Music industry insiders tell University of Northampton students how to get ahead in the industry

Date 7.02.2019

A rising star of the rap scene, a respected singer-songwriter, a drummer extraordinaire and a host of music industry professionals spent the day inspiring Popular Music students at a special event hosted by the University of Northampton.

Undergraduates got to hear from those at the sharp end of the music business when UK Music’s Talent Pipeline and Music Academic Partnership (MAP) Tour came to campus on Tuesday 5 February.

ShaoDow speaking to students during Changing Futures Week 2019

One of the stars of the day was rapper ShaoDow, who spoke to students about how to sustain a music career, which included the importance of self-promotion, merchandise and giving your all in every live performance.

He also recounted a tale about how he decided to drive from London to Manchester to see Wiley play live, and ended up opening the show for the Godfather of Grime.

ShaoDow said: “I was speaking to the bouncer on the door and mentioned I was a UK rapper and all of a sudden he let me in and I was backstage. I was minding my own business when Wiley came over to me and asked if I had my track R U Stoopid!?! with me. I told him I did and he asked me to go out on stage and perform it, and the reaction from the crowd was amazing.”

He added: “I don’t believe in lucky breaks, you have to be prepared, and I was prepared because I took my music with me, just in case.”

Northampton session drummer, Adam Gammage, who has opened for U2, played on five Baxter Dury albums and whose playing can be heard throughout series four of hit TV show, Peaky Blinders, gave students drumming masterclasses.

Meanwhile, singer-songwriter ECKOES, pictured top, lifted the lid on her songwriting secrets, answering questions from students about the art of writing music and lyrics.

Also on hand were representatives from music platform Kycker, rights management organisation PRS for Music trade association BPI and the Music Producers Guild.

Senior Lecturer in Music at the University, Mark Thursby, said: “Oli Morris from UK Music put together a fantastic panel of industry specialists for us. The students had plenty of opportunity to ask all those crucial questions that only professionals know the answers to.

“The workshops allowed students to spend a couple of hours with Adam Gammage going through drum techniques, and hearing about how he navigated his way through to a successful career as a drummer. Meanwhile ShaoDow was more than generous with his advice on making it on your own terms as a hip hop and grime artist. It’s been an inspirational day for our lucky BA students.”

The event was part of Changing Futures Week – a five-day University wide showcase of industry speakers.