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  • A Full Circle Moment for SMG Impact Fellow Akhilaa Lakshminathan
  • Nov 18, 2022
A Full Circle Moment for SMG Impact Fellow Akhilaa Lakshminathan

This article is written by Akhilaa Lakshminathan and is part of the 2022 SMG Impact Fellows Mix Tape Series, a collection of first-person essays written by the 2022 Sony Music Group Impact Fellow cohort. Read more about the SMG Impact Fellows Program here. 

After finishing my first year of college last summer, I clearly remember telling my family that I hoped I would get to intern at Sony Music Entertainment in the near future. Coincidentally, one year later, I am an International Marketing Intern and part of the second class of Sony Music Group Impact Fellows! 

I came to Sony Music Group from a program called Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) hosted by the 4A’s Foundation. Because I wanted to intern in the music industry, I reached out to past Sony Music interns via LinkedIn, some of whom were coincidentally SMG Impact Fellows and introduced me to the program. After crafting my application, interviewing, and making it through three rounds of selection—I was matched with Sony Music Entertainment! I almost couldn’t believe it. In addition to all the support I now have at Sony Music, I also have the resources and a network of thousands of professionals of color through MAIP. 

Working in the International Marketing department is so incredible and resonates with me given my Indian-American identity. I love that my job involves thinking about audiences all around the world that are enjoying American and/or Western artists, because that is really the epitome of globalization and the exchanging of cultures and stories. 

Music has always felt like home to me: watching the GRAMMY Awards, staying up until midnight like it’s New Year’s Eve for an album drop, or composing and songwriting, music always makes me feel more like myself. Throughout the years music would bring so much joy into fruition, including my journey with Sony Music. 

Throughout middle school I performed in choir and bands, and became a big fan of many artists. In high school, I started writing, producing, recording, and releasing my own music. Now in college, I am continuing my musical journey, working on the label side, minoring in music, and developing my own artistry. Adele, signed under Columbia, was the first artist I connected with deeply. Her authenticity, lyrics, and delivery will always have an impact on me and my personal creativity. It really is a full circle moment that I get to work at Sony Music, the home of so many artists I have looked up to for many years. 

I’m an avid reader of music news, love listening to industry podcasts and interviews, and am always down to analyze the latest releases and trends. This is why sitting in on the RCA and Arista marketing meetings have been so fun for me! During my first meeting with RCA I was taken aback by how fast the conversation went. Almost like a tennis match, my colleagues were bouncing ideas and opinions off each other, effortlessly throwing in numbers and statistics and highlighting different international markets, then seamlessly transitioning to the next artist or topic to be discussed. I began to understand the different terms, goals, and overall details of the discussion. Sometimes it feet surreal to be in those rooms, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been at a job where I got to do something I genuinely enjoy and looked forward to everyday. 

I am also extremely grateful to work with such amazing people on the International Marketing team. I’ve learned so much through observing the workflow and learning about each of my colleagues’ experiences.   

When we listen to a song or album, it is hard to comprehend how many people went into making that release a success. It’s an amazing feeling that even through my small contributions as an intern to my respective team, I am helping music and stories reach people who will cherish them across the globe. 

5 songs I’m enjoying this summer 

  1. “Comic Sans” – AUDREY NUNA (ft. Jack Harlow)
  2. “Oh My God” – Adele
  3. “Do It” – Chloe x Halle 
  4. “Matilda” – Harry Styles
  5. “Girl Like Me” – Jasmine Sullivan (ft. H.E.R)

For more stories on the SMG Impact Fellows second cohort:

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