My first stint as a music journalist fell on my lap long before I even knew what I wanted to do in life. It was for a publication called MTV Ink and I interviewed Joseph Hahn of Linkin Park. And I was twelve-years-old.
See, I was a hardcore Linkin Park fan (I won’t deny that), and I when MTV Ink emailed me about the opportunity, I went a little crazy. I had Hybrid Theory on loop, I watched Frat Party at the Pankake Festival the night before, and I even baked cookies for Mr. Hahn. I was the ultimate fangirl, getting help from my brother for questions to ask, and I was nervous as hell. Come the day of the interview, I headed up to the north to meet with the people behind MTV Ink and thought they were the coolest people in the world. Excitement took over as we waited for Mr. Hahn at a Burgers Burger in Ortigas. I saw him walk past and giggled like a twelve-year-old would, but he didn’t enter the burger joint. Instead, he went to get a footspa next door. So we waited a little more. And a little more. Until Joe finally came in with squeaky clean feet for my interview. And guess what? I didn’t feel that surge of nervousness kicked into one’s gut from getting starstruck. It didn’t happen. Sitting there with one of the biggest nu metal turntablists felt absolutely normal.
Later that evening, the Editor-in-Chief of MTV Ink Kristine Fonacier told me that one day, I would write for them. Sadly, MTV Ink didn’t last too long, so the dream of becoming a magazine writer was forgotten behind the hundred other dreams that came my way. In 2012, the dream was brought back to life when MTV Ink’s sister company PULP Magazine invited me to write about my PULP Summer Slam XII experience, and immediately offered me a job. I worked with PULP over the next two years, completely winging it as I went. I made a lot of mistakes, learning from them, bettering myself along the way, reading and researching from others, and brought everything I know to where I am now with Billboard Philippines.
If becoming a music journalist is something you want to do, here are 10 lessons I picked up from writing about bands, interviewing artists, and from other music writers I think would come in handy: