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Music Alumni Interviews at CMJ

Adam Kenny and Quinn Slattery, both AMD’16, are studying music industry at CAMD. They recently traveled to New York City to attend the CMJ Music Marathon, a week-long showcase of new talent and up and coming artists in the music industry. Adam and Quinn represented WRBB Radio, Northeastern’s student-run radio station, and had the opportunity to interview ten Northeastern alumni who are working throughout the music business. Get a glimpse into those interviews and the music industry today by reading below.Read Adam and Quinn’s Student Spotlight Profile to learn more about them, their co-ops, the CMJ experience, and their future plans for the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.Katelyn Scott – Sponsorship Coordinator at Superfly
Tyler Arnold – A&R Representative at Republic Records
Kim Clabby – Publicity Assistant at Interscope Records
Nicole Baturin – Assistant Manager at This Fiction Management
Alyssa Castiglia – A&R Representative at Island Records
Eric Frankenburg – Booking Assistant at United Talent Agency
Julie Hershman – Management Coordinator at Brick Wall Management

How do you think classes at northeastern prepared you for working in the music industry? Are there any particular ones you benefited from?


Katelyn Scott, Sponsorship Coordinator at Superfly:“Music Supervision with Bradley Hatfield. I do a lot of video editing or at least I used to more freelance now that I started here, it’s a hobby kind of and helping friends out. That helped me because for Glassnote after I was an intern there, they would hire me freelance to edit their videos for international presentations of all their artists over the years. So Music Supervision helped me with syncing soundtracks and background music. Although that’s not really relevant to what I do now it’s all experience, and that class helped me blend those aspects together.

Additionally, in that class, we worked with his songwriting class at Berklee and got to use their songs in our class. He also was able to tie in his publishing class, where we had to go through the publisher to get to the songwriter. So it was actually like a real life scenario, which was awesome.

I really loved Venue Management; it definitely helped me learn the live performance and event side of the industry. We a huge business analysis report, I actually ended up doing the report on Bonnaroo (one of Superfly’s bigger music festival) as the venue itself. That was really interesting to see because you really have to dive into it, it was a very beneficial project. Another beneficial aspect of the class was the group project. Where you had to find a venue around Boston and we found this abandoned warehouse area and built a fake venue. We didn’t actually have an event in it, but we made the whole business plan as if we did. So yeah, that was really cool. Overall, liked the northeastern classes because they are very practical.” 

Alyssa Castiglia, A&R Representative at Island Records: “I thought the classes were really great. I thought the industry classes were a great introduction. Copyright law, even though it was one of the harder classes, was the most beneficial class I took. Marketing promotion in the music industry. Recording, especially for an A&R person. Music supervision. Craig was super helpful in finding a co-op and preparing you for what that’s like.”

How do you think the co-op program at Northeastern prepared you for working in the music industry?

Eric Frankenburg, Booking Assistant at United Talent Agency: The co-op program was incredible. I stayed in touch with many of my supervisors and that was helpful in terms of looking for jobs coming out of college and in terms of broadening my network and meeting new people once I was in New York. I think it works differently for everyone but I found it valuable to do each internship in a different area of the industry (label, agency, management, etc.). None of my co-ops were directly related to my current job but my experience in CUP was meaningful. Booking college shows is very different from representing national touring acts but I was able to start this job with a good foundation in live music, just in terms of the vernacular and contract terms.

Alyssa Castiglia: The biggest thing co-op offers is that it shows you how to operate within a corporate environment. It’s all about learning how the companies operate. Especially within A&R in particular, you can’t learn A&R from a textbook. You just have to do it. You learn best from having a mentor and or supervisor and co-op allows you to do that.

Why do think industry events like CMJ and SXSW are beneficial for Northeastern music industry students?

Tyler Arnold, A&R Representative at Republic Records: This goes back to what I said earlier where the music industry is literally all about knowing people and making connections. Everyone goes to these conferences and CMJ has people flying in from LA and London strictly to meet people and go to showcases and so when students are able to go to these type events you’re going to meet people that you wouldn’t otherwise and make those connections that ultimately lead to long-term opportunities. Like I said, I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t known someone who knew someone who knew someone so you just have to go down the line and really put yourself out there.
Katelyn Scott: Oh, I think it’s hugely beneficial, I mean it gives students the chance to get out of the classroom and meet people, talk about what they actually do. You’re going to panels and listening to experts talk about their passions in the industry. I think, it really motivates students because you’re listening to someone speak about the business, that’s not your teacher. Who are touching on topics that you’re interested in, and then getting to see how it all intertwines. The panels are important, especially when there is a bunch of different people from different companies kind of going back and forth and getting to hear their opinions. I remember I saw a panel, which Daniel Glass spoke on. The topic was on music licensing. His opinions on licensing versus the others were really interesting. It’s also a great networking scenario.

You guys are meeting a bunch of former Northeastern students that we don’t even know. Northeastern should do more Northeastern networking events because there are so many people working in the city.

I still look forward to going to them (event like CMJ & SXSW) even working, because it’s a nice breath of fresh air and you can go check it out all the different topics.

I mean, Northeastern should know that especially, this is just a different type of, experience that you guys are getting that’s not in like a 6 month co-op setting which is like really beneficial to have too.

What advice would you offer to a current student looking to break into the Music Industry?

Kim Clabby, Publicity Assistant at Interscope Records: Talk to everyone you know in the industry beforehand and take advantage of your co-ops and the connections you make. You definitely don’t have to know exactly what road you want to take when you graduate but definitely have an idea like if you want to go down the independent or major label route versus recording. At least have an idea and don’t just jump ship and take the first job that gets thrown into your lap because you get stuck really quickly in positions.

Julie Hershman, Management Coordinator at Brick Wall Management: It was definitely unplanned the way that I ended up doing my time at Northeastern but I feel like you should literally just take advantage of every single opportunity that’s there. Definitely don’t be afraid to come to New York or LA or anywhere really. I think that a lot of people in the music program probably want more than what Boston can offer. I love Boston but I knew that if I wanted to really be in music I had to leave. Don’t be afraid to leave campus whether that’s study abroad or co-op, I think that’s one of the best parts of my time at Northeastern, not necessarily the time I spent away, but experiencing those different environments.
Nicole Baturin: I think just do whatever makes you happy. Especially in the music industry, you don’t always get paid a lot, but if it makes you happy, it’s worth it.