Summer internship music to Jacob Vizcarra's ears

September 18, 2012

By Brigitte Graf '13

Junior music business major Jacob Vizcarra spent his summer representing Bradley by interning with peermusic, an independent music publishing company in Los Angeles.

Vizcarra worked for two different departments within the company, peermusic's Artists and Repertoire, or A&R, department and their film and TV department.

"What music publishers do is look for songwriters and then once they have songs in the company's catalogue they outsource those songs to current artists that you would know today," Vicarra said.

The majority of Vizcarra's internship was spent working on both short- and long-term tasks that gave him a greater insight into the world of music publishing.

"A few quick tasks would consist of updating the contact database, reviewing new music, searching for specific songs, uploading playlists to the Internet, keeping an updated pitch report and transcribing song lyrics," Vizcarra said. "It was with the long-term projects that I felt I learned the most from this internship."

Those projects included creating a "production grid" to help keep future opportunities to sync songs with film and TV studios organized, producing and sending out e-cards to promote songs and various artists and compiling everything he learned from the summer into a PowerPoint presentation featuring music from unsigned artists.

His favorite part of the internship was getting to know various unknown songwriters.

"Each songwriter has such a creative process, and to see how that fits within the business structure was interesting," Vizcarra said. "It's interesting getting all the personalities of the songwriters, because they are all musicians at heart, just trying to make money."

As for lessons learned, Vicarra discovered the significance of knowing the right people.

"Networking is by far the most important thing in the music industry," Vizcarra said. "If you have some kind of relationship with someone at a film studio, for example, the chances of them seeking a song from your catalogue are a lot higher than if you didn't know them at all. Being in touch with everyone you work with is very important."

Overall, the experience with peermusic was one that taught Vizcarra a lot in regards to the music publishing world.

"I am very proud of the effort and time I put into my work at peermusic," Vizcarra said. "Unlike other internships, I was treated as a co-worker and not as just another intern. After this summer, I am more confident in my ability to be successful in the music industry."