Emily Tantuccio

Emily Tantuccio, this week’s Campus Celebrity, certainly knows what it feels like to chase her dreams. At the young age of 21, she has already established a name for herself as a freelance publicist and entertainment photographer, working with big time musicians such as Paramore, Jake Miller, and Blink 182, and she has even scored an internship with MTV! Check out her website (www.emilytantuccio.com) and read on to find out how this self-starter is taking the music world by storm.

Name: Emily Tantuccio

Hometown: Old Bridge, NJ

School(s): School of Communication and Information, Rutgers Business School

Major: Communication

Minor: Entrepreneurship 

Year: 2016


How did you first become involved in the music industry and what motivates you to stick with it?

I started going to concerts and smaller shows regularly when I was around 13 or 14, and just fell in love with everything about the live music environment.  I recognized very early on that I was lucky to find this community of people who were extremely passionate about what they were doing - I felt like I had found something bigger than myself, and I really liked the way it gave me (and so many other kids) something very positive to identify with outside of school and my daily life.  These bands had a true impact on me, and I wanted to be able to figure out how I could bring that to other kids, and eventually find myself in a position where I could bridge that gap between an artist worth believing in, and other kids who were in search of something else to be apart of.  I started emailing every music venue in the state when I was 16 and ended up getting myself an internship at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, booking bands and helping run the venue's social media.   I also started shooting shows at the same time by requesting press and reviewing concerts through my high school newspaper - not sure how I got away with that, but it worked.  

What motivates me to stick with it is that I have had some very surreal, incredible opportunities through music - and more importantly, I have met some of the most talented, dedicated, giving people who have become my very best friends.  Not everyone is lucky enough to find something they believe in so passionately in a lifetime, and I found it before my 18th birthday.  I've gotten to see my photos published in magazines sold around the country and I've gotten to travel to some beautiful cities I never imagined I'd see so early on in life.  For the past few months, I've been interning at MTV in their publicity department, which was always my dream.  I've had the opportunity to work directly with some of my favorite bands in the world, like Paramore, and the more I get involved in the industry, the more I see how special it is to be apart of music.  I work for a non-profit organization called Living the Dream Foundation where we bring kids battling life-threatening illnesses to meet their favorite artists at concerts, and getting to pay it forward that way has been the best part about any of it.  I have so many bigger goals and aspirations that I haven't even gotten to yet, and I'm so excited to see what's in store for me as I continue.  I want other people to experience what I have experienced.  Music is an important force in our culture and I believe in what we can build because of it.   


Since you have so much music industry experience under your belt, I'm dying to know- who are your personal favorite musicians?

Too many.  Jack's Mannequin, Taking Back Sunday, Third Eye Blind, Motion City Soundtrack, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, Elder Brother, Turnover, Copeland, Fireworks, The 1975.. Favorite newer bands are definitely A Will Away, Head North and Somos, everyone should be listening to those guys.  I also am a diehard and absolutely shameless pop music fan - Halsey is about to take over the world, along with James Bay. 


I also know you are heavily involved in photography- describe what your favorite shoot was.

Live shoot was probably Paramore this past May.  I was the only photographer there, aside from my best friend, and watching the way Hayley Williams works a stage was unbelievable - her presence is something fierce.  Halsey at Webster Hall a few weeks ago was also a phenomenal show.  For a photo shoot I've done with an artist one on one, probably when A Will Away and I ran around Brooklyn for a whole day around the end of the summer to take their new press photos for the rerelease of their new record.  We were very overheated and cranky by the end, but I've had the privilege of working with them for two years now.  And they have become like brothers to me, so it's always funny trying to get work done - but we do.  And I was very proud of those photos afterwards.  


Pictures taken by Emily at her favorite shoots (from top to bottom: Paramore, Pierce the Viel, A Will Away).


What is a typical day as an intern at MTV like?

Surreal!  Every time I get to wake up and go to work there, I'm thankful for the opportunity to even be in that building and learn from the staff there.  A lot of it is standard publicity work - monitoring media coverage, putting together press reports for different awards shows and programming, and helping with other logistics or event planning, booking talent for travel, things like that.  But lately I've gotten to work on a project that has been very exciting for me, which is preparing a complete media strategy for an awards show MTV hosts over spring break in Austin, TX for indie artists on the verge of being breakout stars.  MTV actually values the opinions of its interns - we're in their target demographic, so we definitely bring them some fresh ideas.  Getting to bring my freelance experience there and really sharpen my skills through being apart of this team has been a really special thing for me.      


And here's a fun question to finish up with- you're the newest addition to the color box, what color are you and why?

Probably ginger snap, if they don't have that yet.  I think that one's a given.