Junior communication studies (CMST) major Avi Cantor (he/him) knows the importance of communication skills in just about any field one may want to pursue. For himself, Cantor plans to use his CMST skills to further advance his pursuit of work in the music industry. 

"I want to use my degree in a tactical way," Cantor said. "Just learn different aspects of marketing, different aspects of branding and advertising, so I can properly market my artists towards the demographic that would be interested in that type of music."

Cantor's goal is to get into the artists and repertoire side of the music business where he can scout talent as well as sign and develop artists for a record label. To achieve this goal, Cantor has pursued several internships and opportunities to give him hands-on experience in addition to his general course of study in CMST.

Cantor has always been into rap and R&B music and began searching for new artists while he was in high school. He even took it upon himself to start a personal blog where he covered the up-and-coming artists he found. He said his decision to start blogging seemed like a natural path for him since he also had high school experience in sports journalism.

Cantor's first experience outside of his personal research came when current Editor-In-Chief at The Temple News Lawrence Ukenye referred him to current Multimedia Editor Erik Coombs (he/him). In 2019, Coombs was creating a coalition of students called Deep Streets Media. Coombs's vision was for the coalition to cover hip-hop artists that came to Temple University and Cantor got involved by writing album reviews and doing general music coverage for the website.

It was through Coombs and Deep Streets Media that Cantor started attending webinars with Def Jam, the record label that is home to 2 Chainz, Kanye West and Rihanna, to name a few. Through those webinars, Cantor found his way to an internship with The Luxury Group. During his three months working at The Luxury Group, Cantor worked on their social media creating posts for their artists and doing basic graphic work. 

After he left, he continued networking and pursued an internship at Alamo Records where he got his first taste of the research side of the business. There, he used data tracking technologies to track streaming numbers and social media engagement for up-and-coming artists. Through daily meetings, he was able to bring new artists to the attention of the label, some of which ended up getting signed. 

Now, after a year at Alamo Records, Cantor is interning at StreamCut, a distribution company that works to get artists' music onto major streaming platforms and playlists. At StreamCut, he has more freedom to explore artists and bring them to the attention of the company, and hopes his work there will get him closer to his goal of signing an artist himself.

In addition to his work at StreamCut, Cantor also writes for Daily Chiefers, a platform and music blog that offers coverage to artists. There, he conducts interviews, covers artists journalistically and performs public relations tasks.

Currently, Cantor is taking MSP 2663: The Recording Industry and Music Business with Adjunct Professor James Donio, KLN '77 (he/him). Cantor immediately made an impression on Donio when he reached out to him before even deciding to take the class in order to get more information.

"I was kind of blown away with what he'd already been able to accomplish professionally at his age. He's definitely a go-getter," Donio said. He noted that in addition to being an excellent student, Cantor understands the importance of networking and developing skills to make yourself stand out. Donio, who studied journalism at Temple, is glad to see that Cantor is a CMST student because, as he says, communication is the foundation of the music industry. 

Cantor, a Philadelphia native, was originally reluctant to come to Temple because it was so close to home. However, he is glad he stayed because of the rich music culture in the city.

"I've been really fortunate to have a lot of great teachers and a lot of great experiences, and I wouldn't trade it for the world," Cantor said.