Q+A: Charlotte Brimner (Be Charlotte)

Charlotte Brimner, otherwise known as Be Charlotte is a song writer, producer and performer from Dundee. She will be discussing her experience working as an artist in the current music industry at Off The Record in Glasgow. We had a quick chat with Charlotte ahead of the event...

How did you get your start in music?

I started writing when I was 14 which led to playing open mic nights around Dundee. It was kinda difficult for me at the time as I was very nervous playing my songs in front of anyone and i’d always be the youngest person at the open mic. I started to use these emotions to inspire myself to keep creating my own sound. I always knew there was a different type of music i wanted to make so for the past 5 years I’ve been developing my creative skills. I started writing with a loop pedal which encouraged me to start thinking more about the layers and arrangements of songs and then I moved onto writing more digitally and focusing on the production side of things. It made me realise how much i love the whole process of writing and watching a song develop from initial ideas into the finished piece. 

What has been your career highlight so far?

I love being able to share my music with new people in new places. A definite highlight of last year was going to South East Asia and playing a little tour in some small venues. I liked how we were able to meet and chat with everyone who came to the gig and i feel like it was an experience that has prepared me for a lot of different things.  

If you could offer one piece of advise for those wanting to get into the industry what would it be?

If there are times when you might think that your ideas are silly or not good enough...don’t feel like you need to give up on what you want to achieve. Follow your gut instinct and know that ultimatley you are the person who knows yourself the best. 

 


Off The Record takes place at City Halls, Glasgow on Saturday 11th of February for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! 


Q+A: Joe Rattray (Synergy Concerts)

Joe Rattray currently works as a promoter for Synergy concerts and is the in-house booker at The Hug and Pint. He will be speaking on the Organising & Getting gigs panel at Off The Record in Glasgow on Sat 11 Feb and we had a quick chat with him ahead of the event...

How did you get started in the music industry?

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My entrance into working in music came through performing initially. I played in lots of bands back home in Dundee as a teenager, and moved to Glasgow at 18 to study Applied Music at Strathclyde. I started playing in the band Admiral Fallow (then called Brother Louis Collective) in 2007, while studying performance and getting really into music production. I’ve played with lots of bands and artists over the years, and worked professionally as a musician for a few years after graduating. My entry into promoting was after volunteering at Celtic Connections in January 2014 and really enjoying it. I started an internship scheme through Adopt An Intern in February 2014 with Brian Reynolds and Grainne Braithwaite at Synergy Concerts as a booking assistant and have been there since, moving to working as the venue booker at The Hug and Pint in June 2015. Grainne and Brian have been incredibly supportive, patient and really nurtured my interest in the job from the beginning. They’re both so passionate about the acts they promote and music in general; its very easy to throw yourself into that kind of work environment.

As a promoter, what does your job involve?

I spend a lot of time seeking out new artists to potentially promote, devouring new music at an alarming rate. As we’re quite a small team, my job has changed quite a bit since I started, and continues to do so. The whole team get involved in all sides of the job, from booking to marketing and production and everything in-between. We spend a lot of time working on existing shows, making sure our marketing is as effective as it possibly can be and that we’re reaching all the people who’d be into the artists we’re promoting. We put a lot into online promotion, print distribution, and just trying to shout as loud as we can about all the music we’re really passionate about.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The feeling of finding new music and completely falling in love with it is something thats hard to beat. As far as I can remember, this has been something I’ve been doing obsessively. To use that feeling and turn it into a job is a lot of fun, and feels like a pretty natural thing to be doing. It can be like looking for buried treasure sometimes, trawling through hundreds of hours of playlists, recommendations and blog posts for those songs that really hit you, its exhilarating. 

I also love working on productions for shows. Being a bit of a geek, its always great to get involved and see what production elements certain artists are bringing in, and how this can really take a show to the next level. I’ve been lucky to witness hundreds of gigs over the years and always been obsessed with figuring out what artists are using to make certain sounds and create their music.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Promoter-wise, being involved in putting on shows by some of my favourite artists has been very exciting. Flying Lotus has been a favourite for many years, so to work on that gig was a real treat. The production was pretty mad, he was touring his 3D cube show at the time, but once the show was up and he went onstage - with Thundercat playing bass behind him - it was an incredible thing to be a small part of (and a huge relief). Mac DeMarco’s shows are always fun too.

The Hug and Pint has been open for almost 2 years now, and that has been a pretty life-changing thing to be involved in. The team we have there is amazing and I love how the place has developed since opening in 2015. Seeing artists like Pinegrove, Jenny Hval, Mitski, Anna Meredith and PWR BTTM coming back after playing the venue and selling out bigger venues has been a total joy to witness. Watching local talent grow and blossom is a hugely exciting part of my job too. Having been involved in music in Glasgow for over 10 years I really think its one of the best places in the UK for music and there’s always loads of great bands popping up.

As a musician, selling out the Barrowlands in 2012 with Admiral Fallow was both terrifying and probably the most exciting gig we’ve ever played, amongst hundreds of other shows and festivals all over the world.


Off The Record takes place at City Halls, Glasgow on Saturday 11th of February for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! 


Q+A: Nadine Walker (Tenement TV/Material UK)

Ahead of Off The Record in Glasgow on Saturday 11 February we had a chat with Nadine Walker (Tenement TV/Material UK) about her experience working in music and how she juggles working in multiple roles...

How did you get started in the music industry?

Work experience, interning and networking were how I elevated my career right out of university and I was lucky enough to land a really exciting intern role working on T in the Park at roughly the same time I started out with Tenement TV. The two roles have always complimented each other really well and keep me busy. 

You have a number of roles in music, working as the Editorial Director for Tenement TV and an Account Executive at Material UK - what are the main responsibilities involved in these jobs?

Both of these roles have taught me so much. With Tenement TV I work to manage and direct the editorial content on our website and social media platforms. This includes helping identify which new music to feature, commissioning writers on features, coming up with creative concepts for video and so on. I also work to help pull together our music festival Tenement Trail. The team behind the core running of TTV is quite small so we have a lot of responsibilities. I absolutely love my job with TTV, so no matter how busy we are it’s always fun. And with Material UK, I work on music and arts accounts developing creative campaigns for brands. In the past I have worked on festivals such as T in the Park, The Electric Frog & Pressure Riverside Festival plus events for SSE’s Hydro and Arena Wembley venues. I have been based in London for the last two years which has been an amazing experience. 

What do you enjoy most about your job(s)?

I love working in the music industry and feeling like the work that I do is exciting and makes a difference to the creative industries in Scotland. With TTV we can really get behind artists and watch them grow thanks to that exposure we offer, which is an amazing thing to be part of. The work I do with Material UK is always really exciting; we work with big brands and big events so the talent is often huge and you really have to bring you a-game every single day. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to get started in the industry?

 It really does help getting in and about the scene. Go to gigs, attend workshops or networking events, speak to people. Every job or opportunity I have received hasn’t just happened. I went out and made it happen. I believed I could achieve whatever I wanted to if I put my heart and mind to it. Make yourself known and unforgettable. You never know whom you’ll meet and who’ll remember you. First impressions are really important and so is passion. The rest you can learn, compassion and determination you cannot. 


Off The Record takes place at City Halls, Glasgow on Saturday 11th of February for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! 


Q+A: Nightwave (Producer/DJ)

Maya Medvesek (aka Nightwave) is an internationally renowned producer, DJ, vocalist, club promoter and label owner. Maya is taking part in the Working in Music panel at Off The Record in Glasgow on Saturday the 11th of February. Ahead of the event we had a quick chat with her about her experience working in the industry...

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How did you get your start in the industry?

When I first moved to London about 15 years ago I helped to run a techno label. I also used to write for music magazines doing the odd club and album review as well as some club night PR. When I decided to try and push my DJ-ing and production properly I stopped writing but the experience I gained was invaluable. In terms of my music, it all came from networking, being a bit pushy and fearless-sharing my mixes, tunes, trying to get feedback, this happened at the boom of social media which definitely helped! 

As a producer, DJ and vocalist, what do you enjoy most about your job?

As much as I love creating, the real buzz for me comes from sharing and spending time with other people. The biggest privilege is making people dance and sharing that special experience with them.

What inspired you to set up your own label?

It's always been my dream but I think the real push for Heka Trax came from experiencing such delays in dealing with other labels (the market is so saturated). I also wanted to create an outlet for undiscovered artists and somewhere to share my vision of music, art and the whole party culture that has been such a big part of my life. It is my life still.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Meeting and working with my heroes and playing festivals around the world are up there but the highlight is probably young women messaging me and saying I inspired them. I feel so humbled by that.


Off The Record takes place at City Halls, Glasgow on Saturday 11th of February for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! 


Getting Started: Nora Winstanley (Sound Engineer)

Nora Winstanley is currently the in-house sound engineer at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh and has over ten years experience working in the industry firmly under her belt. She will be giving an insight into her role on our Organising & Getting Gigs panel at Off The Record Dumfries this Saturday 3 December. We had a wee chat with her ahead of the event about what drew her to the tech side of the music business...

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How did you get started in the music industry?
I was always interested in music and like many kids I wanted to be a pop star. I got into going to gigs and working at them/playing at them in my teens collecting glasses, taking door money and handing out flyers for free tickets. Later I went on to study Sound Engineering and spent time shadowing other engineers.

What attracted you to a career in sound engineering?
Seeing the scope of roles around music I figured that there was a chance to work in the industry despite what the school career advisors told me - I looked into subjects that I could study to better my chances and Sound Engineering sounded pretty magical.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The buzz of a live gig is always the best bit but there's so much about it to love! I get a kick out of being a part of an event and making things happen, and working with people from around the world and my own neighbourhood - I'm always being surprised by something new.


Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Getting Started: Amy Ferguson (BBC Radio Scotland)

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in radio? BBC Radio Scotland’s Amy Ferguson had a quick chat with us about her role and how she got her start in the industry. Amy works as a producer on the The Janice Forsyth Show and has talked at some of our previous OTR events – this has led to some of the bands and musicians that have attended these events gaining airplay on the show. She will be speaking on our Promoting Your Music panel this weekend at Off The Record Dumfries.

Amy Ferguson

What attracted you to a career in radio production?
I grew up listening to radio, at first in the car with my dad, and then in my room to keep me company when I was alone, and I’ve always loved it, but it never really occurred to me that I could have a career in it until I took up a Masters in Multimedia Journalism course at Glasgow Caledonian University, and got more interested in it. Then my friend Amy MacBeath told me about a Radio Academy networking event happening at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. We went along together and told everyone we met that we were both called Amy, and both loved radio, and would love to come and sit in on the various shows there. One of the producers was Nick Low, who produced Janice Forsyth’s Saturday Show at the time. He invited us to speak to him at his radio studio, Demus productions, and then to sit in on one of the shows – I was hooked… I then applied for work experience on the arts show at the time, which Janice also presented, and my Senior Producer took me under her wing and encouraged me to start producing radio within my first year of working there, and to cut a long story short, I never left, I’d found my dream job.
 
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing about my job is the buzz I get out of producing the show and being able to see everything through from the beginning to the end, from booking guests and writing research briefs, to studio production and audio editing. I love getting to hear incredibly interesting people tell their story, and being immersed in areas of culture which I love, especially music. I get to put music on the airwaves, and to help get new artists on the air. I get to work with very talented people who care passionately about what they do every day – especially my presenter, and to produce live music sessions, which are like putting on private gigs with world class audio engineers, for thousands of people to hear. I wake up every day feeling excited about what I’m doing, and the people I’m working with, from the bands to the promoters and contributors, they are usually just as enthusiastic as I am.
 
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been so many that it’s hard to pick just one. Outside broadcasts are definitely my favourite thing to do… I produced one in Dundee for Children in Need with songwriter Gary Clark performing a David Bowie cover, the owner of Groucho’s Record Store playing vinyl on the turntable live on stage, and the band Model Aeroplanes (who were very new at the time) performing live which I’m particularly proud of… I also produced a show in our big music studio in Glasgow with Lulu performing live, and then joining in a conversation with Janice, comedian Dorothy Paul, Michelle McManus, and music journalist Nicola Meighan. Lulu was enjoying the show so much she asked if she could stay for the whole hour, and she ended up crying live on air (in a good way). That was definitely a highlight… there are many, many more, but the best thing about my job is that I know the highlight of my career is still to come.


Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Getting Started: Toni Malyn (EmuBands)

EmuBands will be at  Off The Record in Dumfries this Saturday 3 December letting you know all about their digital music distribution service, as well as giving out vouchers worth £25 to use for a single release! We chatted with Toni about his role with EmuBands and how he got involved with them...

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How did you get started in the music industry?
I started out in a band whilst I was still at school - from there I started doing some session work for other musicians. My first “proper” job in the industry came about as a result of an internship I started at EmuBands whilst attending university.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Getting to work with really great artists! Over the years we’ve played a small part in releasing music by some amazing musicians, at varying stages in their careers.

If you could offer one piece of advice for people looking to get started, what would it be?
Get out there and meet people.

Find out more about EmuBands here: www.emubands.com


Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Getting Started: Jannica Honey (Photographer)

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Ahead of Off The Record in Dumfries on Saturday 3 December, we caught up with Jannica Honey about how photography lead her to the music business...


How did you get started as a photographer in the music industry?
People was always my favourite subject and I think that it evolved in to music since it was my surrounding. It was my "scene" and it's on your "scene" where you connect and end up working, most of the time.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I guess highlights could be photographing The Killers, Nicola Sturgeon and music events, but to be honest, the real highlight of my career is every single time I can see a client being totally pleased with what I created for them.

If you could offer one piece of advice for people looking to get started in music photography, what would it be?
Work the hardest you can and be nice. Oops, that is two, I will make it one; be present.


Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Case Study: Gary Baird

Ever wondered what it’s like to come to an Off The Record event? We chatted to Gary, who attended OTR in Galashiels last year to give an idea of what to expect, and what he got out of coming along… 
 

How did you discover Off The Record?
I discovered Off the Record through emailing Michael (one of the Off The Record organisers) looking for advice and work experience opportunities.  Michael told me about an upcoming Off the Record event in Galashiels which I then attended.

What was the experience of attending Off The Record like?
Attending Off the Record was great! I found the atmosphere really inclusive and it was nice to be in a room full of people with similar interests. It was really cool to meet and have a chat with the team running the event, as well as some of the speakers taking part, who offered me advice and opportunities to gain some work experience.

What was the most useful piece of advice you took from the event?
The most useful piece of advice I took from the event was how crucial it was to nail photography when it comes to bands and artists. Although I was already familiar with this, it was really good to know the smaller details surrounding music photography - such as file types and image specifications. It was also good to learn about Electronic Press Kits, which I didn’t have the best knowledge of.

Did you meet anyone at Off The Record you're still in touch with now?
Absolutely! I still keep in touch with the Off the Record team and Nick from Electric Fields Festival who was a speaker at the event. Through keeping in touch with friends I made at Off The Record, I have met several other industry professionals which has led to further opportunities for me. 

What have you been up to since attending Off The Record in Galashiels? 
Since attending Off the Record, I have gained a lot of experience in the music industry. Earlier this year, I worked alongside the company who run Off The Record in preparation for their annual conference, Wide Days as well as working at the event itself. I also volunteered at The Great Escape festival in Brighton and XpoNorth in Inverness. 

Following on from these, I worked at ButeFest in July and Electric Fields Festival in August gaining experience of open air festivals. In the summer I worked at an Off the Record event in Edinburgh and also did an internship with digital distribution company EmuBands. 

Around the same time, I joined the Scottish Alternative Music Awards team which I am still an active member of today. As well as all of this, I started and lead a small team putting on gigs in Edinburgh and I have very recently started to gain experience in artist management. 

What would you say to others who are interested in coming along to Off The Record?
Off the Record is great for anyone looking to gain an insight into the music industry.  Whether you have no experience at all or want to further develop your skills and knowledge, it is a really positive atmosphere which allows for people with similar interests to meet, have a chat and network.

I would highly recommend it to anyone – the free lunch is pretty neat as well!


Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Getting Started: Chris Beltran (Atlantic Records/DF Concerts)

Ahead of Off The Record in Dumfries on Saturday 3 December, we caught up with Chris from Atlantic Records/DF Concerts about life in the music business...
 

How did you get started in the music industry?
I used to play in a band for a number of years and while I did that I flyered and worked in the box office at shows for DF Concerts to make money between playing shows. I always made a point of going to see other bands play in and around Glasgow. Not long after I stopped playing in the band I got asked to join the booking team at DF Concerts as their ear to the ground for new Scottish artists. I consider myself very lucky as I think I was in the right place at the right time with the right experience. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy being able to help new Scottish bands out by offering them various shows and helping them build a following. I remember being so excited about playing and going to gigs in the past so the idea that I'm helping put together shows that generate a similar level of excitement for other people is very rewarding.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Seeing all the bands on the TBreak stage at T In The Park last year go out there and have the shows of their lives was a massive highlight. So proud to see all the acts most of whom I'd previously worked with go out and play such great shows to such great crowds. Other highlights include promoting sold out headline shows in Glasgow with Scottish acts such as The Vegan Leather, The Lapelles, Wuh Oh and The Nickajack Men.


Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

5 Reasons To Attend Off The Record Edinburgh!

Ahead of the next Off The Record event in Edinburgh this Saturday, organiser and artist manager Michael Lambert explains the five main reasons anyone aged 14-25 and interested in a career in music should attend...

When we set up Off The Record a few years ago, the aim was to help make it as easy as possible for emerging bands and those who want to work in the industry to get to where they want to be. The music industry can be a bit of a minefield, and knowing what to do next can be really tricky. 

So, in no particular order, here are my five main reasons you should come along on Saturday:

 

1. LEARN REALLY USEFUL STUFF MOST OTHER PEOPLE DON'T KNOW
It kind of goes without saying, but if you attend Off The Record, you're going to be given a lot of very useful info from some people who really know what they're on about! From advice on how to approach promoters for gigs and journalists for press, to tips for social media, releasing your music online and making money from music.

2. MEET NEW PEOPLE
The music industry is built upon relationships, so knowing as many people as possible is an absolute must. This doesn't just apply to people working in the industry - but also to other bands and musicians. So, come along, introduce yourself to other attendees and make some new friends.

3. GET YOUR MUSIC TO PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP
As well as meeting other musicians and likeminded folks, Off The Record gives you a pretty valuable opportunity to get your music into the hands of people who can help you. This might be a promoter (such as James Bruce, Nicky Carder or Chris Beltran), a journalist (like Craig Gornall from Alive and Amplified), a radio producer (Amy Ferguson from BBC Radio Scotland) or an A&R Scout (such as Chris Beltran from Atlantic Records).

If you have music to share, make sure you bring along a CD, download card or pen drive to hand out. Oh, and MAKE sure your band name & contact details are noted somewhere so they can get in touch with you!

4. FIND OUT HOW TO MAKE SOME MONEY $$$
We have a couple of sessions lined up that will tell you how to make some money from music! I'll be hosting a quick-fire presentation on the collection societies, and there is also a panel dedicated to working in music which will give you advice on getting experience and internships, and might even flag up some jobs  you didn't even know existed in the music business. 

5. GET A FREE DIGTAL RELEASE WORTH £25!
Our friends at EmuBands (Scotland's best digital distribution company) are offering every single attendee a free single release via their platform. This normally costs £25, and means you'll be able to get your next single on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and all the other digital stores. 

... Oh, and did we mention free lunch?

Tickets for Off The Record are £2, and available to anyone aged 14-25. Tickets can be bought online, or in person from Tickets Scotland on Rose St, or the North Edinburgh Arts Centre.

For full information on the event, click here.

Getting Started: Chris Wemyss (Sound Out/Stowed Out Festival)

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Ahead of Off The Record in Galashiels on Saturday 5 December, we spoke to Chris Wemyss from Sound Out/Stowed Out Festival about life in the music business...


Q: How did you get your start in music?

A: I lived in a small village and a guitar was something a row of kids played at primary school assembly. My life changed as a 15 year old at my first proper gig . With my chest pressed against the stage and deafened by a wall of Marshalls played by what seemed like giants towering over me. I was converted. From that moment on I knew that this was something I needed to be involved in. My life as a promoter has been very DIY, working with friends we have hired venues, become licensees so we could run bars at events, done our own printing etc. All of this has slowly evolved to become more professional and grown in to Stowed Out Festival.


Q: What is best thing about your work?

A: Bringing something to people that they have never seen before (and the first time I had crowd surfers at a gig I had put on). 


Q: Give us one tip for anyone looking to work in music

A: In any aspect of working in music, always ask yourself if there is anything you could do better next time.


Off The Record takes place at MacArts, Galashiels on Saturday 5th December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Getting Started: Justine Ward (GR Management)

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Ahead of Off The Record in Galashiels on Saturday 5 December, we spoke to Justine Ward from GR Management about life in the music business...


Q: How did you get your start in music?

A: Music was the only subject I was confident in holding a conversation on; it was something I had a lot of knowledge on and also something I was passionate about. It was really the only option I had for further education when I left school. So I found the Music Business course at James Watt College, met a few great lecturers and made enough of an impression for them to recommend me to GR. That was 6 years ago and I'm still here! 


Q: What is best thing about your work?

A: The diversity; never knowing what you could be going in to that day. Hearing the finished record when you know how much time and work a band have put in to it's birth and seeing it come alive on stage. And the festival passes when our artists are playing, that's always a good one! 


Q: Give us one tip for anyone looking to work in music

A: It's a small world and you will bump into the same people over and over again - Be Nice!


Off The Record takes place at MacArts, Galashiels on Saturday 5th December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Getting Started: Sarah Quinn (Academy of Music & Sound)

Ahead of Off The Record in Galashiels on Saturday 5 December, we spoke to Sarah Quinn from the Academy of Music & Sound about life in the music business...


Q: How did you get your start in music?

A: I started running gigs with a friend in Glasgow because we wanted to see some artists play in the city but no other promoter was putting them on. From that, we started running a club night every month where there would be bands and guest DJs playing each month. After a while working in this way, I was offered a job in the Glasgow Barfly as an assistant promoter. This experience was great, and put me in touch with a lot of different people. I moved into Music Education when I moved to Edinburgh and started working for the Academy of Music & Sound.


Q: What is best thing about your work?

A: I love seeing students develop and grow in their time with us. Many students are shy and quiet when they first start with us and as they do more and more performances (for the performance students) or start networking and organising events (on the Business Apprenticeship) they become so much more professional and confident, it’s really great to watch this!


Q: Give us one tip for anyone looking to work in music

A: As a competitive industry, the best way to work in music is to get started yourself. Start a band, or put gigs on, work to help manage your friends bands or follow whatever aspect of the music industry interests you, on your own. This is the best way to prove to people already working in the industry that you are serious and willing to work independently and hard! IF you go to a music college or know someone who already works in the industry, use them for advice! Don’t be shy!


Off The Record takes place at MacArts, Galashiels on Saturday 5th December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.

Getting Started: Halina Rifai (Podcart/Bloc Music)

Off The Record spoke to Halina Rifai (Podcart/Bloc Music) about life in the music business...


Q: How did you get your start in music?

A: A Northern Irish graphic designer called Will McNeilly had been following my blog writing, he approached me and asked if I had thought about starting my own site and the rest is pretty much history. Podcart was born. Olive Grove came 2 years later and I asked Peenko if he wanted to start a label. To be fair, Lloyd Meredith a.k.a Peenko works a lot harder with the label than I do. I have since started doing free online PR for people such as RM Hubbert and others.


Q: What is best thing about your work?

A: This is going to sound really f*cking cheesy, but it is always about listening to the music. Getting that excitement that you might lose control because something is so uplifting, affecting etc. I would never want to lose that. 


Q: Give us one tip for anyone looking to work in music

A: Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something, keep a strong passion for what you do. Push the boundaries and work your arse off. People will take notice and it will open doors for you. 

Getting Started: Richy Muirhead (SAMAs)

Off The Record spoke to Richy Muirhead (Scottish Alternative Music Awards) about life in the music business...


Q: How did you get your start in music?

A: I started at around 16 volunteering at Roadrunner Records, then found a passion for the live industry from going to so many gigs. Since then i've created the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and worked for brands such as Hard Rock Cafe and Red Bull in events and festivals.


Q: What is best thing about your work?

A: Having the freedom to make my own decisions, and listen to music all day long.
 

Q: Give us one tip for anyone looking to work in music

A: Invest in ear plugs, especially if you work in the live sector.

Getting Started: Claire Sawers (The List Magazine)

Off The Record spoke to Claire Sawers (Music Editor, The List Magazine) about life in the music business...
 

Q: How did you get your start in music?

A: I kept pitching in ideas of stuff I really wanted to write about to papers and magazines. It took a while, but eventually a few gave me a chance and I started doing interviews and reviews. Writing about other stuff - sometimes nothing to do with music (occasionally pretty dull things it has to be said!) also helped me pay the bills.
 

Q: What is best thing about your work?

A: Doing interviews. You have an excuse to chat to the people whose music you love, and ask them pretty much whatever you want. You're normally talking to them because they've been up to something interesting, and if you're lucky they'll be entertaining/ smart/ funny when they go off the topic of music too.


Q: Give us one tip for anyone looking to work in music

A: It's a fun job, but even fun jobs can be hard work, so figure out whether you want it to be a hobby or a job. If it's a job, make sure you're getting paid fairly.