How to Break Into the Music Industry in Los Angeles

Male performer in headphones songs in audio recording studio to illustrate How to Break Into the Music Industry in Los Angeles.

How to Break Into the Music Industry in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is an ideal location for music professionals looking to take their careers in the music industry to the next level. LA is home to iconic global recording studios, leading record labels, and top talent agents, making it a hotbed of opportunities for anyone wanting to know how to break into the music industry in Los Angeles.

Not to mention all of the film studios and TV production companies in Los Angeles. Perhaps more than any other city, this two-headed entertainment monster has all kinds of opportunities for you if you’re looking to make a name for yourself in music–in one way or another.

It goes well beyond being an up-and-coming singer or a local band trying to make it to the big stage. Audio engineers, music producers, session players, editors, agents–the list of ways to break into the music industry in Los Angeles is long and varied. You may not be able to follow in Beyonce’s footsteps or take after Justin Timberlake, but you can be the one that helps the next generational talent reach their goals.

And if you want to work behind the glass, the Recording Connection in Los Angeles has a variety of music programs for you to choose from. Audio engineering, music production, hip hop and beat making, music business, and other programs all designed to get you experience, help you make industry connections, and show you how the music industry operates in today’s world.

Best Way to Break Into the Music Industry in Los Angeles

When seeking out a job in the music industry, it’s important to consider all the different positions available. On the stage, at the soundboard, in the editing room, or even in the courtroom. Even if you don’t know your B-sharp from your F-flat, the music industry (and by extension the film industry) still has plenty for you to do.

The one thing all music industry jobs have in common, especially in Los Angeles, is you’ll need to have the drive, determination, and perseverance to see it all the way through. Many jobs will have similar skills or knowledge bases that can overlap, but it’s your work ethic that will get you hired.

The most important thing to remember in the music industry is who you know is almost more important than what you know. Once you’ve made the decision to break into the music industry in Los Angeles, you’ve got to get your name out there and network with those industry insiders.

Your ability to build lasting relationships in this town will go a long way to securing a spot in a recording studio, record company, film studio, and elsewhere. It can open doors to job opportunities, new collaborations, and a chance to establish your reputation. Attending music community events, industry conferences, and seminars are great places to connect with other professionals in the field.

This is true for not only musicians and producers but for those who promote and market the music as well. Additionally, joining online communities, forums, and social media groups dedicated to audio engineering can help expand your network and keep you updated with the latest industry trends. So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and start making those connections!

That’s the beauty of Recording Connection programs! Because we place you with a mentor in their professional recording studio, every day is a chance to make a new connection with other industry professionals. Our audio engineer and music production mentors have years of experience and have already made those connections for you. Many of our students are hired at other studios based on the recommendations of their mentors.

Different Los Angeles Music Industry Careers and How to Get Hired

As we said earlier, there are two sides to the music industry: those that make the music and those that handle the business side of the music business. Let’s take a look at some careers and how you can start a music career:

  • Audio Engineers
  • Music Producers
  • Musicians
  • DJs
  • Session Musicians
  • A&R
  • Band Manager
  • Booking Agent
  • Talent Scout
  • Business Manager
  • Entertainment Attorney

This is by no means an exhaustive list of music industry jobs you can shoot for, but it does show the variety of jobs available in the business. You may be an accountant, but if you’re an accountant for a major record label, you’re in the music business. Especially if you handle the finances of an especially rowdy band that needs to be reigned in.

Audio Engineers, Music Producers

There are a lot of shared skills between these two positions, although audio or sound engineers are geared toward the technical aspects while music producers oversee creative control of the music. Both need to know how to work the gear and with clients, though, so getting as much music production experience in the studio is job no. 1 for breaking into the music industry.

Learn the equipment, build a portfolio, work with as many acts as you can, and build your brand. If possible, try to find an engineer or producer that is willing to work with you, and get you that studio experience you need. Having a mentor not only gives you practical skills for the job but will also give you opportunities to meet people already in the industry.

Musicians, Session Players, Live DJs

First things first: Before diving into the industry, it is crucial to develop your musical skills and establish a unique artistic identity. Whether it’s a guitar, your voice, or a digital audio workstation, master the tools of your trade. Then take your sound to the people by building up–and being consistent with–your online presence (social media sites, music platforms, and so on).

Then get out there and perform! Los Angeles is a city bursting with live music venues, and for aspiring musicians, it’s the perfect place to start building a name for yourself. Getting started is easier than you might think; there are plenty of local venues, clubs, and open mic nights where you can showcase your skills. Cultivate your “brand,” stage persona, and personal style.

A&R, Booking Agent, Talent Scout, Band Manager

For those less musically inclined, but still have an eye for talent, there are several ways to put yourself in the middle of the music industry in Los Angeles. Artists and repertoire reps and talent scouts are tasked with finding the next big thing, booking agents are responsible for getting acts on the stage, and band managers need to put their clients in positions to grow their careers by working with venue owners, booking agents, and others.

All of these require a deep understanding of how the industry works, strong communication and organizational skills, and the ability to work long hours. The best way to earn these kinds of jobs is to be an intern or assistant to someone already in the position so you get a true understanding of what the job entails. And, of course, network, network, network.

The Los Angeles Recording Connection Music Business Program is designed to give you the foundational knowledge of agreements, contracts, and more so you can protect your clients and their music. You can also see what it takes to keep a recording studio up and running.

Business Manager, Entertainment Attorney

More than any other job in the music industry, the best way to find a business manager or entertainment lawyer job is to go to school and get degrees. You certainly don’t need to attend a four-year university to become a pop star, world-famous producer, or other creative position. But when you’re dealing with money, contracts, or the law, you better know what you’re talking about.

At this point, you’ll need to keep your eye out for clients looking for help. There are plenty of industry job sites, publications, and other avenues for listings. Networking, however, may be your best bet (funny how that works). By spending time with others in the industry, you can be the first to know if a solo artist or band needs help with the business part of the music business.

No matter what job you want, remember it probably won’t happen overnight. A lot of people want to have great success in the music industry, but only the ones who put in the hours, research, and legwork–and remain professional throughout the job-finding process–reach their career goals.

Also: Many of these jobs can be used to climb the ladder, so to speak. But treat every job you get as THE job. Remember how we said who you know is just as important as anything else? People in the music industry have long memories, and they’ll remember if you treated any work as beneath you, a stepping stone to something better.

You don’t want to close doors to opportunities before you even realize those opportunities are open to you, do you? If you want to know how to break into the music industry in Los Angeles, work hard, act responsibly, and treat every situation with the respect it deserves. The rest will fall into place.

With the Recording Connection, you’ll learn how to carry yourself in the studio, work with a range of artists, and make relationships with other industry professionals. This kind of immersive experience just isn’t available with traditional classrooms and standard teachers. And we offer up to one year of job placement assistance upon completion of our programs.

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.