Write, perform, record, produce and promote – Megan’s a DIY music machine
A Popular Music graduate from the University of Northampton has taken matters into her own hands and become a self-sustaining music DIYer.
Megan Timings’ debut ep, How Love Should Feel, saw her compose, perform, record and produce all five tracks herself. She also handled all of the artwork and promotion for the electro-inspired release, which is available on her Bandcamp site and all major streaming services.
As the ep was created during lockdown, it suited Megan’s DIY ethics, as it meant she could continue to work without having to rely on other people.
“I’m quite happy making music from my bedroom, so I’ve had no complaints about that,” said Megan, who graduated in 2020. “The only issue was motivation, and I think that’s something that a lot of artists have been struggling with, especially in the last year.
“Lockdown has definitely had an impact on a lot of people’s mental health, which can make it very difficult to be productive or find inspiration. That’s partly why it took so long to release How Love Should Feel, but in the end, I’m glad I took my time, looked after myself and ended up with an ep that I can be really proud of.”
Becoming a self-sufficient recording artist, majoring in electronica, is something Megan couldn’t have imagined, prior to enrolling on the Popular Music course.
She said: “I changed so much during those three years of university; it really feels like I’m not even the same person as when I started. I started solely as a performer and a vocalist, with absolutely no interest in electronic music or production.
“However, due to the course being so varied in modules and topics, I ended up trying out and enjoying things I never thought I would.
“I found myself working really hard when it came to my music production modules, and I’m so grateful for all of the encouragement I received from my lecturers in this area because I’m so passionate about it now. I don’t know where I’d be if I’d never given it a good try.”
Traditionally, final year students on the Popular Music course have played the main stage of Northampton’s premiere music venue, The Roadmender, as their last hurrah.
Megan, who comes from Rugby, was lucky enough to grace the stage, prior to her graduation, and gained so much confidence from the experience.
She said: “It was very exciting and very scary, but also a really valuable experience. I’ve always been quite a nervous performer, but I think that gig was perhaps the most confident I’ve ever been on stage despite being the biggest one I’ve done.
“I owe a lot of that to my uni friends who were in the band I played with – we were a really good team and supported each other really well, so instead of being nerve racking it was really fun.”
With restrictions easing, Megan’s now keen to start gigging again.
She said: “I haven’t performed live in over a year so I’m really itching to get on stage when things are normal again. Singing has always been my main passion and it’ll feel so good to get back to doing what I love.”
Tony Platt, Associate Lecturer in Popular Music, has been impressed with Megan’s first steps into the music industry.
He said: “The music courses at UON are specifically aimed at musicians and artists who want to be able to view the production and performing facilities as creative tools and avoid them being an obstacle to their development.
“The self-producing artist is very much at the centre of the music-making landscape right now.
“Megan is a perfect example of someone who grasped this opportunity with both hands and I was delighted to be able to be part of her journey and watch her confidence, determination, enthusiasm and talent grow over the three years. Watching what comes next will be even more exciting.”
The musical influences behind the How Love Should Feel ep
Megan said: “I love anything that is glitchy, computer-y and cute.
“While I was studying, I was very inspired by chiptune music, which is what led me to produce the tracks Dreaming Of You and Live Again as part of my professional project module for university.
“Since then, I’ve expanded my musical inspiration and I am currently very influenced by the hyperpop genre, the record label PC Music and artists such as Charli XCX and Hannah Diamond, who focus on very exaggerated, synthetic electropop sounds.
“People have been very supportive so far. When you release music, it’s of course not going to be everyone’s cup of tea especially if you’re producing music within somewhat of a niche genre, but the feedback I’ve had has been so positive and amazing, I’m so lucky to have such supportive people around me.”