We recently sat down with Year 3 Music Industry Studies student Alex Murphy to talk about his internships at multiple media entertainment companies including The Fillmore, JSB Squad Productions and Assemble Sound.
- How has DIME prepared you for your professional journey through the music industry?
- The biggest thing is to just be able to sit down with someone and feel like I have something to say, something that will actually make sense to someone in the music industry. Every day that you sit down in class and ask real questions about what is actually going on in the industry is a day where you understand a little bit more, another piece of the puzzle. I feel I can sit down with a person in the industry and think, “okay, we’re speaking the same language.”
- You were recently an intern at JSB Squad Productions. How did you get this opportunity?
- I heard about it through one of the DIME newsletters, Opportunity Knocks. Towards the middle of the last semester, I met with [Karl Middleton, DIME Detroit’s Head of Institute] and told him I was looking for opportunities. So we worked on my resume, I submitted to JSB Squad, and that was it!
- What were your roles and responsibilities throughout the course of your internship? How have they shaped you for the better?
- It is a small productions company that is still developing, which is something I’m excited about – being part of a start-up. The company is both a concert promoter and a booking agency, and I was interning in the booking agency department. I primarily worked on booking tours for artists such as Tart, contacting 2,000+ venues across the nation to secure performance dates. The majority of the venues I recommended were new both to the artist and JSB Squad.
- You were able to transition from an internship to working with JSB Squad part time – describe to us how this happened.
- My title at JSB Squad is now Marketing Director. A couple months in, toward the end of the semester, I was meeting with the Founder of JSB Squad Productions, Jessie, and he said, “I want to hire you. What do you want to do here?” We had talked about JSB Squad getting into artist management previously, and so I said, “I’m very interested in artist management—how about the marketing side of that?” Since I was creating this job at JSB Squad, I wrote the job description and an overall strategy for our artists. Right now, we’re working with a band as a trial run while we develop our artist management strategy.
What is your advice for future students who are looking to intern within the music industry?
Come at it from a perspective of personal responsibility. Take it as an opportunity to put work into something to make yourself more valuable in the industry, to actively grow as an individual. If you can prove to a business person that you can add value to their business, they’re going to want to hire you. And even if it just stays an internship, ask yourself what you can take away, what knowledge you can use in the future, that is going to make you an asset to both employers and yourself.
- What are your next plans for your career?
- I am looking forward to building JSB Squad with the founder of the company, Jessie, and grow with the company as well as grow my skills in artist management and marketing. I’m excited and a little bit nervous, but I’m sticking with it. I’ve gotten this far, and I have impressed who I’ve been working with, so I’m going to grow from here. I really want to make my mark in the music industry. It gives me such a rush to be working on the behalf of other artists and creating their vision. As for my own music, I am writing and recording new material, but I don’t know if my own music is my first priority as a career. I know that I want to keep doing my own music for myself, but I’m also collecting all of these other skills, so if I feel I do want to pursue a career as an artist I’ll have all these tools at my disposal.
Alex Murphy is also the lead vocalist and frontman for alternative rock band Grainger. He also is a member of the Michigan based rock band Legume . Alex Murphy proves that while you can be musically inclined, it’s never a bad idea to sharpen your skills behind the scenes in the music industry!