July 12, 2020

Music Careers for Non-Musicians

music careers
Image Credit: Success at School

Most of us love music but the unfortunate the part is that we can’t all be musicians – and for the different reasons maybe you don’t have the talent or temperament. But whatever the case maybe be there are other music careers that you might want to explore if you have the desire to be involved in music industry.

Artists get all the fame and recognition, but they have a team of people working behind the scenes in order to make things happen. No man is an Island as most people say and although it might sound like a cliché but the same holds true in the music industry.

Anyway, you didn’t land on this blog post to listen to me preach so I’ll get straight to the point. The following post will look at some music career alternatives for an ambitious person like you. So let’s go through it.

Music Producer

If you have a good and educated ear for audio and music then you might want to consider music production as a career.

A music producer is basically someone that is responsible for the creation of music and directs studio performances (recording sessions, beat-making and the mixing of music).

All producers are different and have their own way of working. For example if you are starting out you don’t need a traditional recording studio like the one you see on TV.

Instead you can create your own beats from the comfort of your home if you have a computer, production software and basic monitor speakers.

In most cases you will be involved in every aspect of making the music from start to finish.

If you can play an instrument such as a piano or guitar it will help you learn the process of making songs much quicker than a person who is completely blank.

Music Distributor

Digital music has made it possible for anyone to start a distribution company. Hey maybe I’m jumping the gun and sounding too ambitious (but I am). But starting your own music distribution business is not that difficult if you have the desire to do so.

Sure I get that if you’re still a newbie in the industry it might sound intimidating but it’s possible.  This is like starting any other business, you have to do your homework and there is a process involved of course before you can launch.

If you have some seed capital to build a website and host it then half battle is already won. Then you have to decide on the type of music you intend to distribute, approach digital retailers, buy your barcodes, get ISRC codes, the list is endless. It’s a learning process that never ends. If you find that overwhelming, you can approach a music distributor and do an internship so you can gain knowledge and experience which would eventually give you the much needed confidence. 

Music Publisher

Music publishing is probably one of the most lucrative careers in the music industry. But then again it’s lucrative for those who know the industry and have been around the block.

A music publisher is like an agent for composers and songwriters and they basically promote the artists’ works for further exploitation. This means they find opportunities for the clients outside of the traditional music industry. For example they will license the music to film and television production companies, Advertising agencies, etc.

Music publishers also ensure that mechanical royalties are in order so they can collect and pay their clients (artists). 

Music Blogger/journalist

If you have a passion for writing and music then music blogging and journalism might be your calling. This might not seem like an obvious music career choice but that can also work in your favour. In this day and age you don’t even have to wait for a major publication to give you a job and you didn’t even need a journalism degree (sure it might help).

You can start your own blog and hone your craft-the more writing you do, the better. A fully-fledged blog requires some form of investment I know but you don’t have to go all out when you’re starting.

For example WordPress.com and Blogger.com are free platforms. You don’t pay any hosting fees so you can start writing and publishing your work as often as possible.

 Blogging is an easier way to begin if you have little to zero writing experience. If you were to approach traditional media publications chances are they won’t entertain you unless you have a qualification and some practical experience in journalism.

Record Label Owner

Artists have a love and hate relationship with record label owners; I won’t even get into the details with this but think Ambitious Entertainment and Emtee or Death Row Records and Snoop Dogg.

The list is endless.

Being a record label owner can be a rewarding career but the music industry has changed dramatically over the past years. More and more artists are starting their own record labels; in fact almost every artist now has a record label.

But don’t let that discourage you from starting one. You might do a better job than most people who knows.

However a record label is a business and you need to have the temperament of a business person.  You are in the business of creating and selling music and you should always remember that. Don’t listen to anybody who tells you otherwise.

In the past, we have seen successful artist-owned record labels thriving. And I’ll name a few in South Africa:

I can go on and on. But my point is these artists understood that music is a business, and their success is not an accident. 

Being a record label owner comes with responsibility because you have to invest your own artists by funding the recordings, marketing, distribution, etc.

Talent Manager

A talent manager can also be referred to as artist manager. In some cases they manages artist across the entertainment industry not only musicians.

Artist managers are responsible for managing music careers by promoting and finding gigs for their clients especially in the early stages of an artist’s career. 

As soon as the artist starts building a name and reputation, it is not uncommon for the artist manager take on bigger responsibilities such as business manager.

You don’t have to be qualified to become an artist manager but you have to know to how read and comprehend things like contracts, Tax Invoices and so forth.

Conclusion

So there you have it, I just took you through SOME music careers options to think about if you can’t sing or play any instruments.

A lack of music background shouldn’t stop from pursuing your dream career in the music business.

But remember there are countless of other opportunities for non-musicians and some you will discover along the way.

I hope you found this informative and thank you for reading.