Francasa O’Connor, Trainee Artist Manager with Champion Sound Music Management

 4 December 2018

Francasa knew that entering the close-knit Northern Irish music industry was going to be a challenge, but her internship with Champion Sound Music Management gave her the perfect entry into the industry. We spoke to her about her role.

A six month internship led to a full-time job for Francasa
A six month internship led to a full-time job for Francasa

Where was your internship?

Champion Sound Music Management

What was your role?

Trainee Artist Manager

What was the best thing about your internship?

Getting hands-on, practical experience working directly with the artists was incredible. This invaluable opportunity which has given me the fundamental and essential skills I need to carry me through a career in the music industry.

Getting hands-on, practical experience working directly with the artists was incredible.

In particular, I really enjoyed working on artist releases which introduced me to other people in the industry including distributors, PR teams, record labels etc. It was brilliant to be part of a big team!

I also had creative input in the artists’ release campaigns, enabling me to design online content such as posters, banners, flyers and videos. That was a lot of fun!

What was the worst thing?

I didn’t dislike anything about my internship!

What are you doing now?

Since the end of my internship, I have been lucky enough to become a full-time member of staff!

Since the end of my internship, I have been lucky enough to become a full-time member of staff!

The six-month internship at a management company allowed me to oversee all the different aspects involved in managing an artist’s career, from day-to-day schedules to booking shows to organizing a full album campaign. During this time, I realized how much I enjoyed releasing music, and all the aspects that are involved, and have therefore become the full-time label manager at our label, Quiet Arch.

We currently have six albums in production to be released over the next year, so it is the perfect opportunity to utilize all the knowledge and skills I developed during my internship.

How do you feel your internship has impacted your career?

Getting an opportunity to gain experience in the music industry is something all music graduates dream of, but can sometimes seem unachievable in such a competitive industry. Particularly in Northern Ireland which has such a small music industry. So, getting the chance to gain experience while earning a wage at the same time was an incredible offer!

Lyndon Stephens, a highly regarded manager in the NI and Republic of Ireland music industry, is the owner of the business and was my mentor throughout my internship. Everything I know about the music business has been a direct result of my internship, under the guidance of a music professional. There is no better experience than that to carve the path of my music career.

What would your advice be to any young person considering an internship?

Without any hesitation, apply! After secondary education, we are expected to continue our education by going to university and undergoing three to four years of studying a subject, one in which we may not even consider as a career. In my opinion, I found that this internship taught me more about the music industry than any textbook would.

I found that this internship taught me more about the music industry than any textbook would.

I experienced real-life scenarios and challenges and gained practical and hands-on experience which helped me learn and progress. It is the best way to get your ‘foot-in-the-door’ of any industry as you’re able to build up contacts, understand the workings of the industry and to be involved with as many tasks as possible to find exactly what you enjoy!

What advice would you have for employers considering taking on an apprentice or intern?

I would definitely recommend employers to take on an apprentice or intern as they will be helping to educate the next generation of people working in the industry.

It is important that the creative industries continue to grow and develop in Northern Ireland, and this programme offered by Creative & Cultural Skills is providing the opportunity for this.

Young people can bring the new and innovative ideas, the willingness to learn and the enthusiasm to work. They are eager to gain experience in this industry and can only be beneficial for employers!

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