Music Industry Careers: Elleana Dumper

  • How did you get involved in Ignite?
    I came across it when I was 16, at a time when I was involved in the all-ages music scene. It was frustrating that some of my favourite local and international acts performed at R18 venues. I got an email about applications for Ignite from my music teacher, Mary Lin at Baradene College, and was immediately interested.

    What did learn through doing the programme?
    We had the chance to put on our own gig - and it wasn't only my own motivation but for the community of other teenagers around me. It can be a bit of a negative scene around the music industry, and somewhat intimidating. R18 restrictions block out the all-ages scene. It feels like we don't have say, as music consumers, especially since we're the future of the music industry.

    All-ages live events feel so inspiring. The crowd reaction unites everyone together - I find it mutually compelling to the performance, the exchange of energy between audience and the performer. And when it's your own gig, it's an incomparable feeling!

    I curated hip-hop artists from the Grow Room on K Rd. I was interested in them because hip-hop has been less common in the all-age scene. I put it on at the Old Folks Association Hall in Grey Lynn.

    Ignite taught me everything I know in terms of the industry side of music. I never looked at the business or industry side before - communications by phone and email, and budgeting, and time management. It helped me to be more confident in myself and my creative direction, and to find my voice.

    When did you decide to pursue tertiary study in commercial music?

    My mum found the degree for me, and my parents were encouraging. Ignite sparked the reality of finding a career. I chose the Music Industry major, where you learn about event and artist management. I've really enjoyed the Live Music paper. We've learned to redefine what a live event is, and different ways to market and reach live audiences; curating artists, and budgeting. You think critically but also creatively. We will work together with Music Practice and Music Technology majors to put on a live event that has a unique concept.

    What advice would you give to other young people who want to work in the music industry?
    I think it's important to find something you enjoy - as a performer, or more of the business side. Do something you're interested in. What do you love to do so much that you procrastinate doing other things? For me it was going to gigs. I would suggest looking for any volunteering at local events.

    Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

    I'm not entirely sure of my direction just yet - but I'm just learning and absorbing everything I can to build a wide skill set, experiences and relationships. I like to think of myself as endlessly changing and moving because that's how I stay happy.

    To learn more about the Ignite programme, click here.
    To learn more about the Bachelor of Commercial Music at Massey University, click here.