“With everything forced to go digital,
these skills are much more in demand.”
With music industry experts providing thoughtful discussions from insightful queries, we take a deeper look into how it all works.
Choosing what’s Best for you: Entering the World of Music Journalism
Jo Dargie – Freelance Music Journalist, Copyright & Social Media Marketer
Interested to finding out more? Check out her links below!
“I guess the main one is why?
Go into it [music journalism] with the right intentions. Do you actually have an intention in what’s going on and helping artists to get their music out? Or, do you just want free sh*t?“
Based in Scotland, Jo has been writing among the subjects the aspects clubs, travel, lifestyle, culture and of course, music, ever since she ventured into Music Business at Edinburgh College.
Venturing into the world of music journalism where opinion is everything, can be daunting to imagine. So, we’re taking a deeper look into how it all works asking the key topical concern of, writing up music; why choose it?
From asking yourself key questions over deciding key career directions to all about writing your heart out, we delve into the key components of Jo’s story into music journalism.
Tell us about how you first started out in music and journalism …
“I went to Edinburgh College for two years to study Music Business after leaving school. It was a bit of a last minute thing, I didn’t take any music subjects so I think I puzzled a few folk.
During my time at college, I just got stuck into the local scene. Going to networking events, gigs and trying out different work experience roles. My first shot at writing was for a local promoter who asked me to start a blog for them, as space to record events and interview artists on the roster. I totally winged it but they kept me on so it couldn’t have been that bad.
From there, I started to write for a national Scottish music blog, I had free creative reign here to try new things out.
After a while, I noticed that the coverage local bands had access to was miles ahead of local DJs – which just didn’t make sense. So, I started to specialise in covering electronic music and events in Scotland and from there, it just grew. I worked over in Ibiza as a clubs journalist for a summer, then came home and built up my freelance portfolio with platforms across Scotland, London and Ibiza.”
What are the key questions to ask yourself if you wish to venture into music journalism?
“I guess the main one is why?
Go into it with the right intentions. Do you actually have an intention in what’s going on and helping artists to get their music out? Or, do you just want free sh*t? Because, that’s only a small part of it. There’s a lot of time spent in front of your laptop, pitching, emailing, researching and getting told your ideas are crap and that’s the part you don’t see on Instagram. So, you have to be truly passionate about it and resilient in the process or all the cool stuff like meeting your favourite DJs and going backstage, won’t come.”
What do you love about what you are doing right now?
“I love how varied it is. I don’t have the best attention span so working on different things keeps me sane.
Outside of my freelance work, I also co-own and run Perth-based recording studio, rehearsal room and creative lounge, The Velvet Lounge & Studio. It’s really fun project. I worried we’d be completely dead with bookings after the national lockdown. However, it’s been really reassuring to see that people still want to play and make music despite everything that’s going on. Credit to them for not giving up on their passion.”
What are your set achievements and accomplishments in the next year or so?
“I just announced that I’ll be launching my website in January 2021. That’s a big goal that I’ve had on the back burner for too long now. That’s my priority for the start of the year.”
With the current COVID pandemic providing problems for the industry, do you see this as an advantage to get things on course for you quicker?
“I’ve been lucky enough to work through the pandemic as my work is online. I also offer SEO-copywriting and digital marketing services to my specialist industries which I think most businesses have put a new emphasis on. With everything forced to go digital, these skills are much more in demand. If the pandemic hadn’t happened, some of those new clients that I have gained might not have come looking for my services. It’s hard to tell – either way, I’m just grateful to still be working.”
What’s you favourite article you have ever worked on?
“When I worked at Ibiza Spotlight, we were all challenged to create a themed Spotify playlist and with an article to support. My playlist was named ‘God Tier’ and was full of old-school innovators and legends of electronic music. For the article, I got right into it and depicted this whole scene of these icons all sitting around a table at some kind of last supper dinner party. Talking about what they were doing and mentioning each of their tracks from the playlist. I remember drafting it out thinking ‘what a cool concept – I’ve nailed this’ and just being super excited to work on it.
I’ve explained that extremely chaotically, but if you read it you’ll get the jist. F*cking good playlist also if I do say so.”
Aside from COVID, what don’t you like about the music industry?
“Egos. Especially at a local level. Everyone has to start somewhere and some people forget that. It’s not usually the ones at the ‘top’ that think that way, it’s more so the middle tier of people working in the industry who have this unnecessary sense of superiority. However, the number of amazing people that you’ll meet through working in music definitely outweighs the bad.”