Starting an internship.
December 26, 2008 4:45 PM   Subscribe

I want to get an internship with a record label. I dont have a degree or experience. What can I do???
posted by Dasmall07 to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The UTA joblist is a great resource for entertainment industry (including Music) jobs and internships. Because internships are usually unpaid you can get away with not having much relevant education or experience. An easygoing, hardworking and professional attitude is generally the best way to get your foot in the door in these cases.

Good luck!
posted by tinatiga at 4:55 PM on December 26, 2008

According to industry blogger Bob Lefsetz, record labels are dead. Read the archives and subscribe to his newsletter. I have friends in the business who read his stuff daily. A lot of top name artists and managers read his stuff and respond to his musings.

I would email him and ask about it. He is the type of guy to either hook you up or rip you a new one, but either way, he will give you detailed advice.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:14 PM on December 26, 2008

i won't argue that record labels - at least major labels - aren't dead, but that doesn't answer your question. and I think Lefsetz is a dick. I worked in the majors for 10 years before I got out.

to answer your question: you don't have any experience? well, go get some experience.

do you blog? do you hang out at your local club and offer to help with load in or take tickets or sell tickets just for free, for the experience? did you write for your high school or college newspaper about music? did you work on the radio station? have you worked in a record store - there have got to be some mom and pop stores left? have you submitted concert or album reviews to your local newspaper - not to get paid, even, but just for the byline? do you have friends in bands? can you help them with booking or promotion or just help them answer their mail and keep their accounts straight and answer their email while they're on the road? what about your local independent show promoter - they are ALWAYS looking for people to intern. always, even here in new york.

all of these are "easy" ways to get experience. and since these days you can publish a blog or a podcast in about five seconds, there is really no excuse for not getting your own experience together. if you do all of these things, you may find that you discover your own way into the business and you may not want to get an internship at a label. but at least if you do these things you will have experience.
posted by micawber at 6:02 PM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Micawber, I happen to think Lefsetz is a self serving blow hard too. He does make some good points for a 50+ year old guy trying to relive the glory days of rock and roll. I mentioned him because I think he would have a contact in the industry and seems like the kind of guy would would help if contacted if only to be able to self promote that he helped someone. I also think that the asker should see a potentially different point of view on the industry in which he wants to enter. Also, Lefsetz lives in LA as does Mr. Small.

I would also contact the management companies. Also, as micawber points out, just getting your foot in the door with a band, even if it is working the merch table at local gigs would be an entry into the field.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:31 PM on December 26, 2008

Why? What kind of label? What kind of experience do you want to have?

I mean, this is only slightly more narrow a question than "I want to be a musician. What do I do?"

There, the answer is "Pick an instrument, practice."

Here, the answer is "Pick a label, pester."

But getting a record label internship might not be the best way of achieving your goals, and without a little more to go on, there's no way to give you concrete advice.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 PM on December 26, 2008

Take a good hard look at your skills sets. Improve and expand. Find an Indie band from your area (MySpace). Check out their music, their websites, their tour history. Find a weakness, and offer your services for free. Expect to work hundreds of hours. Good luck!
posted by Pennyblack at 7:19 AM on December 27, 2008

The best way to do this is to simply contact the labels directly and tell them that you're interested in an internship. You don't necessarily need any experience. Just call the label, ask who you should address internship requests to and follow up with a well written letter explaining why you want to work there. Also, check the Labor of Love section of the Velvet Rope message boards.
posted by gfrobe at 9:47 AM on December 27, 2008

Seconding gfrobe, among others in this thread. Go light on the "I want to be a label exec!" and heavy on the "I will do shit work!"
posted by Rykey at 10:22 AM on December 27, 2008

« Older playing with myself   |   New Years Resolution: Send a letter every day. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.