I was recently invited to join Radio 1's Academy as part of BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend celebrations taking place in Hull this year.
BBC Radio 1's Academy started in 2012 and is a week of workshops, events and Q&As designed to give 16- to 19-year-olds in the area the tools, information and, most importantly, the inspiration to succeed in a career in the creative arts.
This year’s Academy took place at the Albemarle Music Centre and I joined the “Careers in the Music Industry” drop-in session to discuss and impart my knowledge on to those who were keen to further their career in the music industry. I was joined by Stewart Baxter, an inspirational gentleman who not only heads up Warren Records, a label set up to help the young people of Hull to gain experience, but he’s also in a band called LIFE with fellow Warren Records member Mez Green.
What struck me about my time at Radio 1's Academy was how close knit the community of Hull is and how there is a real desire for everyone to succeed. I spoke to Barnaby George, who is lead singer of new local band The Feeling, and discussed how he can ensure his gigs are promoted to as wide an audience as possible using platforms like TicketWeb, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to update fans and generate new ones.
I also met the truly talented female artist called Katie Spencer who had just released her debut mini album Good Morning Sky. A self-taught musician, Katie’s music is reminiscent of John Martyn and her live performance was so delicate and achingly soulful you could hear a pin drop.
These were just a few of the wonderful people I met in Hull who are working hard to develop their careers in music, and it was an honour to meet them and provide advice on how they can develop their futures. I have a feeling we will be hearing a lot about these artists in the near future…
By Gillian Henderson