CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF?
I’m Megan Dixon Hood, a singer songwriter based between Cheshire and Manchester with a tendency to write mournful songs. I graduated from BIMM Manchester last year with a degree in Songwriting, and now dedicate the majority of my time to my career as an artist and songwriter. I play piano so most of my songs are formed around that and I have a backing band (who I met at BIMM) who help bring the songs to life. I’m often influenced by folk music, especially in the lyrical sense and take a lot of inspiration from all things magical and mystical, such as fairytales and folktales, but I also explore heavily with literature and art. I think nature can often have a strong influence too. My sound is hard to pinpoint and describe as it varies between when I play solo and with the band, but the word I hear most often is ethereal and haunting.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I suppose it all began a long time ago, when my mum decided I should play an instrument. I probably had piano lessons from around the age of 9 or 10, which admittedly I didn’t enjoy all too much. It wasn’t until I was 15 or 16 that I realised I didn’t have to play grade pieces or classical music, but that I could actually create my own and that’s when I properly fell in love with music. Before BIMM though I was extremely shy and refused to show my songs to anyone, let alone perform, which is ironic now because gigging is one of my favourite parts of my job! I don’t think I really took it seriously though until my dad encouraged me to study music, and I found myself at BIMM, where my confidence grew, and I gathered a band together and realised that, yes, I could really try and make a career with my music. That’s how it all began, but I’ll always be discovering and exploring something new.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE BIMM MANCHESTER?
If I’m being honest, I stumbled across BIMM by accident. I was planning a year out, to better myself as a musician as I’d been rejected from my first choice uni, and I hadn’t heard of BIMM at the time. It wasn’t until later that a school friend mentioned that she was going to BIMM Manchester as it was opening for its first year. So I auditioned only a week before BIMM opened its doors and got an offer for the songwriting degree, which turned out to be the perfect course for me. Manchester ended up being the best location for me also, as it’s not too far from home and I’ve completely fallen for the city and the people themselves, let alone the talented music scene it has to offer.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR HIGHLIGHT AT BIMM?
This will sound so cliched and I’m sure many others will say the same, but without a doubt it’s the people I’ve met. I met my band here, and it’s hard to imagine not having them in my life, but there’s more than that too. Being in an environment where everyone is excited by music and the industry surrounding it, is infectious. There’s so many interesting and creative individuals that you’re constantly inspired, and that’s one thing that I’ve missed since I’ve left, is being with people who provide endless inspiration and encouragement.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FUTURE STUDENTS ON YOUR COURSE?
I think getting involved and experimenting musically can provide the most amazing opportunities, essentially what you put in is what you get out and it doesn’t go unnoticed. I still have opportunities now through BIMM and I’m no longer even a student! It’s also good to make the most of the tutors as they have lived in a part of the industry that you may well be walking into, so it can be extremely useful and influential to connect with them. It’s all about networking and making connections! (Oh, and one more bit of advice – start your dissertation early, you’ll thank yourself as the deadline looms closer!)