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A Q&A with Partisan Records' Jake Crossland

Jake Crossland is Creative Projects Manager at London-based music label Partisan Records. In 2022 the company provided a five-day placement to one of our young people.

What was your motivation for offering a work placement through Arts Emergency?

We wanted to play a small part in helping to provide opportunities in the music industry to people who might not otherwise have access to them.

What are the challenges young people who hope to work in the music industry face?

The hardest part is probably getting your foot in the door. There are so many people looking to get into the industry and very few positions. As is the case in many creative industries, you can be expected to work for free or for very little money to prove yourself or gain experience before being offered a paid role. This is slowly changing, but does mean that people who aren't in a position to initially support themselves financially are probably less likely to have a chance of making it work. A lot of it is relationships-based, so once you're in a role, you can dedicate your time to building a network and progressing into different positions. Alongside this, it can be an opaque industry to outsiders, meaning that it's difficult to understand what the roles are and how they interact with each other.

What insights were you hoping a young person would gain from a placement with Partisan Records?

We were hoping to show them the variety of roles available to them and give them enough experience in these roles to start applying for internships. It's a lot to learn in the week, but hopefully at least gives them a good start. We'd also hope to provide a recognisable name for a reference if they needed one.

Did you gain any insights / learn anything from the young person who you offered a placement to?

One of the main things we learnt was how important it is to be motivated and organised, with a demonstrable passion for the industry. Very often, people equate enjoying listening or playing music to having an interest in working in it, which aren't the same thing. Nearly everyone loves music! We were also reminded of just how much there is to learn when starting out.

Would you recommend other organisations offer a work placement through Arts Emergency?

Absolutely! It's a really worthwhile use of time, and can make a big difference to young people's career trajectories. Hopefully, it'll go some way in making opportunities in the music industry accessible to all regardless of where they've come from.

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