Tim McKenzie, better known by his stage name Labrinth, is a successful singer-songwriter and record producer who completed Collage Arts sound Recording and Music Industry Programme and helped launch Collage Arts Monthly Urban Music Jam. Now signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco label. Here’s a Live Recording of an original tune by Timothy Mckenzie aka Labrinth, playing with his family at the Karamel Club, Wood Green in 2006.
Wayne Edwards is now an up and coming Dj on a radio station after completing Collage Arts’ Music Business Course. Wayne who had already been DJing, MCing and running a record label before taking the course, says the Music Business programme helped him gain the information that he needed to persist in the career path he was already on. “I learned a lot from the course, for example the structure of the music industry and how the business is formed behind the scenes?” commented Wayne who found the marketing element of the course the most beneficial. “As a business minded person, it helped me to see the best ways of marketing my business and market myself as a DJ.” Wayne also he made some good friends and contacts from his time spent at Collage Arts, one of which he is currently DJing with and another is working with him on a local radio station, where both have been nominated for the Best Newcomer DJ award. Wayne is currently taking an IT course, where he is learning web design, which he said is “useful for people who are thinking of starting their own business or company.”
Since the end of the course Wayne has also started his own independent record label and Production Company with two other students on the Music Business course. “I would recommend the course because you gain a lot of industry knowledge and know how, which will help you when getting involved in the music business – it’s a good eye opener to the Business.”
Thanks to the Music Business course I am now going to the London Metropolitan University in September to study further about the music industry on the Sound and Media BA. I was producing music before I went to Collage Arts but I wanted to get a better understanding of the music industry. I found out about the different types of contracts used in the business, copyright issues, and what happens behind the scenes of the music business.
The course has showed me a different perspective of the industry; we were also exposed to different music styles. I had a good teacher who was working in the industry who explained things well and as the teacher was also fun I had a better relationship with him. I liked the way the course was structured. It was broken down into modules: Song writing; Peer production; Contracts; Marketing. I made many different friends, spoke to people I never thought I would, and made contacts with people in the music industry. One of them was a man who was a rock singer; personally I do not listen to that sort of music. But because of meeting people like him I have learnt about different music, and have widened my musical range which will help me professionally.
“After moving out of my parent’s house I was working as a nail technician to pay the bills but felt that I needed to go in a new direction. Originally I had studied health and social care and had thought about going into nursing but this was a career path which I felt I was being pushed down by my parents. Of course, like everyone, I had always been interested in music but I never thought that it could lead me to university or the opportunity of a career in the industry. However, once I was put in touch with Collage Arts I realised that I could get there. Initially I didn’t know what to expect with the Commercial Music Programme (CMP). I knew nothing about the multimedia side of the music industry and didn’t know where it would take me. However, through the hands on experience I got at Collage I was able to learn quickly and feel comfortable with what I was studying. Before the CMP a lot of my experience came from the Factory 21 course I got on through Collage. On the Factory 21 course I was able to put on events, get filming experience by making a video for a local theatre school and talk to local children at schools in order to promote the course. I also gained the basic multimedia arts training I needed to get the most out of the CMP. Currently I am studying for a BA in Commercial Music at the University of Westminster, something which I never would have thought of doing before the CMP. The course prepared me for my degree, especially the business and performance side, and I feel has even given me an advantage over other students. In the future, besides doing something with my own song writing, I would like to get into events promotion. I’ve been able to gain experience of doing this and have enjoyed what I’ve been able to do so far. After helping with some community education events alongside Enfield council I also like the idea of doing some teaching with teenagers and people of my own age, like at Collage. The course has been excellent and is a great opportunity for those interested in the industry especially as it gives you expertise in specific areas. The tutors have been really supportive, I have learning difficulties and they have given me the confidence I needed to get to where I am today. My experience of both the CMP and Collage Arts has definitely made me a more positive person; it’s put my life into perspective and given me the push forward that I needed.”
Jamie (Jay) Duncan Mathew
“I had always been into events promotion and had done a few events, some local gigs and released a few white labels with a friend of mine. We had managed to get some radio airplay and our events had given us some local recognition and we wanted to start a record label but I felt I didn’t have the business sense needed to do that. I found out about Collage Arts purely by chance. I wasn’t really aware of them and the Commercial Music Programme (CMP) or any other type of music business course but I knew that in order to start my own record label or even to get in the industry I had to find somewhere where I could get the training. I attended an open day at Collage Arts and at first I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into but after hearing what the people at Collage had to say I knew I wanted to do the course. The CMP has enabled me to pursue something I enjoy. I would say that it has been invaluable in that it has opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist in the music business. For me it’s been a great guidance in that it’s helped me understand how the whole system works. I was able to do some work experience at Def Jam UK which personally was like already getting to the top! But it was a great experience because of course its different learning the business side and being directly involved in it. The CMP prepares you for the industry and I now feel that I would be ready to enter a career in music business. I’m now at Westminster University doing a BA in Commercial Music. I’m in my final year at the moment and am working on an artist management project which deals with all aspects of the music industry and I’m definitely seeing the benefits of having done the CMP with this project. Without the CMP I’m not even sure if I’d have ever gone to university, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to get there I just wasn’t sure how to get there, and Collage has given me the help I needed to get to university. In the future I would like to set up my own record label or music business venture. I think at first I’d like to get my foot in the door of a record label and specialise in the music side such as working with artists and then just see where that takes me. I think that Collage Arts and the CMP is a good platform for young people wanting to get into creative industries. There are so many facilities and resources here which can only benefit you. Places like this are important for the local community it gives them a chance to express themselves and opens their eyes to the opportunities that are around them. I’ve found the tutors to be friendly vibrant and fresh thinking, they are extremely approachable and almost like friends. I definitely think that I you work hard enough then Collage Arts can help you achieve your goals.”
“I always knew I wanted to get in the music business I had done a lot of music when I was a kid and really enjoyed it however, in terms of pursuing a career I was always told that it was something that was out of my reach. Whenever, I told somebody about my ambitions everyone told me I should go into plumbing or construction just to make money but I knew what I wanted to do and was prepared to do whatever I had to to get there. Before coming to Collage Arts I was on a DV8 training lower level commercial course and after doing that I found out about the Commercial Music Programme (CMP). I think it was beneficial for me to do the DV8 course as it gave me a good grounding which I was able to build up at Collage. Doing the CMP at Collage has opened a lot of doors for me. I’ve helped put on the Tottenham carnival and spent week’s teaching music production to fifteen-year-olds. I was able to do work experience with the MOBOs which gave me a taste of what the industry is all about and enabled me to put what I had been learning into practice. Most of all the CMP enabled me to build a lot of experience which has now made me ready to go into the industry. I’m now seeing the benefits of the CMP and working with Collage through getting a place on a Creative Apprenticeship with Highbury and Islington council. In the future I want to get a job in management and then have my own separate business putting on events. At first though it’s all about getting into the industry for me and feeling secure within it. I can only describe my experience of CMP and Collage Arts as a rollercoaster, and I’ve enjoyed it so much. Of course there’s loads of people on the course with their own personalities and there’s bound to be clashes but I’ve learnt how to deal with this. The tutors are some of the nicest, genuine people I’ve met and it’s been a pleasure to work with them. Without the CMP and Collage I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now and my eyes would have never been opened to the paths within this industry.”