Antonia has had a whirlwind of a career so far as a budding music journalist & blogger, interviewing some of your favourite artists including the likes of Ghetts and 6lack.
Taking a leap of faith and leaving Germany for London in 2017, July she immediately found a huge fascination for the city’s emerging music scene.
While completing internships in Public Relations and Artist Development, Antonia developed a passion for Events as a way of sharing the incredible talent she discovered with the world.
In this candid conversation we discuss the realities of life as a freelance music journalist and the unspoken challenges that accompany the glitz and glam.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
I have always loved music from when I was in primary school. I remember I used to go to our local shop and just flicked through all the music magazines there because I wanted to stay up to date with my favourite artists. I also tried to find out the addresses from them so I could enquire for their autographs lol. But I never thought I’d actually pursue a career in music until I was 20 years old or so.
What was the first step you took to begin your career as a music journalist?
The thought of becoming a music journalist came so sudden. I remember at that time I was studying a course at Uni which I did not enjoy at all, and I already knew I was gonna drop out eventually. I just didn’t have the guts to do it at that point. So, to distract myself, I spent my time watching all these YouTube interviews with DJ Ebro and Peter Rosenberg and somehow it really fascinated me. I always loved writing but somehow this fascination for music journalism really caught me. So I spontaneously decided I wanted to pursue that. I did some research online and came across this platform which was looking for music writers. I thought why not apply – they took me on and it all started from there.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on the journey so far?
That it’s such a competitive scene! And a lot of artists don’t care about features unless it’s from a big, big platform, which is really such a shame but hey, you can’t please everyone! But what I have learned the most is that you have got to be consistent and genuine, and then things will fall into place.
How do you deal with nerves when interviewing artists?
I can’t lie, sometimes I secretly get very starstruck when I’m interviewing high-profile artists, or generally artists whose music I have loved for many years. That’s just a different kind of nervousness lol. But generally my nervous feeling goes away after the first question is being done and it all gets a bit more relaxed. Usually before an interview I breathe in and out strongly and tell myself that I can do this and it’s all gonna be ok. Sounds cliché but it works for me.
How do you come up with your questions for interview?
It really differs. When it’s an artist I have got no clue about then I do a lot of research and come up with questions about things I would like to know more about. I also take a look at their Instagram and see if I can find anything interesting I can mention. If it’s an artist I know and have liked for a while already then questions are flowing because there are so many random things I want to know about them. Of course I also mix in rather generic questions to make the interview introductory for people who don’t know that artist.
Who would your dream interview for 2019 be?
I would love to interview Stormzy. It’s been my goal for 2018 already but I have been told he barely does interviews so I am hoping that next year I get the chance. He’s just such an inspiring person.
What’s your approach when it comes to music reviews?
When it’s an album/EP review then I make sure I listen to the album thoroughly and really take it in more than twice, so that I have an idea of how I go about it. Then I just break it up song by song. When it’s just a single review then I genuinely just write down my personal thoughts about it. Regarding event reviews, I just try to structure it from introducing the event, break down performances, and in the end I add my personal thoughts.
What are your three biggest pet peeves when being approached by artists or PRs?
I hate, hate, hate when I am being rushed by a PR. It’s just so annoying. I’m like “pay me or stop rushing me”. Or if they ask me if I can post it on every platform I’m contributing to, like first of all do your research and don’t request that much. Another pet peeve is when they spell my name wrong. Antonia is a normal name for girls, yes, even in the UK it’s not a bloody foreign name! And no, it is not the same as Antonio because that is a boy’s name. Antonia is also not the same as Antionina. My name is literally in my email, so if you cannot pronounce it then please learn to read. Also, I don’t care if an artist has got a co-sign. Good music speaks for itself. If not, then thank you, next.
What are you currently working on?
I would love to do more commissioned pieces in 2019, and more freelance work in general so I’m just trying to pattern how I can go about it.
Any Final shoutouts or plugs?
Shout-out to YOU!!! Also shout-out to my Latvian sisters Anda and Kristine, and to everyone else who has supported me along the way. I appreciate it.