Music Industry Insiders Podcast: Episode One

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Podcast episode numero uno is done! 

Music Industry Insiders: Episode One. Guest One: Josh Ferrer. 

I have to be honest, there were a couple of moments there where I didn’t think we’d be able to get a single episode of Music Industry Insiders off the ground. Between our interns’ computers not being compatible with our soundboard, our possible interviewees having previous engagements and a general whirlwind of who would be interviewed when, I was completely prepared for us to have to start re-brainstorming our entire intern season. But, now that we’ve got the first podcast done and the rest of our interviews firmly in place, I can tell you more about the whole process of producing the Music Industry Insiders podcast series.

In December of 2017 I sat down with Executive Producer and founder of Idle Tuesdays Recording Studio, Emily Hibard, to discuss what she was hoping to get accomplished during the spring internship. Among ideas like weekly vlogs, rebuilding our web site and recording covers of Idle Tuesdays original songs Emily mentioned an idea she’d been kicking around for a while: a podcast interviewing professionals on their experiences in the entertainment industry. I immediately loved this idea; as an individual who is aspiring to make her way into the music industry, I knew this podcast was something that I would listen to and that other aspiring professionals would jump at the chance to tune in to.

After our first meeting with our entire team of interns, Emily and I asked them to draw up different pitch ideas that we could combine in order to put together an invitation that would be sent out to our potential interviewees. We also asked that each intern come up with three friends/acquaintances/teachers/persons of interest that they thought would be interested in coming in and offering their thoughts and advice about pursuing a career in the music industry.

During our next meeting, everyone came in with possible pitch ideas and three individuals that they thought might come in for an interview. Once everyone had shared their ideas and talked briefly about the people they hoped to invite, we all went home with new assignments; me, I was in charge of writing up the final draft of the podcast invitation, everyone else’s job was to wait for me to upload the official invitation to our Google drive.

Once the invitation was uploaded, we would send it out to the four corners of the world–okay, the four corners of Los Angeles–to invite our friends.

That was the easy part, once the invitations were sent, my job was to follow up with everyone who received the invitation and do two things: first, get a copy of a the signed release form that gives us permission to use the interviewee’s voice, picture and video on our social media, website and in our podcast; second, once I received the signed release I was to go ahead and schedule them for their preferred date.

It’s worth mentioning that this was the part of the project where I first started to panic.

With everyone who we invited having a full time job in the industry their schedules were already crazy full! It was difficult for some of them to find time to respond to our invitations, let alone actually find a date that worked for them to come out to Pico Rivera!

Once initial contact had been made by each of our interns, I would send weekly followup emails to each potential interviewee just to remind them of our invitation and to ask if they would have time to join us. After about two weeks, I began getting responses. Little by little, we had musicians, influencers and engineers all responding saying that they would love to join us, attaching their signed release forms and preferred dates to their responses. As each person confirmed, I scheduled them in Idle Tuesdays’ Asana account and assigned their interview to the intern who initially invited them. This allowed us to know who invited who and who would be best to welcome the guest when they arrived.

 While we waited for responses to our invitation, Emily asked our interns to bring in their laptops – they’d need to download some drivers and connect to our soundboard (Heath and Allen ML5000)josh. Then, tragedy struck!

Our interns’s laptops and the studio soundboard just wouldn’t play nice!

After many headaches and many boba runs, we–by “we” I mean our amazingly talented interns Natalie, Julia and Connor–managed to make the soundboard and laptop become friends; just in time for our first interview the following week!

The first to officially get his interview scheduled was Josh Ferrer. Josh is a close friend of our fabulous intern, Mel Gonzalez (Cal Poly Pomona). Within days of Mel reaching out to him, Josh had sent me his signed release form and requested the first available interview date, March 7th.

Once Josh was firmly scheduled in our agendas, I asked him to send me a biography that we would be able to use to write up some interview questions. He immediately sent me a link to his website where there was almost too much amazing information on his career and his education.

I read through his impressive biography and wrote up a shortened version that would be included in the introduction to our interview. Once I had his edited biography finished, I wrote up 20 questions on his back ground as a musician, how he got started pursuing this career and what advice he has for other aspiring musicians.

Once the biography and questions were written up, I shared them with Emily for approval and moved on to creating a promotional campaign that would be shared on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. I had taken several pictures of our interns hard at work trouble shooting the Logic/Soundboard debacle in the weeks leading up to the interview and decided to use those pictures to carry out the social media campaign. Using Canva, I created two posts promoting the podcast and our guest, including the time and date of the interview and where the finished podcast would be available for download.

At long last, after hours of composing questions, drafts of biographies and several versions of our social media posts, the hour of judgement had arrived.

It was March 7th and Josh would be arriving at the studio by 6:00 pm. I arrived at the studio by 3:30 pm to see four interns running around the soundboard doing soundchecks and making sure everything was hooked up and running smoothly for the interview.

Emily was already in our recording booth recording a short introduction that would be played before each podcast episode. As the minutes ticked by, Emily gave me a run-sheet for the evening which outlined what we should be doing and rough estimates of what time they’d be done at. Julia and Natalie would be in charge of the soundboard for this interview while Connor and Anthony would be overseeing the social media platforms, Mel was invited to sit in on the interview as she was the one who invited Josh and I was to play host: I would greet Josh when he arrived and instruct him on how far to sit from the microphones and how to adjust his volume levels on his headphones, etc.

Finally, 6:00 pm rolled around and Mel got the text that Josh was downstairs.  She went to let him into the building and invite him up to the studio.

Once he arrived, we welcomed him to our humble abode and took a group photo to immortalize the moment! Once pleasantries were out of the way, Josh was shown into our recording booth. Josh and Emily were both fitted with their headphones and tested their microphones. Levels were checked, clarity and recordability.

At long last, we were ready to record.

The interview was underway within a matter of minutes. After letting Emily and Josh settle in, Emily read out my short biography on Josh. Finally, we pressed record for real!

The conversation between Emily and Josh flowed effortlessly. Josh was happy to share stories about his childhood and how he became involved in music and the hardships he’s faced while pursuing a musical career. Our interns, Connor and Anthony, took picture after picture of the interview in action, Connor from inside the booth, Anthony from the soundboard. Our social media would be filled to the brim with awesome shots of all of us hard at work!

After the interview ended, Josh sat and chatted with us for a few minutes before heading out for the evening. As the door closed behind Josh, we leapt into action to wrap up our first podcast episode. Connor was in charge of editing the night’s interview, so Natalie had to get the files to his computer. The original plan was to have Connor edit it before going home for the evening. When we saw that the interview had gone on for one hour and 45 minutes and that transferring the interview to Connor’s laptop would take anywhere between 45 minutes to 7 hours, we decided to have Connor work on it from home.

Over all, the podcast went rather well; things definitely could have gone a million times worse!

Now that we have a general idea of what to expect from recording a podcast, I think we will be able to avoid most of the bumps in the road next time.

Our next podcast will be recorded on March 14th and we are very excited to hear all that our guest, Urban Vinyl’s Christian Sanchez, has to share with us. Wish us luck; with how temperamental technology can be, we may need it!

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