Originally published on the Global Rockstar Magazine on 05.09.2015.
One of the classic jobs in the music industry is the A&R (artist and repertoire) manager, the person responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of the artist.
No thank you! At Global Rockstar we know better. As any business manual for dummies will confirm, we would never outsource such an important task! This is the reason why Global Rockstar has Music Scouts.Finding talents is probably the most important task for an online platform like Global Rockstar, a so-called core business. In the digital music industry this could be achieved in a very quick (and, in our opinion, dirty) way: there are thousands of online agencies, some shadier than others, where you can buy musicians contacts. You just order what you want, like at the candy store: “I’ll have some pop, some rock, assorted electronic and a dash of jazz”. With no control whatsoever over what kind of artists they are or if they are remotely interested in what we do.
A Music Scout is a music lover who combs the Internet in search of good music, unknown talents, local heroes and rising stars and invites them to join Global Rockstar. Hiring our Music Scouts directly is the only way to ensure top quality of the music you find here. Around the year there are about ten Music Scouts working at Global Rockstar. During the upload phase, before the yearly contest starts, the number of Music Scouts doubles.
Today we meet Oliver Zimmermann (21) who worked as Music Scout at Global Rockstar last summer.
Oliver: Pretty standard, I found the ad online on a platform for summer jobs. I applied, had an interview then they offered me the job.
What does a Music Scout at Global Rockstar do?
Oliver: Basically we sit in a nice office with A/C, listen to music and write messages to people! (laughs) I search for them on different social networks or platforms, their own website, different groups… basically we look for good music, ideally from artists that are not very famous yet.
Why especially unknown artists?
Oliver: Well, that’s the scope of Global Rockstar, to give local heroes a stage to get known and the opportunity to earn money with their music while trying! As much as I’d love to scout Taylor Swift (giggles) for Global Rockstar, she would not profit much from it.
How is it with the other scouts? Do you interact a lot with your colleagues?
Oliver: It is kind of difficult to interact since we all wear a headset! But many scouts are musicians themselves and last year we would have loved to play a couple of jam sessions in the breaks instead of drinking coffee… we already discussed how we should coordinate our breaks next year!
What language did you use?
Oliver: Mostly English, but also German, my mother tongue, and a little Korean…
Korean? Wow, how is it that you speak Korean?!
Oliver: Out of personal interest, actually. I’m fascinated by Asian culture and eventually I focused on Korea. I’m self-teaching!
Good music is always a matter of personal taste. Do you follow your own music taste while scouting?
Oliver: Not at all! I look for quality in terms of composition, lyrics, execution, emotions, mood… sometimes only quality in terms of good production is missing!
How come your music taste is so broad?
Oliver: Basically I started listening to music as a “standard” music lover, focusing on some genres and artists, then music slowly turned into a real passion. Now I’m trying to make it a job!
What are your plans? Do you want to sing?
Oliver: (laughs) When you talk about the music business everybody thinks only of singers and musicians, maybe one or two famous producers. Actually there are many different jobs in the music industry! In October I will start my education at the Deutsche Pop Akademie. I’ll learn audio design and music production and come out as a music technology specialist. The training is very broad, from sound engineer to legal, economic and commercial aspects. After that I could become an audio technician. I could work for the movie industry with soundtracks and sound effects. I could even start my own record label…
Is there any special artist you scouted for Global Rockstar you’re following closely or are especially fond of?
Oliver: Oh yes! Bebop from South Korea! I scouted them because I knew them before Global Rockstar and in the end they placed 2nd in the Korean national preliminaries 2014. I’m still convinced they would have scored better in the Global Finals than the band in first place, but maybe this is only my heart speaking…
Do you keep in touch with the artists after you scout them?
Oliver: Sure! Some artists still prefer to ask me when they have a question regarding Global Rockstar, even months after joining. It is always nice to have a real person to talk to, especially on an online platform. People tend to forget that there are real people working behind the machines and some are even surprised when they notice! With other artists I developed something more like a virtual friendship, beyond Global Rockstar I mean.
You worked for Global Rockstar last summer, are you coming back this summer?
Oliver: Are you kidding me? A job where you get paid for listening to music? Of course I’ll be back! This is the best summer job I could think of and, thinking of the career I’d like, it also helps in building my network in the business.
PS Between interview and publishing Oliver had the chance to finally meet A Yeon (Bebop) who came to Vienna to represent Asia in Global Rockstar United! Aren’t they cute?!