A Sound Business

By Frank Radosevich II
December 12, 2012

For Jacob Vizcarra, a junior music business major, listening to music all day was encouraged at his summer internship.

“Every single person in the office has headphones on,” he said of his internship at peermusic, an independent music publishing company in Los Angeles. “Everyone is constantly listening to music.”

Vizcarra worked for peermusic’s Artists and Repertoire, or A&R, department and their film and TV department where he would scour the company’s catalogue of thousands of songs for just the right playlist. The publishing company would then pitch the playlist to production companies needing music for commercials, movie trailers or television shows.

“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.”

His projects included creating a “production grid” to keep tabs on future opportunities to match songs with upcoming films and television shows, 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.

In addition to his internship on the West Coast, Vizcarra has made music and its promotion a goal for Bradley’s campus. Vizcarra is the founder and president of Brave Sounds Entertainment, a student-run event coordinating group.

Brave Sounds was established as a college record label but has since transformed into a concert promoter, Vizcarra said, booking live bands and venues around campus. The group works with local bands to host roughly two shows each semester. In the spring, Brave Sounds will stage a Valentine’s Day concert and a punk rock show.

“Our debut concert was a battle of the bands in which we would help promote the winner of the contest as much as we could,” Vizcarra said. “And we just keep on building from there.”

He said running the club along with his executive board has taught him the fundamentals of planning, promoting and executing a concert. The group handles everything from setting up the venues, advertising for events and checking the sound equipment.

His course work at Bradley has also provided him with the necessary skills to succeed.

“A lot of what I’ve learned in class has given me the leadership skills and knowledge that I need to make this happen,” he said.

Though not a performer himself, Vizcarra is a classically trained pianist and dabbles with playing the guitar, trumpet and singing. His musical tastes run the gamut from classical music to pop and his career interest now lies in working as a manager for musicians by helping artists cut deals with record companies and reach audiences with their tunes.

“I love working with music and with song writers so I don’t want to detach myself from working with them,” he said. “One of the ways I feel that I can get closer with them is by working as a talent manager.”