For our Music Made Us campaign, Ann Migichi, who studies Music Production in Manchester, explores her musical journey, her love for R&B and being a Black woman in a male-dominated scene.
Ever since I was a child, R&B, especially 90s R&B, has surrounded me. Artists like Joe, Mariah Carey, Brandy, and Destiny’s Child were always in rotation whenever my mum played her music out loud.
To this day, R&B plays a pivotal role in my production and my everyday listening – only now, it’s indie/alternative R&B and neo-soul alongside the classics. It has affected me significantly; it’s my place of refuge whenever I need time to relax or get into a creative mood. I’ll play Frank Ocean or Hiatus Kaiyote.
“The genre, on the whole, just takes on you on a journey.”
How harmonies are implemented – and the lyrical content of songs – seeped into how I write and record vocals. The way music producers like ROMderful and Matt Martians choose their instrumentation and arrange their beats is something I regularly study. The genre, on the whole, just takes on you on a journey. It is only now that I’ve realised that it’s my primary genre of choice.
It’s not just music, but the visual arts as well. I always like to pair the sound with some sort of visual in my head. If you go on my social media, you’ll see the time taken to film 30-40 seconds for a snippet of a song. I take inspiration from movies from the mid-90s or music video directors such as DPR IAN. I like taking film pictures and footage and creating sound alongside it.
Manchester’s Music Scene
I feel like the music scene in Manchester is booming, as in we’re getting great artists from this city. There’s always a sense of camaraderie between artists (especially amongst the R&B/hip hop scene). People seem to show love for one another, which is excellent.
I feel like BIMM Institute Manchester encourages you to network with other people; I have found lifelong friends and collaborators through BIMM. It also ignites the passion and the willingness to do more. I see the talented students at BIMM Manchester and suddenly want to create or collaborate with someone. BIMM encourages you to gain experiences outside the campus, such as setting up opportunities with industrial professionals, Masterclasses, and networking events.
Today’s Music Industry
I’m proud of the uniqueness and authenticity of the UK music scene at the moment. I feel like our sound is becoming more worldwide. For example, the popularity of drill music or the UK R&B scene has travelled far, and artists have gained recognition in places like the USA. I would like to see the UK’s R&B/hip hop scene continue its consistency. The R&B scene is small but filled with such talent waiting to be discovered.
Initially, I thought it would be hard going into this field, being a Black woman. I try not to have those worries or concerns in my head and instead just show my worth through the actions I make and my skills because, in the end, nobody can ignore hard work. It’s tough, but who doesn’t like a challenge? It only means that when you succeed, the satisfaction is 10 times better.
“In the next five years, we’ll see significant changes in the industry’s landscape.”
However, I do feel like the industry is changing. People now understand that there is a lack of women in the music industry. There’s more knowledge out there, and more women are considering roles such as studio engineers. In the next five years, we’ll see significant changes in the industry’s landscape.
Our Music Made Us campaign is told through the students, graduates, journalists, experts and passionate people who have been shaped by music. Discover their stories here.