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.