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“Beyond the talent, Berklee is a truly bonding experience. You will meet people that become family and will always have the doors open for you.”— Ángela Gil M.A.’17
Ángela Gil M.A.’17 has spent eight years working for IBM and multiple agencies in roles involving marketing, partnerships, and business partner development. Thanks to her career, she has lived in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and, most recently, the U.S., where she is now based.
We talked to her about her role as CEO and founder of World Jam Productions and Future X Sounds (FxS), and how Berklee Valencia has been an essential partner in her success.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree in Berklee’s Master of Arts in Global Entertainment and Music Business program at the Valencia campus?
My father was an industry executive, so music was present in my life since a very early age. While my professional career originally took a different path, I started organizing my first gigs while working at IBM, which gave me the opportunity to learn by doing and the time I needed to shape my vision. While attending Berklee had been on my mind for a while, it was not until my father passed away that I decided not to spend another day of my life doing something I did not truly love.
What opportunities did you have, being in Valencia, that you may not have had otherwise?
Everyone has a different experience, and timing is key. When I attended Berklee, I had been managing my company for a few years and had experience in grad school, so I knew exactly what I was looking for. What made a key difference for me was meeting amazing people that I still call mentors, coworkers, and friends, who have had an incredible impact on my career.
What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned at Berklee?
This journey has taught me that you create your own opportunities by being present and doing the work, by understanding and trusting your own path, and by surrounding yourself with people who inspire and challenge you. This industry can be intense, and building relationships and trust is key.
When did you found Future X Sounds, and how did you know that there was a need in the market for your project?
Future X Sounds is an evolution of some of my previous work, but the concept and values remain the same. Being immersed in the culture, you realize that a lot of the musicians in bigger acts either have or want to have their own individual projects. FxS is about those bigger names shifting the spotlight once a year, in recognition of and gratitude to those artists who have been so pivotal in building their own careers and sound. FxS partners with artists across the country and gives them the platform to curate the sounds of their hometowns. The goal is to see each city through the eyes of the host, connecting their influences, and their own music and curated acts, giving creative control back to the people who know their music and their scene best: the artists.
Many of the artists you work with are Berklee alumni. Can you name some of these artists and explain why Berklee is a good resource to find talent?
Beyond the talent, Berklee is a truly bonding experience. You meet people that become family and will always have the doors open for you. You just have to look around you to see examples of success. Igmar Thomas, James Casey, Louis Cato, Josh Hari, Mark Whitfield, and many others count collaborations with Lauryn Hill, Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, the Roots, Trey Anastasio Band, or J.J. Cole. I would not limit this just to artists, though; teachers, staff, guest speakers, and all the people you meet, like Pablo Munguía, Scott Cohen, Yvette Noel-Schure, Stef Pascual, or Meghan Stabile, will make all the difference.
Aside from Future X Sounds, you also founded World Jam Productions. Can you tell us more about the company?
The World Jam was the name of the first festival I produced, and it has now evolved into a production company. I have an artist’s soul equipped with a business, partnerships, and strategic background. I love creating stories and projects, and bringing them to life. We do concert and festival production, serve as artists’ liaisons, set up programming, and do media relations and artist and brand activation consulting. We launched the International Jazz Day Festival in Madrid, and worked and collaborated with festivals such as Winter Jazz Festival, SummerStage with Revive Music, GroundUP Music, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and Art of Cool with HighBreed Music.
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