Before I get into how one goes about getting a job in with a record company, I think it's important that you do a bit of soul-searching. Are you prepared to work in a very unstable industry? Are you okay with the fact that you'll never get rich working for a label? Are you cool knowing that unless you are a forward thinking, hard working, entrepreneurial minded person you will most likely fail? Yes? Ok - let's get to it. Most labels are made up of several parts - finance and business department, marketing (radio, publicity, internet, product management), sales, A&R, and sometimes distribution. With some of these gigs, you don't need a lot of industry experience. Account payables are the same at a label as they are at a widget factory, for example. But, for most of the other gigs, you are going to need industry experience to get into the industry. Sounds like a catch 22, right? Well, there's a couple ways to get around this. First, the way that I got in was through an internship. Unpaid! Labels are always looking for people to mail promo packages, do data entry, help with paste-up in the press department, etc. It's a hard road, but it affords you the ability to see how a label works from the ground up. Make a name for yourself, and when the assistant to head of publicity leaves, you can legitimately make a case that you have the experience to fill the position. Second, do as much as you can on your own to learn about the industry. Managing a band gives you the skills you'll need to become an effective product manager at a label. Create and market your band's website. Work at your college's radio station and become familiar with the world of promotion. Publicize your own shows. All this experience can be useful towards a gig in the marketing department at a label. Third, take some classes. A music business degree always helps, and Berkleemusic.com, Berklee's online extension school, offers some great instructor led courses that can help prepare and educate you on the record business.
Published: Fri, 22/09/2006 - 00:29