Student Spotlight: Andrea Peters

The Berklee Valencia graduate student talks about managing the campus’s student-run Disrupción Records, the class that changed how she listens to music, and turning your passion into a career.

March 27, 2023

What’s it like to study at Berklee? Our Student Spotlight series asks current students all about their Berklee experience—what they’re learning in class, what kinds of projects they’re involved in onstage or behind the scenes, how they recharge, and of course, what they’re listening to. This week, get to know Andrea Peters, a native of Dallas, Texas, currently pursuing a Master of Arts in global entertainment and music business at Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain.

Tell us about your path to Berklee. What made you decide to come here?

Although I always had a passion for music, I previously majored in international business and Spanish at Elon University before moving to Madrid, Spain. I was involved with school radio in high school and college, and found myself organizing live shows and creative events in my free time. During my time at Elon, I worked as the promotions director for WSOE-FM and published countless artist interviews, concert reviews, and academic research papers on hip-hop philosophy.

I avoided this industry for a long time because I thought I wasn’t good enough to be working in a creative field, but I think I know now that if you’re willing to put in the work, your passions can totally become your full-time career.

— Andrea Peters

These experiences led me to relocate in Madrid, using my research on rap to teach as a language assistant and as a Fulbright scholar. However, I still wasn’t sure how to integrate my interests in music with my business degree, until I found the M.A. in global entertainment and music business program at Berklee Valencia. It immediately felt as though this program was the perfect intersection of music, business, and Spanish to move me towards my dream career.

What's been your favorite class so far, and what has it taught you?

Although it’s difficult to choose, my favorite class so far has most likely been A&R and Music Artistry taught by Pete Dyson. This course explores how we define talent, and how to develop it. We learned to assess vocal performance, instrumental performance, stagecraft, songwriting, image, identity, and aesthetics, amongst other things, and I truly feel like it has changed the way that I listen to music!

What's a project you've worked on since coming to Berklee that you've been especially excited about?

This year, I have accepted the position of label manager for the Berklee-sponsored Disrupción Records. I am incredibly proud of the work that the label team is doing, and the releases coming from our freshly signed roster of artists. I specifically oversee the Valencian-based sub-label Brutal Records, which is working towards connecting local creatives with the talent and resources at Berklee Valencia. I encourage everyone on my campus and abroad in Boston to connect with Disrupción and the amazing personnel on the label.

How do you typically recharge or find new ideas outside of class?

I travel back to Madrid pretty frequently, and I try my best to stay connected to the other communities I’ve built in Spain. The people here have been so inspiring and are often involved in very grassroots projects, so it is a really supportive environment for creatives.

When you think towards your own future, who inspires you most?

My friends! I have a lot of love for the people closest to me in the music industry, and I am lucky enough to have some really incredible friends that are a few years older/more experienced that have been exceptional mentors.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to your high school self?

So much has changed since high school, and I think that those changes are a part of how you know what you really want to be doing. But I guess I would tell myself: be confident in your interests. I avoided this industry for a long time because I thought I wasn’t good enough to be working in a creative field, but I think I know now that if you’re willing to put in the work, your passions can totally become your full-time career.

Andrea’s Top Five Songs Right Now

We asked Andrea to share five of her recent favorite songs. Here's what she said:

1. "Tarot," Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny has been my favorite artist for years, and he majorly influenced my interest in Spanish language music. This album, Un Verano Sin Ti, is incredible front to back, and "Tarot" has just been specifically on repeat recently.

2. "Gracias a la vida," Kiamya

This is one of the local Valencian artists working with our label, Disrupción Records. This is the track I first heard from her, and it really motivated me to reach out to her and start the conversations about the project I’m working on now.

3. "This Is What I Mean," Stormzy

I am continuing my research surrounding themes in urban music, and Stormzy has been an artist I’ve followed for many years. This track is one of my favorites from his newest album.

4. "90 Proof," Smino (with J. Cole)

Smino is one of my favorite rappers of all time, and it would be a dream to work with his team or with J. Cole and Dreamville [Cole's record label]. I often reference them both in my work at Berklee, so I loved this collab, and it’s stayed in my most-played rotation for months.

5. "Riri," Young Miko

The emerging stars of Puerto Rico are really exciting for me as an A&R, and I think the artists there have some incredible potential. Latin trap artist Young Miko continues to impress and inspire me and is pushing the boundaries for queer/female musicians!

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