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UK and international students, alumni and staff from Solent University’s music degree courses came together for a remote guest lecture.

27th May 2020

UK and international students, alumni and staff from Solent University’s music degree courses came together for a remote guest lecture, which gave students and alumni the opportunity to have their original music heard by a world-renowned independent record label. 

Wez Saunders, Managing Director of Defected Records, was originally due to deliver his lecture on campus, but due to the coronavirus crisis, Natalia Kulabuchova, Senior Lecturer in the School of Media Arts and Technology, arranged for it to take place online so that students didn’t miss out. 

“Wez provided an insightful and topical talk regarding how the music industry has changed and reacted in light of the Covid-19 pandemic,” explains Natalia. “Everyone who attended found it a rewarding and valuable experience.” 

Defected Records also gave 15 students and alumni the opportunity to have their original music heard by the label's A&R (artists and repertoire) team - a fantastic and rare opportunity.  

“Considering that Defected A&R team receive 1000 demos a day, to have their Managing Director offer to give his personal feedback to our students and alumni is very special and they are very much looking forward to having individual sessions with an experienced music industry professional,” adds Natalia.

Wez Saunders

Dan Parsons, who recently graduated from BA (Hons) Digital Music in July 2019, attended the Defected Records online lecture, and has submitted some of his music for feedback. 

“Being invited back to a guest lecture was very rewarding as Defected have massively influenced my love and passion for dance music,” says the 23-year-old DJ and producer, who works under the alias Pandar as well as running an event brand and record label called Astrofunk - which is a party that builds a local community through dance music. 

“It really helped me tune into the situation that the dance music industry is in during the Covid-19 pandemic and gave me inspiration of ways to stay current in these challenging times. 

“Having my music heard by a Record Label like Defected is huge for me. One thing I’ve learnt from trying to get music heard by the right people is that you need to climb a ladder to slowly work your way up, and being offered the opportunity from one of the biggest labels in the world is an amazing fast track!” 

The pandemic has seen students have to deal with changes to both their living and their learning, with many having to relocate and lose access to studio equipment, such as microphones, controllers and DJ decks. 

They have also had to embrace new technology that they have not used before to fully deliver their projects to an online audience. 

Filipe Da Silva Brandao De Souza, who is finishing his first year of the BA (Hons) Digital Music, degree says: “I absolutely loved the guest lecture. Wez gave us some really wise insights about how Covid-19 has affected the industry, and how we can overcome all of that with our creativity. He also gave us the chance to submit some of our work so he can give professional feedback on it, which I really enjoyed. 

“Having feedback from a record label is essential in understanding where I am as a musician, understanding the industry standards and learning what I need to change, and learn, to be where I want to be. 

“Overall, the experience has been amazing for me and I cannot wait for other guest lectures.”