Jeeni Blog

Helping the next generation of talent to build a global fanbase

The Hardships of Getting a Job in the Music Industry

/ By Doug Phillips
The Hardships of Getting a Job in the Music Industry

When an area of employment is as culturally, historically and economically important as the music industry, it’s hardly going to be a walk in the park to insert oneself into it. Despite the giant range of positions and opportunities, a mountain of deciding factors and conditions stand in the way of graduates and the enticing notion of working in music. Many corners of employment have their difficulties, whether it’s overwhelming competition from like-minded hopefuls or a seemingly unfair demand for experience but the music industry seems to set up these hurdles at steeper heights than most. 

This is why companies like Jeeni can be an answered prayer for optimistic music graduates that are seeking experience in this confusing and challenging industry. Jeeni is always looking for fresh young talent to help its gears run smoothly and efficiently so that more support can be provided and offered to unrepresented artists, meaning that Jeeni holds out a helping hand to upcoming talents in the industry in more ways than one. 

Music is still a growing industry with a 7% increase in employment from 2017 to 2018 (UK Music, Music By Numbers 2019 report) which sounds like a great thing and it is, however this is also a rise in competition due to an unprecedented increase in revenue from the music industry, according to Goldman Sachs, “In May 2020, Goldman Sachs estimated the entire music industry's revenue (live, recorded, and publishing) to increase from $62 billion in 2017 to $131 billion in 2030, representing a 6% CAGR. The 2030 estimate was an increase on its original prediction of $104 billion, made in October 2016.” (Toptal.com, ‘The State of The Music Industry in 2020’) Business is booming for the music world which means everyone is looking for the best and they aren’t willing to take a chance on anyone without near-impossible standards of experience. However, music graduates can begin their climb to greatness with companies like Jeeni 

A testimonial from Jeeni’s Marketing Leader, music production graduate, Ella Venvell offers an insight in the uphill battle that finding a future in the music industry can prove to be, “I always knew finding a job within the music industry would be challenging but I didn’t know just how hard it was! Even though I have a musical background and have a degree in music production, that alone was not enough. As the music industry is quite niche, most companies ask for years of experience to prove your abilities and knowledge, however, nowhere is willing to give you the experience!” 

Jeeni Marketing intern, Annesa Sukul decided to begin building up her music industry experience with Jeeni and has been a total asset to the entire company in research, maintaining artist relationships and so much more. She was taken on at Jeeni amidst her studies and given a chance to contribute her skills and hard work to the team, ‘As a music business student, it is quite difficult to get into the music industry if you don’t know where to look. Often times when someone doesn’t have experience, the first thing would be to look for a work placement or an internship. However, most of these tend to also ask for previous experience and would leave one feeling lost as to where to gain this experience.” 

As an intern at Jeeni, Annesa still has a say in the type of tasks she carries out and is given roles that challenges her and puts her specified skills to the test. As well as simply giving interns experience on paper, we try to truly set them up for success in their future roles by giving them chances to propose new ideas and contribute to the company in a hands-on and proactive way, which is all useful inclusions to CVs and portfolios. Annesa also has access to a supportive team to help her with her time at Jeeni in any way she needs. 

As Jeeni still finds itself in an early stage of its journey, we’re in a position where we can provide much-needed experience for people like Ella and Annesa to prepare them for their future careers in music and put them to good use in furthering the reach and effectiveness of Jeeni’s mission.  

03
Mar

Artist Focus: Nnaomi

Describing her own music as “euphoric, experimental and nostalgic”, Nnaomi is paving her own exciting path in the RnB and neo-soul corner of music.  Portsmouth based Nnaomi has been an essential Jeeni artist for some time now and has most recently added her newest single, ‘Hate Me’ to one of Jeeni’s most rapidly advancing and growing channels, RnB (https://jeeni.com/channel/all-channels/r-and-b/). “At just over 2 minutes long, 'Hate Me’ still manages to progress so organically and timely; it takes its time to set the pace and tone of the story told in the lyrics. At the climax of the track, it feels like Nnaomi’s painful memories begin to swirl more unstably around her head as samples and synths begin to distort, warp and spin around the stereo space. These flittering pieces of audio eventually start to drown out Nnaomi’s voice, painting a tragic image of her thoughts and guilt becoming overpowering and too much to process.” Check out the full review of ‘Hate Me’ here: https://jeeni.com/blog/nnaomi-hate-me-single-review-blog-jeeni/   This newest track promises a lot from Nnaomi and if her short collection of singles says anything at the moment, it’s that she can deliver on them all. Nnaomi describes her singles as “little stories”, “I say this because the songs I make come from my real emotions and real experiences, the beats I choose actually bring emotions and thoughts out of me I feel like I suppress because I’m surprisingly not very good at talking about my feelings, so instead I put it in songs. It’s the easiest way for me to express myself”. From this analysis into her own work, it’s no longer a mystery as to why so much emotion is contained in tracks like ‘Like Me’ and ‘Hate Me’.  Mental health, and processing emotions healthily is certainly a recurring theme in Nnaomi’s work, as she explains, “Something that inspires me is my own ability to take advantage of the fact that sometimes my emotions are intense, finding a way to execute it in a healthy way has been amazing because I’m so used to bottling it up, which wasn’t beneficial”. Besides from her methodology in utilising emotions as a key inspiration for her work, Nnaomi’s has some specific masters in the alternative RnB genre to thank for her curious and adventurous creative tendencies. Progressive soul artist, Frank Ocean is a major influence for Nnaomi, as is modern neo-soul singer, SZA.  When asked about the similarities in the titles of ‘Like Me’ and ‘Hate Me’, Nnaomi noted that the connection was both coincidental but likely sub-consciously intended at the same time, “I wanted to portray my mental state in a way that was artistic. “Like Me” was written when my views and thoughts on certain things were hopeless and reminiscent. “Hate Me” is like the healing sister. The one that’s accepted the way that “love” and its experiences can sometimes change you for the worst. A much more self-aware and grown-up outlook on love and how to deal with it”; a poignant and layered insight into this partnership of singles.   Nnaomi hints at longer projects in the future, however she's currently happy “taking it one step at a time” with fantastic singles like ‘Party’s Over’, ‘Like Me’ and ‘Hate Me’. She’s also excited to arrange more live shows this year as restrictions are the lowest they’ve been in years.   Follow Nnaomi on socials to stay updated on what she’s working on:  Twitter: https://twitter.com/nomesm_   Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naomim_0/   Check out Nnaomi’s showcase on Jeeni: https://jeeni.com/showcase/nnaomi/   How can Jeeni support artists like Nnaomi?   JEENI is a multi-channel platform for original entertainment on demand. We’re a direct service between creatives and the global audience.  artist biography • We give creatives, independent artists and performers a showcase for their talent and services. And they keep 100% of everything they make.  • We empower our audience and reward them every step of the way.  • We promise to treat our members ethically, fairly, honestly and with respect.  • Access to artist liaison and a supportive marketing team. 

03
Sep

Own a stake in this Portsmouth-based start-up for just £10, and help musicians gain recognition and revenue!

Jeeni, the social music platform that brings artists closer to their fans – and shares revenue ethically – is poised to become the first Portsmouth-based start-up to go on Crowdcube for its third round. We have already raised 95% of our £100K target in four days. If you want to see our pitch click HERE. With 350million streamed music subscribers and market growth up by 39% this year, Jeeni is likely to ride the wave and be a huge success, not only with unsigned musicians and performers but with their superfans. “We’re standing by to raise £100,000 for 2.4% with a pre-market valuation£4M,” says Jeeni founder Shena Mitchell.  “And while we are already negotiating with several major investors, the beauty of Crowdcube is that the artists themselves can actually own a stake in the company for as little as £10.” Shena continues, “Jeeni’s mission is to support unsigned music and performers, by helping them build a fanbase.  We aim to fast-track careers in the music business, and make sure they take the lion’s share of the revenue that’s raised. Jeeni is needed more now than ever and we have proved that the demand is high. Currently we can only support 100,000 videos, so we must now move up a gear as we head for global roll-out.  This Round Three investment will be used to scale up again and launch our next-generation platform. It will also be used to develop our IoS and Android apps."  When the financial backing has been secured and we go live, we’ll be creating new jobs in the area, which is great for the local economy.  When you consider the wealth of music talent in Portsmouth – hosting over 2,000 music events a year with Victorious, The Guildhall, Band Stand, Wedgewood Rooms, and all the Portsmouth Festivities and pubs – we’re alive to the opportunities of our local music culture, creativity and talent. But with live venues locked down for now, the online opportunity of Jeeni is needed more than ever. It’s so cool to think someone reading this might choose to invest in Jeeni now with just £10, and then use Jeeni to build their own fanbase for fame and success!  We’re going to try hard to make sure that happens.” JEENI is currently inviting investment on Crowdcube.  To find out how to get involved please join our mailing list for updates or check out our fundraising pitch. If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

06
Jun

Never too late for Jeeni!

by Mel Croucher I was a young man living in Stockholm. It was the summer of 1969 and I was flat broke. I had the clothes I stood up in, a diploma in architecture and a kazoo. I was too shy to be a busker, so I invented pay-on-demand live-streamed entertainment. I became a human jukebox. I got me an abandoned cardboard box just about big enough to hide inside, and I cut a horizontal slot near the top for my media input/output. Below the slot I punched eight holes to act as the graphic user interface. The reason there were eight holes was because I only knew eight songs, and I scrawled the song title alongside each hole. The idea was for passers-by to provide me with digital input commands by sticking their finger through the hole of their choice, and I would give them a short rendition of the selected song on my kazoo. As a token of their appreciation they would reward me with loose change dropped through a small vertical slot labelled Thank You in English and Swedish. It was very hot squatting inside that box. So here we are, more than half a century later, and the music industry should be in crisis. As a result of the pandemic, artists and musicians have seen their venues close down, festivals cancelled, tours abandoned, and wary audiences slink off to go online. The new normal for live performers should be that they are well and truly buggered. But I am delighted to say the very opposite is true. The new normal has revealed that the traditional models for the entertainment industry were a hoax. All those record labels, agents, managers, ticketers and merchandisers were a bunch of parasites. Half a century later, the new generation doesn't even need a kazoo and cardboard box to squat in for a live performance. They've got smartphones. And they don't need to rely on passers-by to busk at. They've got a global audience, thanks to utilities like Soundcloud, Tidal and Jeeni. Even on Facebook we have the facility for interminable live broadcasts of self-indulgent shite from the box-room. And I'm not just talking about singers and musicians. The same applies to actors, dancers, poets, voiceovers and kazoo virtuosos. There are more independent artists than ever before who have been able to break into the mainstream without any support from a lousy label, a poncy publisher, a suffocating sponsor, mingy manager or arrogant agent. This is an entertainment revolution, where digital distribution, streaming platforms, social media and online marketing tools have changed the way artists perform their work and reach out to fans. By cutting out all the spongers, an independent artist can suddenly enjoy a number of important advantages. To me, the most important is that they now have 100% complete control over the direction of their music, spoken word and creative work. They also have full control over distribution, marketing, artwork, merchandising, deadlines, gigs, ticketing, prices, schedules - in fact all of those affirmative decisions about their creative vision. But it's not just about control. The new normal means that independent artists can keep 100% of all the profits generated from sales, streams, licencing deals, merchandise, and small change dropped through cardboard slots. The reason they can do this is because without the parasites they own all their own stuff. Independent artists own the master rights to their creative work, which means they also have the freedom to negotiate licensing, streaming and publishing deals, and they don’t have to worry about shyster contracts, expensive lawyers, and signing over their rights. Of course the parasites are not going to give up without a fight. Book agents, publishers, distributors and publicists are still clinging on, years after it became obvious that nobody really needs them now that anyone can self-publish in the digital age. In the music and entertainment industry the leeches will still argue that they are vital, even though they already know they are dead. They will keep trying to treat artists like idiots and tell them they don't have the money for mastering, or production or touring or merchandise. Which is a lie, because if artists don't have to pay the leeches then they will save the money. Artists will also be told that they have a limited network of fans and contacts, whereas organisations and labels have access to big fat fanbases and red hot connections with professionals, promoters, booking agents and media. This is an even bigger lie, demonstrated by the fact that even a no-hoper musician like me has a Facebook network big enough to fill The Royal Albert Hall, including the bogs, with or without social distancing. The biggest problem I can foresee in this brave new world of independent entertainment is lack of discipline. Put simply, if creatives were once prepared to rely on a bunch of parasites and leeches, they must now learn to rely on themselves, and that involves actually getting down to some hard work and doing stuff, irrespective of whether or not they have oodles of native talent. Desperation and hunger is an excellent motivator, so I invite the independent artists and performers of the new normal to get hold of their own electronic cardboard box and give it a go. And above all, don't forget to have fun while you're about it. Mel Croucher is the founder of the UK videogames industry, and writer of the most widely-read, longest-running column in computer journalism. He is the founder director of Jeeni and owns a black T-shirt. Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com