Kenzo Mizumoto is an SAE London Music Business graduate who currently works as a Copyright Assistant for Kobalt Music Group, a world-renowned independent rights management and publishing company. We caught up with Kenzo to find out more about his studies at SAE and to get some tips and tricks for current students about landing a great job once they graduate.
How did you go about acquiring your current role at Kobalt?
Throughout my studies, I was constantly getting involved with people in the industry and working in different sectors. I did a lot of internships and work placements, and I believe that getting that knowledge and hands-on experience was crucial to getting my current job at Kobalt. Also, when looking for a full-time job, I interviewed with a few other companies – Universal, Domino Records, Good Soldier Songs – and that helped me get those interviewing skills that I was lacking right after I finished my studies.
Another thing is that before my interviews with Kobalt, I studied and learned about their history, their ethos, their clients and artists. I really admired what they were doing and wanted to be a part of that, so I made sure to tell them that during my interviews. They were pleased to see that I fully understood what their vision was, so I think that helped a lot as well.
What do the day to day duties of your job involve?
As a Copyright Assistant, I deal mainly with the publishing side of the business. Currently, I help to take care of the Brazilian territory but also other Latin territories when needed. Some of my day-to-day duties involve dealing with work disputes, talking to the collecting societies, local publishers, and catalogue users in Brazil, liaising with Kobalt clients when necessary, helping process royalty statements, tracking live performances, and checking work registrations.
What is it about IP Copyright and Publishing that interests you the most?
I like the idea of fairness and helping creators get paid what they deserve. I believe that the advancement of data and technology in the music industry is making a huge difference in how monies are being split and distributed, and that is something I find very exciting.
What made you choose to study Music Business at SAE London?
SAE caught my attention because of its name and global reach. The course programme looked very thorough and the fact that we’d be doing real-life projects was exciting to me. Having the connections that SAE and its tutors have was also a plus for me. Also, I remember that a key factor was that I’d also be studying with people from different areas, such as sound engineering, film production, games, and others, so I’d be able to collaborate with other creatives for projects.
"SAE CAUGHT MY ATTENTION BECAUSE OF ITS NAME AND GLOBAL REACH. THE COURSE PROGRAMME LOOKED VERY THOROUGH AND THE FACT WE'D BE DOING REAL-LIFE PROJECTS WAS EXCITING TO ME."
- KENZO MIZUMOTO, COPYRIGHT ASSISTANT AT KOBALT MUSIC
How did studying at SAE compliment your Business degree from Warwick?
During my time at SAE, I was constantly learning about the music industry. I’d borrow books from the library, buy some other books, read articles and magazines, and make sure I was doing a thorough research on the subjects. That mentality of doing your research properly and learning about the industry and business really helped me go through my postgraduate studies in business management.
If you had to sum up your experience at SAE in one sentence, what would you say?
It was an interesting learning curve, and I got to know myself even better and what I want to achieve in my career.
What attributes or skills do you think are the most useful in your line of work?
I’d say being extremely organised and having good communication skills. Regarding organisation, because of the amount of work disputes, registrations and checks we have to do, it’s good to know how to keep track of all of that, plus all of the other things you’re supposed to do. And in terms of communication skills, many times you’re talking to different parties to resolve an issue – collecting societies, publishers, clients – and knowing exactly how to communicate with them is key to getting the problem solved.
Do you have any advice for current and future Music Business students that will help them stand out when they apply to placements and internships?
First, get as much experience in the industry as you can, because you’ll see that the knowledge you’ll get from doing so will be really helpful when applying for jobs and they’ll see how proactive you’ve been. Second, read a lot. Read about what’s happening right now in the industry, read music industry books, articles, etc. So far, my experience has been that when companies see how much knowledge you have, they’ll notice you. And last but not least, do your research on the company. Them knowing you are interested in the company goes a long way.
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