I haven’t been on Solent Music in a while. I should check it out. It’s a great site based around the music scene of Southampton. Now… if I just type in http://solentmusic.wordpress.com/…
Wait… I know him! He’s me!
Undergraduate music students in 2014 tracked me down a year after I graduated so that they could interview me, discussing my experience during my degree. While a couple of features that I wrote for the website, such as an interview with concert promoter Andy Copping and the SMILEcast 2013 podcasts which I produced, remain there as of May 2017, this interview has since been taken down. I had a miserable experience during my Masters Degree, which I was taking at the time of the interview. I shared this interview on my Facebook when it was originally uploaded in 2014 with a caption stating that everyone should “Expect it to be taken down when I go public with how little fun I’m having on my Masters. It’s just as well that there are too many students for anyone to make a speech at the graduation ceremony. Be afraid.” I like to this that one of the lecturers spotted that threat and had me erased from their history. Anyway, here is the aforementioned interview…
Q. Where are you from?
A. I’m from Portsmouth.
Q. What’s your favourite music?
A. This isn’t fair! Recently my MP3 player has almost exclusively looped David Bowie, Pulp, Outkast, Sigur Ros and Rammstein, though I am always open to the weird and wonderful. Also, special credit has to be given to Radiohead, who I still love, despite expecting to be sick of them by the time I had written 99 pages on them for my dissertation.
Q. Why did you choose the course?
A. Music journalism is a career choice that has interested me since school, and have pushed towards ever since, beginning by choosing to study Music and English Language at college for this very reason. Popular Music Journalism really was an amalgamation of everything that I was interested in. Despite the hardships of the course, my aspirations are exactly the same as when the course began.
Q. Best bits about the course?
A. There was a great emphasis on multimedia, teaching students how to use audio and visual recording equipment, editing and creating websites. Optional units allowed me to delve deeper into music scenes and genres than I had first expected, studying film soundtracks and avant-garde music. The worlds of both music and journalism are ever changing, so these focuses were indispensable. I began the course aspiring just to stare at a screen and type about whatever was in the charts, and then learned there was a lot more to the industry, and how I could pursue it.
Q. What work experience did you undertake during your time at university?
A. I was selected to accompany music students to Abbey Road Studios, to cover their recording session, and enjoyed listening in on the Skyfall soundtrack being recorded. I also worked at the press department at Bestival, helping to write and research for free paper The Bestival Bugle. There I got to meet some notable figures from the biggest music publications in the UK, and was attacked by four people dressed as ‘security ostriches’. I kept myself together and received a quote that I will forever treasure: “Wow! Quite some journalist this one!”.
Q. What was the best thing you did during your time at SSU?
A. I think that I’m most proud of my final project – producing a daily podcast during the university’s annual week-long industry event, SMILEfest. Being at the reins of such a massive project with a cast and crew of over 50 people was tricky, and I’m still not sure how I managed it! It also gave me the opportunity to meet and interview several professionals from across the music industry who visited the university during the festivities.