Communication is an integral part of the music industry. From running your own business to hiring artists, from collaborating with groups to marketing a product, the foundation of the industry is built upon our ability to relate to one another. I’m pursuing a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication at FIU because it will help me collaborate with others to create products, manage a business in the music industry, and understand how to convey messages through music. Because I create music, I have an advantage in understanding musicians, their needs, and their vision. A master’s in communication will allow me to further bridge the business side of the music industry with the artistic side.
Business is defined by our ability to form healthy relationships with one another in order to achieve a common goal. As a professional musician and producer, I must understand what everyone’s goals are because no project is done in isolation. A typical studio environment consists of colorful characters that all come together with their own expectations of how a project should turn out. This project can be an artist’s image, a song, or an upcoming performance, and I intend to learn how to mix and master all three. Facilitating and maintaining a positive work environment allows us to collaborate without conflict. From my experience in Banana Chant (a Miami-based performing band), it’s not easy to get multiple people to agree on one product. Conflicts arise and tensions build, so it’s essential to know how to navigate a conversation. Communication teaches us how to have this tolerance for culture and diversity, and that is essential in the studio.
Even though I’m an artist first, I recognize that music is a business. There is much more to the music industry than just making beats alone in your basement. The music industry is built on collaboration and I have to be capable of hiring, managing, and guiding everyone that walks into the recording studio. To make a song for one person is one thing, but to make everyone satisfied with it is another. More often than not, success is not determined by the quality of the song, it is judged by how you sell it. In my experience marketing music, I not only have to sell it to the artists involved but also to the world. Communication plays a vital role in making this process happen. I’ve managed projects that have taken years to finish and others that have taken less than a week. Because the nature of the music industry revolves around community, the ability to communicate effectively is ironically more beneficial in the music industry than actually being a musician. If I throw a rock in a sea of musicians, what are the chances I’ll hit a communication major?
Music has the special power to transcend language. You don’t need to understand a song’s lyrics to be able to feel the rhythm and recognize what it can do for a community. Likewise, communication is more than just a set of words strung together. We communicate to deliver feelings and moments. Words themselves don’t have inherent meaning until we apply it to them. Music is a universal platform that can be used to market and surpass cultural barriers. FIU’s master’s program will provide me with the tools to understand international audiences and become more globally minded, so I can apply these lessons in my music and in the studio.