Today I sat down with music industry pro and marketing extraordinaire Devin Krug to talk about making it in a changing industry and how he keeps it fun.
Please tell the fine folks of the Brooklyn Music Factory what you do, where you do it, and for how long.
I work as the Senior Director of Marketing at Capital Music Group/Astralwerks. I’ve worked there for almost 7 years and I’ve been in the music business for more than 15 years .
How did you get started in this industry and how would you recommend someone get their foot in the door?
I got started in college radio and then I did an internship at Mercury Records. Through both of those things I met lots of people in the industry and that was the most important thing in getting me started.
The best way to get your foot in the door is to put yourself in the place you want to be. If that means volunteering your time or doing an internship then do it – get to know people.
Things have changed a great deal in the industry since you got started. What changes have you made in yourself in order to keep up with the changes around you?
I started out doing radio promotion and realized early on that there were other ways for people to discover music. That’s when I got into digital marketing. With digital marketing there are many more ways to reach people and many more ways to see what people like and what works.
At BMF, we are all about learning the skills to make music, while keeping it fun. What skills do you need for your job and how do you keep it fun?
I have to be very organized because I deal with every aspect of a musician’s career – from making a video, to pressing a CD, to deadlines, to touring, to getting a song on the radio or into a movie. So organization is really important – there are a lot of elements of being a musician these days and I help our artists with every one of them.
The part of it that is really fun for me and helps me be good at my job is being creative. Lots of times I get inspiration from random things that I might encounter in the world. Inspiration often comes from just paying attention and being open to things that might not seem related. For example: I recently literally saw trash on the street and there was something written on a box that gave me an idea for a marketing campaign.
What is one highlight of your career that you’d like to share?
Going to a live performance and taping with Gorillaz which at the time was Damon from Blur and Paul and Mick from the Clash.
Why did this make an impact on you?
Meeting and seeing those rock legends perform was amazing, and they were also super nice and fun to hang out with.
Who is someone who’s career or philosophy you admire and why?
Radiohead. They have never been afraid to go whatever direction their inspiration led them. That hasn’t always lead to them making music that I love but I always respect them and their honesty. They also tried new business models and pushed the music industry forward with things that weren’t always popular or accepted at the time.
What is one up and coming band or artist you would recommend checking out?
Halsey. She’s kind of like Lorde meets Ellie Goulding. She’s a really great songwriter and very honest.
Thank you! Is there anything other advice or words of wisdom you would like to share?
Don’t be afraid to fail. Music and the music industry need people that aren’t afraid to try new things.