Music writer speaks on entering the music industry

Ruben Paquian

From writing for Grammy Magazine and Forbes, to performing in the same lineup with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Lupe Fiasco, Ogden Payne has found himself in the center of music industry. The Austin native has made a career commenting on the rap and hip-hop music scene, writing on up-and-coming artists and industry trends.

On Thursday, Payne will share advice on breaking into the business side of the music industry at the Euphoria ATX meeting. Payne said he plans to talk about his own personal experiences as a music writer, as well as tips on networking and developing a personal brand.

“Even if you don’t have a career in the music industry, this will help you in whatever aspect you decide to do,” Payne said.

The visit is part of his For the Students Tour, a lecture series devised to help an interdisciplinary range of students interested in music find direction in their careers. As a student, Payne said he struggled  to find his place in the industry and had to learn a lot on his own. Now, Payne wants to aid those going through similar experiences.

“I was making what I felt was small strides when everyone else I was looking at (was) making long strides,” Payne said. “Essentially I created (For the Students) because I knew this was something I wanted.”

For The Students and Euphoria ATX share the common goal of connecting students to the music world. Established in 2014 by two McCombs students, the Euphoria ATX’s goal is to provide students with access to industry professionals and connect them with Austin’s music scene. They meet bi-weekly, hosting speakers from companies like C3 Present as well as putting on shows with local and student artists around Austin.

Euphoria ATX Co-President Jared Huskey said he is excited to add Payne to the list of professionals to speak for the organization.

“We have so many people with so many different talents,” Huskey said. “It’s (going to) be really dope having Ogden Payne come because I don’t (think) we’ve had a music writer come speak to us before.”

During his presentation, Payne will also discuss details for a $500 dollar scholarship he’s awarding at the end of the tour to further help struggling students. Payne said he wants students to make the most out of their time in college and to take advantage of the resources available to them now.

“Do as much as you can for your career as possible,” Payne said. “Now is the time to get a head start, now is the time to pull the whole ‘Oh I’m just a poor student can you help me,’ now is the time to do everything you can. Of course make sure you have fun, but be serious, and be intentional about what you want to do.”