As a successful Drum and Bass artist, I have achieved many things as part of my music career so why did I choose to go to uni, and what am I gaining from it?
I am one third of a Drum and Bass production collective, called Drumsound and Bassline Smith. We have established an international fan-base over our 18 years of activity, and this has awarded us with countless world-wide tours, headlining clubs and festivals from LA to Sydney, St. Petersburg to Cape Town and Tokyo to Toronto. We have had two UK Top 40 singles, countless Radio 1 and 1Xtra plays and, in 2012, we were awarded Best Track and Best Video at the Official Drum and Bass Awards.
Why I chose university
With so much success, one might be forgiven for asking, why go to university? My decision to apply to the University of Derby to study BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Production was not taken lightly, and it was something I had been contemplating for a number of years. I just felt that the time was right to start planning for life, post-touring, and for a more stable and, hopefully, secure future. I wanted to develop myself with the theory and practical skills to improve my employability in a highly specialised and competitive industry.
I have already completed the first year and have just started my second, and I can wholeheartedly say, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. As a mature student, I have found my desire to learn and my overall focus has never been so high. My experience in the music industry has enabled me to lead by example, be more of a model student (something that would never have been said when I was younger) and has landed me the role of Academic Representative – liaising between students and programme leaders.
Since starting university last September, I have won two awards for scoring; Sensoria Pro 2016 Sync or Score Competition and The International Indie Film Festival 2017 – the former would never have happened it wasn’t for the University presenting the opportunity, and, ultimately, this gave me the confidence and drive to enter for the latter. This has given me a clearer idea of where I would like my career in the music industry to go.
For my second year I am very much looking forward to having access to the University’s facilities, which includes a state of the art, 48-channel Neve recording console, amongst numerous post-production and rehearsal rooms. And more importantly, I cannot wait to continue learning; the overall experience is great with lecturers who are actively involved in the music industry – their knowledge is priceless and they are extremely friendly and approachable.
And with regards to university lifestyle; I am a member of the University’s fantastic sports centre, which is where you are likely to find me shortly before or after lecture time. I use the gym facilities up to five times a week and I am a huge believer in a healthy body helps keep a healthy mind. The price of the membership is unbelievably great value and it has gone down again for this coming academic year.
You will, however, find me at our record label’s monthly residency night at Hairy Dog in Derby. So if you fancy a bit of Drum and Bass, I’ll see you on the dance-floor.