There’s no question that Baton Rouge Music Studios, is creating some musical monsters with its Young Band Nation program.
Now, the musical education venue at 9327 Burbank Drive is offering its students the opportunity to learn about the business side of the industry, thanks to some help from Tyler Allen.
A 27-year-old from Pass Christian, Mississippi, Allen has an impressive résumé. He has not only logged time with Sony Records, but has also worked with artists such as Childish Gambino, My Morning Jacket and, more recently, Ziggy Modeliste of The Meters.
Allen is currently in the middle of a six-week music business workshop series at BRMS that is open to musicians of all ages. The workshops are free for BRMS members and $5 for nonmembers per workshop. The next meeting starts at 3 p.m. Sunday at BRMS and focuses on alternate career paths for musicians and design work.
For a few minutes outside a Baton Rouge coffee shop, Allen gave a quick tutorial on the music industry.
The amount of music that’s released these days is so overwhelming. What do you say to people who may be down, who are thinking, “Why should I start now?”
You should have the mentality of building a one-on-one relationship with fans. You can build a personal connection with people in Baton Rouge. It’s about your messaging. It’s about coming across as genuine online. Being there and being active and being approachable. You have to try first off. There are a lot of people making noise out there, so it’s really just finding what makes you different and just really harping into that.
Should bands strive to be more niche?
Yeah, I think so, especially with social media. It seems like everyone has something. Everybody is about to drop a mixtape. Everybody’s about to release something. Really, it’s about finding your lane.
Do you need a team to do all this?
You do need to have a consistent flow of content. You don’t necessarily need a team. You can divvy up responsibilities between band mates. I do see hip-hop artists who have their boy from high school who is their manager. That’s cool if that boy from high school knows a thing or two. But usually, when your team is really local, you’ll stay local forever. You have to know how to branch out of the region. You can build it out of your backyard. You have to get hometown love, but you have to branch out sooner or later.
You’re teaching this to 13- and 14-year-olds?
Yeah. I feel like Jack Black in “School of Rock.” They’re responding really well. They already know a lot about music. They’re receptive to this, though. They’re creative, too. The thing I show them is that the sky is the limit with content. You might not be able to feasibly shoot a music video right now, but put it on paper and start working towards that. I want them to know that even though they’re young, and the industry is iffy, they can still book gigs and have fun. Don’t hold back. Just keeping that hustle going.