Cool Job, Girl! is a series dedicated to spotlighting women doing awesome work in music, marketing, fashion or business.
Our very first guest is Ramya Velury, who works brand management and partnerships at Equative Thinking, a full service music and brand management agency home to artists like Goldlink, Metro Boomin and Smino.
Ramya, who graduated from NYU and has worked for Complex, Saint Heron, Ashley Outrageous! and more, was gracious enough to share some Pretty Decent insight on her work. If you’re looking to get into the music industry, this one is a must-read.
Cool Job, Girl: Ramya Velury
Can you give me a brief overview of what you do day-to-day?
My day to day is a built on developing and strategizing the careers of artists. So from the brands they work with to tour set designs, I’m literally building decks and mood boards in my sleep.
I am on the phone. A LOT. I can best summarize my life as conference calls and follow-ups.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I went to NYU– which forces you into downtown NYC whether you like it or not. I’d walk down the street and run into Ryan Leslie or the A$AP Mob. Broadway-Lafayette deserves more credit as a cultural hub.
But I started in music by kind of doing anything to stay involved. I started as a freelance writer, then got into social media. My real foot in the door was throwing parties…but I did all of that at the SAME time. I had to.
Did you always want to work in music management?
I didn’t know that was a thing when I went to college. I’ve only been doing this, like really doing this, for 2 years.
Is it ever difficult working as a woman in music? Any times you’ve felt singled out?
It’s incredibly difficult. For so many reasons — like every reason you can think of. It’s as dismissive as a man thinking you don’t have tough enough skin or experience to be in a room with the president of every label.
It gets as obnoxious as a man telling you that you have a firm handshake, when that’s something they’d never say to another man.
I know you did some interdisciplinary studies (me too!) with clothing and music. How important do you think style is to an artist’s image?
As an artist, style is something that carries on far beyond you. If you’re an artist that loves to wear cords and your fans start wearing cords, that’s a hell of a lot more engaging and impressive than a passive “follow.”
What’s the biggest advice you’d give to an indie artist trying to market themselves online?
Ask yourself why you want this in the first place. If it’s to make money or be famous, make a sex tape instead.
What would you recommend for someone trying to work in music management or at a label?
Those are two very different jobs and purposes. If you need more structure to succeed, you may want to be at a label.
In 2017, management is your label, babysitter, friend and bondsman all in one. The ones who are willing to bend over backwards and succeed at licking their elbow (metaphorically speaking) will survive.
As for less conceptual advice on how to get into the music industry, you can always try cold emailing, but recommendation holds a lot of weight. Utilize your resources and youll be surprised at how far it takes you.
You worked on Goldlink’s Coachella staging. How much work goes into something like that?
You need a plan A, B AND C…because you will go through them all. Guaranteed.
A sneak peak BTS look at Coachella pic.twitter.com/QifwxSayCi
— Ramya (@ramyavelury) April 19, 2017
What’s the best part of your job?
That I don’t really have one.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The tiki torch white supremacists.
What are you listening to lately?
Toro y Moi “Boo Boo”
Garren Sean LP
Shadow by Plaza
Want to learn more about Ramya Velury? You can follow her on Twitter here.
Don’t forget to follow Pretty Decent on Instagram, and comment below any other Cool Girls you’d like to see featured!