Breaking Into the Music Industry

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Breaking Into the Music Industry

The music industry is an intoxicating world. Full of lights, creativity, adulation and applause. For those lucky enough to be living in it – or for those fighting to break into it – it can become impossible to see yourself doing anything else. The most important part of breaking into this world, is understanding all the various roles within it. Sure, there are the obvious ones; song writer, performer and band, but the ones who live under the lights are only a small part of what makes the music industry so special. There are a multitude of roles for non-musicians that are just as, if not more, important than that of the artist. We caught up with Dominic Monea, the program coordinator for Oxygen College’s Diploma of Music Business with over 30 years experience as a music business professional, for an understanding of some of the less publicized roles within the music world.
Artist/Band Manager
“This is obviously a huge role in the music industry. It’s also perhaps one of the hardest to define. It will almost depend on what stage of the career the artist/band is at. The beginning role of the manager can be all encompassing. A&R, agent, promoter, public relations, media liaison and so on. As the success of the artist grows – the role of the manager changes. A lot of those jobs that they took on in the beginning will be outsourced to specialists within the field and the manager will then be in charge of organising and coordinating all the different cogs within the machine to make sure it goes the right way. You need to be just as creative and excited about the music as the artist is, but you don’t have the luxury of losing sight of the bigger picture. You need to be driven, organised and able to adapt to a situation quickly. Opportunities in the music industry are fleeting – it’s a good manager’s job to identify those opportunities and seize them,” Dominic says.
Tour Manager
“Now days, touring is more important than ever. The days of sitting in the studio watching the royalty check roll in from your record sales have disappeared. The way to survive in this industry as an artist is to have a good show and take it to the world. The role of tour manager is more important now than ever. It’s the tour manager’s job to make sure every aspect of a touring production runs according to plan. They will be the point of contact throughout the whole production, from checking into hotels for the band to liaising with venues to make sure all the specs are sorted out correctly. A tour is like one long show, everything needs to run on time. Sound checks, travel times, flights, connecting flights and media interviews. Everything needs to happen at the right time and be done correctly,” Dominic says.
A&R (Artist & Repertoire) Development
“Often in the world of music, you will come across an amazing talent that should be known the world over, but for whatever reason, they are playing every Saturday night down at the local pub to 50 folks having a drink. A&R development is working with that artist to achieve the very best from what they have to offer. The role is hard to define, in that it could be anything that is in need of development. It’s important to try and stay true to who that artist is and what they are trying to achieve. More often than not it’s guidance. Perhaps in marketing, stage presence, production of their music – the list is a mile long. Developing an artist can take time and patience, but when you see that person succeed it can become very beneficial for all those involved,” he says.
Event & Festival Production
“Putting on a good event and connecting with an audience is not an easy achievement. It’s about more than just getting the best bands and putting them on a stage – it’s about creating an atmosphere and an environment that resonates with people. There are festivals all over the world and each one needs to have an identity. You need to find the right acts at the right time and put them in front of the right audience. The tricky part is that you are not just planning and organising for one band. When producing a festival you can sometimes be in charge of 100 acts over multiple days. It’s a lot of work to do and multi-tasking to stay on top of,” Dominic says.
If you would like to know more about getting involved in the Diploma of Music Business at Oxygen College, call 1300 195 303 or email [email protected]
By Phil Smith