Well, hello again. It’s been a while. Probably a month, or summat. So, what better way to break the time away then to tell you all about my trip to London this weekend. Remarkably, I’ve gathered a lot more than what I expected on how to get into the music industry. I’ve also gathered that travelling in London – never mind living in London – is a nightmare. So many people. Angry, fast people.
Over the weekend, I travelled to South London. More specifically, Brixton. More specifically, the old Tobacco Docks in the East End of London. This was were the first annual BBC Introducing Live Festival was happening. Hundreds of professional industry talks, masterclasses and performances from Thursday to Saturday; and what an insight it was!
The event location itself was such a find – such a quaint iconic venue for events such as this. All transversed on like two floors with additional food and drink stalls. Seminar rooms and performance stages echoed throughout the venue. It was such a cool-looking venue and was the perfect setting for something like this – showing a sign of originality and a depth of creativity.
The talks I went to covered elements of the music industry such as; becoming an influencer in music; getting there as a band: how did The Amazons do it?; Public Relations in Music; Capturing Your Sound in the Studio; A&R Masterclass; Breaking Artists: How Have They Done It? (Tom Grennan, SOAK, Lotto Boys) etc.
A lot of the talks covered very similar points of contact, too. Most of the time, it was you yourself who had to do anything – no-one will do it for you, so do things while you’re developing and building yourself with an asset of skills. Of course, this is something that you learn at such a more tender age when you’re younger so it’s no shock to hear it by the professionals who work deep within the industry. Regardless with the music industry, I think it’s like that with all industries. But more so, with music.
And another buzzword that flew around the venue was building a network. Again, it goes back to the quote of, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – and that has never rung more true in the case of the music industry. So, placements, volunteering and getting your name out there is what you can do or need to do to start building your way up. But of course, it’s meeting the right people that can prove a bit more difficult in the process.
There was also a lot of gliding over typical questions the ask a lot of the corporate side – a lot of the time. For instance, a question that was said the most was like, “what do you look for in an artist etc. what makes you choose them etc.” And, their response was a usual go-to/ cop out answer of, the passion and desire for becoming an artists – of course, it’s also many factors that they cannot discuss – I mean, doesn’t everyone share the same passion? It ultimately comes down if your music is good, and if your ‘desirable’ enough. But of course, with it being run by the BBC, it was extremely corporate and won’t give you the dark secrets of the industry as it will give it a different image. I don’t know what I’m really saying, but I hope you get what I’m saying.
The professionalism shown as well when disgruntled musicians stood up and essentially spouted at how they’ve not really got anywhere, the way they handled such questions and glided over them, was well done. Almost like a cover up was in place. A lot of the time, there was a lot of awkward cover ups, I felt. And a lot of the responses felt familiar, scripted-like, and it was bit disappointing. But, there’s only so much you can tell without going into stuff that shouldn’t be said.
The amount of stuff available at your fingertips was extraordinary however; gaining such strong insights into the music industry. It’s given me some new inspired lease of life as well some valuable quotes from the professionals to use as my own so I seem more like I know what I am talking about …
There was a lot of information surrounding the air to catch and jot down but the main points was to – be inspired in yourself; discover your DNA – what makes you you? – and try to really make your local area your playground, spreading your name out there as much as possible. It was also thrilling to see all those musicians at the same event and that they’re all there for the same purpose, with the same passion and desire to get where those professionals are on the stage.
I also saw a lot of famous faces – clanger warning – Huw Stephens, Tom Grennan and The Amazons to name a few, so that was always fun to see faces that you’ve also seen on a screen; of course, seeing a famous person if front of you, it was surreal.
Overall, it was a magnifying experience into the industry, seeing familiar faces, learning ideas, concepts, tips into certain pathways – of course, it was all covering familiar terrorites that I have recently learned at university. So, it was quite reassuring to see that my course was holding up and teaching me necessary stuff. But, the overall experience was overwhelming; so that is what’s most important, really.
After Saturday, we embarked upon a trip into Brixton on the Sunday. Seeing what Brixton has to offer. And wow, how culturally diverse it was! Of course, I’m sure that’s a testament for the rest of London. But, the roots of Caribbean and reggae are ever-present in Brixton and that’s so great to see. The little villages and food stalls hidden among the streets are a nice little discovery to fall upon. Of course, this is perhaps the same throughout London, but seeing all these independent cafes, bars and stalls was a nice change to see instead of your global monopolies that are seen to be everywhere. Of course, they were there too. So yes, very lovely place to live in, I reckon.
Something not so nice, is how frantic everything is. Of course, this wasn’t my first rodeo to London. But, I am still taken aback at how busy and frantic everything runs – even on a Sunday night – the tubes were packed like it was a Monday morning. The tubes – don’t get me started on the tubes. Nightmarish. People’s stupidity on them never ceases me to make me laugh.
So yes, London. What a beauty to visit. So many little gems to discover. A beauty to visit. Not so much to live in. Too hectic for me, I think. Maybe at a city that doesn’t have so many people in it. Manchester perhaps?
Time will only tell.
That’s all from me.
Note: I would like to thank my family on covering my expenditures on this trip – trains costs as well as hotel costs! Cheers x