JOB BLOG // ALUMNI PROFILE: MIRI CARTER
You can’t be under 26 forever. When SYNners get too old to volunteer, a lot of them go on to work in the media, taking with them all the skills SYN has instilled in them.
SYN alumni, Miri Carter, began volunteering at SYN in 2018 as a Co-Music Manager, before landing a gig in Artists and Repertoire for Habit Music Company.
This blog asks Miri how she turned her passion into a profession.
What did you do at SYN?
In 2018 I was Music Manager alongside the ever-so-wonderful Luke Warlow. It was my first year at SYN, and that role literally changed my life! Forever grateful for that opportunity.
Where are you working? How did you get your job?
After finishing up at SYN at the end of 2018, I did a few internships here and there. In August of 2019, I landed my current job! I’m currently working at Habit Music as their A&R Executive. Habit is based up in Brisbane, so I work remotely from Melbourne which has been a learning experience in itself, but I’m loving every single minute of it.
While at SYN in the role of Music Manager I got to network with a bunch of publicists. One of those publicists happened to be the wonderful Caitlin Crawley. Caitlin was one of the first publicists to email me while at SYN, and all the artists Cailtin was working with, I adored from the get-go. We struck up a friendship on the ol’ emails, and finally met in person late 2018. We stayed in contact and around the middle of 2019, she messaged me regarding a job coming up at Habit. The job went live, I applied and through my references who gave some glowing feedback (shout out to Claire Mooney who was my SYN mentor in 2018) I landed the job – A dream come true!!
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day is always changing in my role. Generally it’s replying to emails, lurking on triple j Unearthed for any new artists that catch my eyes and ears, scheduling and having phone calls with potential and current clients, and listening to A LOT of unreleased music (which I LOVE!!).
What initial steps did you take to find out how you could make your love for music into a career?
Growing up in country Victoria, I had no idea that you could have a career in music. I was actually totally oblivious to the Australian music industry at that time (which is crazy for me to believe now!). I always loved music, and it was such a big passion of mine. I always loved more of the ‘Heavier’ & ‘Hardcore’ artists and never really could fit in with my friends at school who loved the top 40. I did love that music, but loving the music I did wasn’t very cool back then, so I never branched out and met any other people who also liked that sort of music.
Fast forward to the end of 2017: I was having a mini life crisis over dinner with a close friend, and they suggested I apply to join the SYN Leadership Team. Through 2018 and being in the Music Manager role, I realised what I was getting myself into and I became hooked on it! I was living and breathing Australian music. I really felt like I had found my career path and like I belonged somewhere.
Throughout 2018, I was lucky that I met all the right people, and really made an effort to step out of my comfort zone and network. Through knowing certain people, I landed myself a really great internship at VVV Management and then after that finishing, got the job at Habit.
What skills did you need to work in A&R and how did you acquire these skills?
Having a good ear is key. While at SYN, we would be listening to music for hours and hours. I could trust my gut more on what was good and what needed to be improved within tracks. Being punctual with emails and meetings was a BIG thing for me to learn. In the Music Manager role at SYN, the inbox would fill up in a matter of hours. I really honed in on my punctuality there, and it’s helped me in my role at Habit.
How do you keep your passion for music alive now that you work in the industry?
The music industry 95% of the time is a dream. But with any industry, there is always that 5% where it’s a bit like, ‘Hmmmm should that be happening? Is that right?’.
Working in the industry means that a lot of my friends also work in and around the industry. Recently I’ve taken a step back from certain groups of friends because the overlap with music industry talk, seeing everyone at gigs and then working together was blurring the lines a bit. I could talk about the music industry for hours, but I have recently decided to keep work at work, and personal life for every other hour of the day. It was also having a negative impact on my mental health, and I knew that I really needed to keep work at work, and everything else at home.
I would say a BIG thing that has kept my love of music alive is having a group of friends outside of the industry who literally have no idea about the ins and outs of the community. I see and catch up with them quite a bit and it’s always so refreshing to show them latest releases and music videos to really get their honest feedback and opinions.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to work in the industry?
Believe in yourself 1000%! Really know that it’s 100% achievable no matter your background, where you’ve grown up, your age, your gender, or anything else. Never did I think I would ever be working in this industry, let alone knowing that it even existed. If you are someone who struggles with anxiety and social settings, give yourself small goals when building up the confidence to network, going along to gigs and introducing yourself to industry individuals. Networking, as everyone will tell you, is crucial, and it really is a skill that takes practice. Coming from someone like myself who suffers from debilitating anxiety, it took me a number of encounters to really get my confidence up. To be honest I still struggle with it now, but it takes time. So breathe, and don’t rush.
Go to as many local gigs as you can, start reviewing on triple j Unearthed (this is a big one), email music industry professionals who you look up to and ask them a bunch of questions (we love that!) and being active on socials and interacting with artists is also a big thing.
Know that anything is possible, and being an open minded, passionate, kind-hearted and music loving soul will get you so so far!!