In honour of Canadian Music Week this year, we decided to take a look at the inner workings of the music industry by interviewing Devi Ekanand, Senior Vice President of Marketing and New Media at Coalition Music.

Dedicated to artist management and independent record production, Coalition Music has helped to shape the Canadian music field over the past two decades. Some of their notable clients include Our Lady Peace and Simple Plan! They also happen to be the masterminds behind the IDC4U Music Business course at Virtual High School. In the IDC4U MB course, you’ll get the chance to learn all about music industry careers, revenue opportunities, and brand promotion. The best part? You don’t need ANY formal training or experience with music to take the course!

Meet the award-winning founders of Coalition Music and Canada’s Music Incubator on May 27th at 1pm EST! You’ll get to check out a 30-minute presentation and Q&A about The Music Business course.

Click here to register for this FREE session!

Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look with Devi at the work that goes on at Coalition Music.

What are your current responsibilities within your role?

  • Conceiving and managing all tour, label, and digital marketing strategies
  • Spearheading traditional and social media initiatives
  • Developing promotional and sponsorship partnerships on behalf of Coalition Music artists and programs

Why did you choose this line of work?

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my degree and extracurricular activities led me to my eventual career path. While I was at the University of Toronto, I volunteered at the College Radio Station. I loved it so much there that I took on the roles of music director, program director, and eventually station manager. In my last year at university, I became the social commissioner of the student council. My job was to plan events and concerts for the school. Through all of these roles, I was exposed to a wide variety of opportunities in the music industry: booking agents, promo reps, concert reps, publicists, event crews, and artist managers.

What obstacles or challenges have you faced in your role?

I think the biggest challenge in my role is keeping up with the latest platforms (streaming and social) and trends. Music marketing is at the forefront of ever-changing cultural and technological shifts. You really need to be curious, open-minded, and a bit of a risk taker when it comes to creating impactful marketing campaigns for your projects.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I see a lot of fan mail and posts for our artists. It really touches my heart when I come across notes about how an artist’s song has pulled someone through a challenging time in their life or when people are celebrating a milestone like an anniversary or birth and tell us about how they met at an artist’s concert. Music really is the soundtrack of people’s lives.

Which project of yours are you most proud of?

To be honest, all of them. Our team works hard to create memorable moments for fans online and offline. It is always a thrill when we hire new interns and they mention in their interviews that they loved a particular campaign or music video that I worked on.

Do you have any advice for people looking to get into this field?

Don’t limit yourself to thinking that working in the music industry is getting a job at a record company or being a musician. There are so many roles and opportunities that you can explore. Scour music business websites, read books and articles, and learn as much as you can about all of the facets of the industry. The Music Business course that’s offered at VHS is perfect for anyone who is curious about how the music business works and the many careers that exist. From gaming to advertising to even TV and film, there is a role for you out there!

How has your role changed to adapt to the pandemic?

Our artists have had to pivot quickly and become more present on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. As a marketer, not only are we creating big picture roll-outs, but we are now scripting and pitching smaller pieces of content to engage with fans. With the absence of touring, social media marketing has become integral in that band-fan connection.

What are you looking forward to in your career this year?

Touring! Touring! Touring! I’ve also spoken to so many people inside and outside of the business that are eager to hang out with friends and watch a great live concert!