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  • A Day in the Life of a SMG Impact Fellow from the 2022 HBCU in LA Cohort
  • Oct 07, 2022
A Day in the Life of a SMG Impact Fellow from the 2022 HBCU in LA Cohort

This article is written by Bria Whitaker and is part of the 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 2022 SMG Impact Fellows Program here. 

Bria was a 2022 Impact Fellow working with Sony Music Publishing’s Film & TV Synch team.  

If you ever visit the Sony Pictures Entertainment Lot in Culver City, CA, make sure you go to Coffee Bean at the center of the lot for the best matcha latte! 

Grabbing a Matcha or Chai on the way to work has become a crucial part of my daily routine as an intern in the Film and TV department with Sony Music Publishing. In addition to my internship, I am so excited to be a part of the 2022 SMG Impact Fellow cohort! 

As an FTV intern, every quote I look at or project I work on revolves around a dynamic rotation of upcoming TV shows, movies, video games, and commercials. My day starts off with checking my email (as most do) to see what I may have missed over the weekend or from the previous workday. Sony Music Publishing is great at sending interactive emails with monthly playlists, songs currently charting from our songwriters, or gems from the catalog. After reading through those emails, I begin working through my tasks for the day. 

I currently work with clearance in the Creative Marketing department, which is more of the administrative side of music licensing. With the FTV department, we work with any music synchronized with some type of visual (TV, movies, music video, etc.). When a production knows that they’re going to use a certain song for their upcoming show that was published through Sony Music Publishing, they will reach out to SMP for approval. The coordinators in the Creative Marketing/Clearance department work as liaisons from the song writers to the licensing company. As an intern working in this department, I assist with looking up songwriters and entering quotes into SMP’s database that tracks songwriter credits, official song titles, publishers, and territories reached. 

Each time a song is quoted, denied, licensed and/or paid, it is logged into the database. Every day, I log anywhere from 5-50 of these quotes depending on how detailed the quote is. Along with looking up songs and getting to enter quotes, I ask questions about the entire process and receive valuable insight into how negotiations for license fees are usually administered as well as great general knowledge about license Clearance. 

Around 1 p.m. is a great time to take a break and explore for lunch. Working on the studio lot, there is always something happening, from productions filming to new sets being built, and even fun events on the yard like Ghostbusters Day! I always make sure to walk around every once in a while, just to see what’s happening. You never know what you may see or who you might run into! 

To wrap up, here are three Culver City office tips:  

  1. I always need to have some caffeine for my commute in the morning and on the way home! I don’t drink coffee, but there are a lot of great alternatives in the office or on the lot.  
  2. If you need food to stay energized while working, the SMP office is always stocked with snacks and drinks to get you through the day.  
  3. Bring headphones to listen to music or to take meetings. Once everyone is plugging away at their own individual projects, it’s nice to listen to music and zone in on your work.  

So far, my internship experience with Sony Music Publishing has been great and I cannot wait to see what it has in store! I am so grateful to represent Howard University and my 2022 HBCU in LA cohort as an SMG Impact Fellow this year. 

Songs for the Summer: 

  1. “Late Night Talking” – Harry Styles
  2. “It’s Givin” – Latto
  3. “damn Right” – Audrey Nuna
  4. “Gravity” – Brent Faiyaz (feat. Tyler, the Creator)
  5. “Good Days” – SZA

For more stories on the SMG Impact Fellows second cohort:

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