Senior Spotlights: Tara Muoio

Where are you from?
I’m from Breezy Point, NY which is a little beach neighborhood in Queens (one of NYC’s five boroughs).

What is your background in music?

I grew up singing in my church choir, taking piano lessons, and listening to music around the house, but I didn’t really get into it on my own until high school. In high school, I was very involved in my school’s concert choir and a capella group and developed an interest in learning music theory. I also picked up the guitar on my own and have been teaching myself ever since!

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

Honestly, I initially didn’t want to come here at all when I was looking around at colleges. After my mom took me on a tour of the school, however, I began to think more and more that this was the place I was meant to be. My dad convinced me even further by reminding me that other young women and men my age would LOVE to be in New York City and even though I was from here, that didn’t mean that I couldn’t also go to school here. I decided to come to NYU (and specifically the Music Business Program) because I couldn’t see myself living or working without music, but I didn’t want to pursue a career as a performer. I liked the fact that I could continue my music education at one of the country’s top music schools while also studying business at one of the nation’s top business schools and learn about the music industry from renowned faculty and people who were making a difference in the industry.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

The Beatles, Sara Bareilles, Bleachers, Lorde, Adele, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (and formerly Jack’s Mannequin), Bruno Mars, fun., Carly Rae Jepsen, Smallpools, Passion Pit, Emily King, Bastille, Bombay Bicycle Club…to name a few.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Long live pop-punk. That’s all I have to say.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

I really loved my music publishing course with Jennifer Blakeman. She’s a great teacher and the subject is super interesting! Our final “song parody” project is super fun.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

I saw Lorde at Webster Hall my freshman year, and it was her first EVER show in the US after her first album release. Now look at where she is!

What was your best Internship?

I loved all of my internships, but I would say my best one was at Warner Music Group as a Marketing & Sales Intern under their Warner Classics & Erato labels.

What is your dream job?

Honestly, I never really had a “dream job” per se. I think this industry changes and morphs so often, and that may mean that my dream job doesn’t exist yet. To me, my dream job is whatever I’m doing that I end up loving.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

Absolutely, yes.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

It’s okay if you don’t know what exactly you want to do in music yet. There’s a world of opportunity waiting out there for you.

Senior Spotlights: Grace Pozniak

Where are you from?

I am from Cohasset, Massachusetts.

What is your background in music?

In high school, I started going to a whole bunch of shows in Boston. Most of them were Warped Tour-esce bands, and I got involved with a really tight knit Boston community that formed around this music. I also starting playing drums in sophomore year of high school. I realized nothing brought me as much joy and satisfaction as music, so I decided to pursue it for a career!

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

I decided to come to NYU for a few reasons. First, the opportunities in the music world are unparalleled at any other university or city. Moreover, the town I grew up in was tiny and homogeneous. I wanted to break out of that and be somewhere were differences are celebrated rather then stifled. I knew I could be whoever I wanted to be at NYU, and that wasn’t something I had genuinely felt at any previous point in my life. I also wanted to be surrounded by people who were passionate about what they were doing, sharing what they love and making the most of their college experience. Lastly, I knew I would be incredibly bored at any other school where I was isolated and couldn’t do a million different exciting things every day!

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Right now, a few of my favorites are Pinegrove, Big Their, PWR BTTM, Hop Along, Mitski, Vundabar. It changes all the time!

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

I love One Direction and I am not ashamed.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

I really enjoyed Concert Management with Carlos Chirinos and Music Publishing with Jennifer Blakeman.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

Yes! Every music moment feels cool, to be honest. But my favorite definitely was the first year I worked at Governors Ball. I was on site for about a week and a half before the festival started, and it was simply incredible to watch the way the whole site was put together in the blink of an eye, then be flooded with attendees for three days, then be broken down in about three days. It was really incredible to participate in making it all happen, and I definitely felt like a newbie the whole way. 

What was your best Internship?

This is so hard. Two standout ones were with Founders Entertainment (Gov Ball, The Meadows) and the one I’ve had now for a year with Sofar Sounds. While both deal with live music, the scale is so different and it’s been really interesting to see the similarities and differences. I worked with amazing, inspiring, caring, and passionate people at both that really shaped my music business experience and personal life trajectory.

What is your dream job?

This is also hard! I think my dream is to one day start my own music festival that is totally based on giving back, like a benefit festival with volunteer and donation aspects. It’s not totally fleshed out yet obviously, but I am really into using the power of music for good.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

Yes! I didn’t really even know at all what I wanted to do when I entered the program. I just knew I wanted to work with music. But my love of live music and the possibilities to combine my social justice aspirations and music have really formed and grown during my time here.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program? 

Everyone’s experience is so different, so I think its tough to give advice that would work for everyone! I would say to simply make the most of it. Don’t be afraid to explore, share your ideas with anyone and everyone, dream big, send cold emails, dye your hair, start a conversation with a random person in class. There is no other time in your life where you have such incredible and different people surrounding you every single day, so take advantage of it. Don’t be afraid to be different, there is no right answer! And go to class!

Internship Review

A big part of our program is the opportunity we have to include internships into our schedules! Check out some internship reviews from our current students below:

 

Abbey Keyes (Sophomore)

Company Name: Paradigm
What They Do: Talent Agency
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
-Really hands-on experience, truly taking part in the business and the work
-They have shadow sessions, which basically means you shadow another department in the agency like brand partnerships, tour marketing, business affairs, talent/lit etc, so you can see all the different parts of an agency.
-Really dedicated to creating a well-rounded experience for you as an intern and helping you learn
-Paid

Cons:
Not totally a con, but it is a more intense internship, you’re busy all the time and it can be stressful. So, it depends on what you’re looking for.
Company Culture: The company culture is friendly overall. Everyone enjoys being around each other and are friends. Your bosses will really want you to learn. There are other parts of the agency that are really intense and can be intimidating.

Project/Fun Fact:
The coolest project I’ve worked on is doing a Visa Itinerary. What that means is when you book an American tour for a non-American artist, you essentially have to prove to the government why they should grant this artist a visa to tour. That includes gathering different flyers of them headlining, different press to show their relevance, but also routing out three years of their tours. This project is super helpful because it forces you to think as an agent would have to in routing these tours around the country.

Olivia Johnson (Junior)

Company Name: Reservoir Media
What They Do: Independent Music Publisher
Semesters Interned: One (Summer)

Pros:
Interns get a lot of direct work with the catalog, and are given a lot of “real” work. Coffee runs and the like were not intern responsibilities at Reservoir. The focus was always on providing interns with real work experience in addition to learning experience.

Cons:
The internship was unpaid, which I don’t think anybody really likes. That being said, it’s way better to have an unpaid internship where you actually learn, work, and acquire useful skills for the industry.

Company Culture:
Reservoir was a really positive work environment for me. The open office floor plan makes it very easy to communicate between departments, and the rapport between employees makes it feel less intimidating than the typical corporate office you might picture. It did feel a little intimidating at first, because there are so many comfortable, established relationships in existence, but for anyone willing to strike up a conversation with someone, ask questions, and engage outside of their department, I think this is a great relationship-building company.

Coolest Project:
I signed an NDA my first day at Reservoir, so I can’t disclose anything revolutionary, but I definitely had a lot of fun familiarizing myself with a very diverse catalog. And 2Chainz. I know so many 2Chainz songs now.

Bre Byrd (Junior)

Company Name: MAC Presents
What They Do: Music Sponsorship and Activation Agency
Semesters Interned: 2 (summer and spring)

Pros:
Though MAC is a small agency, they have great connections with industry big shots like Cara Lewis. Because of this, they do a lot of work with her roster… and sometimes Metro Boomin or Taylor Bennett will casually walk into the office as you’re eating lunch. Along with this, MAC’s small nature makes the ability for interns to get face time with full time employees very high. We often work with them one on one to complete research for daily projects. Lastly, occasionally you may get the opportunity to work events – but it isn’t guaranteed.

Cons:
The internship is unpaid – but that’s not much of a surprise. Another unfortunate downside can be found in the fact that because the company is so small, the number of hiring positions after graduation is likely small as well.

Company Culture:
Relatively laid back; agencies are heavily project/client- based so that means some days interns are doing extensive research into a brand and all past music campaigns they’ve done in recent history. But sometimes, interns are just reading music blogs and advertising publications to keep up to date on industry trends for a good portion of the day.

Coolest Project:
I signed an NDA so I can’t fully say but it involved the love of my life, Chance the Rapper.

Hayden Sitomer (Senior)

Company name: Ground Control Touring
What They Do: Boutique Booking Agency
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
Laid back work environment, really welcoming coworkers, you learn a ton about the touring industry, a great opportunity to make connections, you get to hear unreleased albums, *free* concert tickets!
Cons:
You are asked to intern 2-3 full days a week, fast-paced environment (but in a good, challenging way!)

Company Culture:
Collaborative, casual, tastemakers, young.

Coolest Project/Fun Fact:
There are often ~dogs~ in the office!!

Chrissy Payne (Junior)

Company Name: Two Sheps that Pass
What They Do: Boutique PR and Marketing
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
If you say there’s a certain thing you want to work on/client you want to work with, they’re cool with it; they reimburse you for travel fares and lunch, they take interest in you as a person since it’s such a small business
Cons:
Lots of copying/pasting emails (gets really tedious really quickly); if there’s not a lot of clients on at the moment, you get kinda stuck twiddling your thumbs because there’s nothing to do; the office space is very small with no windows

Company Culture:
Very laid back and intimate. Vera (the owner) is a pretty cool lady who takes interest in what’s going on in your life. They’re very flexible about working around any issues that pop up with coming in. They all want to make sure you’re having a good time.

Coolest Project/Fun Fact:
Right now we’re working with Peter Buffett (son of Warren Buffett), who’s put out this super political album, so that’s pretty cool. I scored him an interview with a writer at Forbes. Fun fact: Two Sheps was behind the RuPaul Collectible Dolls!

Tara Muoio (Senior)

Company Name: Warner Music Group – Warner Classics & Erato
What They Do: Major Label
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
Every intern gets a semester project that they work on independently. Because I’m a marketing and sales intern, mine is a mock marketing plan for an upcoming release that I’m going to present to my supervisor/executives at the end of my semester. It’s really cool to have something tangible to work with and be creative with that’s totally my own.

Cons:
There’s a lot of red tape surrounding what an intern can do at Warner (or maybe it’s just my department). I’m not allowed to run phones or interface with press contacts via email, for example, which is some general office experience that I think could be valuable.

Senior Spotlight: Oliver Newton

Where are you from?

Loveland, CO

What is your background in music?

I started playing piano at age 6, and have since picked up a variety of other instruments.  In high school, I was in band, orchestra, jazz band, and also played in the pit orchestra for the school musicals.  After high school, I joined the Young Americans, a professional performing arts and music outreach organization based out of Southern California, and toured internationally with them for 6 years.  During that time, I performed and worked in 12 different countries.

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

I knew that I wanted to study Music Business, and two of my cousins living in New York at the time told me about NYU’s Music Business program.  At that point, I was just coming off a tour, and had never been to New York, so it seemed like a fun next step.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

That’s a really tough question – my musical tastes are all over the map.  Some of the artists I keep coming back to are Billy Joel, Nick Drake, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Walk the Moon, and Bread, but I’ve recently started to really get into Drumagick, Beatenberg, and Alex Vargas.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

90’s Boy Bands, especially the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC.  I may or may not have learned the entire dance to Bye, Bye, Bye…

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

I really, really enjoyed Professor Howard-Spink’s Internet, Interactive, and Mobile Media course, as well as the International Music Business Marketplace.  I think that role of technology is key in how we access music, especially as the industry continues to evolve, and I’m fascinated by the different ways individual cultures value music.  It’s such a global phenomenon, but it’s used in different ways all around the world and I think that is such an incredible thing.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

One of my favorite music-related moments in New York was getting put on the VIP list for a Walk the Moon show and getting to hang out with their manager – they’re one of my favorite bands, and I’ve followed them almost since the beginning of their career, so it was kind of a dream come true.

What was your best Internship?

Hands down, Atlas Music Publishing.  I learned a ton, and they’re an absolutely wonderful group of people, who really care about their artists and their work.

What is your dream job?

I’ll tell you when I find it!  No, seriously, I have no idea – at this point I’m open to anything.  I’ve been surprised by how much I enjoy publishing, so maybe something in that field?  Definitely something that lets me travel and work with creatives, but is still business-oriented.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

Completely – I entered the program thinking that I wanted to be an artist manager, but actually became really interested in music publishing, and am currently applying for positions at various overseas publishing companies.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and try everything.  As cliche as that might sound, you never know what skills or connections will come in useful later on down the line, especially with how quickly the music industry continues to change.

 

Senior Spotlight: Ariel Hong

Where are you from?

Born and raised in New York City, moved to Jersey, made it back here.

What is your background in music?

Jammin’ in the womb, forever till the tomb. I played piano and violin for about 9 years through middle and high school, and attended shows since I was 5, ranging from Classical to Rock music.

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

Long story short, found a band based in Brooklyn (courtesy of MySpace) during freshman year of high school and followed them throughout the years. That’s when I started getting into the underground music scene and knew I wanted to study Music Business. I wrote about them in my college essay and got accepted SO U KNOW it was meant to be. Also having a non-existent football team for a college was a plus ++

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Always digging new vibes, but top list include Spoon, Arcade Fire, Tame Impala, Phoenix, La Femme, Youth Lagoon, Deerhunter, Neon Indian, and The Dig. Anything reverb soaked, essentially. And Dave Matthew Band. These h0mes got me through high school.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Lime in the Coconut by Harry Nilsson. Instant classic.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

Concert Management hands down. That Brooklyn band I mentioned earlier? Freshman year my class booked a sold-out show for them. Talk about dream clutch. Another one is Music Publishing- made a project about Smallpools (before they got big) out of chocolate and shot a parody music video for our final- brownie points forever for this class. Also Professor Jennifer Blakeman is straight chill.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

Every music-related moment is always kickin it. But I recently went to see Magic Man at Webster Hall. They brought the opening band, The Griswolds back out on stage for a R. Kelly’s “Ignition (remix)” cover. It was the most lit 8th grade dance of my life.

What was your best Internship?

Ok you can’t just pick one favorite candy. H0megurl needs her gummy bears and Reeses. Honestly I’ve learned something valuable from every one of my internships. But if I had to choose my top 2 it would be my time at PopGun Presents and Sony Music. PopGun Presents was clutch where I got to engage with artists I was personally a fan of and learn more about the indie side of the music business. They dealt with the more underground scene in Brooklyn. My experience there felt like I stepped into one giant Tumblr. Great vibes.

For Sony Music, I was lucky enough to be under College Marketing, where the department is pretty small and my supervisors were like a second family to me. I also came in at a perfect time where Sony Music as a whole was moving locations. The new building, located right outside of Madison Square Park, provided an open space where I was able to not only engage better with my department, but also meet new friends from other labels and learn a bit about them too. Plus theres a rooftop access so thats a game changer ++ ♪ My department allowed me to get my hands into all facets of the company’s operations, and do work that’s actually meaningful. I was also able to sit in on meetings with managers of pretty cool bands that Ive been a fan of since high school. It was definitely an unparalleled experience. Your internship is pretty much what you make of it. The best advice my boss gave me on the first day was “Don’t be a mouse and go to work and leave right afterwards. You’re in the music industry. It’s not about who you know today, it’s about who knows you.” Those words have never been truer. Believe me I took that to heart and went all out. Had one of the best internship experiences of my life. Plus you cant complain about all that free show swag

What is your dream job?

Become a Vinyl Wizard. Just kidding. Sort of. Definitely stay in the music business, focusing on artist development and strategic branding. Also maintain a creative side. I love doing photography and documenting behind-the-scenes work for friends’ bands and other local artists. That’s how I really got introduced to the music scene; I like seeing artists grow organically and the process behind it. Audio-visual matchmaking and editing behind-the-scenes and live works for artists would be a killer dream job. Call me in 10 years.


Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

Nope. I knew I wanted to do this since my freshman year of high school.  Haven’t changed my mind yet. Following the path

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

Make new friends, try new things, GO TO SHOWS. They say NYU doesn’t have a campus but real talk: New York City IS our campus. Take full advantage of where you are. Don’t stay in a bubble, go to Brooklyn, trek out to Smorgasburg, follow Brooklyn Vegan and check out the hippest new bands. There are so many events that aren’t worth mad scrilla. Most are even free. I go to shows at least 3 times a week, 7 on a good week. Go out. Try new things, you never know where you’ll end up. Make friends at music events in and out of NYU, they may become the most important contacts of your LIFE (and career). Also do as much as you can at your internship. Offered to go to a show at work? GO. Asked to get lunch with your boss? GO. Your experience is what you make of it. You’re in one of the best programs in the WORLD and its up to you to decide what will happen next. Network, make friends, take initiative to learn and utilize your skills. You never know where you’ll end up. The craziest things happen and believe me the music industry is so small everyone knows each other. NYU, NYC, and the music industry are not places where you can expect to get what you want handed to you on a silver platter. Go out. Keep it lit.

 

Senior Spotlight: Andy Golden

Where are you from?

Just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana.

What is your background in music?

Music has always been a part of my life. I started taking piano lessons when I was 5. My parents were always surprised when I would walk inside after a car ride, go to the piano, and pick out the melody to a song that was just on the radio. I sang in the church choir and was a cantor for a few years. In high school I joined the drumline and was an All-State percussionist.

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

It was a combination of many things. My high school put together a college run my sophomore year and we visited 12 colleges in 10 days, including NYU. With that trip, I knew I needed to go to a university in a big city even though I didn’t know what I wanted to major in. I grew up working in the film industry and was always fascinated with what was going on behind the scenes. As I got older, I wanted to go behind the scenes of the music business. When I decided to get a degree in music business, I researched many programs, but the Steinhardt program kept coming out on top.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Honestly my musical taste depends on the day! My favorite by far are Stromae and Mika. But I grew up listening to classic rock and country music. I can still sing along word-for-word to songs by Styx, Van Halen, Steve Miller Band, REO Speedwagon, Dixie Chicks, and Brooks & Dunn. Recently, I’ve been jamming out to Andra Day, Alex Vargas, The Dig, Yuna, Royal Teeth, and The Griswolds.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Guilty pleasures means I’m ashamed to admit it, but I will completely own my childhood obsession with LeAnn Rimes still exists to this day. I also have a weakness for classical and chamber music, especially anything with an organ.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

Professor Blakeman’s publishing class was probably my favorite. It’s the class that really connected with me and proved the publishing industry is where I want to go with my career. Another class I really enjoyed was Professor Howard-Spink’s International Music Business Marketplace. After my experience studying abroad in Paris, I was able to really appreciate all the course material in a new way. But some of my fondest memories of this program come from the Concert Management class. We took it our freshman year and this is where we all bonded and really got to know each other for the first time. We were lucky enough to have Marcie Allen as our professor and the real-world examples she brought to the course were empowering and unparalleled.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

All the time, especially due to my internships. I was able to obtain unforgettable access at the 2014 Global Citizen Festival, and also go to one of Billy Joel’s Madison Square Garden concerts, as well as numerous showcases for up-and-coming clients and industry events such as the NMPA Annual Meeting, Billboard Touring Conference, and Nielsen’s pre-Grammy party.

What was your best Internship?

That’s like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. I had such varied experiences at each one it’s hard to compare them at all. I think I learned the most working at Round Hill Music, I had some incredible experiences with MAC Presents, and I had my greatest professional growth at Atlas Music Publishing.

What is your dream job?

I’m currently working at Atlas Music Publishing and I feel like I’m at the center of the music business. Almost every aspect in the industry interacts with publishing at some point. Just having this type of universal outlook is what I want to continue with.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

Absolutely! When I first came here, I had no idea what I wanted to do and where I would end up. Just being open to all the opportunities and connections available is one of the reasons I think this program offers the best professional education for the music business.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

Be open to every opportunity available, but take your time. Enjoy your college years, but use them to your advantage. You’re in the center of New York City! Enjoy the marathon that is New York University. Don’t treat it like a sprint. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help in any situation. It’s better to take your time to ask questions and succeed than rush and fail multiple times. Just do what you can to enjoy your time here

 

Senior Spotlight: Grace Roslovic

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.

What is your background in music?

I started playing violin at age 3 through the Suzuki method. In high school, I got to travel to different cities with my violin group to perform in Italy and Peru. During those trips, I saw how important music was to many different cultures, and while we may not have known the same languages, all violin students were able to perform the same repertoire we all had learned. From that experience, I knew I wanted to do something in music, but wasn’t sure how until I interned at CD102.5, a locally owned alt-rock station in high school. I didn’t want to be a performer, so being behind the scenes was the next best thing.

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

It’s funny, according to my mom I started telling people I wanted to go to NYU in middle school, although I have no recollection of this. I visited 15+ campuses and it was only at NYU did I feel like I was at home. It sounds so corny but from the time I got to campus as I student, I felt that there was no other place that I could go that I would love more than NYU. I knew coming here would challenge me in every possible way, and I couldn’t pass up that opportunity.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Oh man, this is a hard one. It has and will always change. My all time favorite album is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West. Besides that, I have been listening to a lot of Melanie Martinez, Kacey Musgraves, Adele, Drake, and Nas.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

I absolutely love Fat Joe. Ever since Middle School, I have no idea why. He peaked too early and he needs to make a comeback.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

I am actually really enjoying my Entrepreneurship class this semester. I am learning so much about starting a business from the ground up, and am applying a combination of all of the skills I have attained from other classes. I think it is one that has really challenged my understanding of businesses and will be some experiences that I will carry with me forever.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

A ton! In really strange, unexpected ways, though. My Freshman year I actually worked for the Strokes’ manager and had no idea for the first few weeks, until Julian Casablancas walked into the office and shook my hand. I was completely caught off guard. Up to that point, no one ever talked about the Strokes directly, so I didn’t have any idea what I was getting myself into. I found the internship randomly on Wasserman and it turned out to be one of my most memorable and favorite experiences in college.

What was your best Internship?

I was the first undergraduate recipient for the Freddie Bienstock Scholarship and Internship the summer after my Junior year. I got to actually read through AC/DC and Frank Sinatra copyright contracts, conduct due diligence on potential catalog acquisitions, and learn about how music licensing prices are made. I had learned all about this in my classes, but this time I got to actually take what I knew and contribute to the company.

What is your dream job?

Hmm.. that is in the works. I can see myself going into multiple areas, so I want life to get me there. If I had a straightforward plan, it would be to be an artist manager. I am a control freak.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

No. I want to keep learning about more and more facets of the music industry. I knew when I came here that I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I am so happy I have stayed that way because the industry is ever changing. It is important to understand every facet and be able to adapt to anything and everything – in my opinion, it is the only way to stay successful, and the industry needs people who want to continue learning. Be open and creative.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

Your time at NYU is completely determined by you. Use this time to explore every single opportunity, and never take no for an answer.

 

Senior Spotlight: Erin Simon

Where are you from?

Originally from Long Island, just 40 minutes outside of Manhattan.

What is your background in music?

I studied classical voice for about 7 years through middle and high school, but even before that my mom was an actively performing musician and my dad was working in radio during my childhood. I started going to concerts at the ripe age of 4 and I haven’t stopped since.

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

I went to a little summer program here called What Makes A Star after my junior year of high school and that made the  decision pretty clear. Also, Blair Waldorf went here, so…

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Always changing, but Bon Iver, Marina & the Diamonds, and Hunter Hayes consistently make my list.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

I can’t even call it a guilty pleasure because I’m so outspoken about my deep love of boy bands. Don’t talk to me about One Direction unless you really want to talk for a while!

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

Like everyone else, I adore Professor Blakeman’s Publishing class. But my favorite class of all time would have to be Concert Management – our freshman class is the only one that got the honor of having Marcie Allen teach it, and she ended up playing a huge role in the rest of my college career as both an internship boss and personal role model.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

I met Justin Timberlake my sophomore year. Thanks GRAMMY U!

How did your time studying in Sydney affect your view on the music industry and what did you learn about the industry in Australia?

It definitely made me appreciate just how many artists tour here in the US, for one thing – it’s really hard for international artists to tour Australia between visas and how far the continent is from everywhere else! So when artists are able to get over there, they bring them all at once and put them on festival dates through the summer and fall. A lot of the music that’s popular here is also popular over there, but Australians generally have a lot of pride in their nationality, so you’ll also see heavy support of their home artists reflected in their radio charts.

What was your best Internship?

That’s tough. I’m going to tie my two semesters at MAC Presents with my two semesters as the GRAMMY U Rep for New York since both taught me way too much to choose one over the other.

What is your dream job?

Start my own nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for young musicians and their education.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

100%. I started thinking I wanted to be a tour manager. But then I realized my greatest passion is mentoring younger students, and I totally changed my trajectory.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to change your mind. This industry is amazing and there is so much opportunity, so don’t let anyone tell you there isn’t. Choose the path that makes sense for you and own it.

 

Senior Spotlight: Jordan Williams

Where are you from?

I am from the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland.

What is your background in music?

My father has been a Jazz musician my entire life. I have two older brothers that also made music when it was time for me to decide what I wanted to pursue as a career. I’ve written hip-hop music since I was 16 and have been studying more formally since I arrived at NYU in 2012.

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

I wanted to be in NYC. I knew if I was going to work in the music industry, I had to be either here or LA. The layout of NYC is a little more accessible than LA, which is why I chose NYC/NYU. I applied on a whim thinking I wouldn’t get in and even applied to a few lower caliber schools in the area so I’d still be able to live in NYC. When I got in, I additionally reasoned that I’d be able to get a good education and better connections in the industry if I went to NYU.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Future, Anderson .Paak, GoldLink. All of these artists have changed the way I think about their genres.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Yeah, I actually really like Miley Cyrus. I listened to her last album just to be up on new music and then ended up really enjoying it. I’ll admit to it to anyone, but you probably won’t see me playing her out loud anywhere.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

There are a few. First and foremost, surprisingly, Intro to the Music Industry. The way the class was coordinated wasn’t the best, but the things I learned in that class provided a foundation for me that I still use today. Also, Music Publishing. That was sort of the opposite of Intro to the Music Industry. I wasn’t too interested in it but Professor Jennifer Blakeman’s enthusiasm and drive definitely made its mark on me. I even interned for a publishing company the summer afterwards.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

I watched the film “Warriors” after working a Meet&Greet event for Run the Jewels right after the release of their album Run the Jewels 2. I was interning for their label, Mass Appeal Records, at the time. I watched the film with them and a few super fans. They paid for beer for everyone in the the Nitehawk theater and I was even able to bring my girlfriend. There’s nothing better than Killer Mike pointing to you and saying to your girlfriend, “your boyfriend is a great guy.” After the film was over, Nas showed up and premiered a song for the small audience. I can say I’ve heard a Nas song before anyone else (except the other people in the theater, obviously). Definitely a night I’ll remember for the rest of my career. 

What was your best Internship?

Audible Treats. As soon as I showed up, I was brought right into their workflow and was able to start growing immediately. They brought me to industry events regularly, the first to do so after I turned 21, and I still interact with them today. I work in management and was able to bring a lot of experience and knowledge I received from Audible Treats to my current job, although Audible Treats was a PR agency. I’m grateful for the experience I had there and their willingness to really let me grow into my own in their company.

What is your dream job?

I work for a management company (Equative Thinking) now as an Administrative Assistant. The dream is to manage a successful artist. I am surrounded by great and driven people where I work. I look to them daily for advice and motivation as well as educate myself via books, articles, and whatever I can find to really hit the ground running towards that dream after graduation.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

When I entered the program, I wanted to be a DIY hip-hop artist. I wanted NYU to teach me how to be self-sufficient in the industry as a creator. Although I still make music and my internships and NYU have attributed to my growth as an artist, I wasn’t expecting to fully immerse myself in the business as opposed to the creative aspect. However, I think it does help that I was an artist first. I think that gives me an edge as an artist manager.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

Try as many things as you can and be patient. I’ve interned for a label, publishing company, PR agency, and now I work for a management company. The more things you try out, the more likely you’ll land on what you actually want to do. I didn’t know I wanted to be in artist management until the beginning of my senior year. Be willing to try new things and wait until something sticks. If you’re truly passionate about the music business, something will.
Lastly, and possibly the most important, keep and maintain your relationships in the industry. When you leave an internship, you should have at least one person who you can go back to for advice or possibly even a job opportunity, if needed. Keep those relationships strong and trying to work in the industry won’t feel so lonely. Finding your place is a lot easier with a support system. You never know where a lunch date can get you.


 

Village Records Teams Up With Kevin Burke

Guest post by Karina Barroso (UG ’17). We encourage feedback and commentary on all Student Outlook contributions. Leave a comment below or tweet us at @NYUMusicBiz.
Village Records had an extremely exciting semester this fall. With a solid list of previous artists the class has worked with in the past, we knew we wanted to work with another phenomenal act.

Village Records is a semester-long class that focuses on teaching students the ins-and-outs of what it means to run a record company. Village records does not release music, but the class focus our energies on other tasks like helping the artist create new content they can utilize to promote their music. Since the course only last a semester, we have to pick up where the last semester’s class left off. From the beginning, our class split into departments, which included Marketing, Press and PR, A&R / Label Management, and Product/ Content Management.

Early in the semester, Matt McDonald came to speak to give the class insight on effective A&R scouting at a festival. We then spent the week of CMJ attending showcases and scouting potential talent to work with for the semester. After spending CMJ hearing some of the coolest up-and-coming artists, our class chose Kevin Burke as the new Village Records artist. Kevin is a multi-instrumentalist from Long Island who has a really pure sound to pair with his honest writing. While getting to know Kevin, our class planned to shoot a video of a live performance, book time in Steinhardt’s Dolan recording studio to help him record a new track, and plan out the premiere of the video. We spend a good chunk of our time writing bios, designing EPKs, communicating with Kevin’s manager, pitching to press for coverage, and planning the shoot for the video. Though we ran into some trouble along the way, we managed to film an intimate performance of Kevin playing in NYU’s Kimmel Center, with a gorgeous view of Washington Square in the background. We also ended the semester with well-edited video clips for his social media, new coverage from blogs, and a professionally recorded song.

One thing our class learned from this experience is how much works goes into managing a label. Some of us never realize how tricky it is to find cinematographers and editors for films, know the best press to pitch to, and maintain good communication with a large group of people. It’s never easy stepping into a project where you have to limited time to work with an artist, but it definitely provided hands on experience of the industry for the entire class. Working with an artist like Kevin was a pleasure, and I can’t wait to see the work this next semester class does!