#MusicMadeUs

frances mistry: How Music Made Me

22nd April 2022

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As part of our Music Made Us campaign, frances mistry from BIMM Institute Brighton explains her love for BBC Music Introducing and explores the challenges she faces as an autistic musician.

Most of my inspiration comes from watching others perform and paying attention to the lyrical content of the songs I like. I remember going to my first gig in a smallish venue when I was about 15 to see Declan McKenna. It really opened my eyes to the fact that a whole world of smaller musicians could write and perform their own music.

Immediately after that concert, I began learning guitar. I started writing my own songs, and ever since then, whenever I go to a show, I get a massive wave of inspiration and can write songs so quickly.

Being at BIMM Institute Brighton and in the city feels quite freeing; I suddenly feel like I can dress and present myself however I want without judgement.

Everyone has always been so friendly and kind, which has helped with my musical expression. Learning to be comfortable with myself has helped me write lyrics more personally. I feel I don’t have to stick to a specific form of writing. Brighton is also very arts-based, so it’s easy to find like-minded people.

As a smaller musician, I am grateful that the UK music industry has initiatives like BBC Music Introducing. It creates a much easier path for radio play as you can simply upload your song and potentially be played on big radio stations like BBC Radio 1. It can also open up doors to play at festivals via its BBC Music Introducing stage at places like Glastonbury, and Reading and Leeds.

AUTISM AND THE INDUSTRY

As an autistic musician, I would like to see more inclusivity in acknowledging the needs that disabled people may have. I often struggle with asking questions and ensuring that what I’m doing is correct, although I have found it to be less challenging than I expected as there are so many points of contact to help.

Studying at BIMM Institute has made gaining information about the industry and how it works so much more accessible than I first thought it would be.

The part I didn’t expect to be so challenging is around those who have more disposable income. They can invest quite a bit of money and seem to reach specific places in their career before others who don’t necessarily have access to those resources. However, I don’t see that part changing because, unfortunately, money is always needed. It’s how things work in this society.

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.

Author

Matt Leppier

Matt Leppier works as a digital content creator for BIMM Institute's central marketing team. Alongside this, he works for Off Licence Magazine as a editor, writer and photographer, as well as hosting several radio shows on Balamii and Platform B. He loves travel, literature and supports NBA team, Boston Celtics.