Panelists wait for their turn to answer a question.

Music entrepreneurs share their experiences, advice in entrepreneurship event

Elizabeth Harper
April 23, 2018

Music entrepreneurs talked to students about today’s complex music industry and discussed how they found their own paths at a recent panel discussion, sponsored by Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

From the Bottom to the Top: Being an Entrepreneur in Today’s Music Industry event brought together four entrepreneurs with a wide range of experience and talent. Tim Peacock has produced the Nelsonville Music Festival for more than a decade. Tour manager April Kulcsar has worked as a production assistant, an assistant tour manager and a publicist, among other positions. Angela Perley, the lead singer of the Howlin’ Moons, plays more than 100 shows each year as a touring artist. Bobby Booshay, an OHIO undergraduate student, is an electronic DJ and musician who sold out his first show at 19. Moderator Josh Antonuccio also contributed his expertise as the owner of 3 Elliot Studio and a lecturer on music production in the School of Media Arts & Studies. 

Antonuccio asked the panelists to speak to their experiences and how they view the often tumultuous industry.

“I see it in bold ways,” said Kulcsar. “I think that the beauty is that there’s a clean slate, which means there’s all this possibility and we can create the future however we want it to be.”

Perley and Booshay both spoke about the power of streaming and how it helps artists to build an audience and create some revenue at the same time. Streaming can lead to artists being discovered rather quickly, the panelists noted.

“It’s an interesting phenomenon,” Peacock said. “If you can get into a playlist through the curation, on the right playlist, it can immediately affect your streaming numbers but also the exposure and publicity kind of goes out in all directions.”

Peacock cited the band CAAMP as an example. CAAMP is an indie-folk band made up of two former Ohio University students who garnered publicity after releasing their self-titled album in 2016.

“They were on tour and they had a song land on a pretty prominent playlist on Spotify,” said Peacock. “And then they noticed the people coming out to their shows increased, and, within that, they landed a really significant management deal.”

All of the panelists stressed the importance of artists finding their sound and becoming familiar with their audiences. Even for people looking to work in the music industry in a role besides as a performer, knowing what you want and planning how to get there is crucial.

“There are more artists than ever,” Kulcsar said. “It’s easier to be an artist more than ever and there’s more ways for the art to get out, so deciding what’s the easiest way or best way for you to be an artist and tell the world you exist- that’s the first thing you have to pinpoint.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship is a joint partnership between the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and Ohio University’s College of Business.