On Friday, February 24, Belmont hosted a curb seminar featuring alumnus Justin McIntosh, vice president of creative and marketing for Reba’s Business, Inc. McIntosh shared his experiences at Belmont and how they shaped him for his career today, experiences working with Reba McEntire and how students should approach a career in the music industry.
McIntosh said arts were a big part of his education growing up and that’s what led him to Belmont. He shared that the foundation Belmont gave him made his career so much better. ServiceCore gave him the opportunity to volunteer and intern with influential people in the industry while showcase experience prepared him for producing shows as a professional working for artists like Reba. He stated that you get that experience at Belmont of having to work with people and learning that it’s not about “whose” idea it was but “which idea is best.”
McIntosh shared that Reba’s brand extends beyond music which sets her up for success for years to come. He said that she is a true professional–always showing up ten minutes early and never taking bait the media may throw her way. He shared that Reba lives by the motto, “There is never an ‘I,’ it’s ‘we.’”
He said that consumers today are savvy enough to know when an artist is being authentic, and that people long for a genuine, authentic relationship with an artist, especially in country music. He also shared that at the end of the day, working for an artist is a sacred space. He said for him to be able to do his job well, there has to be trust.
McIntosh shared that if you want to work in this industry, you have to love it and have a passion for the music. He advised students to never lose being a fan because it will keep you inspired. He said that this approach changes the perspective to “What would a fan want to see?” or “What would make me excited in this show?”
The session concluded with McIntosh advising students to show up, be eager and not be afraid to take risks. He said that you have to be flexible and able to take risks because the industry will continue to change. He shared that you have to be intentional about forming relationships because as people work together, they are better prepared for the changes to come. This event was moderated by Dan Keen, professor of music business.