New York - GRAMMY U Breaking Into The Business With SiriusXM

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  • Photo: Graceann Belgiorno/Recording Academy

By: Molly Chapman / GRAMMY U New York Student Representative

On March 26th, 30 GRAMMY U members visited the SiriusXM Satellite Radio headquarters in NYC, one of the biggest and most prestigious broadcasting companies in America.  Starting with a tour, GRAMMY U members walked the halls of Sirius, passing on-air studios for several Sirius programs, such as The Howard Stern Show, Christopher Russo’s MLB Network Show, and Andy Cohen’s Pop Culture Talk. After seeing the behind-the-scenes production, the GRAMMY U members were able to hear from four prominent SiriusXM employees, all working in different sectors of the company. Tracey Jordan, the current Senior Director of Talent & Industry Relations for Sirius XM, began the conversation; she oversees the talent booking and development for all of SiriusXM's urban music genres, gospel, Latin, Studio Bio 54 and urban talk channels. Next up was Torae, host of SiriusXM’s “The Tor Guide”; he shared his life story, and the ways in which he balances his rap career with his job as a radio personality.  The third panelist was DJ Wonder, who started his career in radio at NYC’s Hot 97, eventually moving over to SiriusXM as the DJ/Executive Producer of "Sway In The Morning" on Eminem’s channel Shade45. Finishing out the event was Kelly Jackson, who has developed an extensive resume working for companies like Columbia Records, Epic Records, TreMedia, V.Brown & Co., and StepSon Music/Tommy Boy. At SiriusXM, Jackson is a Supervising Producer for the “Sway In The Morning” show.

All four speakers dropped extremely valuable bits of wisdom for the GRAMMY U members. It seems that all four music professionals agreed on one very important, yet simple concept: put in the work.  DJ Wonder mentioned the importance of doing something with your free time. As college students, now is the time to get started!  Torae expressed how he makes it an effort to know who is in the room. If you meet someone at an event, they may not remember you the next time you meet, but by the third or fourth time, you will have made a solid connection. Furthermore, it is about maintaining those connections, not just making them.  As the speakers were describing their life journeys, it was clear that they put in the time and effort to get to where they wanted to be. The panelists stressed how important it is to get your foot in the door, even if that means starting at the bottom. Offer your time and effort, and sometimes that means doing it for free! People will recognize your commitment. 

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