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From DJ to Def Jam

Elie Lamaze­rolles

Elie Lamaze­rolles, AMD’15, has music in his blood. Back in his home country of Bel­gium, his grand­fa­ther was a jazz and blues radio host, a music lover with more than 500 records in his collection.

“As a child, I would go to my grand­par­ents’ and just listen to vinyl’s,” recalled Lamaze­rolles. “Jazz is a great foun­da­tion and start in music.”

At 13, he decided to invest in turnta­bles and exper­i­ment with DJing. Within two years, he had honed his skills so well that he was playing at par­ties and clubs every weekend.

Lamaze­rolles has con­tinued to pursue this pas­sion at North­eastern, where he is cur­rently a third-​​year music industry major with a con­cen­tra­tion in music recording. He is also a Husky Ambas­sador, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent for the Council for Uni­ver­sity Pro­grams, and host of a two-​​hour long DJ set on WRBB radio, a non­profit, free-​​form sta­tion run by students.

Last semester, he worked in the Artist and Reper­toire depart­ment at Island Def Jam Music Group, part of the Uni­versal Music Group, in New York City. The Island Def Jam Music Group was formed in 1999, when UMG merged Island Records and Def Jam Recordings.

He had two pri­mary jobs. The first was con­ducting research and combing through sales and air­play sta­tis­tics in a score of coun­tries. The second was working under Island Records Pres­i­dent David Massey to help his assis­tant with a variety of tasks for the record head. These respon­si­bil­i­ties granted him an inside look into the divi­sion respon­sible for talent scouting and over­seeing the devel­op­ment of recording artists.

“Working as a DJ across Europe for eight years has taught me about the per­for­mance side of the industry, but this co-​​op exposed me to a whole other side that I wasn’t aware of,” he said. “It really inspired me.”

Lamaze­rolles got prac­tical expe­ri­ence in the music industry through working as a DJ and his pro­gram at North­eastern was instru­mental to his under­standing of the busi­ness side of the industry. In his first year at North­eastern, he took classes in which he learned the basics of how the music industry func­tions. Those courses pre­pared him well for his co-​​op at Island Def Jam.

“When I started at the depart­ment, there was a lot that I already knew and under­stood, which allowed me to dive into my work as quickly as pos­sible,” he explained.

Becoming immersed in the job so quickly, he said, allowed him to get the most out of the expe­ri­ence, which also solid­i­fied his desire to work on the A&R side of the music industry after graduation.

Lamaze­rolles cred­ited his North­eastern class­room expe­ri­ences for teaching him about sub­jects that he encoun­tered first­hand on co-​​op. “At my co-​​op, I was able to apply these skills and con­tinue to build my knowl­edge through expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion,” he said.

Read the original article at news@Northeastern →