This post was updated Oct. 19 at 12:12 p.m.
Grammy-winning artists will provide students with an insider’s look into the music industry.
Conversation and a Q&A with DJ sister-duo NERVO will jumpstart the Music Industry Committee at UCLA’s 2018 “Office Hours” series Wednesday at the Jan Popper Theater in the Herb Alpert School of Music. Originally, the start of the series was slated for Monday with featured guest Madison Beer, but that installment was postponed because she lost her voice, said David Brik, a UCLA alumnus and co-founder of MIC at UCLA. Similar to 2017′s series, this year’s “Office Hours” aims to bring professional musicians to UCLA, said Julia Maltz, a co-president of MIC. Mediators will ask them about their careers and experiences to bring insight about the music industry to students – this year, with a focus on females in music – the fourth-year design media arts student said.
“Every single artist has a different experience. They can do interviews, but I feel when they’re in person and they’re in front of a crowd of students, they’ll be more honest on what it really took for them to get somewhere,” said Bella Guerra, a co-president of MIC and third-year political science student.
Although the sisters from NERVO began their careers as models, they rose to fame as electronic dance music artists in 2009 when they co-wrote the Grammy-winning song “When Love Takes Over” by David Guetta and Kelly Rowland. Since 2012, they have ranked in DJ Mag’s top-100 DJs list.
In the 2017 “Office Hours” series, MIC hosted only one female artist – Este Haim from the band HAIM. She talked about how she thinks the music industry is more difficult for women, which Brik said female attendees found inspirational. The positive feedback from “Office Hours” partially led MIC to place an emphasis on female musicians for the series’ new year, Brik said.
In addition to the emphasizing female guests, MIC hopes to empower women in the music industry through its leadership, which is run by women this year, said Allan Brik, UCLA alumnus and co-founder of MIC. All three co-president positions and director positions are occupied by women. Guerra said. Through MIC, the members hope to spread the idea that women can do anything they set their minds to.
“This year we want to try to focus on women, just to make sure that the students on campus and people out in the larger industry world understand that we see (women) and we want (women) to be represented,” Guerra said.
NERVO’s perspective on the music industry will be helpful for students because the duo has been involved in it since 2005, when they were first credited for “Negotiate with Love” by Rachel Stevens. They were named 2014′s highest-paid female DJs by Forbes. Peyton Lumley, the event’s production director and second-year communication and psychology student, said hosting artists like NERVO makes the industry more accessible for interested students who want to know more about industry career paths. Because MIC hosts artists and managers and provides networking opportunities, Lumley said it makes her dreams of working in industry without being a singer or a music student more of a possibility.
“We want to showcase these women that don’t necessarily get the spotlight they deserve or people don’t think about,” she said. “There’s a whole other side to the music industry as well – what it’s like to be a woman in the industry and work and try to be successful as women. It’s trying to get the perspective, trying to get that voice heard.”