5 tips for getting into the music industry, from Second Screen CEO Niall Green

Niall Green, CEO of Second Screen and young veteran of music festivals, makes apps for the creative industries. He’s an entrepreneur with a business idea firmly rooted in tech: a future-proof area of the industry. His experience in music, at just 24, is unrivalled. Here are his tips on getting a foot in the door and how to keep it there!

Be Open-Minded

There are a million and one ways to work in music; each with its own approach to making a start. The beauty of the music industry is the vast collection of characters and skill-sets to match. There are people who convert from other industries, people who have studied hard and come into music graduating from a number of different degrees, and people who didn’t study or necessarily think they would ever end up in music. If there is one thing we all are it’s Time Rich. Whilst you may not believe you are, take it from me: YOU ARE! Having time is a beautiful thing. Get out there, test the waters and settle down where you feel your skills are valued, somewhere which ultimately makes you feel overjoyed to go to work.

Fingers in the Pies

When deciding where you ultimately want to end up in music, it’s important to remember just how many different roles and positions there are in this vast landscape. You might want to go into Journalism, but have thought of PR? You might want to be in a studio environment, but have you thought about Production or Mastering perhaps? Test the waters, keep an open mind and make sure you stay agile. In an industry which changes constantly its important that you can too.

Network the Fun Way

Going to gigs is great fun, but it’s also where you’ll potentially meet your next partner, artist or even employer. People who may be able to help you further your career. Be sure to follow prominent and prolific people on Social Media and stay on top of market trends and industry news. There are more people out there who are on the same trajectory as you than you might like to believe, and you can help each other to the top.

Listen to Music

This one sounds ridiculous, but if you want to work in Music then you should listen to Music. I can’t tell you how many offices I attend of Music Startups, Promoters and Managers/ Agents alike who sit in silence in their offices. Weird…just weird. I see this as market research and understanding the landscape. What’s the next big thing? Where is it coming from? What’s it influenced by? and ultimately how will it be received in a live environment?

Stay Strong

This is not an easy industry, but nor should it be. There will be days and weeks and months in which you will feel as though the world is against you, regardless of whether you are applying for roles in major companies or exploring the startup market with your version of the next best blockchain ticketing technologies, there comes a time in everyone’s search for success which feels as though you’re wasting your time. You’re not. You’re Time Rich, remember?! Keep a level head and remember that without the bad, you can never truly experience the good.

Niall is CEO of Second Screen, which makes apps for the live event space. Find out more at secondscreenldn.com, and watch out for Boardmasters, HandMade Festival and Neighbourhood Weekender apps, plus many more.

Photo: Ellen Offredy

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa, 22. Editor. Student, music journalist, probably talking about Blur or Bowie