After wrapping up the 2021 Scholarship season, we are taking a moment to introduce you to a previous Live Nation scholarship recipient and Belmont University graduate, Emma Martin, to share the impact Music Forward has had on her journey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey as a young professional in the music industry?
My name is Emma and I am a recent graduate of Belmont University! I grew up in San Antonio, TX. I started playing the viola in 4th grade and I have been involved with music ever since. Music has always been a huge part of my life and while I did not want to pursue a career in performing arts, I still wanted to be involved within the industry because I knew I could never walk away from creatives or music.
As a young professional in the music industry, I am constantly meeting new people, learning about the industry and navigating how I can contribute my skills to make a difference. I have had amazing opportunities interning at management, publishing and live events companies. Everyone I have met so far has been so kind and supportive of my goals and I would not be where I am today without them.
Did you always know that you wanted to work in the music industry?
Yes! Going into my freshman year of high school, I learned that universities offered degrees in areas of the entertainment industry and that’s when I decided I wanted to move to Nashville, TN to pursue a career in the music industry. I researched universities that had an entertainment college and found Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. I knew this was where I was supposed to be.
How did you get involved with Music Forward?
Throughout college, I was actively searching for scholarships that would help cover some of my tuition. It was one of the first scholarships I came across that was dedicated towards uplifting underrepresented groups in the music industry.
How did your experience with Music Forward help you get where you are in the industry now?
I have had such a great experience with Music Forward! It has made such a positive impact on my life professionally and personally. I was given the opportunity to intern with Live Nation Women, because I was referred by Music Forward. That internship has opened up multiple doors for me as I step into the workforce and I am forever grateful for these connections and experiences. As an Asian American woman in the music industry, I often think about how there are spaces where I may not be welcome but Music Forward has reminded me that there are always people who want to help uplift underrepresented voices.
How do you feel Music Forward helps aspiring music industry professionals?
The opportunities and educational resources that Music Forward offers to students is incredible. There are so many students out there who are willing to learn and want to be artists, tour managers, engineers etc. but do not have the resources to get their foot in the door. Music Forward offers a welcoming space for young professionals to gain knowledge that will take them to the next step in their career.
What piece of advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career within the music industry?
Meet as many people as you can and never give up on your dreams and goals. The music industry is so different from any other industry and there will be people telling you that this is not a real industry or that you won’t make enough money, but that is not true. Of course, there are times when it gets difficult, but there are always going to be people who want to see you succeed. Believe in yourself and know that you can make a difference within the industry.
How have you seen the music industry evolve and what changes are you most excited to see happen?
The past few years I have seen more people fight for equality and inclusion within the industry. I am excited to see more diversity in executive positions. We are making progress everyday but there is still so much more to be done and I hope to be a part of that change.
When live music re-opens who is the first artist you’re hoping to see perform?
Taylor Swift for sure! I think she is a great songwriter and business woman. Her ability to shift industry standards is inspiring and she has made significant changes to the way artists and songwriters are recognized for their work.
How does music move you?
When I listen to music it feels like a sense of security. I am always listening to music because it allows me to escape from reality and jump into a different world. Music is something we can all relate to and I love that people from all backgrounds can come together to enjoy it.