Meet Benjamin Heim, a fifth-year music major at Northeastern University.
How did you find your passion for music and why did you choose to pursue this in college?
I grew up in a musical household around my dad who played drums and my mom who plays piano. But I found my real passion for music during high school. I started as a percussionist in the marching band but eventually began taking private percussion lessons with the school instructor. From there I went on to join the jazz band and pit orchestra, alongside beginning to dabble in composition. During high school, I also joined a conservatory in Chicago called the Merit School of Music, which met on Saturdays. There I was a part of several ensembles, but the most impactful was the percussion chamber group called Sticks and Stones. It was with and because of that group that I began to take my percussion more seriously, which included participating in chamber competitions around Chicago. The success we had in those competitions drove me to pursue music later in life, although I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to strive for something like classical performance, producing, or managing.
Tell us about your position with Artist Managers and some of your responsibilities.
This is my third co-op, and my second working with managers. This time around is a much different experience since everything is virtual. I am working with Midcitizen Entertainment, and although the co-op began by focusing on the band The Suffers, lately I have been working with a few other artists as well. I began by working with The Suffers’ social media and trying to increase online presence, especially that related to Patreon since there was no consistent option to tour in January and the band needed some extra income. I also ran a video competition open to all Northeastern students which gave entrants early access to a song and asked them to create a visual for it, whether a music video, lyric video, animation, or anything else. The contest ended in late May and the band has determined a winner whose video will be uploaded to the band’s official Youtube page when the song releases officially. Now that the video contest is mostly over, I have been focusing more on back-end things like managing calendars and organizing tour materials like travel and hotel information.
What was the most rewarding experience about working Artist Managers?
The most rewarding experience about this co-op has been getting to know both the people I’m working with and the other students who are working on the same co-op with other artists. It has been a unique semester to be on co-op, and everything being entirely virtual has brought some challenges that may not have been present in a normal semester. But working alongside my supervisor, the bands, and the other students on this co-op has been a great experience as everyone has always been understanding and willing to help whenever challenges may have come up.
How will this co-op experience influence your future work as a student and artist?
This co-op has helped me confirm that artist management is the career that I want to pursue. I am also hoping that the connections that I have made during this co-op will be helpful in the future, for one reason or another.