Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: music business (Page 1 of 23)

music business

The Puzzle of the Music Industry from a Multi-Platinum Songwriter

On November 9th, the Berklee Music Business/Management Department, in collaboration with the Songwriting Department, had the pleasure of hosting Sam Hollander, a multi-platinum songwriter and author of the book 21-Hit Wonder: Flopping My Way to the Top of the Charts. Hollander has written with many artists, including Carole King, Panic! At The Disco, blink-182, Katy Perry, One Direction, and Train. He sat down with Professor Ralph Jacodine (Music Business Department) and Assistant Chair Jonathan Perkins (Songwriting Department) to discuss the ups and downs of his songwriting career. 

As a child, Hollander was constantly listening to music on records, and he eventually decided to pursue a career as a songwriter and producer. As much as he loved creating music, the beginnings of his career did not go as planned. Hollander spoke about his experience attending college at Temple and NYU, getting signed by a record label, and then getting dropped all in his early twenties. Despite this defeat, he was determined to continue chasing music. He wanted to keep creating music until something clicked, so he took on various gigs such as making song remixes, ringtones, and even Kidz Bop Records. He was determined to make at least one hit, because, as Hollander puts it, “If I have 1 hit, I’ll have 100 hits.” His career really took off after he invested in an opportunity to produce, master, and mix for Fall Out Boy. After his work topped the charts and the record went gold, he gained more opportunities to work with artists like We the Kings, blink-182, and Train. He also shared his creative process with the audience, explaining how he gets up early every morning to brainstorm and write new lyrics, melodies, or even just unique song titles. 

Hollander learned a lot throughout the course of his career, and he had lots of wisdom to share with the Berklee community. He talked about music industry trends and advised students to “always keep an eye on where things were progressing and try to stay one step ahead of it.” For the producers, he talked about doing research on the recording artist by watching interviews or reading the press before entering a session. Most importantly, he encouraged solo singer/songwriter students to continue pushing themselves musically, even if it seems like everyone else is succeeding first. In Hollander’s words, “Your moment happens when it’s supposed to happen.” 

Read more about Hollander’s journey in the music industry in his new book, 21-Hit Wonder: Flopping My Way to the Top of the Charts, available on Amazon on December 6th. Sam wrote it to help aspiring musicians, songwriters, and producers learn about survival, endurance, hustle, and the importance of laughing even on the worst days of the journey. He is donating 100% of his book proceeds to the charity, Musicians On Call, a nonprofit that brings live and recorded music to the bed-sides of patients in healthcare facilities. 

Creating A Release Schedule for Your Next Single

Presented by Chris Wares – Assistant Chair of Music Business/Management Department

The Music Business Department hosted The Music Business Opportunities Expo & Release Strategy Masterclass on Thursday, September 29 at David Friend Recital Hall. We had a successful event for students to meet eight of our music business clubs and to learn from our masterclass speaker, Chris Wares, the Assistant Chair of the Music Business/Management Department. A special thanks to the clubs who attended: Berklee A&R, Berklee Popular Music Institute, Blockchain Club, Berklee Management Club, Law & Management Club, Music Business Club, Music Business Journal, and the Berklee Career Center

Key takeaways: with anywhere from 3 months before the release to the day of, how do you build the most effective release strategy possible? Chris Wares presented a checklist of everything you need to execute your release strategy and a timeline for action items. His advice ranged from creative vision to financing to marketing plans. Another big takeaway from Chris’ talk was all the promotional platforms available to artists and strategies to take advantage of each. With tasks like pitching to Spotify for Artists and creating your release campaign, there are lots of important details to pay attention to and he had great advice on how to tackle each step to make the most out of your release. Chris shared some of the lessons he has gained through experience with leading marketing campaigns and gave insight into strengthening release strategies. If you have any more questions, reach out to the Music Business/Management Department, or schedule an office hour with us!











Photo Credit: Timothy Mah

Pursuing a Passion in Music: Jerilyn Sawyer

By Shantell Ogden B.M. ’05

Jerilyn Sawyer

Jerilyn Sawyer

For Jerilyn Sawyer, the path to a job in the music industry working first for CTK Management, and now her own management company, Sawyer & Garner, has been paved with passion for music and excellence. She started singing at age 7, and after many years of performing, writing, and recording songs, she believed the next natural step would be attending Berklee.

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Here’s What I’ve Learned

I have one week left. The nostalgia is already kicking in. Here’s one last post!

Although I did something literally every single day, all summer, I still know there is so much more to do in Los Angeles. Here, I felt like a tiny fish in a massive ocean, with endless opportunities and experiences to discover. I’m truly looking forward to my future career, and my experiences here have affirmed my hope that I will be successful in following my dreams.

Friday fun at Tunecore!! I wanted to get everyone in the office, but some of them snuck out before Katie got out her selfie stick..

Friday fun at Tunecore!! I wanted to get everyone in the office, but some of them snuck out before Katie got out her selfie stick..

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So Much to Say, So Much to Learn

 Hey everyone,

Time is moving so quickly here. It’s crazy. I feel like there is so much more to learn! I mean, there is obviously so much more to learn, but it’s more that I don’t want to leave LA before I learn it! There are moments where I feel like the task I’m doing may not be teaching me anything, but then I get home, and I have so many thoughts and questions. My mind is racing constantly. Maybe it’s just me that’s crazy… hm. 

One of my bosses, Lucas Vidal, wrote the score for Fast & Furious 6, The Quiet Ones, Nobody Wants the Night, The Raven, and more!

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