Greater Than Mic Magazine

Music. Industry. Creative Culture.


Young Professionals in the Music Industry: Alizeh Davis Jarrahy, Charlotte Scully, Bella Pasquinelli

Photography by Richard Reens

In an industry that is continuously evolving as each decade brings new technology and shifts in culture, one constant we can always rely on is the tenacious crowd of young professionals determined to launch their careers in the music industry. 

When Greater Than Distribution hosted a Pre-SXSW Free Content Shoot Day in Santa Monica this January, we recruited LA content creators and alumni from our Music Industry Launchpad career development programs. We also extended the offer to music business students at local schools. This is how Bella Pasquinelli, who was in our A&R Marketing Launchpad program in 2022, met USC students Alizeh Davis Jarrahy and Charlotte Scully. The three connected immediately and worked seamlessly as a team to interview and create content for artists at the event.

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Bella recently graduated from her marketing program at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), while Alizeh and Charlotte are majoring in Music Industry at USC’s Thornton School of Music, with minors in film and communications design, respectively. The story of how they were inspired to start a career in the music industry starts the same – they all fell in love with music at a young age—the feelings it evokes and the sense of belonging that accompanies being part of a fan base—but then each experience becomes unique. Early on, Alizeh would pull her mom into mini musical performances that she would direct, falling in love with singing and the expressive joy of music. Eventually, she reached an age where she came to love individual artists and everything about them, such as Beyoncé’s music, stage presence, and performances. Charlotte’s passion began at 14 when she worked as the assistant to the producer of Newport Folk Festival; a nonprofit that supports music education. Meanwhile, music helped Bella understand and explain her feelings growing up. Now she’s all about community-building, whether that’s helping artists reach an audience that will love and appreciate their music as much as they do, or allowing listeners to connect with new artists that will resonate with them and their feelings. “I love helping people and I love making connections, which is why I love marketing and content creation. I get to be creative and help cultivate those spaces for artists and listeners.” Similarly, Alizeh is interested in helping artists to “world-build,” which she describes as rounding out an artist’s brand and holistic creative vision, including costume design/styling, directing music videos, and creatively producing/directing tours.

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When asked what the music industry could do to better support aspiring music industry professionals, great points were raised by all three women. Charlotte would love to see more opportunities available for aspiring professionals who have not had the opportunity to attend university. “As so much of the music industry involves who you know, I would love for there to be more networking opportunities available for individuals who don’t have access to those provided for aspiring professionals in college.” Alizeh echoes the importance of diversity in the music industry across different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds by addressing unpaid internships. While she agrees some offer great hands-on experience, numerous people don’t have the luxury of taking on unpaid work. Bella would also like to see more experiential opportunities for hands-on learning and emphasizes that allowing people to really experience the industry and get first-hand feedback from industry professionals will help young professionals’ development in an impactful way.

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Alizeh, Bella, and Charlotte all speak highly of their university programs and the opportunities they’ve been given through their schools. This past summer Alizeh and Charlotte had the opportunity to go to London with one of their classes where Charlotte worked as a band manager and head of filmmaking, working to shoot and edit a sizzle reel and documentary, and Alizeh was a tour and band manager. Charlotte also travelled to Madrid to shadow and assist Alex Prince, Baby Keem’s tour manager who was previously a guest lecturer. She adds, “It has been an immense privilege to attend USC and have the chance to learn from phenomenal professors and guest lecturers who have worked or are working in the music industry.” Alizeh agrees that the support their program offers around networking is invaluable – and points out that we wouldn’t even be speaking today if it weren’t for a true gem of a professor at USC, Kevin Lyman. “There are a few professors who are great resources and very open and willing to help students expand their network, whether that’s through bringing guest lecturers in who are usually more than happy to sit down with you and give advice or connect you with someone else that expands your network further. In an industry where networking is key, it’s very helpful and a great jumping-off point if you maintain those relationships effectively.” Bella also had a stand-out professor at LMU for an entertainment marketing class she loved. “It was taught by Sean Williams, who has worked in the music industry since before I was born, so it was awesome to learn from him. I learned so much about different types of marketing in the music field, like tour marketing vs. marketing new releases. We presented marketing ideas for actual current tours and had industry professionals come in and give us feedback. The pitches we gave were almost identical to pitches that real industry professionals give, so I learned a lot and gained confidence in presenting my creative ideas.”

There are big plans in all three of these young professionals’ futures. Alizeh is developing a creative production and artist services company that centers around providing creative work to women of color. The goal is to offer various creative services from creative direction or music video directing to in-house film production and five years from now have it be stable, full-time work for her. After Charlotte graduates, she’d like to work for a company that supports artists in the creative or live sector and plans to expand the business she recently founded, Catalyst Creative Consultancy, which provides artists with visual art to accompany their music. Since Bella’s graduation in December, she helped run logistics for Greater Than Distribution’s activations at SXSW, joining us on the ground in Austin, and upon her return has taken on a larger role in the marketing team. “I started in the A&R Marketing Launchpad two years ago, so it’s been exciting to grow my skills while watching the company grow too.” Within the next five years, she hopes to have solidified her leadership abilities and work with artists directly to promote their work. She has also enjoyed exploring A&R where she can put her social and creative qualities to use.

Greater Than Distribution’s Career Development Launchpads are a great place for aspiring professionals to network and gain hands-on experience working with artists and brands in A&R, marketing, media and PR, and artist services and distribution. They are free and remote, accessible to anyone across the globe, and built to be completed around work or school schedules. Our Launchpads thrive on diversity and are here to support any hard-working creatives to build their personal brand and resume. Grab your spot in our spring and summer programs here!


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