#AwayFromTheNest: Andy Lalwani manages social media presence of LA record label
SOC junior takes involvement with YouTube community to the next level
AU students are on the go year-round, and that only intensifies as the temperature gets warmer and the spring semester ends. From political conventions in California to volunteer trips in South America and beyond, summer takes students away from AU and into the world around them. This summer, the Eagle is launching a summer series chronicling their adventures. Join us as we publish a new story weekly on how students are spending their summer #AwayFromTheNest before they return to campus in the fall.
Rising junior Andy Lalwani aspires to make it big as a host in the entertainment industry and he’s starting in Los Angeles. Using skills he’s picked up with his Film and New Media Studies major, Lalwani has been working on building the social media presence of record label Heard Well in addition to being an active content creator on YouTube, where his self-titled channel has over 5,000 subscribers. The Eagle had the opportunity to chat with Lalwani online about his experience working with the LA-based record label as part of the #AwayFromTheNest summer series.
EAGLE: Tell me about what you’re doing this summer. Where are you interning and what are you doing?
AL: For the summer, I have been living in Los Angeles. I decided just to pack up and go to see if I could really make it, and I wanted to submerse myself in my work. I’ve been working with a record label created by a social media influencer named Connor Franta. Heard Well, the title of the record label, is the first label entirely powered by social tastemakers, and their communities. We partner with influencers to create playlists of their favorite emerging artists. Recently, I have helped curate compilation albums with influencers including JC Caylen, Andrea Russett and Tyler Oakley. I help run the social media, logistics and overall operations of the company, and I will even be doing [that] throughout my time at American University.
EAGLE: What made you want to take on this internship?
AL: I knew some of these YouTubers growing up seeing them on the internet, and was given the opportunity to work with the company. At the beginning, I was working primarily on their social media, but they saw my potential and I help [run their social media] more than I ever could have imagined. I couldn’t turn down an opportunity like this.
EAGLE: What is your favorite part about this internship?
AL: It is kind of cool to say that I work within the Creative Artists Agency building in Los Angeles. As a huge entertainment hub, I just see and meet so many unique individuals every day. From working across [from] the manager of Kevin Hart to bumping into a representative for Ellen DeGeneres, it’s something I will miss for sure.
EAGLE: I know you’ve also been working with Playlist Live while at Heard Well this summer, which is an annual convention for online creators held in Orlando, Florida and Washington, D.C. What is it like working with other online creators at Playlist Live?
AL: It is so unique that I have an opportunity to work with Playlist Live because everyone has different goals and mindsets, but we all are willing to lend a helping hand to one another. It can be hectic at times to help coordinate a convention or even control yourself when you are finally there, but everyone is just so unique in their content creation. I feel so inspired by the people around me every day.
EAGLE: What other projects or internships are you working on this summer?
AL: I have been working on a lot of projects lately. I have been working with a lot of influencer marketing with large companies and even helping other content creators with their videos. Recently, I partnered with VISA to create a virtual reality video with my closest LGBTQ+ friends about 360 degrees of acceptance. As a group, we told our stories about our experiences growing up being LGBTQ+, and I know how much it is going to help others. Other upcoming [projects] include partnering with HP and a potential signing with Multi Channel Network Fullscreen.
EAGLE: Your YouTube channel has more than 5,000 subscribers. What kind of content do you create for YouTube? What is your favorite part about being a content creator?
AL: I make a lot of content about pop-culture, my life growing up as an LGBTQ+ person, and overall I just hope that people who watch my channel realize that growing up isn’t so scary after all. My favorite part of being a content creator is that we all have our backs for one another. Whether you see someone online or in person, you treat them like family because they truly are an amazing group to have around.
EAGLE: You seem to be a busy person with your internship and your active YouTube account. How do you manage to keep up with all of those?
AL: Honestly, it can be crazy at times. It is a lot of time management, and at times it doesn’t always work out but I am always planning ahead. I feel like I work a lot harder than others at times to make ends meet, but I know they will work out. Just because people on YouTube have a large amount of followers doesn’t always mean they make the most money.
EAGLE: What are your goals for the account? Where do you see it going? Do you want to turn it into a business, or something else?
AL: I would love for these opportunities to help pay for school, and they truly are. Hosting is my main goal, and I feel that this outlet is helping me meet a lot of people out in the entertainment industry. This industry is hard. Entertainment is cut throat, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Andy Lalwani is a rising junior in the School of Communications studying Film and New Media Studies. You can find his YouTube channel here.