Keeping in mind that up-and-comers in the music industry need more opportunities to learn about the business hands-on, BeatStars’ Campus Marketing Program allows students from any 2-4 year college the chance to hear directly from professionals about what it’s really like to work in careers like A&R, publishing, marketing, music law, and more. This Spring we awarded nearly twenty Campus Marketing Reps (CMRs) with certificates of completion for their contributions to our marketing team and overall growth in their knowledge of the music business.
After closing out our fourth semester of the BeatStars Campus Marketing Program, we’re proud to congratulate Juan as our Top CMR. Juan is finishing up his third year at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Guadalajara, Mexico. He is a second semester CMR and was the first student to join the program from Mexico! Juan majors in Media and Communications at ITESO while running his successful beat-selling business called “The Beat Locker” under the name Cyclope Music.
How It All Started
My mother is a piano player; my parents signed me up for piano lessons since I was very young, however, I decided to leave due to the amount of time it took from me and maybe even losing my passion for it (I currently regret it). Years later, some weeks after my 12th birthday, I fell in love with electronic music and started making song attempts on my computer. When I turned 14 I started to experiment with trap beats because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and when I turned 17, I started to focus on betaking for other artists. I have been working with rappers and selling beats on my beat store since then.
I downloaded a demo version of FL Studio when I was 12. I couldn’t save my projects, so I would either try to finish music in one sitting, or just exported a wav file and work on top of it. I learned most of the basics of producing by myself through trial and error, and then got more knowledge from YouTube tutorials. When I got more involved with my local scene, I also learned a lot about betaking and producing from DJ Maxo, one of the most influential Hip-Hop producers in my country whom I consider my mentor.
I love making latin trap beats and have also experimented with reggaeton, but I also enjoy going for oldschool boombap beats with a fresh twist. I also produce electronic music as a side project.”
Juan's Journey as a CMR
The CMR program taught me half of the things I know about the music industry. It gave me access to information from industry professionals that can share their experience to guide new people in the music industry. I was in the CMR program for two semesters and it was honestly one of the most fulfilling experiences of my music career. And even though I did learn what “A&R” stands for, what is the worst quarter of the year to release music in, and how publishing works, I think the most valuable thing that I learned is having a taste of how people work in the music industry: deadlines, the need for innovating constantly, being open to feedback and criticism, having to work your schedule around your external responsibilities, and all of those not so fun aspects of the industry, will always be part of a career in music and can become really stressful, however, passion, tolerance, team communication, and mutual support are also part of the industry and makes the effort worth it.
The CMR program taught me how jobs work in the music industry, it gave me access to panels with professionals who shared their knowledge, and it made me realize that being a producer and content creator is a dream I want to pursue. I was actually enjoying the program so much, I got genuinely sad when the semester ended.
Juan’s Advice for Other Student Producers
I think any student who is an aspiring producer needs to make the most out of the “student life”. It may be hard for most people to balance school, a job, personal life, and also trying to grow a business as a producer, however, being a student gives you access to a potential networking space with people who have common interests and can eventually become coworkers or partners (other students or even professors).
I think people have a special empathy for students, so looking for internships, working with professionals, and “getting yourself out there” is a bit easier as a student.
Make the most out of your classes, have fun, but do invest time in your producer career. Every industry is competitive, however, successful music careers take a lot of time. Putting in work today might translate into passive income and the opportunity to work exclusively in what you love in the future.
If you’re a student considering applying into the CMR program, or a similar internship related to music, don’t hesitate. I have no regrets about these past few months of practice and learning and wish that more students make the most of it in semesters to come.
Looking to the Future
I want to become a full time producer to help other artists experiment with different sounds. I would love to work with already established artists in the latin music scene, but at the same time, I love working with new artists and supporting them as they grow and create their own style.
I recently found my passion for content creation and music marketing, and wish to motivate and teach aspiring producers the things I have learned through my social media platforms.