Mel took advantage of the knowledge, skills and networking opportunities she picked up in her degree to become General Manager of a dance music label and management firm.
The music industry is competitive because employers want all-rounders. It’s not enough to have an ear for good music, you also need to show them you can handle the business side of things.
“I once heard the saying ‘if you do a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’. That really resonated with me in high school, because I couldn’t picture myself behind a desk in a standard 9-to-5 job. The music industry appealed to me because there didn’t seem to be any limits to where you could take your career – but I’d heard it was difficult to get your foot in the door, so I decided to study the Bachelor of Arts (Music Industry). The course is more than just music theory and performance, it also incorporates sound engineering, audio technology, business, law and international music styles.
“The most beneficial part of the course for me was the compulsory industry based internship. Getting thrown in the deep end is traditionally how everyone is introduced to the music industry, and that experience was invaluable for me. The music industry is ever-changing, and you need a well-rounded understanding of the industry as a whole in order to make sense of it. I’ve learnt that you need to be flexible, because you never just wear one hat in your role – you could be involved in bookings, A&R, tour managing, public relations, social media, marketing, licensing and the recording process.
“Another great thing about studying Music Industry is that everyone who graduates with you becomes a future contact. In a world where it’s all about who you know, having friends and acquaintances who work at labels, venues, agencies, recording studios and publications can make your job a lot easier. A friend put me in touch with Michael Parisi of MPM, and I was able to do my compulsory 6-month internship at his management company and record label. I loved working on projects from end to end, from the very early stages of setting up writing sessions for the artist to overseeing the design of their album cover and booking national tours. After two years and a lot of hard work I was the general manager of the company. One of my proudest moments was seeing Dan Sultan, one of our artists at MPM, win Best Rock Album at the 2014 ARIAs. I’m now the General Manager of OneLove Music Group, an established EDM record label with a focus on dance music releases, licensing and festivals, where I head up the new management arm of the company.
“Once you’ve decided that a career in the music industry is for you, don’t let anything get in your way. Attend all the gigs you can. Meet as many people as you can. Work overtime. Be creative in your ideas and strategies. Find a mentor and learn how they carved out their career. Real-life experience is priceless, so do an internship a couple of days a week. Industry stalwarts haven’t stuck to one role their entire career, so it’s important to take a leap of faith and see where opportunities take you.”