I’m Lucas, a student heading into his last year at Berklee. Seems like these last few semesters of college are just speeding by. Until recently I was dual majoring in Music Business (Entrepreneurship) and Music Production & Engineering (aka MP&E) . When I first got to Berklee in Fall of 2013 I was 100% more into MP&E and leaning towards a career as an Audio Engineer. Within a few semesters I had gone through a few assistant engineering gigs at local studios in Boston and eventually landed a position as an in-house recording engineer.
From the beginning I wanted to know about the Music Industry in order to avoid all the awful chaos/situations/lawsuits you hear about when starting out as a musician. That’s why I double majored – but now, after 8 semesters, I have completely switched interests and fallen in love with my Music Business Major. Starting in the Fall I will be dual majoring in Music Business (Entrepreneurship) & Professional Music (A&R / Artist Development ).
This Summer I am down in New York City interning at Disruptor Records – a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment – in Flat Iron at the Sony building in front of Madison Square Park. I sit on the 21st floor (out of 28) in the middle of many different departments including International Marketing, Columbia Records, RCA A&R, Disruptor Records, etc. The executives of Sony also sit on this floor so most days I get to see Doug Morris ( Sony Music Entertainment CEO, Berklee Honorary Doctorate, Music Industry Vet ) walking around – which is pretty wild. Every now and then artists come through for meetings so it’s not uncommon to ride the elevator up or down with celebs like Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled, The Chainsmokers and others.
In my internship here I deal with a wide variety of tasks and fields. Interning at Disruptor Records sort of feels like working with a small startup team – each members responsibilities ranges and overlaps – while being apart of a huge corporate entity. Its pretty exciting. Through out the week I help with social media analytics for Disruptor artists using social media marketing platforms like Next Big Sound, Crimson Hexagon, and sometimes even Hootsuite. I also help with managing a few of the social media profiles of the Disruptor roster. Beyond that I help with coordinating schedules for artists who are touring (aka advances), keep track of merch sales, organizing management info, and also working heavily on the A&R side by submitting new artists and scouting for upcoming talented songwriters. It’s all very exciting and each week feels like there is a new task for me to do and learn about.
One of the first lessons I’ve learned here is that being in the Music Industry means you will constantly be “putting out fires”. Often in Music business books you’ll see that phrase and personally I’ve never thought much of it until recently. One of Disruptors biggest artist’s, The Chainsmokers, was planning on going on tour this Summer/Fall with a huge named artist ( which I don’t think I can legally say the name of ). Many of the agreements were set in stone, tour dates were almost finalized, and hotels plus travel were already being booked. A week or so before the tour was going to be announced the headlining act cancelled everything. This meant months of planning, tens of thousands of dollars spent on travel, time, and energy all went done the drain in an instant. As the CEO of Disruptor Records, Adam Alpert, heard the news when he walked on to the floor he calmly answered ” We’re in the business of putting out fires” and then walked into his office and got back to work as if nothing major happened. It was pretty wild.