At a very young age, I already knew one thing for sure: I wanted to be in the music industry when I grew up. Despite being an artist and playing guitar and singing my whole life, I also knew that I never really wanted to be a starving artist. I figured out very quickly that there was a specific niche that I knew I could use all my talents and skills alongside my love of the music world. This niche is the music industry. It’s a really broad term that basically involves everyone that makes, produces, distributes and legalizes anything that involves music. Despite the fact that I knew a lot about the industry before I ever started here at Thornton, I have come to learn over the years that there are several things many people don’t expect, but should know before considering this industry.
- It’s a man’s world.
As a woman, this was a shock, but not an obstacle for me. However, I know that for many people this is incredibly daunting. The music industry is largely male-dominated, which makes being a female a whole other game to play. To be a female in the music industry you have to be twice as ambitious and twice as driven to get to where you want to be. For example, less than 5 percent of recognized producers are women, and generally there is only 32.2 percent women in the entire industry compared to men, who make up 67.8 percent.
- You have to study all facets before really knowing everything or anything.
It may seem like there is an area that you want to go into that is very narrow and specific, but it’s important to know that being in this industry means that there is a whole world you have to learn about that surrounds it. To be truly successful, you have to learn about the nuances and details of it all. For example, many believe that producers solely oversee the recording process of songs, yet many of them are also writers, artists and musicians because they need an extensive knowledge of music across all mediums.
- You don’t have to be a musician, but many people are.
Obviously not everyone in the music industry has a musical background necessarily, but most do. If you want to get into the music industry but don’t play an instrument or sing or have any prior musical experience, it’s totally fine but be prepared for likely having to work twice as hard due to your lack of inherent musical knowledge that most musicians possess. There are several major industry leaders who had no musical background, such as Simon Cowell, Scooter Braun and Pasquale Rotella, and yet, they’re just as successful.
- No matter how much you think you know, keep learning.
This industry is one that is constantly evolving and changing, so no matter how much you learn, know or experience, you will always be surprised. Even within the past ten years, the evolution of EDM and DJing along with brand new trends in alternative and indie/rock have proven the constantly evolving world of music. In fact, this is one of the more exciting parts of this industry. It keeps you on your toes and always guessing about the future of music. Be prepared for an exciting journey!