Raising Voices – Music Futures: Getting into Publishing with MPA NXT-Gen Scholar Sam Picton


 Music Futures: Getting into Publishing with MPA NXT-Gen Scholar Sam Picton


Sam is Co-Founder of In The Credits, a student sync company run by students for students and is a 2021 MPA NXT-Gen Scholar. He is a part-time sprinter, studying for a Music Business degree in Manchester and is an ambassador for Just Like Us, the LGBTQ+ young people’s charity.  He spoke to us about his career journey so far and path to his current role.

Read more about the NXT-Gen Scholars programme here.

1. How did you first get into/interested in music publishing?
I always knew that I wanted to study Music Business at university but I wasn’t sure what area of the industry that I wanted to be in. I wanted it to be something creative, and my interest in sync grew as soon as I found out about it because I’ve always been drawn towards music in film and music for visual media. I started following different pages and accounts on social media about music publishing and sync, and that’s when I started following the MPA and found out about the NXT-Gen Scholarship programme.

2. Has college/university/a work experience placement guided your career at all?
Definitely. I wanted to gain some work experience in music supervision or a similar area before I started studying for my degree (which I enjoy, though it focuses more on music management, A&R, marketing, live music than it does on sync). Thomas Miller, who owns a sync company based in Sheffield called Music X Film, kindly offered me some work experience after I reached out to him despite the fact that I had no experience in sync beforehand. That offer led me to where I am now, and I’m lucky to not only have gained that experience but to have gained a genuine friend in Thomas too. I hope that I can offer the same kind of opportunity to a young person who wants to work in sync in the future.

3. How did you get to the point you are now? Has the MPA helped you in your journey?
I got to the point that I am now because of how difficult it is to get work experience in sync, particularly outside of London. That’s why my friend and I co-founded our student sync company In The Credits ( – we decided to create our own work experience instead! Our company focuses on giving talented student composers the opportunity to write and compose scores for student films, which allows everybody involved in every aspect of the process to gain sync experience.

4. What do you love most about your job/the publishing sector?
I love working with so many other creative young people, knowing that they trust us as a company with their visions and their art forms. It’s also gratifying to be able to put my knowledge of the legalities surrounding sync into practice because I’m really interested in music law.

5. What 3 top tips would you give to someone just starting out in music publishing or taking their career to the next level?
My first piece of advice, particularly to anybody starting out, would be not to put too much weight on ‘networking’. Just remember that your attitude and what you know define you a lot more than who you know. Secondly, people in this industry are learning new things all the time, so don’t overthink it if you don’t know everything right away. Finally, make sure that you are doing what makes you happy – and remember that it’s normal to change your mind about what this is!

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