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How did you get hired by a record label?

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Paul’s Answer

I'm going to assume you mean work "for" a record label as an employee.

I would say the best way to get into a record label is to work as an intern through your local college or university. There's often a lot of opportunities in different areas that way. There's a lot you could potentially learn. I would recommend areas surrounding intellectual property such as music publishing.

That being said... why would you want to?

At this point in recorded music history, record labels are nearly an outdated concept. With distribution and marketing tools in the hands of regular artists, there's no real reason to record labels to even exist. Don't get me wrong, they do have advantages because of their long-standing history - connections with major film studios, mainstream media, advertising, etc - but those advantages are fading fast.

If I were starting over today, I would find a couple of artists, form your own record label, and learn to build the business from the ground up. Music streaming, branding deals, and artist collaborations have totally changed how the industry will work (and is working right now), so working at a record label might even be a hindrance. That's because you'd learn the OLD ways of thinking, and not embrace what's now.

It's a rough road, good luck with it!

Paul recommends the following next steps:

Learn about music publishing.
Learn about licensing.
Learn about digital rights tracking, such as ISRC codes
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Hannah’s Answer

I think the best way to get hired by a record label is to start interning and getting involved in the music scene as much as you can. Whether thats helping out at a local concert venue or taking a music business class online or finding some sort of music blog to work for on the internet, just get in there! Once you have some slight experience under your belt you should start reaching out to record labels in your area and see if they offer internship programs. Record labels are not an outdated concept. . Vinyl sales have spiked since COVID and record labels are thriving and there are so many ways to become a part of one. I don't know if you want to stay in the NJ area but there are so many good record labels in NYC! Once you get one of these internships (they are very competitive so make sure you stay at it, don't give up and show your passion) you will have a lot of opportunities to grow and network within the label and outside of it. There are so many different aspects of record labels (A&R, marketing, finances, sync etc). Try anything and everything!

Hannah recommends the following next steps:

Start getting involved in the local music scene
Research different record labels
Research different jobs within record labels and what interests you the most
Email record labels about internships/apply to internships via record labels websites
Follow up and make sure they don't forget who you are!
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