How Can I Build A Sustainable Music Career?

  • Emily White
  • Author
    Artist Manager
  • Collective Entertainment
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Everyone knows a singer or musician who gave up their art before their career ever had a chance to get a foothold. One of the most critical aspects of establishing your music career is knowing how to set yourself up for long-term success.

In this video, artist manager turned author and podcaster, Emily White, explains some of the very basics artists should put in place to keep their careers thriving.


Tips And Advice Emily Shares In This Video

Career Plan

Find out why it is critical that you map out your short and long-term career plan.

Before Releasing Music

Learn what you should put in place before you release any music.

Business Foundation

Learn the importance of knowing how to treat your career like a business.

Budget Marketing

Learn how you can market yourself even if you have a limited budget.

Maximizing Income

Find out how to ensure that you are collecting all of the money you've earned.

Live Performances

Find out how to make the most of your live performances. 
About The EXPERT

Emily White

Emily White is a Partner at Collective Entertainment and the Founder of #iVoted Festival. She is the author of the Amazon #1 best-selling How to Build a Sustainable Music Career and Collect All Revenue Streams and hosts the book’s accompanying podcast of the same name. The podcast is the #1 Music Business podcast globally, charting on six continents with listeners in 115+ countries.

After witnessing slim margins in the 2016 U.S. Election, White was inspired to get out the vote. The result was a new initiative called #iVoted in which over 150 venues in 37 states let fans in on election night 2018, who showed a selfie from outside of their polling place. The movement pivoted in 2020 due to the pandemic and created the largest digital concert in history, which took place on election night 2020. Over 450 artists participated in #iVoted Festival 2020, all booked per the data of the top streaming artists in key swing states whose margins are often decided by the size of a concert venue. Artists including Billie Eilish, Trey Anastasio of Phish, Playboi Carti, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Maggie Rogers, Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Living Colour, Young the Giant and countless more have participated in #iVoted Festival. The #iVoted team quickly followed up by creating #iVoted Festival Georgia for the 2021 special elections that determined control of the U.S. Senate. #iVoted is currently building #iVoted Festival 2022 as we speak, with full coverage on announcements to-date via Variety.

An in-demand speaker and consultant due to her expertise within the modern music and sports industries, artist development, social media, and beyond, White has been on the cover of Pollstar Magazine with her name also gracing the cover of Billboard magazine. Her work has been additionally profiled in Variety, Fast Company, Forbes, Bloomberg, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Alternative Press, Brooklyn Vegan, The Fader, Stereogum, Relix, CNN, Vox, The Huffington Post, ESPN, and more. She is a frequent guest blogger for Hypebot as well as Midem in Cannes, France where she is a regular speaker. In addition, White has proudly served on the boards of Well-Dunn, Future of Music, CASH Music, SXSW, The David Lynch Foundation Live while additionally serving on The Grammys’ Education Committee and Pandora’s Artist Advisory Council. She was named to Billboard’s 2020 Women in Music Executives of the Year list.

White’s career spans the entertainment industry, carving out a unique path that defines a modern maven. Her professional journey began at Northeastern University in Boston, with experiences at Powderfinger Promotions, WBCN-FM, Q Division and Skope Magazine. Upon seeing The Dresden Dolls play on campus, White introduced herself to front-woman Amanda Palmer, quickly integrating into a core member of the band’s team. White and The Dresden Dolls grew up professionally together beginning at SXSW and continuing through White’s graduation day, in which she did graduate, but didn’t walk due to the band kicking off a three continent tour with Nine Inch Nails at Coachella.

Prior to graduating White completed work with Boston’s legendary promoter, Don Law Company, while working deep within the local music scene before becoming a world-class tour manager. An internship at MTV / VH1 UK solidified White’s early love for international business and view of a modern, global economy. Retiring from tour managing at age 23, including runs with Imogen Heap and festivals ranging from Glastonbury to Fuji Rock, White accepted a position at Madison House Inc. in New York working with artists such as The Fiery Furnaces, Dinosaur Jr., The Secret Machines, Angelique Kidjo, and Taj Mahal, as well as members of The String Cheese Incident and Drive-By Truckers.

White wrote a pre-Radiohead In Rainbows “name your own price” distribution model that was passed along to iconic producer Bob Ezrin in 2007. A job offer at Michael Cohl’s Live Nation Artists followed with White project managing Zac Brown Band’s debut release when he was signed along with Madonna, U2 and Jay-Z.

In 2008, White launched Whitesmith Entertainment with Keri Smith to oversee the careers of musicians and comedians such as Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs, Margaret Cho, The Hush Sound, Amanda Palmer, Eric Burdon, Family of the Year, Hockey, The Autumn Defense, Fox Stevenson and W. Kamau Bell. Whitesmith additionally successfully consulted on Jay Mohr’s goal of being nominated for Comedy Album of the Year at the 2016 Grammys.

White is a former Division I scholarship swimmer, who is the daughter and granddaughter of award winning swim coaches. Following the 2012 Olympic games White launched a sports management division with inaugural client Anthony Ervin, an Olympic gold medalist known as the “rock star” of Olympic swimming. In 2016, White signed head U.S. Olympic Women’s Swim Coach David Marsh and Olympic gold medalist Kaitlin Sandeno, expanding the sports’ division further. White additionally works with the world’s leading expert in sports and politics, Dave Zirin. And began working with Japanese-American triplet and two-time Olympian Jay Litherland following his silver medal performance at the Tokyo 202(1) Olympics.

In 2017 White released her debut book, Interning 101; a how-to guide for interns in modern business. The book is based on the “intern manifesto” handbook created by White and is published by 9GiantStepsBooks. How to Build a Sustainable Music Career & Collect All Revenue Streams is White’s second book and can be found here. It is a #1 Amazon best-seller and a course book at countless universities. In 2019, White became an adjunct instructor at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music within NYU’s Tisch School of The Arts. In 2021, How to Build a Sustainable Music Career and Collect All Revenue Streams launched as a podcast. White brings her best-selling book to life by interviewing hand-picked guests whom she considers experts on each chapter or even the entire book. Guests include Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Imogen Heap, Kam Franklin of The Suffers, Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman, Songtrust President Molly Neuman, CAA’s Akin Aliu, Zoë Keating, Ariel Hyatt, Artivist Steff Reed, Patrick Sansone of Wilco and The Autumn Defense, Donald S. Passman, Bandcamp Founder Ethan Diamond, Terrorbird’s Lauren Ross, Symphonic GM Nick Gordon, #iVoted CMO and Co-Founding Collecting Entertainment Partner Melissa Garcia, Mandolin CEO Mary Kay Huse, Artist Nikki Hill, ASCAP’s Loretta Muñoz, and more.

White is thrilled to have Co-Founded Collective Entertainment with longtime colleague Melissa Garcia. Collective Entertainment houses all of White’s entrepreneurial work and beyond.

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