and roll and how they got to where they were? Or having a wedding ceremony in class? I also loved the laid back nature of the program and how much attention was paid to every single student. It's rare to develop relationships that strong with your classmates and professors and I think that's one of the things that makes MBUS so unique. The program also offered me so many hands on opportunities that I otherwise probably wouldn't have experienced like recording concerts and mixing down the tracks. But most simply, it was just a lot of fun.
What advice can you give to someone looking to get involved in the music industry?
Well first of all, the music industry is incredible because it's always evolving and growing and there is a lot of room for you to carve your own niche and not be held back by any sort of old school structure. And second of all, just go for it. It's sort of easy to sit back and think that the perfect job opportunity will fall into your lap (which granted it might with all of the connections from the program), but my advice is to put yourself out there as much as possible. When I was approaching graduation I made a list of probably 50 companies in various parts of the industry in cities that I thought I would like to live in and started reaching out to them. It was a lot of cold emails, a lot of un-answered ones too, but I was surprised at how many people were eager to chat with me, pass along my name, and give me there 2 cents. The more you put yourself out there, the more you will get noticed and make connections that can lead to a job opportunity. Also, get yourself in front of someone. That counts for a lot.