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Sam Hiscott

Career Moves talks all things music with MTV

  • by Sam Hiscott
  • 13 Jul 2017

Ever wondered what it would be like to work at MTV? Well, last week I had the pleasure of catching up with the lovely Rudy Bazely, a Music & Media Licensing Coordinator, to reveal all! Taking full advantage of the sunshine, we grabbed a cold drink and took a stroll over Camden Square Park to catch up.

Q - When did you first decide the music industry was the career path for you? 

A - My first introduction into music was doing miming gigs on Top of The Pops! This came about through my music teacher at school who had some key contacts behind the scenes! I loved it, I got to hang out down the studios and learnt loads about record labels. That was definitely the turning point for me!

Q - Can you tell us about your career path and how you have been successful in getting where you are today?

A -  I’ve always been interested in music since a young age, and after A levels I was fortunate enough to do a stint with Channel 4 as a Runner. I always had a strong work ethic and someone picked this up and took a chance on me. I later went back to university to study music. However, my previous experience at Channel 4 set me up for a career in music.

Q - Music & Media Licensing Coordinator, sounds pretty cool! Can you give me an overview of your current role and what this entails?

A - OK, so day to day, I mainly work with and watch a lot of new MTV programming. I analyse the clearance terms of these programmes based on the music used and our deals with the record labels and publishers who own the music.  Often this involves speaking to labels/publishers to acquire rights to the music – particularly if there is no deal in place for a particular piece, usually when it is going online.  I will have to call up or email the label and negotiate a rate. The role also involves managing a lot of the paperwork around shows, e.g. guest release forms, premises permits, etc. But on the flip side, I get a lot of free gig and party invites!

Q - What keeps you motivated daily to come to work?

A – I love MTV and I love the brand we stay true to. Loving where I work and what I do is a really big thing for me. I think MTV fits my personality, it’s a fun, entrepreneurial environment with a really strong commercial focus. I feel like I grew up with MTV, I always used to go down to the studios and wave to Richard Blackwood when he was on screen! Yes, I was one of those crazy, screaming kids in the background trying to get on TV!  I feel like it’s a really familiar place to me, so to be working here and living and breathing their ethos is amazing!

Q - Reflecting from day one in your role, to now, how have you evolved in your role?

A -  It’s gone from a very admin based role to having a lot of responsibility. The long-term goal is to focus on commercial and media licensing and commercial partnerships. I find it interesting to find new ways to bridge the gaps of companies through licensing deals. I am involved in a lot of side projects, one of my favourites being a ‘Talent Ambassador.’ This includes helping out the talent and music guys, attending gigs on behalf of the team, watching new gigs, meeting new talent and meeting the agents.

Q - Oh wow! I’m jealous of your knowledge of these up and coming artists! What has been your favourite gig so far? 

A – Her name is  Al.ANI. I saw her do an incredible gig at St. Pancras Old Church. It honestly was UNBELIEVABLE! It was haunting but beautiful! I’ve never witnessed a more atmospheric setting.

Q - What’s your biggest achievement in your role or what are you most proud of?

A-  I am now a 'Co-Chair' of an internal employment resource group called ‘Thursday Think’. This has basically been my baby, so I’ve really been focusing on nurturing that and rolling out ideas across the teams. It’s a really cool internal programme, that encourages networking between staff, career development, finding new ways to introduce things, and arranging inspirational people to come in and talk about career development and progression.  We have regular Thursday meet ups to keep the momentum going of new and innovative ideas. These are really varied sessions that include anything from event planning, coordinating logistics, creating reports and delegating tasks where need be. It’s so refreshing to get away from your desk and be involved in projects outside of your normal day to day job!

 

Q - What are the current challenges facing your industry?

A -  I’d say the biggest challenge so far has been the transformation to digital music. This doesn’t affect my department as much, but across the board some departments have seen some effect on this. The Music industry is always evolving and growing, the pace is relentless.

Q -  Have you used your education throughout your working career?

A -  Doing a music business module in my degree has really helped understand the core basics. You need to understand the difference between music publishing and music labels, and the different ways royalties are collected.  Getting to learn how the industry works, was key for me.

Q - Who inspires you?

A – This guy is pretty inspirational (picks up the book he is currently reading) ‘The Richest Man Who Ever lived” Jakob Fugger. What an inspirational guy! He is from the 1400s, essentially a ‘commoner’ who became wealthy. It’s all about how he dealt with elite people and how he overcame challenges and how he used communication as a tool to develop himself to build his own assets. He had popes, kings, royalty under his thumb! He bankrupts one guy – true businessman! He had a guy that wasn’t participating so they made an agreement to only work an 8 hour day, 5 days a week, which is why we work these hours today! I highly recommend!

Q-Thanks so much for your time today Rudy, it’s been great to catch up! Let’s finish this up by hearing what your TOP TIPS are for a successful career!  

A – Sure thing!

  • Number one has got to be: ALWAYS be enthusiastic and ALWAYS let that shine through! You must believe it yourself and the people who are interviewing you will believe it too.
  • Have strong communication skills, be friendly, positive and approachable. These are all KEY skills needed for building relationships.
  • Do what you love and love what you do!
  • And finally, the most important one: ALWAYS keep busy! Find new things to learn and try to upskill in your personal life as well as professional.  Even if it’s totally unrelated – a cooking course in the evening, an assault course at the weekend etc.!  You never know who you are going to meet or what skills you can learn. If there is an opportunity to upskill, take it!

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