5 Surefire Ways To Make It In The Music Industry


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5 Surefire Ways To Make It In The Music Industry

In the lead-up to the 61st GRAMMY Awards, the GRAMMY Museum hosted a Music Industry Panel featuring plenty of advice for young music-industry hopefuls

GRAMMYs/Feb 6, 2019 - 08:15 am

Today, in the lead-up to the 61st GRAMMY Awards, a few hundred students from across Los Angeles County visited the GRAMMY Museum in downtown L.A., where they received some insightful pointers on how to find success in the music industry. The Music Industry Panel at the Clive Davis Theatre, part of the museum's special GRAMMY Week programing, gave the young music lovers practical advice and inspirational stories on how to turn their passions and their dreams into reality, from four people in the trenches of the industry.

The panel featured a variety of perspectives from inside the music industry, including Rozzi, a 27-year-old singer/songwriter who got signed by Adam Levine when she was 19, and Brittany Bell, a publicity manager at Atlantic Records who has successfully navigated the music PR world. The other two panelists were Cathy Heller, a singer/songwriter who found her stride in music licensing, which she does with her company Catch The Moon Music, and Miles Mosley, an upright bass player and music producer who went from playing at GRAMMY Camp as a young teen to playing on the GRAMMY stage with Cee Lo Green.

All four speakers discussed their journeys regarding how they got to where they are today, and, with questions from a moderator and a few students in the audience, offered some great takeaways for any young person interested in pursuing a career in music.

Read on to learn the five key points from Rozzi, Bell, Heller and Mosely on what it takes to be a successful music professional.

1. Figure out who you are before others try to decide for you.

There were plenty of quotable moments as the group shared some real-world learning moments as music professionals. Rozzi, for instance, discovered her passion for music at a young age; she knew she wanted to be a singer since she was just six years old. She described how being focused always pushed her to put in the hard work she saw as necessary to achieve her dreams.

Later, she shared how amazing it was to have Maroon 5's Levine reach out and sign her while she was in college. But it wasn't until she was ultimately dropped from his label (she was one of the first artists signed to it) that she finally began to experience things that she felt gave her something to sing about.

"I was really good at working hard…but I didn't know what I needed to say," Rozzi explained. "I was so focused on getting from point A to point B that I didn't really live."

2. "Sometimes rejection is redirection."

Heller explained how music has also been her passion from a young age; she used it as a way to escape from the difficult home environment she faced growing up. When she asked the students if they also found their happy place with music, most of their hands shot up.

The singer/songwriter eventually moved to L.A. after high school in hopes of making it in the industry, but it wasn't until she got signed to—and subsequently dropped from—two different labels before she really found her calling. When Heller refocused her energy on music liscensing, she began making music tailored for film, TV and ads. Now, her company helps other artists do the same.

"If you're kicking down the door really hard and it doesn't open, maybe you're at the wrong door. Sometimes rejection is redirection," Heller said.

3. If you want to pay the bills, you have to diversify your offerings… and understand finance.

Mosley discovered his love for playing the upright bass in junior high orchestra class, for which he originally signed up in hopes of achieving "an easy A." But fate stepped in, and Mosley wound up playing the instrument ever since.

Having attended one of the high schools selected to play in GRAMMY Camp's national band, Mosley wound up playing on the GRAMMY stage in 2007, as the backing band for Cee Lo Green—then one half of Gnarls Barkley—at the 49th GRAMMY Awards.  

When it comes to making a living as a musician, he explained how important it is to learn to diversify your personal business and offerings as an artist.

"I realized I could be much more comfortable in the music industry if I have these different plateaus to stand on," Mosley said. "You have to learn about finance. It's boring, but you gotta learn how to make a little bit of money go a long way."

4. Patience and perseverance are key.

Bell described her career trajectory through different iterations of marketing and public relations before she found her sweet spot working in music PR. She explained the different ways she had to work her way up and make connections and keep exploring where her talents are best served. She also underscored the importance of the lessons you can learn as an intern or assistant. Her big takeaway as an intern, in particular, was to learn patience.

She stressed that while you may have what feel like clear goals in mind, you never know exactly where you'll end up.

"You gotta shake of the 'no's' and just keep going," Bell affirmed.

Related: Prominent Music Industry Women Convene, Offer Valuable Career Advice At GRAMMY Museum Panel

5. You don't need someone to discover you.

For aspiring artists, Heller had more words of wisdom as she offered her take on the current digital music climate. Thanks to the internet and music-streaming sites, she said, you no longer need someone to discover you to make it big. Similar to Rozzi's message of finding your voice, Heller stressed the importance of putting in the work to "discover the vast incredibleness that is you."  

She also talked about how important it is to believe in yourself and your success. She explained that if you don't believe in your vision, it will be very easy to give up when things don't go as planned or take longer than you envisioned. While it may be easier to get your music heard, she posited, it isn't necessarily harder to stand out among the masses. You just have to stick it out and do the work to truly find your voice.

GRAMMY Week concludes this Sunday on Feb. 10 with the 61st GRAMMY Awards—be sure to catch the show live on CBS, beginning at 5:00 p.m. PT from the STAPLES Center.

Are you a high school student interested in learning more about making it in music? Consider joining GRAMMY Camp: Applications for the 2019 summer session in L.A. are currently open until March 31. For more information, click here.

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

Lady Gaga

Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images


Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes

GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program

GRAMMYs/Oct 12, 2017 - 11:03 pm

On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.

Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.

"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."

The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.

"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."

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Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards


Find Out Who's Nominated For Best Rap Album | 2020 GRAMMY Awards

Dreamville, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Tyler, The Creator, and YBN Cordae all earn nominations in the category

GRAMMYs/Nov 20, 2019 - 06:28 pm

The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Rap Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Rap Album.

Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville                                                                        

This star-studded compilation album from 11-time GRAMMY nominee J. Cole and his Dreamville Records imprint features appearances from some of the leading and fastest-rising artists in hip-hop today, including label artists EARTHGANG, J.I.D, and Ari Lennox, plus rappers T.I, DaBaby, and Young Nudy, among many others. Recorded in Atlanta across a 10-day recording session, Revenge of the Dreamers III is an ambitious project that saw more than 300 artists and producers contribute to the album, resulting in 142 recorded tracks. Of those recordings, 18 songs made the final album, which ultimately featured contributions from 34 artists and 27 producers.

Dreamers III, the third installment in the label’s Revenge of the Dreamers compilation series, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and achieved gold status this past July. In addition to a Best Rap Album nod, Dreamers III is also nominated for Best Rap Performance next year for album track “Down Bad,” featuring J.I.D, Bas, J. Cole, EARTHGANG, and Young Nudy.

Championships – Meek Mill

In many ways, Championships represents a literal and metaphorical homecoming for Meek Mill. Released in November 2018, Championships is the Philadelphia rapper’s first artist album following a two-year prison sentence he served after violating his parole in 2017. Championships, naturally, sees Meek tackling social justice issues stemming from his prison experience, including criminal justice reform. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, his second chart-topper following 2015’s Dreams Worth More Than Money, and reached platinum status in June 2019. Meek Mill's 2020 Best Rap Album nod marks his first-ever GRAMMY nomination.

i am > i was – 21 Savage

Breakout rapper and four-time GRAMMY nominee 21 Savage dropped i am > i was, his second solo artist album, at the end of 2018. The guest-heavy album, which features contributions from Post Malone, Childish Gambino, J. Cole, and many others, has since charted around the world, topped the Billboard 200 – a first for the artist – in the beginning of 2019, and achieved gold status in the U.S. As well, nine songs out of the album’s 15 original tracks landed on the Hot 100 chart, including multi-platinum lead single “A Lot,” which is also nominated for Best Rap Song next year. 21 Savage’s 2020 Best Rap Album nomination, which follows Record of the Year and Best Rap/Sung Performance nods for his 2017 Post Malone collaboration, "Rockstar,” marks his first solo recognition in the top rap category.

IGOR – Tyler, The Creator

The eccentric Tyler, The Creator kicked off a massive 2019 with his mid-year album, IGOR. Released this past May, IGOR, Tyler’s fifth solo artist album, is his most commercially successful project to date. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking his first time topping the coveted chart, while its lead single, "Earfquake,” peaked at No. 13, his highest entry on the Hot 100. Produced in full by Tyler and featuring guest spots from fellow rap and R&B stars Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, and Playboi Carti, among many others, IGOR follows the rapper’s 2017 album, Flower Boy, which received the Best Rap Album nod that same year.

The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae

Emerging rapper YBN Cordae, a member of the breakout YBN rap collective, released his debut album, The Lost Boy, to widespread critical acclaim this past July. The 15-track release is stacked with major collaborations with hip-hop heavyweights, including Anderson .Paak, Pusha T, Meek Mill, and others, plus production work from J. Cole and vocals from Quincy Jones. After peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, The Lost Boy now notches two 2020 GRAMMY nominations: Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song for album track “Bad Idea,” featuring Chance the Rapper.