Email Interview with Henry Mackowiak, Sigma Chi Rho Chapter event music coordinator/music promoter.
Friday June 10th, 2016
Nick Carmola conducted the interview
What is your current occupation?
I am a full time student, working on becoming immersed into the entertainment/music world. Specially, I would like to be in the Hip Hop industry. I do all the planning for my fraternity whenever we have an event that needs some sort of music entertainment. My position is the music event coordinator. I book performers/DJs to come host a party or philanthropy event at our house.
How did you get started? Did this start in college?
Hip-Hop has been a part of my life forever. I was really into starting free style rap battles in high school. These were very informal but I was relied on to organize them so it could be free flowing and fun. When I got to college and joined a fraternity I started doing it again. I eventually helped an older student in the frat plan music for events. When he graduated I started doing it on my own.
Ok, you’re hosting an event…What kinds of clients are you looking for?
I would want to interview them first and get to know what type of people I am working with. If it’s a philanthropy event then we are really looking for a DJ that can have clean/radio edited music. Those type events require music that puts people in a good mood. For our other events we would plan case by base. There could be different themes so I would question them about their styles if they have multiple facets to their performance. If we are booking a performer we usually go with someone from our school or maybe an alumni. We have many liability issues so that is always the best way to book a performer.
What is the skill set that you need to have for this position?
You need to have lots of energy. For me, it’s a never ending job. I constantly get emails, texts and calls updating me on the bits and pieces of hosting an event. That being said, you need to be well organized and know how to sort your priorities. Sometimes, sending an extra email or text, asking for an update can really help move the process forward. You also need patience when dealing with all sorts of people.
What do you like about this position?
I love being in charge of how an event sounds. My job is to make sure that people enjoy their time and appreciate the music they are hearing. It all becomes worth it when you see people in the moment having a good time.
What is the most challenging part of being the event music coordinator?
You never know when something will come up. People get sick, DJs cancel on you, equipment goes missing, stuff gets unplugged. When you’re doing this kind of work, you never know what you’re going to get on a day to day basis. It’s really challenging not to panic if something goes wrong. Sometimes you want to get mad but you remember that things happen sometimes.
What’s the biggest challenge you've had in the past 3 years?
I actually had a DJ not show up to a huge event. He planned to bring all the equipment and everything. Luckily, my fraternity brothers stepped up and were able to put on a flowing music show by opening a bunch of Youtube pages on a lot of tabs.
What are your plans after you graduate next year?
I would like to spend time with some of the performers I got to know at school. They are doing a lot of studio work on campus and I would like to help promote and manage events for them. I recently got a new camera and have gotten involved with producing music videos. I will stay in this area for about 2 years and after that I will look to branch out and take my talents somewhere else.
What opportunities do you see in Indiana?
Indiana has great colleges. Purdue, Indiana, Indiana State, Butler, Ball State, Notre Dame and many others provide all sorts of opportunity. Campus life crazy! I see college campus’ as a huge opportunity for exposure.
Any advice for people thinking about getting into this kind of work?
Be ready to work with all different kinds of people. Some will be great to work with, others not so much. You need a positive attitude and the ability to put others before yourself.
Anything else you would like to add?
Follow my friend Aaron on instagram! @Doubleamuzic He does great work!