We are thrilled to bring our next generation of artists and leaders exclusive access to talented professionals who share their advice and insight across our artist and career development programs.
Today, we spotlight one of those talented industry experts, Jen Park, A&R Rep for Asylum Records who recently joined our Open Mic Fridays as an industry guest to share real-time performance feedback and creative career guidance with our participating emerging artists who are pursuing their dreams in music.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
Like many people in the industry, I got started through an unpaid internship and got rejected about a million times from entry-level jobs. Eventually, I landed a temp job in corporate at Warner Music Group. It was a job that was only guaranteed to last two weeks, but I knew I wanted to work at the company so I accepted the assignment.
I ended up getting hired after about one month and got promoted about a year or so later. Then, I started to work towards positions that would put me in more of a creative space to eventually land me in the field of A&R. I definitely had a deep passion for music that helped me break into the industry and that helped me get through a lot of noes.
What do you love most about your role?
I like working with developing artists and having a hand in what music gets signed as I believe everything starts with the music! When an artist and artist’s team trusts you and your opinions that means the world to me.
What is the one thing that you look for when signing new artists?
The music has to be great, of course, but I also like to look at social stats and growth. Are they growing organically? Who is listening to the artist? What makes them connect to their fans?
Who are some of the artists that you have worked with?
I work across the distribution and the label space so I have worked with a wide range of artists, and am currently on the teams of Big Freedia, KenTheMan, and Jay Loud.
How have you seen the music industry evolve and what changes are you most excited to see happen?
I think the most exciting change to the music industry that I’ve seen is social media and the ability for something to go viral through social media. Apps like TikTok have changed the game in that a hit can really come out of anywhere and from someone who doesn’t have a huge following (so keep posting!).
What has the past year taught you?
The past year has taught me that no matter what kind of world we are living in, creatives will find a way to make music. I’m super excited to hear what comes out from all the music being made in the past year and all the random collabs that may not have happened had we not been in a pandemic.
Was there ever a time that you doubted yourself and if so, how did you overcome that challenge?
In terms of life, we are only human. I do my best and move forward as it’s usually only a big deal at the moment. At work, I am lucky to be able to consult with and learn from other members of my team whenever I am second guessing myself (A&R, Radio Promo, Publicity, Sync, Digital Marketing, etc.),
What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring music industry professional first entering the music industry?
Be polite, be kind, and be respectful. You will find that this industry is quite small and kindness and politeness goes a long way!
How does music move you?
Music has helped me overcome my shyness growing up. Music has helped me with my self-esteem. Music gets me motivated to start my day!