Curb College hosted a panel of industry professionals on Monday, Jan. 25 to discuss music distribution and brand promotion. The panel of three Belmont alumni included Label Marketing Representative for Universal Music Group (UMG) Christiana Sudano, EMI Promotions Coordinator for Universal Music Group Jamie Graves and Executive Director of A&R for GoodMusicAllDay.com Kayvan Daragheh.
The seminar featured each panel member’s story of their journey from Belmont to the music industry, complete with advice and recommendations for present students.
Sudano explained that the entertainment industry is all about climbing a ladder. “Everyone has to start from the bottom, so you might as well enjoy your way up. I promise it will be rewarding.” Sudano has worked her way up at UMG starting as a college representative, moving to intern and now has held job positions in both Los Angeles and Nashville. Sudano emphasized the need for students to balance enjoying their time in college while also gaining industry experience and expanding their network.
Graves shared how rewarding his job is, telling the crowd that he and The Brothers Osborne were currently celebrating their first No. 1 hit and now he has the opportunity to work with some of country music’s biggest stars including Eric Church and Alan Jackson. Graves said, “Talk to as many people as you can. Intern…Just don’t be afraid to introduce yourself because you never know what can happen.”
Daragheh told students about his transition from wanting to be a musician to wanting to work for musicians. Daragheh, who was a rapper during his sophomore year at Belmont, is now the executive director of A&R at a highly successful music blog. After taking a poll on what disciplines students were studying he said, “Keep an open mind and learn from every experience. There is a lot you can learn both inside and outside of school.”