By Ariana Cubillos Voegler
My name’s Ariana, but I also go by Ari. I’m a voice principal at Berklee, dual majoring in Music Production & Engineering and Songwriting, with a minor in Commercial Record Production. This fall I’ll be a senior in college. Craziness…when you first get to Berklee everyone says enjoy your time there because it flies by. But it really does.
I am about halfway through my two internships in Nashville this summer. One internship is part-time at Starstruck Studios, which is owned by Reba McEntire, and the other one is part-time at Round Hill Music Publishing Company. Both of these places are absolutely beautiful on Music Row. Nashville is slowly charming its way into my heart. The food is great, the people are so kind, the warm weather puts everyone in a good mood, and the music is everywhere. Every day I’m excited to see what’ll happen at work because there’s so much opportunity in the music industry concentrated into one area.
I chose to do these two internships because it’s been giving me a real-life behind-the-scenes look into two areas that I have always loved: production and songwriting. I mean, Nashville is the songwriting capital of the U.S.! Here people really seem to focus more on the craft rather than the image of the artists.
At Starstruck Studios I am a studio intern. I have been able to make industry connections with top producers and engineers that have worked with artists like Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Brad Paisley to name a few. The session musicians here are also on a whole new level! This experience has allowed me to get used to how studios in Nashville work. They allot more time to set up sessions in the recording studio and are very thorough with their planning, but they also have a more laidback workflow overall.
At Round Hill Music I am working as an A&R Creative Intern. The A&R Creative Team works mainly with pitching our new songs to major label artists, planning co-writes around town for our signed songwriters and producers, scouting new talent, or just listening through the songs in our current catalogue. Most days I work at the front desk inputting information into our database, but I also go to pitch meetings with managers as well as singer/songwriter showcases at least a couple times per week. I get to listen through the newly submitted songs each day, and listening through the catalogue is one of my favorite jobs at this company because you get to listen to the newest songs by some of country music’s top hit songwriters and make suggestions of where these songs could be pitched. It has definitely trained me to have an ear out for catchy, new, commercial music.
These internships have given me a great taste of how the real world music industry works. It is definitely about persistence! A great lesson that I’ve learned is that whether you’re having a good or a bad day at work, make sure to keep a smile on your face. People will recognize this and take notice. They may not remember what you say, but they will remember how you make them feel. Trying to please everyone will never work, so just stick to who you are and what rings true to you.
Work days can be stressful for everyone, but if you keep your chin up, think of what you’re grateful for, and blast some Maren Morris in the car on your ride home, I’m sure it’ll do the trick. 😉