My Dream Job: A Career In the Music Industry

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I’ve been feeling nostalgic, excited and reflective these past few days as I enter my last term of college. As a result, this blog post is a little different than the usual, which I thought would be fun. 🙂

I’ve always loved to create. Whether it be through writing, art, or music, creating something that I can then share with others is a passion of mine. Since I was old enough to read and write, I’ve loved to create my own publications. It started with “Sophie Magazine,” when I was nine, then led to my first blog at twelve, “DottyZine,” which I named after my pet hamster. “Sophie Magazine” usually featured interviews with my little sister, lists of my favorite books and music at the time, fake advertisements, and “letters to the editor” submitted by my babysitter. 😉

IMG_4324I am now entering my last term of college. I’ve studied journalism for the past four years with a focus on public relations, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. I feel so lucky to be able to say that I love what I study every day. It has absolutely been the right fit for me. My dream is to someday work in the music industry doing PR. This could mean serving as a PR rep for a band, label, music venue…who knows? Although I’m unsure of where exactly I’ll end up as of now, I’m beyond excited to get started. “Sophie Magazine” may be out of print, but I still have the same passion and drive to create that I did when I was nine!

I remember the day I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the music industry. It was one sunny, adrenaline-filled afternoon during my sophomore year of high school. My high school was located in the middle of downtown Portland, so I was surrounded by a vibrant community where things were always happening around me. I heard about a small, free concert venue through my local radio station that was just a few blocks away, and I started going to shows during my lunch breaks. As soon as the bell would ring for break, my friends and I would burst through the high school doors and race down the block. The shows were always short, usually ranging from 30-40 minutes, and the artists would often do a meet-and-greet with the audience after the show–the perfect amount of time to fit a high school lunch period or quick, after-school activity. 😉

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After meeting Ed Sheeran, October 2012

The first time I met one of my favorite artists there, Ed Sheeran, I walked outside afterward and sat on the curb, taking in what had just happened. A newfound level of joy washed over me–I could hardly contain myself. (If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember my previous post about this experience/venue.)

This joy eventually developed into a passion for meeting the people behind the lyrics–the artists who changed my life, face-to-face. I remember grinning so hard that day my cheeks ached. I thought to myself, I want to be involved in this world. I want to help other fans feel this way. But how could this translate into a career?

I began exploring options within the industry as I entered college, and eventually settled on the path of journalism. My parents are both writers, so I’ve grown up around pen and paper, journals, and books my whole life. (The Tripod Trilogy, A Wrinkle in Time and The Golden Compass are a few of my favorites.) It was an area in which I was familiar, but I wanted to explore the branding, promotional, client-interactive side of the journalistic field. I discovered the world of public relations, and quickly realized I could apply my passion for music, and the excitement I felt that day meeting Ed Sheeran, to that area.

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Chatting with The Paper Kites, March 2017

I considered pursuing music journalism, but decided I’d like to be even more involved in the industry (both PR and music) than that. I want to help artists,’ and bands’ visions come to life, meet PR professionals, collaborate, learn, and create a brand, plan, or event that will not only benefit a client, but allow fans to feel that same joy I did that first time I met a favorite artist.

Music is such a huge part of what makes me who I am. It sparks an excitement, joy and enthusiasm in me that nothing ever has before. It drives me to take risks, venture outside of my comfort zone, meet incredible people, and continue on the path to becoming a PR professional. I’m thrilled to have found an area of study in college that I can connect to this passion. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Want to read more about PR/journalism in the music industry? I created a blog about this specific topic for a class I took last term! Check it out here.

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My first “concert review”? LOL.
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Books For Music Lovers

Besides music, bands, concerts and records, books are one of my favorite things. I’ve always loved reading–especially books related to music. (Ha, what a surprise, right?) If you’re like me, and you want to combine your passion for music and books, this is the post for you! I found a few books that all music lovers should consider reading, and I’ve shared them below.                                  

                                  Thank You, Goodnight by Andy Abramowitz

thank-you-goodnight-9781476791777_hrTeddy Tremble is 40 years old, and struggling to move on from his past as the lead singer of a one-hit-wonder band (Tremble) in the ’90s. When Teddy suddenly receives a strange call from one of his former bandmates after 10 years, he finds himself attempting to get the band back together. As the story continues, Teddy tries to make amends with someone he loved years ago, and create a new record to rekindle Tremble’s popularity. (This book is so well-written, and a quick read. It’s touching, fun, and will leave you laughing out loud. The humor is quick and witty, and the characters are so lovable! By the end, you’ll want to form your own band.)

 

                                                 Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey by Ed Sheeran

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Even if you aren’t an Ed Sheeran fan, this is definitely an autobiography worth reading. It follows Ed’s journey in becoming the successful artist he is today. Beginning his music career as a busker at just 17 years old in England, to selling out Madison Square Garden multiple times in just a matter of minutes, Ed’s truly worked his way to the top. The book explores his songwriting process, stories behind his numerous tattoos, his early influences, and more. (Loved this book. It was so much fun to read about a young artist’s real experience with the music industry today.)

                        

                        Love Is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield

46190This is autobiography memoir written by a rock critic. Through out the book, fifteen mix tapes frame a story of love, loss, and an adorable couple’s passion for music. At the beginning of each chapter, the author provides a track list for each of these mix tapes, which is super fun to read. (Warning: this book has a pretty tragic twist to it, but that’s what makes it so touching. I found myself learning about artists and the history behind some well-known songs that I didn’t know about. A quick, fun read! This book made me want to dig out all my old cassette tapes.)

                        

 

                           Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

71LkLmxqgjLThis is one of my favorite books from last year. Set in the ’80s, it follows the developing love story between two high schoolers who share a passion for music and comic books. Eleanor is a bit of outcast, with her fiery red hair, odd clothing, and dysfunctional family. Park, however, is popular, handsome, and seemingly confident. The unlikely relationship between the two of them blossoms into something more, which results in an adorable story. (I read this in a single day. So good!)

HOW TO: Create a Music Time Capsule

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetLike I’ve said so many times before on my blog, music/songs can represent memories. Listening to a specific song can bring back so many good memories from various times in your life!

For this post, I decided to do a something a little different. I’m a very sentimental person, and I also absolutely love time capsules. I have so many hidden around my house–one from kindergarten that I’m supposed to open when I graduate from college, one for when I graduate from high school, and one I’m set to open in just a few weeks. Because I love time capsules so much, I decided to combine my love of memorabilia with my passion for music & its power to spark memories.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to create your very own music time capsule. You can decide to open it whenever you want–during a major life milestone, next year, whatever. When you open this time capsule, it will help you remember the music you loved and the memories that you made because of it. It makes your memories a bit more tangible, and is super fun to hide, then discover later. Read on to find out how you can fossilize your favorite artists and albums.

THE IDEA: If you’ve never made a time capsule before, the idea is to find a box or some sort of container, and fill it with significant objects that will spark memories when you open it years later. Ideally, you are supposed forget what’s in the box until you open it. Decide on a specific date or a certain year that you would like to open it, and mark it on the outside, then HIDE IT. Don’t open it, touch it, or peek until your target date.

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9 ideas of what to put inside:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset1. Tickets from past concerts.

Collect tickets from a few (or one) of the best concerts you’ve attended. On the back, write who went to the concert with you. That way, you can call your friend and reminisce about that perfect night after you open your capsule.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset2. Concert & festival bracelets.

These are so much fun to look at years later. Try to save them instead of throwing them away after the concert/festival you attended. I kept my V.I.P. bracelet from when I met The Wanted.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset3. A lotion or small lip gloss that you wore the night of your favorite concert.

Scent evokes strong memories. One sniff of a perfume that you wore the night you met your favorite band will transport you right back to the moment you finally hugged them.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset4. Pictures, pictures, pictures!

Throw in pictures you snapped of your favorite singer on stage, at meet-and-greets, and of you and your friends after/during concerts. One thing that’s super fun to include: Pictures of your reactions after a concert, or after meeting your favorite band/singer. Make it habit to snap a picture of you and your friends after each concert–you’ll have genuine smiles and you’ll capture the excitement of the night on camera. (In the picture below, on the right, you will see a picture of my friend and me after we met Ed Sheeran. We were a little excited…)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset5. Buttons, stickers, articles and other mementos.

Cut out an article of an interview or photo shoot with favorite singer, and include it in your time capsule. You’ll love reading it years later, and it will help you remember why you loved that particular artist so much. Stickers, buttons and notes are always fun to look at, too.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset6. Albums, album booklets, or a flash drive.

In 10 years, or whenever you decide to open this time capsule, the world may not be using CDs anymore. Putting your favorite album on a flash drive is probably good idea. If you want, though, go ahead and include a whole CD (if you can fit it inside).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset7. Fan letters.

Make a point to scan and save letters you write to your favorite band member (before you give them away). Or you still have a letter for your fave that you hope to give them one day, consider putting it in your time capsule. (Obviously if you end up meeting the artist/band, you can still take it out and give it to them.) I scanned the letters I gave to The Wanted when I met them, and it’s fun (if a bit cringe-worthy) to read them now. 🙂

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8. A description of your favorite concert, or concert moment.

Write out your favorite concert moment, then read it out loud to someone who went to the concert with you when you take it out of your time capsule years later. Even if you’re not much of a writer, jot down some bullet points and key moments you want to remember.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset9. Tweets.

You know those embarrassing, adoring tweets you’ve sent to your favorite singers? Print them out! Have you ever gotten a reply? Print it out! You will LOVE seeing them years later when you open your time capsule. Plus, who knows if we will even have Twitter in the future? Your tweets will seem so “retro”!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Tweet me pictures of YOUR music time capsules! (@sophersc)

Artists Unplugged

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I spend a lot of time browsing YouTube…especially for music. One of my favorite pastimes is finding videos of my favorite singers/ bands covering acoustic versions of their songs. Sometimes, the acoustic version is even better than their studio version. That’s when you know you’ve discovered an artist with true talent! For this post, I compiled a few videos of my favorite artists and their unplugged performances. Check them out below, and tweet me: what songs sound better acoustically? (Photo by Ian Sane)

Taking Over Me –Lawson

Closed Hands Full Of Friends — Foy Vance

Lay Me Down — Sam Smith

Small Bump — Ed Sheeran

Noel Gallagher — Don’t Look Back In Anger

Cherry Wine — Hozier

My Rainy Day Playlist

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Fall is finally upon us. The leaves are changing colors, the air smells like trees and soil, there’s pumpkins on every front porch, and of course, it’s pouring down rain. If you live in a rainy city like I do, you’re probably used to this. Fall is my favorite season, and I personally love the rain! It’s gives me the opportunity to snuggle up on the couch with some some tea, and listen to my favorite playlist–my rainy day playlist. These songs immediately cheer me up when I’m walking home in the rain, or stuck inside doing homework while listening to the steady patter of rain on my window. So if you’re caught in a windy, wet downpour this week, or you simply want to get into the spirit of fall…click below! (Photo via WeHeartIt)

Rolling Stone–Passenger

Autumn Leaves–Ed Sheeran

Me–The 1975

All I Want—Kodaline

Strong–London Grammar

Ramble On—Led Zeppelin

Cherry Wine–Hozier

Be The Song—Foy Vance

Move Together—James Bay

Three Marlenas—The Wallflowers

Keep Breathing–Ingrid Michaelson