Not many students can say that they have already co-founded their own online lifestyle brand and become a marketing manager for a major label—all before their final semester of college. However, Angela Jin, CSOM ’17, has done just that.
With a great passion for the music industry, Jin started reaching out to hundreds of people on LinkedIn asking for informational interviews. One of those hundreds that she messaged was Chris Anokute, the Senior VP of Artists & Repertoire (A&R) at Epic Records. While she was only hoping to pick his brain about the industry, he responded asking if Jin wanted to help promote his artist, LÉON, on her international tour.
LÉON is a Stockholm, Sweden native indie pop artist famous for her first single, “Tired of Talking,” from her debut EP, Treasure. “Tired of Talking” has since received over 41 million plays on Spotify, along with the A-Trak remix of “Tired of Talking” reaching over 6 million plays.
LÉON’s international tour will cover the United States, starting with a concert at the Sinclair in Boston on February 1st at 9 pm. Tickets are $15 and Birmingham, England-born R&B artist Jacob Banks will be performing as the opening act.
For the LÉON tour, Jin is in charge of getting both the Boston and Nashville shows to sell out, an exciting and daunting task seeing as the two concerts are the first and last stops on LÉON’s debut American tour, bookending her first time to the states.
As College Tour Marketing Manager in the Boston area, Jin will be managing street team reps at Berklee, Harvard, Northeastern, and Boston College.
Along with managing seven street teams across Boston and Nashville, Jin has also already designed the creative flyers and stickers that will be distributed across the seven campuses that the street teams are on.
Jin’s College Tour Marketing Manager gig with LÉON spurs from her desire to work specifically in the Artists & Repertoire division at a label. In A&R, the department that signs and develops talent, Jin hopes to make meaningful change within the music world by finding, as she says, “intersectional and underrepresented talent within realms of sexuality, gender, and race in order to broaden the social landscape of the entertainment industry.”
Jin’s drive for breaking into the music industry comes from her roots as an Asian American. She has noticed that the music industry currently has no Asian Americans signed to any major record labels.
“Signing an Asian American artist to a major label would positively disrupt the music industry and change the racial narrative of the entertainment industry,” says Jin. “Asian artists are often branded for Asian-only consumption (K-Pop) rather than mass consumption, despite the fact that Asian Americans don't only listen to K-Pop (or may not listen to it at all).”
Reflecting on her youth, Jin explains that the major artists she looked up to didn't look anything like her. “Growing up, I looked up to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera,” she says,“but what came with that was desiring blonde hair and blue eyes instead of embracing my own features.”
Therefore, Jin believes that there’s a huge need for Asian representation within the entertainment industry that expands far beyond secondary roles. “Asians are often cast as the sidekick or ethnic/cultural prop but rarely gain the agency to be a lead or stand-alone star,” Jin explains.
Jin believes that having an Asian American pop star goes well beyond the music—it can change the racial landscape in pop culture and empower minorities. “A label can capitalize on this opportunity by signing Asian American talent such as David Choi and Jeremy Passion, who have cult-like followings on social media and rack up millions of views on YouTube,” she says.
Recognizing that the Artists & Repertoire department is the department that decides what talent to sign to the label and what music they'll put out, Jin knows that this position is what will give her the most creative control. “Signing Asian American talent is the main reason I want to get into the industry,” she explains.
For Jin, becoming a College Tour Marketing Manager for the LÉON tour is just a stepping stone to what is sure to be a long and prosperous career with goals and aspirations of changing the music world for the better.