It is difficult to place yourself as a professional into an industry (or industries) as abstract as the music industry. One could very easily argue for a variety of positions – we are all, technically music consumers solely due to the ubiquity of music (DeNora, 2000). Furthermore, one could continue to categorise themselves as a certain type of consumer – Negus makes the differentiation between hard-core and casual music fans (2004).
However, this blog is more concerned with identification from a professional standpoint. I believe from an outside perspective, I would first and foremost be seen as a student before any specific job role. Whilst I hold several jobs with various companies, I have never worked full-time or left education for a sustained period, and so believe a music industry student is perhaps the most obvious classification.
My own perception of myself within the music industries has changed during my time at university. When I first joined, I had a few years’ worth of experience in relatively simple roles. However, now in my fourth year at university, I feel considerably more accomplished and professional. This may be in part due to the networking (Deuze 2007) – both through university and alongside it I have developed a solid professional network – primarily in cities I had never visited before (Birmingham and London). Networking I believe to be a true signifier of one’s position within the music industries. The amount of professionals you find yourself surrounded with should be a fairly strong indicator of your position within the industry – connectivity is a vital source of meaning to professional identity (Deuze 2007).
In terms of actual job roles, I would classify myself as working within the live sector of the industry as divided by Wikstrom (2009). I have worked and hope to build a career specifically within music festival production – with a secondary leaning towards social media promotion and artist booking. Once again, this explanation defies a specific named role – I feel this is a trend with music industry professionals – through my experience, I have found many workers tend to wear many hats; very few do solely one job.
- DeNora, T. (2000).Music in everyday life. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Negus, K. (2004). Music genres and corporate cultures. 2nd London: Routledge.
- Wikstrom, P. (2009). The Music Industry. 2nd London: Polity Press.