• Lexee Shapiro

#NextGen_U: Music Industry Conference for Students

Last month, I purchased a ticket to attend a special three day webinar for music industry students called #NextGen_U (August 11-13). The conference, held by the Music Business Association and sponsored by Big Machine and Soundcloud, brought together industry professionals from various sectors of the music industry to teach students from their personal experiences, from record labels to publishing companies, to management and touring. There were over 400 students present each day, which really allowed for us to network with one another and connect on social media.

The conference was amazing and extremely informative. A key theme throughout the conference was encouraging students to experience several different areas of the music industry to understand what they are truly passionate about. There are so many different career paths within the music industry that are often overlooked, but are essential to the success of an artist. We talked about how to balance schoolwork with an important internship’s work load, how to get involved with record labels in college, and what organizations to get involved with in order to network with peers (among many other topics).

I really enjoyed all of the panels throughout the conference, but one that really interested me was the panel on building your brand. Panelists discussed how essential it is to know who you are and what your goals are before trying to work for someone else’s brand. I have gone to several panels where panelists talked about this and how a large component of it is being proud of what your musical preferences are. Personally, I have never had an issue being open about my love for pop music, but I know people can be very judgmental about certain artists’ fans and some genres. The most important thing about music is that it connects people all around the world together; we should embrace differences in style and preference.

I encourage anyone who is able to attend music industry conferences or panels to do so because I always learn so much from the panelists and I make long-lasting connections. It is always a good thing to support other people in the industry and know that they will support you too.

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