John DelVento truly understands the meaning of hard work. His passion and commitment started with 2 hour practices on the euphonium as a child, and he continued that drive to write music for advertising campaigns, video games, award-winning films, popular tv shows, documentaries and more. During this music careers episode, John walks us through his career trajectory and what it takes to be a successful composer, which is really all about being a music entrepreneur, and to practice your craft at every available opportunity. (As proof, John, is still a sought-after euphoniumist, playing venues like Carnegie Hall and other high-profile performances.) John also shares invaluable tips and insight, like how to pitch your music, how (and when) to start your own business, how to find opportunities, what pitfalls to avoid, how to market yourself, and more.
John McLucas, drummer, singer/songwriter, producer, podcaster and recording engineer, is all about his music career. After Musicians Institute, he worked with several bands and toured with signed rising-star bands, playing shows with the likes of Tool and Primus before he decided he needed to strike out on his own to create a lucrative music career. His hard work (including living and sleeping at his studio) paid off with his own production/mixing business and a popular podcast, Stay Spongy Show. During this music careers episode, John shares what it took to get his business off the ground, the cost-benefit analysis of a bunch of guys touring versus a targeted IG ad campaign, what he’s learned from Gary Vaynerchuk, working on his solo career, and more.
Cherie Hu, an award-winning music business journalist, was on track to be a classical pianist through Juilliard’s pre-college program when a teacher suggested an alternative program of dual studies. That brought Cherie to Harvard, majoring in math and stats, while writing for the university arts blog and an arts column for the Harvard Crimson magazine. Cherie’s musical talents combined with data analysis gave her a fascination of the intersection of tech and music, ultimately leading her towards her current exciting and prominent career as a music + tech journalist. During this music careers interview, Cherie walks us through her trajectory as a musician and ultimately a music journalist, the parallels between math and music, AI, Spotify playlists and its profound effects upon music creation and discovery, how she stays on the cutting edge of tech and music trends, and more.
Justin Schmidt is a publicist for Missing Piece Group, an agency that works with artists on a variety of services, including PR/publicity, artist management, digital marketing, and more. As part of his work with musicians, and being a musician/songwriter himself, he shares his perspective of how the story and the ideas the artist puts out there are essential to the connection created between artist and fan. During this episode Justin explains his music career trajectory, his work as a music entrepreneur, and how he now enjoys being a “music connector” with Missing Piece Group.
Zac Harding is a self-professed “engineer rat”, starting from the world-renowned studio once owned by Bruce Swedien in Minneapolis, working with the Replacements and Prince(!!) and making the move to Los Angeles. In fact, his engineer experience helped him land the Director of Marketing position at Songtradr (more on that in the interview!) Zac talks about his transition from the recording studio to marketing, the licensing resources and financial opportunities that Songtradr offers to artists, why this is the best time to be an independent musician, why it’s so important to make goals for your music career, and what tools and innovations are available to artists to succeed.
Hunter Scott, co-founder and Head of Marketing & Publicity at the full service music PR firm LaFamos, knows a thing or two about creating pathways to success. Originally a singer/songwriter and guitarist, he began taking classes at Musicians Institute, won a full scholarship, then returned after a few years to serve on the faculty. His keen insight and creativity in music marketing led him to start his own business (from his kitchen table, no less), successfully navigating the business to a 10-year anniversary and global recognition. Hunter is very well known in the industry, serving on panels and as a featured speaker at music and entertainment conferences worldwide. During this music jobs episode, Hunter shares his career trajectory, explains the business of PR, and shares advice for artists looking to raise exposure as well as what it takes to work at at music PR firm.