The Big Music Project: Shan McGinley’s Top Tips
The Big Music Project are on a mission to inspire 14-24s about jobs within the music industry! We’re teaming up to deliver panel sessions with industry experts at each of the (free!) events in London (4th October), Cardiff (11th October) and Belfast (18th October)!
• Hometown? Sligo, West of Ireland, but now lives in London.
• What job do you do? I’m a presenter and radio DJ but I also manage a music website called IAmMusicTV whilst organising and DJ’ing at events.
• Traditional or Alternative? Do you have qualifications that helped you on your career journey? Alternative, most definitely. I dropped out of UNI after a year because it really wasn’t for me. My mind runs a bit wild all the time so being in a lecture hall was never going to fit within my interests.
I went to Point Blank Music college in Hoxton to do a radio production course for six months when I first moved to London. I learnt so much about the skills needed to succeed in radio from my tutors at the college. After that I went on to do internships such as Ministry of Sound and volunteer at Rinse FM for almost two years. In that time I also linked up with Carly Wilford who created IAmMusicTV, and started to progress at presenting and loads of other areas I wanted to work within.
• How did you get into music broadcasting and blogging? Radio has always been my dream. I’ve just grabbed every opportunity that has come my way. Personally, being hungry and eager to learn is the main thing for me, and networking. Meeting key people who have helped me progress is how I’ve ended up at a great deal of the places I am today. Most of the people you meet in your life, at some point will help you along the way and if you’re lucky, become good friends too, which is amazing!
• Whats the best thing about your job? Chasing your dream everyday is the best part of the job. It’s always exciting because things can happen at such a tremendous pace. Interviewing and hanging out with people who you’ve always wanted to meet never gets old. Also working towards making some changes in the game that you want to see happen is a proper buzz!
• And the worst thing? Tough criticism can be hard to take at times, but you’ve just got to take the positives, and keep trucking. Some people will knock you just for the sake of it, but they’re the kind of people that drag you down, so don’t mind them. However, those that will give you constructive feedback are the ones that will help you to be better at your craft. So be thankful for them, and work hard to show people that you’re good enough to be there!
• What advice do you have for a young person looking to get into music broadcasting? So much of this business is unpaid to begin with, so make sure you’re willing to work extremely hard and put in the hours. As a presenter, always listen back to your own shows and look for areas where you can improve on. Go out in search of feedback from people who you want to work alongside. Keep following your dream and don’t let anything negative get in the way of the goals you want to achieve. Oh and of course HUSTLE!
5 Top Tips to getting the best out of your music blog
• Create a clear vision of what you want to achieve by developing the music website or blog.
• In this day & age, loads of blogs and websites think it’s really cool to be negative all the time. Just support and write about what you love and don’t get wrapped up in slating people’s work. Its too much energy in the first place, keep your energy for backing the musicians that you want to see do well.
• When you start to build momentum, always look to branch out and get more likeminded & talented people involved who understand what the website’s vision is about. Building the right team takes time but it’s key. It also allows you & your partners to concentrate on expansion and other areas of the platform.
• Hustle!!! The most important thing in the music industry is hustle. This comes into every aspect of what you do. Including festivals, getting interviews from your top artists in a packed press room, running events, etc. Hustling is a very positive characteristic to have in your locker, but you must be polite & humble at all times. Nobody likes ignorant people!
• Don’t sell-out on what you want do with the website or blog. PR’s will hound you to write about their artists but you don’t have to! (Sometimes they’re just awful anyways). If they don’t fit into the sound or style you’re supporting then just ignore it.
To see Shan on the somewhereto_ panel along with a whole host of other music industry experts, sign up for free tickets here. See you there!