Island musician Joe MacMillan gets big break from Culture PEI

Joe MacMillan says music has always been in his heart, but he also knows that it's hard to make it as a musician.

Now on the heels of the release of his first solo single, Heartsick Angels, he said he was able to launch his career with the help of a 12-week Culture PEI program that helps emerging artists build a business around their skills.

"It helped me get the ball rolling when I was never in a situation that I could get my music off the ground because I always had to have crappy jobs," said MacMillan.

The HIVE program is a paid internship geared to those who have completed professional arts training, but need help with getting the business skills necessary to make a career in the arts possible. Participants must be between the ages of 15 and 30.

MacMillan studied radio and television at Toronto's Ryerson University.

Before launching his solo single, MacMillan also played with a couple of groups. However, he said it's HIVE and a new job at Music PEI that are giving him the big break he was looking for.

"[I'm] feeling like I'm more of a professional person instead of just writing songs in my room," he said. "[I'm] getting out there and meeting people that could move people's music careers forward."