Tips from CEO Evan Rubinson: How to Get Ahead in the Music Industry 

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Evan Rubinson is the founder of ERA (Evan Rubinson Audio) Music Brands, and a professional featured across a score of publications in the industry. He knows just how rewarding it can be to work in an industry fueled by passion and heart. He also knows that getting started — particularly if you don’t have any connections — can feel next to impossible. He offers his own advice about how and where to start.

It’s Easy If You Love It

Rubinson may have started his life in the midst of music, but he would forge his own path in finance on Wall Street. When his father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2016, though, he jumped at the chance to inherit the family business. He ultimately hoped to take over his father’s legacy, which is why he took the helm of Armadillo Enterprises. He would go on to launch ERA Music Brands after assuming control, a company that houses a variety of brands (musical instruments, accessories, etc.) in its portfolio.

Evan knew many of the ins and outs already thanks to his dad, including backstage, setups, and talent, but he credits his interest in the industry as more a propellant than anything else. Evan Rubinson stresses that anyone who wants to break into the music world should immerse themselves in the details. They should capitalize on their passion by throwing themselves in head-first.

Network Your Way to Success

Publishers, dealers, managers, talent: the reality is that networking can play a huge role in how you climb in your career. Evan Rubinson believes that the idea isn’t just to keep showing up, although that’s a major part of it, but to connect with people about what they’re looking for and how you can help. To get a foot in the door, consider volunteering at different concerts, festivals, or other musical events. Being a part of this scene is a great way for people to learn who you are and what you specialize in.

Rubinson has a degree from Duke University, but he stresses that up to 70% of the people that he works with don’t have a college background. He might have built a lucrative career trading, but his business acumen didn’t prepare him as much as you might think to take on the musical world.

He stresses that it’s much more important to be outgoing and relatable. Loyalty and work ethic are more instrumental in getting ahead than fancy credentials from the ‘right’ schools. The business is one of the relationships, from sales to manufacturing to importing. If you can get along with people and prioritize dependability, the floodgates will eventually begin to open.

His final tip is to remember that the rewards are immeasurable. Most people don’t consider their 9 to 5 a break from everyday stress, but Evan Rubinson says the music industry can be different. The creativity helps him come alive and offers a reprieve from the general anxiety of everyday life.