10X10 – How one DC music grad is streaming his way to success

For emerging artist Troy Junker, the future looks bright. Since graduating from Durham College’s (DC) Music Business Management (MBM) program in 2016, Troy has been following his music dream, exploring the industry and developing his skills as a hip hop artist. His latest single, 10X10, has over 18,000 views on YouTube.

In July, Troy was one of 28 individuals selected from over 1,000 applicants for the TD Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship initiative, a national program offered by TD Bank and the SOCAN Foundation. Participants were each awarded a $3,000 start-up grant, mentorship opportunities with industry professionals and an invitation to participate in a two-week webinar learning series to hone their entrepreneurial skills to support a flourishing career in the music industry.

In the interview below, Troy shares what it was like to take part in such a rewarding initiative and how his DC experience helped paved the way.

What inspired you to pursue a career in music?

When I was in Grade 8, music inspired me to begin writing my own lyrics. It had such an impact on my life that my friends and I began rapping as we grew up. It was like a sport. Later on, it became a way to express myself or escape from real life and get lost in creating.

What has your experience been like participating in the TD Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship program?

It’s been great. I learned a lot of information and it created some helpful networking opportunities – especially now, when networking is tough because of the restrictions and impacts of COVID. Although it was hosted through video chat, it was still cool to meet new people virtually. There were some really interesting webinars about Sync, TikTok, entrepreneurship, PR and marketing, and more. I’m really looking forward to being paired up with a mentor soon.

What was the most enjoyable part of the program? What was the most challenging?

The most enjoyable part was learning more about what I’m interested in, meeting new people and being able to ask questions. What was challenging? There was a good amount of information to digest but at least it was all video recorded.

How has your experience in DC’s Music Business Management program helped you grow as a musician?

The MBM program promoted co-writing and making music with your friends. There was a time when I was making songs just by myself and DC helped shift my mindset. I learned more about myself throughout the program too, which ended up being reflected in my music.

Do you have any advice for students currently enrolled in the MBM program or those considering studying at DC?

Try to meet each other, host events (when you can) and don’t be cliquey. Hopefully in-person classes will be possible soon, but don’t let that stop you from reaching out and connecting, even if it’s virtually. Also, think about what you want to do after you’ve completed the program and work towards that outside of school when you can.

For those who are thinking about enrolling in the program, I’d highly recommend it if you want to learn about the business around music. Even if you’re not a musician, it can lead you to some exciting work in the creative industries.

What do you hope to accomplish next? Can you tell us about any exciting future projects?

I get to release some of the best songs I’ve made yet. I’ve set new goals for myself and I’m working towards releasing two projects. Right now, I’m in create mode and dropping singles fairly often.

To listen to more of Troy’s music, visit www.troyjunker.com.