I’m fascinated every time that there is a change in the industry it’s always inundated with people that think they actually have something important in the industry to say, but in reality, probably would be better off doing something else and have nothing to do with what is the new reality in the business.
I had a long conversation with a school the other day that educates students to prepare to work in the music industry. I have bumped into these students many times and are quite fascinated over how little they know about the industry. Most of the things they talk about are things that were relevant at least twenty years ago, or so basic that you can pick it out of any schoolbook or online. In theory, students from this school are driven because they are interested in the business, but you have to just tell them to forget everything they learned and start all over if you hire them.
Of course, the school doesn’t know this. Instead, they were yapping away how professional their education was and how closely they work with the industry and that their students now worked with the biggest companies. I know most of these students actually got the job because they knew other students previously, which in the end has exhausted the knowledge of the companies and gradually has got them into turmoil. Many of these companies will probably get into a real struggle in just a couple of years. And I have never seen any of the students really succeed in any way, they are just working at a music company shuffling papers like you are shuffling papers at any office, just happens the paper content is about music.
After the meeting I looked on the board for their education. I was really horrified. It was just like entering the old boys club again. Here you had all the old people in the industry that are now fading away. It was like the elephant cemetery for the music industry. If you looked at the teachers, it was people that were already old when I got into the business and that is over thirty years ago. It was an elephant cemetery of people that used to have a title but are now as useless as a bike for a fish.
This is a major problem right now when the music industry is changing this much as it will after COVID. The education system is still full of people from the old boy’s club that are hanging on for dear life to just be something in the industry. Not just in education but also in many official things that are for the industry which is just filled to the max of these has-beens.
These people don’t even belong anymore and will be a huge problem to build up the industry after COVID. They want the industry back as it was before, where they recognize it. They want familiar faces in their environment. In the end, they just want to be conservative. This of course makes my decisions hard to make moving forward. A lot of people that I know that were important are no longer relevant. Many people will be sad and angry because their services and knowledge are not up to date and no longer of use in the current platforms.
I am in a position to build something new and exciting. But I can’t let The Old Boys Club in, that would potentially destroy the whole thing. I know my choice, alea iacta est.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. As well he recently worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes https://futureechoes.se/. As well, Peter is Co-Founder and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.