Welcome to music industry week! Instead of heading down to SXSW this year, we decided to highlight a bunch of music industry professionals who work in various parts of the business to keep it running all throughout the year. A single week down in Austin might seem glamorous for a time, but the truth is the music is an industry just like any other, and if it’s your goal to work in music, that goal is totally attainable without a “networking” trip that costs hundreds of dollars.
You don’t need to travel down to Texas and brush shoulders at overcrowded showcases full of cheap beer, questionable immigration policies and ubiquitous corporate branding. If the point of going to SXSW is to get familiar with the music industry, skip all that and read our interview series instead to find out where you may fit in. There’s so many areas to work in aside from playing music, or even writing about music, and the purpose of this series is to spotlight lesser-known but essential roles that keep the music world spinning.
Music supervision still remains a mystery to many people. Perhaps those of you watched Grey’s Anatomy or The OC and used those shows to discover cool new indie songs in high school and college have the best grasp on what exactly a good music supervisor tries to do. The trick is to create a moment on film or TV that uses music in such a way that it elevates both the song and the scene, a perfect bit of synergy that supersedes audio-visual and becomes something more. That’s the kind of moment that Rob Lowry is looking for when he supervises music for film and TV.
After a cliché but powerful experience with Almost Famous as a hopeless romantic teen, Lowry sought out a career that allowed him to dovetail music and film in a way that would impact people in a similar way. He left freezing Pennsylvania, moved to sunny LA, and worked his way up from a PA on television shows like Friday Night Lights and Parenthood to found his own independent company, Sweater Weather Music, and become a full-time music supervisor who works for himself. Below, we attempted to unpack the strange world of music supervision in layman’s terms.