We talked to grad Julian Wilkey, tour manager of Sam Riggs and the Night People, about his path to success and plans for the future.
In FSBlog’s Just Launched feature, we talk to brand new Full Sail grads, right out the door from graduation about what’s next for them as they head out into the workforce. This month’s Just Launched graduate is Julian Wilkey.
Name: Julian Wilkey
Degree Program: Entertainment Business master’s online
Graduation Date: 12/16/2016
Julian is a two-time graduate of Full Sail from Mississippi, having first received his bachelor’s in Music Production online and has now completed his master’s in Entertainment Business online. We spoke to him to find out how he got started in the industry and what’s next.
Inspiration: Growing up I was always around music; whether it was using pots and pans as a drum set or just playing on a recorder. I played the viola in an orchestra from fourth grade through college, as well as the guitar, the drums - anything that made noise, I was all about it. In ninth grade I connected with an Admission Representative from Full Sail - Cindy Baer - who has been my wheelhouse of support outside of my family and friends. She worked with me for four straight years through high school and assisted me in my transition to start my Music Production bachelor’s degree online. I had always enjoyed performing, but I wanted to learn more about the recording and business side of the industry. I knew that Full Sail would be the place where I could be most creative.
First Job: I began working in music as an instructor at Gulf Coast School of Music in Mississippi before starting my bachelor’s, but the first large-scale opportunity in the industry I had was an internship at Orb Recording Studios in Austin, Texas. I reached out to them before I was done with my bachelor’s offering to learn anything and everything, and they responded to me and said ‘We’ll see what happens.’ I remembered when Leslie Brathwaite spoke about an experience at his studio where an intern traveled five hours to hand deliver their resume, so that’s what I did. I spent my spring break driving from Mississippi to Texas, knocked on the door to hand them my resume, and the rest is history.
After my internship I began working as a Music Technician at Soundcheck Austin, which provides equipment rentals to professional touring musicians. I was responsible for preparing gear for shows, fixing gear, organizing inventory orders, and also reserving space for our rental rooms. That’s what gave me the segue way into the job I have now. The band I’m working with had come in for rehearsal, we started talking, and now I’m the tour manager for a nationally touring band. I liked recording and being an engineer, but I realized that I enjoyed the business side more. That’s when I decided to pursue my master’s degree.
Short Terms Goals: I’ll be starting an internship with C3 Presents - a Live Nation company - in January for artist management. After that comes to a close, I will be enrolling at University of Texas in fall 2017 to begin my Ph.D. in business with a music specialty. I also plan to stay on as tour manager for Sam Riggs. I like to stay busy!
Long Terms Goals: I want to interact more with larger-scale business executives and make my footprint in the industry. I either want to be a tour manager for a world tour, or come off the road and be a day-to-day artist manager for multiple artists. It would be really fun to be in the environment of helping other musicians reach their goals.
Advice to New Students: Someone once told me that your career is like a toolbox; you need multiple tools to build yourself a better career just like you need multiple tools to build a house. I’m always trying to add tools to my toolbox so I can build myself a better “house.” It’s also important not to listen to too many outside perspectives, because there are too many negative opinions out there. Don’t be scared to send out that email to an executive. Keep pushing and make yourself better until you’re satisfied. If you’re never satisfied, that’s okay too - just keep looking for the next project and that next end goal.