Celebrating 10 years in the industry this year, Melbourne based freelance writer Sosefina Fuamoli has certainly confirmed her spot as a seasoned music journalist and dedicated supporter of young writers.
Sosefina has conducted and written interviews with a whole range of artists from RÜFÜS DU SOL, Polaris and The 1975. She has also profiled some of the biggest international festivals such as SXSW, Lollapalooza and The Great Escape. Back in Australia, her work has led her to write for Rolling Stone Australia, NME, The Big Issue, and Music Feeds, along with many other well known publications. Sosefina received the ‘Live Music Journalist’ award at the National Live Music Awards this year, and is a judge herself for the Australian Music Prize for the past six years. Sosefina has spoken on multiple panel discussions at festivals and conferences such as BIGSOUND, Splendour in the Grass, CHANGES, Melbourne Writers Festival and Melbourne Music Week.
Over to you Sosefina!
A job description in your own words
Hello! I wear a couple of hats so bear with me as I try to condense things and break them down…
The easiest way to sum it up is that I work freelance as a music journalist, I do some artist PR, copywriting and content creation for a variety of titles.
I’ve been based in Melbourne for the last three years and in that time, I’ve also branched out into some speaker/facilitator roles at different industry conferences or festivals, which has been rewarding. I like meeting people and connecting other people through great conversations.
The one thread that runs throughout all of my different projects is that I’m always listening to new music – it seems to be at the foundation of everything I do!
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A brief daily journal over a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
Like I mentioned before, most of my week revolves around listening to a lot of new music, whether it be for new artist features or reviews, potential PR projects, play listing options, or as part of my role as a judge for the Australian Music Prize. Monday through Friday generally follows the same process, with some tweaks depending on what I’m working on at the time.
Mornings – 8 or 9am through until roughly 12pm – I’m focusing on clearing my inbox from the day and night before.
I have a number of colleagues who are based internationally, so I’m regularly having to work to meet other peoples’ time zones as well as my own.
This period of the day is generally when I figure out what my priority tasks will be for the day.
This is also the hardest part to stick to, as anyone in the industry can probably attest to!
Mondays and Fridays are generally the worst days for me to try and get through a To Do list.
Afternoons – 1pm through until 6pm or 7pm
Depending on the project, I’m working on facilitating the priorities or the goals that need to be met.
If I’m working on publicity campaigns, then I’m emailing, pitching, following up on admin. If I’m working on features or commissioned profile/project features, then I’m normally in the guts of edits and rewrites for days straight. It’s never ending but all part of it to get to that point where you can read back and be really proud of your work.
Afternoons are also spent sifting through new music emails – I get a lot sent to me from artists, managers and other publicists, so I usually will make a bit of a playlist in the morning, and play through the new music during a couple of hours each arvo. Then near the end of the workday, I’ll fire off some emails to those contacts if the music is up my alley or if I can get a feature landed somewhere that benefits the artist too, and we go from there.
I usually try to switch off work stuff in the evenings because things can have a habit of getting quite cyclical and hard to break. In saying this, I’m typing these answers at 10:20pm on a Monday night, so treat me as a work in progress!
Challenges and accomplishments in your week
Time management is a constant challenge I find myself coming up against – there never seems to be enough hours in a day, sometimes!
When the pandemic first hit, I did have a couple of months where I was stressing quite fervently about how I was going to manage long term without consistent work; it was the first time since I went back to freelancing where I felt completely lost. Thankfully though, things have picked back up in the last few and I’m finding myself getting back to normal, even though WFH still sucks for the most part. A big challenge I face now more than ever is reminding myself to take regular breaks.
Accomplishments though; man when you get to a Friday arvo and you realise you haven’t had a complete breakdown under work pressures? That’s a massive win.
Check out our how-to article on Motivation and Time Management to see what works best for you!
Highlights of the week (pros of the job)
Like I said, getting to the end of a project and/or campaign with an end product you’re stoked to have your name on. Finding new music and sharing that music around. Getting my teeth stuck into some longform writing projects and seeing them through from those first threads of ideas to its fully fleshed out end piece.
Lowlights of the week (cons of the job)
The sometimes late nights, which then lead into earlier than early mornings, because you’re on deadline.
Words of wisdom for people considering a job in your field
I love freelancing because I’m in a position now where I can pick and choose my projects and really craft a collection of work and achievements that is reflective of who I am, outside of the music industry, I’d like to think. If you want to do it, totally do it. Be prepared to work though, and take many L’s along the way.
It really is one of those jobs where you have to learn as you go; there are no classes in freelancing, the experience will be different for everyone. But that’s kinda great at the same time. If you’re good at what you do and you approach your work and the process of working with authenticity and positivity, that will come across in your work, and people will notice that. Then, they’ll start coming to you.
It isn’t easy, but it can provide some of the best rewarding vibes ever when you do engage in a project that you not only love, but can end up having longevity to it as well.
Self managed artist of any kind – check out our helpful tips and courses to Be Heard, Be Seen, Be Noticed!