By Lulu Le Vay
So you think you’ve got it as a music journalist? There you are sitting at home fawning over your favourite albums and swearing at the NME. Well, I’m afraid there’s more to it than that. First thing is, can you actually write? It’s all very well if you know a few things about My Bloody Valentine and have an opinion on Justin Bieber, but are you able to articulate it?
Being able to write takes time and commitment, and most of all – practice. When you are starting out you need to not only to continue to hone your wordy skills, but also read as much as possible. Not just music rags, but books: fiction, biographies. If you are unsure about your punctuation and grammar, then swot up quickly – if you are serious, that is, about becoming a respected music journalist.
Once you have your writing skills in hand, you then need to make yourself visible. Start a blog, get into social media. But make sure you are taking an interesting angle – what gives you the edge’? Perhaps you have some insight into the geekiness of music production or have a penchant for record covers. Or maybe you are obsessed with cover songs or have a thing about women in rock music. Whatever your take is, make sure it is original, as only then will the blogging wheat be separated from the chaff and you will get noticed.
Networking and being out ‘on the scene’ is also vital if you wish to make musical waves. Whatever your scene is, make sure you are immersed in it. Meet the producers, the record labels, the artist managers and DJs. Get into those parties and quite simply – talk to people. If you are as credible and interesting as you think you are, then they will think you are too. Getting out there as a DJ and promoting your own parties – perhaps with an accompanying fanzine, podcast or mixtape – will also get people’s ears twitching.
So in short, being locked in your room at home thinking you’re the next Alexis Petridis will get you absolutely nowhere. You need to get out there, do something about it, and do it now.