23/04/2018: UK Music hosted our latest MAP Roadshow at Bucks New University on Monday, featuring top industry experts from BPI, PPL, and Ninja from The Go! Team.
The day kicked off with an introduction from our Head of Education and Skills Oliver Morris, followed by CEO Michael Dugher in conversation with Ninja.
The musician, fresh from a US tour, talked about the importance of networking, her new project Mob The Set, the importance of UK Music and its members and her infectious passion for music.
She praised our work on Brexit and the touring passport – and is hoping for a special gold edition.
The talk was followed by a careers panel, chaired by Oliver and featuring Ninja, producer Lauren Deakin Davies from the MPG and FAC, Claire Rose from PRS For Music, Chris Tams from the BPI, Nina Radojewski from AIM, Leo O’Brien from PPL, Muse’s tour manager Glen Rowe and Jonathan Bond from Music Gateway.
Glen, who has 23 years of experience in the music industry, told students a hilarious anecdote about how stealing Mars bars had led him to become a drum technician, which eventually led him into his current career path.
Lauren discussed how she started as a producer in her shed and used cash from the first EP she produced to buy a new mic.
On just the third EP she worked on, ages 18, she gained her first radio airtime – Diamond Girl by Kelly Oliver was played by both Bob Harris and Mark Radcliffe on Radio 2 in 2014. She launched her solo project DIDI last year.
Jonathan told students how important it is to make connections online and how they can use Music Gateway to find people for collaborations outside your genre or comfort zone.
Nina described how the ‘old silos had broken down’ and that now, some labels do management and labels are doing A&R – not just one thing anymore.
Chris also highlighted the blurred lines between jobs. When he started out in 1993, he “could control who got played, which has gone out the bag now – artists used to sign to a label via their management and the label was responsible for 90% of the stuff – but in the last few years it’s all changed, and you can have more control over your career if you want it.”
He also mentioned how there are 15 or 20 times more records released now than 25 years ago, with “the best have got a lot better and the worst have gotten worse.” His top tip was to “do your research and don’t be an arsehole”.
Ninja also pitched in and said how important it was to have a supportive network to get advice from. She said she could get advice from the ‘amazing people’ at the Go! Team’s label, and is learning from them, but could also call contacts at major labels and hear what they’d do for a different perspective.
Her top piece of advice was that she wished when she’d started out that she’d had more people to ask for advice and to be stronger and push back against decisions she didn’t like.
After lunch, Glen held a very popular talk on his extensive experience in the industry and how he’s seen it change.
He told students about how important transferable skills are, how he loves Microsoft Excel more than his children – “learn to love it, because you’ll spend the rest of your career doing spreadsheets” – and all about advance packs and splitter vans. He said there are two types of people: “those who follow their passion, and those who follow their pension.”
Oliver, Nina, Leo, Jonathan and Chris also held an industry panel. They told one student interested in becoming a sound supervisor to “find out where directors hang out, what they do, and that’s how you get into it. Very few people get the job they want straight away but you just have to keep plugging away at it. You’re not always going to go in directly.”
Lauren held a production workshop and advised students to utilise all the equipment they had available to them while at the university to prepare them for working in real studios. She said: “You can have the best kit in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, it doesn’t matter. If you want to work as a producer, find other students and record them. Go to open mic nights and ask artists to come in and work with you. Experience is key.”
To round off the day, Ninja asked her group to make and send her two playlists – one of songs which they wished they’d written and songs which they’d put in a compilation – and work out what draws them to the songs to help write their own music. She also talked about the bonuses of collaborating with other writers.
There was also a behind-the-scenes look at High Wycombe’s Swan Theatre, for students to see the day-to-day running of a 1000-capacity venue.
Our next MAP Roadshow is at The Tin in Coventry on May 1 – get a free ticket here.
Our careers panel chaired by Oliver Morris featuring industry professionals including Ninja, Chris Tams from BPI, Nina Radojewski from AIM, Leo O’Brien from PPL, Glen Rowe and Jonathan Bond.Back to news