Michael Fitzgibbon, MD at 440Hz Collective
I briefly flirted with working in the music industry around 15 years ago DJing around Teesside and beyond for 2-3 years before moving into a what I thought was a more secure profession in sales. I was actually very successful and worked with some great people and companies but something was just not right, it missed a spark. I spent most of the money I earned on music, whether on vinyl, CD’s, merchandise & festivals and the passion to be involved first hand burned bright. I also felt that I would like to see more of the rewards of my drive and enthusiasm first hand rather than being a number on a large companies pay roll. So when the credit crunch hit the UK and an opportunity for me to leave my position and take redundancy I took a massive gamble and jumped ship.
Why did you sign up for MMBE?
I already have good business skills in the commercial world which are all transferable, what I lacked was the inside knowledge on how the music industry is ran behind the singles and album sales, gigs & TV etc. I bought a couple of books, enrolled at Uni on a Music Production degree and started to go to regular Generator events to scope out the best way forward. To be honest I was amazed how large and diverse the industry is. With so many different opportunities to get involved, in I needed to focus on what would be the best path for me to take. It was a massive change of direction for me and I needed all the help I could get in a short space of time.
How has MMBE helped your musical career?
With every session my mind was blown away with the quality of information being delivered by Mark the course tutor. The speakers brought in from top level positions in major labels and publishers was exactly what I was looking for – to be able to tap into the best knowledge available face to face. As the course progressed, I formulated my business plan to form 440Hz Collective, a collective of upcoming Music Producers with a varied skill set to be able to tackle commercial briefs for specific audio requests and build a library of tracks available to licence on a commercial level, alongside other revenue streams like gigs, publishing, synchronisation, song writing and training. I’ve always worked on the basis of it’s not what you know it’s who know that enables you to be successful and the MMBE has given me the opportunity to make so many new amazing contacts that I would still be staring into those books scratching my head at where to start.
Mark Elliott, Manager of The Watchers
I’m a big fan of live music and have been gigging and collecting since I was a kid. For the last 10 years I’ve began promoting on a small scale to help push local music as the North East was often missed out by touring bands. I was nearly always losing money as a promoter but I didn’t mind as I treated it like a hobby more than a business.
Through promoting I got to know a few local bands and when one band one in particular was looking for a manager, they thought I fitted the bill. I had no direct experience as a manager but I did have a great deal of enthusiasm for music, and having worked in a managerial position elsewhere, I took on the position.
Why did you sign up for MMBE?
I knew about Generator as I had already been coming to seminars and learning about putting on events and listening to the talks they put on because I worked as a promoter. Through a little more research and by contacting the likes of Business Link etc, I found out about the MMBE course. I knew this would be highly important if I was serious about what I considered ultimately to be a change in career (if it went well enough), and so I signed up.
How has MMBE helped your music career?
The course went into detail on almost every aspect of the music industry and brought in some fantastic professionals to share their experiences. Not only that, but meeting other people on the course allowed me to make more excellent local contacts. These people all took the business seriously and wanted to be successful in their chosen areas, which were wide ranging within the industry (performers, producers, managers, teaching, marketing etc), and the course was relevant to us all. We still keep in contact and have set up social network group in order to share continued experiences and good practice now that the course has finished. The main tutor for the course, Mark Hobrough was superb, always willing to help in any way, and as someone who has worked on many different levels within the industry I found his experience and input invaluable.
Through working and completing the MMBE course, I have now taken The Watchers to another level and we have greatly improved our contacts and ability to market ourselves. Everything from a building a business plan in order to move forward, to what sort of content to have on our revamped website. On top of that I feel I am now able to look at consider avenues of income not just by managing the band, so I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the course, it has given me some sound knowledge to help progress within the music industry.