The world of music is an ocean of personalities. I’m referring to the collection of instrumental choices, I’m talking about the plethora of genres, but mostly I am guiding you to delve into the compilation of people swimming in the pool of musical talent.
Take three musicians: all from and/or based in Hull and the local area. All have developed their career as musicians and were willing to talk to the PressPack group about how to ensure success as a new or young act. They were there for a similar purpose, but their journeys to where they currently sit have all been quite different.
There’s Darren Bunting whose love of music was piloted by his father. Following somewhat in his footsteps working as a DJ, Darren is also Director of Hull Music Limited and Music HQ, as well as having taught himself how to play bass guitar. Having done cabaret and military work, he described his performances as an act which was self-contained and choreographed, yet he stated that “improvisation is such a big skill” when asked what advice he would give an upcoming musician. Darren’s passion didn’t appear to be in the instrument, but in the production of music. He works as a sound engineer and with events management and PR, showing insight into the way in which musicians need to use technology in order to develop their following in order to not hit that one-hit wonder wall.
Someone else who taught himself bass guitar is John Marley, who sees Radiohead as “gods” who created “rock but clever rock” and took his passion for music to launch into a career as a freelance bass player. Having completed a BTech in Popular Music, he then went on to study a BA (Honns) in Jazz Studies, describing the choice to move away from Popular music as a strategic one. He described the three options as Classical, where you become a Classical musician, Pop, where you learn popular music, and Jazz, where you learn the Classical and the Popular and the skills to play any genre. John has worked with huge musical names (Katrina Leskanich of Katrina & The Waves being the one I got a little excited about) and performs over 250 gigs a year, often playing with no rehearsal of preparation. Having to end the interview in order for John to play at Pave Jam, he explained that often he is the one freelance musician, paid to perform alongside other freelance musicians who work to support singers, who ends up playing all night, as everyone needs a bass guitarist. But what struck me about John was that whenever he was talking about playing music, he relaxed. Music is what he does, what he loves and clearly what he is meant to do.
Last, but in no way least as he lead much of the discussion, was Robert McGrath. Robert plays the saxophone, clarinet and flute. He was first inspired by Zoot from the Muppets, and now works as a teacher of Woodwind inspiring others. Out of the three personalities being interviewed, Robert came across as the most professional. He clearly loves music, and commented that he would love for his nine-year old son to “pick up a trumpet”. It’s not that he wasn’t passionate about music because clearly he is, but the way in which he discussed his career was with a clarity of how to make it a profession, picking the venues and with groups which were both enjoyable and financially viable. Robert learned clarinet in school because he was told that he was “too small” for the sax, but did go on to play the instrument of his childhood dreams, as well as playing the flute which he learned alongside his young students. Robert has worked in a range of venues, including some outside of the UK, and with a wide variety of people of all ages.
These three talented musicians are proof that the music industry works, and that with the right amount of passion and the thorough understanding of the business, you can make it in this complex industry which seems to be returning to its roots of playing because you love to play.
For more information and contact details:
Robert McGrath – http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/rob-mcgrath/1b/498/453