midemblog: What are the best things about your job, and what have been your career highlights to date?
Fox Stevenson: First and foremost the best thing about this job is the fact that I’m doing what I love, I get to challenge myself on a daily basis. From the age of nine years old, I was making music on a beat up old computer / PlayStation after school instead of hanging out with friends. It’s amazing that I get to do that all the time now, get paid for it and travel the world. It’s kind of a little surreal sometimes!
Career highlights have been many things, from tiny tiny shows in the Swiss Alps with like 50 people there going crazy in a tiny little bunker, to ridiculous over the top stadium shows that I don’t feel worthy of, to the most quiet and personal Eureka moments that I’ve shared with no one but myself in a studio. The fact that I’ve been able to meet a lot of my idols that I’ve looked up to musically for years and be able to work with them as equals has been truly humbling, they say not to meet your idols, but I think that just depends on who your idols are!
> What advice would you give to people looking to start working in the music industry today?
It sounds cliched but you have to “want it” to to work in this industry just because everyone else wants to work in this industry too because they think it’s an easy job. It’s easy because you love it, but the actual work itself is hard. You have to dedicate yourself and be a self-starter, self motivate and wake up every day knowing that you’ve got to do something for yourself or for whoever your client is. It’s hard, gruelling work, but it’s exciting at the same time because it’s what you want to do, that’s the balance you have to be ready to walk.
If you’re trying to get started out in the industry you can find people that you look up to and just send emails, the worst they can say no and the best they can say is yes, that or do it all on your own, cultivate your own business, be it as a promoter or artist manager. It sounds simplistic, but you just have to do it.
> What do you predict will be the key trends for music consumption and marketing in 2018?
Some platforms seem to be waning, while others seem to be flourishing, for whatever reasons. I think we live in a generation of music to consumers that are much more educated than the last, and so people know what they want and they know how to choose, so things like Spotify playlists catering to a specific choice of music are incredibly valuable, they go straight to an audience specifically geared to what they offer, people get what they want this way and I don’t think we’ll see a shift away from that.
> What is the one innovation that we should be the most excited about?
Independent music is being run in a very exciting way these days, so many artists are able to make a living entirely off their own back with their own promotion and labels, I am very excited to see how that model continues to evolve. Perhaps the music business of the future would be in the hands of artists and content creators?
> And what do you think are the biggest challenges facing the music industry this year?
With the tools being so readily available to create music nowadays, it feels like there are a lot more people making music, so that has resulted in what feels to me like a saturation of new content creators. I think one of the greatest challenges facing the music industry is finding needles in the haystack. A thought that often crosses my mind is that the greatest songs ever written are out there somewhere but are overlooked because of the sheer volume of good music that is out there. I have no idea how people find their way through in this. But I guess that’s why I’m not an A&R guy!
This is the first in a series of posts from key industry influencers from the world over, whom you’ll be able to meet at Midem 2018. More soon!
Photo © Honey Read