“I want music, but I don’t want this”: how to start working in the music industry

Published on July 14, 2017

“I want music, but I don’t want this”: how to start working in the music industry

    As a rule, the natural desire to "get pierced and play rock" occurs in adolescents. But often, there are situations when adults and accomplished people come to the conclusion that office work is not for them.

    At work, something does not add up or does not bring pleasure, white-collar workers think about the romance of concert tours or about changing the routine rhythm of keys on the rotation of records, and someone sees himself in the studio at the microphone. It’s never too late to change your life, but it’s better to know some nuances in advance to be ready for anything.

    We decided to start the cycle of materials on this topic with a story about how to get on the radio .

    Photo mollybob CC

    Demo (demo, demo recording) - the most important and very first stage from which to start preparing for a new job. A demo is a business card, no less important than a summary: it is a 30-second test broadcast on the air, which enables the future superiors to evaluate your speech, voice and abilities. Absolutely all job descriptions for radio presenters contain the line “we don’t view resume without a demo”.

    There is no need to send an hour-long recording of the program that you conducted on the school radio or voice recording with your reading of Yesenin.

    1. Record a good demo


    The most correct option is to visit any recording studio and explain to the sound engineer that you need a 30-second demo recording for the radio. You can take the finished text with you so that everything works out perfectly. In the text - there should be your “broadcast”. If the employer is satisfied, he will be able to more closely familiarize himself with the abilities of the applicant already on his equipment.

    You do not need trivial stories about good weather outside the window or "the best music on the waves of our station."

    Many DJs do this, but it’s better to tell in half a minute that there’s such a composition that went on the air, which, by the way, took first place in the Indonesian charts in a certain year, and today China’s hit parades.

    Any interesting and short story will do. It is important to understand that you are preparing a small one-man show. The background of your speech will play music. This is the so-called "substrate". Nowadays, the introduction to the song is most often used as a “substrate” ( here  we talked about this in more detail).

    2. You must prepare for each interview


    This seemingly obvious advice is often ignored by novices. It is believed that if they called for an interview on the radio, they would definitely hire you. This is true: if you are interested, then most of the selection is over, but it is very important to fix the result at the interview stage.

    If you are looking at the position of the news presenter, show that you are guided in the agenda: learn the key newsmakers, the names of the most important political figures and learn how the radio station you are applying for news feeds. At the interview, as a rule, the first question will be: “What, in your opinion, is the most important news of this week?” - immediately call what is on the agenda and justify why these news is important. The opinion may not coincide with the opinion of the management, but a confident “defense” of its point of view will even be a plus.

    If you would like to be a leading broadcast, definitely learn the playlist stations, hot hits that rotate your future guide. It is advisable to remember how the songs are located in the charts station. And the most important thing is tolerable English, so that the names of songs on the air should sound right, because if Jamiroquai suddenly becomes “yamirokaiy” - this is a failure.

    3. “Know where you are going”


    As with any interview, study the future place of work thoroughly: vain people work on the radio, and they will work with the person who likes what they do with much more pleasure.


    Photo by Alan Levine PD

    4. “Learn” will be all


    When you are recruited, be prepared for ongoing training. In the work of each radio station there are a million nuances that must be remembered very quickly.

    The most valuable employee is the one who quickly penetrates. In the field of broadcasting it is doubly important. "Slow" people can easily be removed and immediately replaced with new ones.

    "Teach" will be senior colleagues, editors, advertising managers, even office managers and accountants. The internal routine, essential subtleties, corporate code - all this falls upon a new employee. At this stage it is important to listen carefully to everyone and not to snap, even if you “already know everything”.

    On the radio, you can often find daffodils and snobs who, while learning, can look a bit down on their shoulders: for example, to say that “I made such a broadcast about fifteen years ago when I first started working”.

    Of course, this is a shame, but you shouldn’t argue with your colleagues. On the radio, colleagues are a family, and your vacation, your time off, and your free time depends on them.

    There is no such thing on the radio that there is no one in the “office”. If you need a day off, then your colleague who will have to ask about it should replace you.

    Absorb the new, quickly learn and do not conflict - then the work will go.

    5. "Put your own" music does not work.


    If you go to a radio station with the thought of how you “now teach this rock and roll gadget to love,” forget it.

    There is a playlist, there is a format, there is a program director (earlier we just wrote about how playlists form on the radio). A step to the right or a step to the left of a playlist is an attempt to sabotage the air, a fine or dismissal.

    In rare cases, when an employee has a name and excellent musical taste, he is given a musical carte blanche within the format, but the demand from him will be double.

    6. You will always have to improve yourself.


    This means that even after 20 years of work it is necessary:

    • train diction
    • "Warm up" ligaments before the ether
    • read industry publications and specialized resources
    • go to profile workshops and conferences
    • keep abreast of music and news agenda
    • do not come to work two minutes before going on the air

    Self-confidence can very easily knock you out of the market even after 20 years of work. Replacing an employee, as we remember, is very easy, the competition is big.

    7. Bonus Board


    Go to the corporate parties of your radio station. First, it is the best way to make friends with colleagues. Secondly, the employees of radio stations off the air are always "doing rock and roll."

    Third, you never know how this corporate party will end. It can start at eight in the evening in the courtyard of the radio station, and end at six in the morning in karaoke in Khimki.



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