7 Ways To Get Into The Music Industry

Have you ever found yourself watching your favourite artist on stage and dreamt of being there yourself?

Maybe you would prefer being behind the scenes, promoting an artist and making them the next big thing? It’s not as ridiculous as it sounds – here, industry consultant Deb McKoy reveals her top tips for getting into the music business.


Decide on your role

Take a close look at your likes and dislikes. What have you always liked and been good at? How would your friends describe you? Your strengths and passions will lead you in a definite direction. Does your heart take you more in the direction of being a music lawyer, A&R, manager, promoter or another role? Picture yourself in that role for the next 20 years. Does that picture excite you?

Find a mentor

A mentor is someone with more knowledge than you in a specialised area. You can meet with a mentor on a regular basis to discuss your aims and any challenges you are facing. A mentor can also be someone you have never met but whose blueprint you follow from books, articles and interviews. Depending on the role you choose you may need a formal qualification. If this is the case, gain expertise from your lecturers. Ask them for help in building a road map for your career. Get started immediately. Create your position before you graduate!

Be your job title

Your chosen role should be in an area that fits your personality perfectly. New music platforms are popping up everywhere, from tech to streaming, to live. Clearly understand the importance of your role in the wider industry. Think about how you can be unique and create a greater demand for what you do. Identify a combination of skills that will make you indispensable. Live up to your title.

Love what you do

This is usually where you’re advised to work hard, but if you love what you do it will never seem like hard work. Yes, there will be moments when you will need to give yourself a push, but if you have self-confidence, a genuine love for music and a big enough reason for wanting to be part of the industry, you will always stay motivated. When you do what you love there will always be a demand for what you do.

Keep up to date with industry changes

Read everything you can get your hands on. Pay attention to changes in the industry and learn about how brands are aligning themselves with music. Think outside the box about how you can create partnerships with these brands to jointly deliver value to the scene. Keep up to speed with your rights around copyright, trademarks and royalties. Gather information from collection agencies (PRS, MCPS, PPL). Depending on the direction you wish to go in you may have some entitlements. Information in this area can help you make better business decisions.

Establish a network

Your network is made up of your competitors, partners, consumers and fans. The more connected you are within an active network, the higher your income will be. Your success creates opportunities for other people in the industry and keeps it thriving. Be part of a network that sees the bigger picture and wants everyone to succeed.

Don’t box yourself in

Within your unique set of skills, there will be qualities that you can hone for long-term success. Music is being taken in new directions and your transferable skills will help you tap into wider opportunities as the music industry continues to grow and change. Keep learning and growing – create your dream role!

Deb McKoy is the Founder and Consultant at Peppergrain Ltd, London, UK. She began her career as a recording artist, achieving success in the UK national charts, before going on to help artists and businesses maximise their brand. 

Did you enjoy what you read? Follow Deb McKoy on Twitter @peppergrain