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Adam Long DJing

Adam Long

BA (Hons) Digital Music

Graduated 2017

Adam Long

What is digital music?
Digital music is just an umbrella term for creative music production. It’s the process of using digital technologies such as computers, digital audio workstations and synthesisers to arrange, create and manipulate elements of music.

Who would you recommend the course to?
If you want to learn about a variety of key elements of electronic music production, this course is for you. With an emphasis on dance music, it also looks at key industry skills, such as music for film, live performance, and audio engineering.

How did university prepare you for your career?
Having a wider range of core units allowed me to experiment with different areas and then discover a further interest in digital sound design, which has led to me wanting to pursue a career as a sound designer for film or TV.

What’s your favourite Solent memory?
I don't think it's possible to pick one defining moment, but I think as a whole it's got to be the people you meet along the way. You meet some amazing friends and its extra special when you can find an instant common ground with your love for music.

Tell us your career story so far.
I really only started producing music as a hobby because I really wanted to learn how drum ‘n’ bass was created, but then I decided to head to uni and attempt to make my music more professional.

In terms of career, I've just graduated and am currently in the middle of a gap year. I plan on building up a sound design portfolio and gathering as much voluntary music-related work experience as i can in this time, and then hopefully return to Solent to study on a post-graduate course.

What’s your career highlight so far?
Having been able to network while at Solent I managed to play DJ support for Andy C – one of my idols within music - at Soundclash Festival 2016. This was extra special for me because I was able to play alongside one of my best mates from uni, too.

What tips would you give someone wanting a career in your industry?
Make sure it is something you are 100% passionate about. It's that passion that will keep the drive going to succeed or improve.

If you want a career in the industry, try and get out of your comfort zones and experiment with as many production techniques as possible to find a unique sound to your music.

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Jo Howarth's work

Jo Howarth

BA (Hons) Music Management

Graduated

Jo Howarth

What do you enjoy most about your role, and what are the biggest challenges?
The thing that drew me to artist management is the people side of what I do. I love the bigger picture; you’re the only person on the team thinking about the artist as a business, a public figure and crucially, a person. I love being part of building a career for a new artist, and of course it’s really rewarding to play a part in keeping that momentum going as their career evolves.

The biggest challenge is often the sheer amount of plate-spinning - the management team are the people pinning the operation together and it’s a lot of moving parts to stay on top of.

What's been your greatest achievement in your career so far? 
I was really honoured to be given an Outstanding Music Graduate award by UK Music in 2019. You can be nominated for the award up to three years after graduating, so to to be recognised in this way less than a year after graduating was lovely.

What advice would you give to those wanting to break it into this industry? 
My advice for someone wanting to break into the music would be to try out a few different sectors and work out what it is that you enjoy most. For me, I love artist management as it’s the more nurturing role.  Others might find they enjoy more of a marketing role - statistics and sales - and they might find that record label is the right place for them. Some find that new music is the thing they care about, so publishing or A&R might be the right thing for them. And some love the live side of the industry - touring and festivals. If you’ve tried a fair few of these through work experience whilst you’re at uni, you’ll come out of it knowing exactly what it is that you want, and you’ll have enough experience to land the role.

I discovered Solent’s course, and it just fit like a glove. It gave me a little support network in which to build my knowledge and my skills before stepping out into real-world industry.

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Francessca Rusling in a performance

Francessca Rusling  

BA (Hons) Performance

Graduated 2017

Francessca Rusling

How has Solent prepared you for your career?
Solent’s performance degree immersed me into a varied and exciting course of study. I explored a variety of performance techniques including body and voice skills, musical theatre, and approaches to stage and screen acting.

I was given the opportunity to gain a vast amount of experience through various recorded and live performance projects, as well as industry work experience teaching at a variety of local infant and primary schools and working professionally on the feature film The Pugilist.

What’s your favourite Solent memory?
During second year when I was cast as Sally Durant-Plummer in the musical Follies. It was my first time being cast as a lead in a musical and from the casting, throughout the rehearsal stages and finally the performance week, Follies for me was one of the most educational and rewarding experiences I have taken part in throughout my training. 

What’s next for you? 
I am about to start working in an administrative role for a local college, while studying for my PTLLS (Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector) with the end goal to become a lecturer of performance for the college.

I am also attending casting workshops, applying for a variety of stage and screen roles and auditioning for local pantomimes. I am also working on setting up my own performance academy that will offer a variety of classes to children and adults.

What top tips would you give to other students wanting a career in your area?

  • Believe in yourself. If you don’t, you can’t expect industry professionals to either. 
  • Keep training – never stop learning. Get as much experience as you can, whether it be attending local workshops, appearing in performances at local events or theatres, or being cast in student films, the more people you know in the industry, the more opportunities open up to you.

Be prepared to be judged, to accept criticism and to work long and varied hours. If you have the passion and drive you will get to where you want to be.

  • Sign up to casting websites.
  • Do what you love but don’t be afraid to try new things.

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Miles Hobbs playing with a band

Miles Hobbs

BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance and Production  

Graduated

Miles Hobbs

Since leaving uni, I’ve been focusing on all sorts of musical endeavours. Our band BASH! being the main one but also; busking, composing for projects (most notably, getting my music played on rides at LEGOLAND Windsor), building and then teaching my musical repertoire and learning video editing software. 

My main career highlight is becoming a signed recording artist as part of BASH!. We’ve achieved so much including recording at Abbey Road and Maida Vale studios. The signing has given us areas of focus, particularly in terms of songwriting. Everyone seems to form their own path in the creative industries, and having a label boss gives us some clarity in a hard-to-navigate landscape.

 

The highlight of my time at Solent was the enrichment week in Amsterdam. We spent six days playing and watching gigs and getting to know people on other music-related courses – they became valuable contacts for the future. It made me think about a career on a global scale, not just within the UK bubble.

My advice would be to milk the universities exceptional facilities for all they’re worth; and to meet and chat to people. The whole industry is based on community and by getting to know people it opens up your employment options. 

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Olivia Squires in a performance

Olivia Squires

BA (Hons) Performance

Graduated 2017

Olivia Squires

What is performance to you?
To me, performance is expression. When I leave the stage after a show or finish a day of filming I have felt like I have given something, and I have felt a range of emotions in the space of a few hours. Performance is powerful.

How did university prepare you for your career? 
I have gained experience in acting, movement and voice (singing and speech). It has also made me consider my personal needs as a performer and the things I need to do in order to give the strongest performance I can.   

I knew I always wanted to be a performer but university gave me opportunities to explore the industry I want to go into.

What have you been up to since graduating this summer? 
This September I begin my new job as a graduate intern for the performance courses at Solent. I’m also working on establishing a theatre company with another Solent graduate. We will be working as a duo, devising original theatre work.

At the moment, we are both working with a final-year student on a theatre piece we have written about the lack of physical touch in society, due to be performed in October. 

Tell us about what you are doing now and what it involves. 
During my internship I will be working to build more connections with people in the industry. I’m also now exploring theatre writing as I’m wanting to create new work so I’m always looking for inspiration and making a note of any ideas.

What’s your career highlight so far? 
Being able to study performance is a highlight for me because I have learnt a lot; for example, how important it is to have individual preparation before a performance and which area of performance I’d like to focus on in the future.  

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry? 
Be experimental and always focus on what you have to do. Set yourself goals you want to achieve whether it be by the end of the week/month or in a couple of years time. Always be willing to learn!

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