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.