The biz's brightest new talents tell their stories - this time it's Deezer's artist marketing manager Sage Olito.
How did you break into the music industry?
I’ve always been hugely passionate about music, but as a young person, it’s not the easiest industry to break into. I took a risk just a year after graduation and pursued my dream by starting a creative content company with a friend. We produced music videos, interviews, documentaries and articles, which led to conversations with a major label and the opportunity to do freelance A&R scouting. My experience at this point was enough to secure an internship within Deezer’s artist marketing team. It initially began as a six-month internship but turned into a permanent role as an artist marketing manager in the space of just 12 months.
What is it about working in music that motivates you the most?
The fact that music never dies! It’s amazing to think that what we do today will leave an everlasting footprint on this world. Part of this is the evolution of artists and how they change as performers, whether it’s experimenting with different sounds or genres, growing their fanbases or releasing albums that you know will be huge as soon as you hear them. It’s so exciting and hugely motivating to know our team can play a part in the growth of an artist, especially with our dedicated support programmes like Deezer Next.
Who are your music biz idols?
The first name that springs to mind is Kanya King. After starting up the MOBO Awards as a young black woman in 1996, she’s definitely one of the driving forces that propelled UK urban music to the status it’s at today. Kanya’s music business acumen is unbelievable.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
‘You’ve got more chance of being a football player than working in music’ is something a manager at a previous job warned me when I handed in my notice. I didn’t study music at university so when the odds didn’t seem in my favour, I’d use this ‘advice’ to keep me ravenous.
Why is Deezer a good place to be for young execs?
From day one and even as an intern, you’re equipped with in-depth knowledge and skills, but also challenged and given the freedom to execute ideas that you feel will work best for the business. Working at a streaming service also means you have even more opportunities to work closely with artists and encourage them to put their creativity into what we do.
SAGE’S RECOMMENDED TRACK: Jungle – Casio