Interning at Saffron Records

I loved Interning at Saffron Records because it is both supportive and challenging in one lovely gulp! I came across Saffron at a BBC 6 Fringe Festival, Music Hack, where we discussed how music can be used for social change. Saffron is obviously a shining example of this. For anyone concerned about issues of equality, or interested in how equality will shift the creative landscape of the music industry, there couldn’t be a better place to work. Beyond this, it is an excellent place to learn skills in a professional and well connected label.

Having built a catalogue of artist interviews for university radio, I graduated with vague ideas to continue this work, unsure how to make this achievable or financially viable. Creative Director, Laura, is incredibly attune to her team, and dedicated to finding the right road for her interns, apprentices and artists. Because of this, I was able to follow what I enjoyed doing, allowing an internship in PR to emerge. I went to festivals to interview artists, wrote official press releases and planned online campaigns for our artists’ releases. I was also able to speak for Saffron at networking events and on community radio.

As a recent graduate, with media or music ambitions, you can find yourself sludging around in pretty murky terrain! Your head full of ideas of where you should be, but realistically being unable to get a solid footing. My experience at Saffron showed me how important a first step is, no matter how insignificant it seems. Fittingly, Saffron is named after the spice, with the idea that a little of something good can go a long way. That’s exactly how I feel this experience grew. I was given a lot of freedom and responsibility, and learnt that you become, through doing. You have to take the punk attitude that you’ll learn on the job. There is a tendency for women to only apply for jobs they’re 100% qualified for, Saffron taught me that taking action is more important. By working here, a more focused career emerged from the work I did, the creative network forming around me as I went, making my next step possible.

The empathetic management style of Saffron makes it a unique company to work for. The label’s ethos, the respect for our artists’ ideas and desired direction, is reflected throughout all its teaching platforms – the internships, apprenticeships, workshops and courses. These all provide a clear work plan and framework, whilst supporting your own talents and contributions. This really helped to build my confidence, as I could take initiative on projects and have my own ideas recognised and utilised. I am now able to apply this to my own life, publicising my writing work without cringing, or even saying no to opportunities that aren’t right for me. There is a certain pressure to take all opportunities that come your way, but having the confidence to prioritise what is right for you and your direction is just as important.

Lastly, Saffron supports me in my beliefs. The statistics on the gender gap in the music industry are so extreme that they can be quite overwhelming, especially when public opinion is not always up to speed on the issue. Feeling supported, and knowing I’m doing what I can to encourage progress, puts me in a stronger position to assess how to make the situation better, how to talk to people, how to build a clear image of the difference we want to see.

I now work in Bookings and Promotions at renowned gig venue Mr. Wolfs, but Saffron Records hasn’t waggled me off quite yet! It taught me that nothing is really out of reach. You just have to put yourself in a good environment with people who believe in you, take ownership of what you learn, and do whatever it is you want to be, no matter the scale or the quality! That will come.

 – written by Megan India McGurk



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