In the latest episode of the Musiio by SoundCloud Industry Chats podcast, our host Hazel Savage welcomes Christine Osazuwa, the Chief Strategy Officer at Shoobs and founder of the Measure of Music conference. 

Christine's 20-year journey in the music industry has been remarkable across major labels, tech and live events. 

In this conversation, Hazel and Christine talk about hyper-local music, the explosion of Amapiano, calculated risks, unconventional career paths, and where to find your next gig in the music industry. 

Read more takeaways below and listen to the full episode:

1. Embrace calculated risks

Moving from Baltimore to Sweden for a job wouldn't be top of everyone's career agenda, but Christine highlights the importance of taking calculated risks. With that move, she was seen by some friends as "brave".

She remembers her response: "They didn't take my passport. I can go back to America anytime I want! This wasn't that big of a jump, I promise you."

But this outlook reveals the mindset of thoughtful risk-taking to achieve professional growth.

2. Music is increasingly hyper-local 

Christine illuminates the shift towards hyper-local music consumption, noting trends like Persian rap, Afrobeats and Amapiano. While American hip hop's influence may be waning, the appreciation for genre diversity is flourishing worldwide. This shift exemplifies the global music industry's need to adapt to local tastes.

"There's not a decline in hip hop. There's just a decline in American hip hop. Bad Bunny makes hip hop. He may be doing it in Spanish, but he's still creating hip hop… A lot of Afrobeats is really hip hop-inspired. Again, it's just not coming out of North America."

3. Christine's job listings: how one person can have an impact

Christine began an initiative to collate job posts during the pandemic, which provided hope and opportunities across music, media, and tech. She continues to meticulously curate and share these listings, connecting diverse talent with organisations. She's earned over 30,000 LinkedIn followers and posted thousands of jobs through this.

Her proactive approach demonstrates the power of community and how much of a difference one person with a clear focus can make within the music industry. 

4. Hackathon experience can set candidates apart

During the pandemic, Christine also founded Measure of Music, a free online conference and hackathon. One key idea was that certain elements would have majority-minority representation.

The hackathon is no small endeavour for participants. Over a weekend, teams of strangers are assembled and must conceive, build, and present a music tech business idea. Only 50% complete the challenge. This year, for the first time, an all-women team won the hackathon. 

Hazel notes that Measure of Music participation has become "a badge of success" for candidates applying to roles at SoundCloud. 

Christine adds: "The amount of effort, ambition, tenacity and drive to make it to the end is incredibly impressive. As is the the willingness to spend 48 hours of your life working on a music data project that you're not being paid for. So I'm like, [a hackathon participant] has all of the things I would be looking for to hire."

5. You need to create opportunities for yourself

Christine began her career at 16 when she won backstage tickets to the Warped Tour, which started that year in her hometown of Baltimore. When she arrived, the crew was still setting up, and she wandered into the production office to offer her help. They took her up on her offer, and it became an unofficial gig for her. 

The following year, she was running a magazine called Scene Trash and was approved as press to interview bands on the Warped Tour. That laid the groundwork for a gig helping the Warped Tour's press coordinator during East Coast dates. 

The take-home is that early in your career, it's critical to seize as many opportunities that align with your passion as possible, even if it starts unofficially.

Catch the full episode above for more insights into Christine's unconventional career.

Check out more Musiio podcast episodes here.

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