For those of you who weren’t aware, while in London I am currently interning at a record label. Before I even left the U.S., I was a little skeptical over my new position. I knew very little about where I was working and what I would be doing.
After 3 months on the job, I have to say it was one of the better decisions I’ve made. As an artist trying to get my name out in the music industry myself, getting to see how it works in different areas has given me an incredible understanding of the music industry that I did not have before I took this job.
An average day at work consists of me contacting various members of the press and radio worldwide. I have gotten the chance to converse with people from BBC Radio, XM Radio, and streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify. Gaining experience like this has shown me how to contact the press, the ways to go about things, and the level of professionalism needed when conducting business. As much as I love Pitt, these are skills I would never learn from any course in college. I really believe in a field like music/entertainment, on the job experience and connections are far more valuable than any class or degree you can receive. And the experiences I’m gaining at Blow Up Records are invaluable to my career.
My boss, Paul Tunkin, feels more like a mentor than anything. A DJ and musician in his own right, he has been nothing but supportive about my dreams since day 1. Most work days are an open dialogue between the two of us and he is always ready to share some insight or offer his opinion on ideas I have. He also values my opinion on different matters in the company and getting that kind of respect and impact at 20 years old is both as insane as it is a confidence boost. Working with Paul has shown me the Do’s and Don’t’s of a career in music, and helped confirm my aim to be a music producer/entertainer as a living.
Djing in London
Just a couple weeks ago I got my first official gig as the opener for a concert put together by the label I work for. My boss recognized that I had some talent and gave me the opportunity to perform at the Troubadour in London. This experience was one of the coolest I’ve had so far in life. As someone who’s only ever performed in dingy fraternity basements, this was quite the step up. All my roommates and a lot of other kids from the CAPA program came out to support, and seeing that kind of love was incredible. I think as a new artists, the odds are really against you, and sometimes you look for any sign you can to give up. But seeing that support had the opposite effect and helped me to gain some more confidence as well. Just last weekend I was able to DJ at the St. Moritz club in Soho as well, and next week I will be DJing the CAPA Spring Party next week, April 4th at Simmons Bar Clerkenwell. Being able to DJ while here in London is something I will never forget and has provided me many opportunities I would not have had a chance to receive in Pittsburgh.