#LifeAtBIMM

From Stockholm to London with Alex Hilonen

11th October 2018

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What attracted you to study at BIMM in London?

When I made the decision to leave Sweden and study music, I went through ‘Study Abroad’. That helped me with information on what universities there were to choose from. London was a place I was already familiar with, so they recommended BIMM. When I read what different classes there are, I was happy to learn that the Music Production course also comes with a Music Business module, which is a very important part in any music career.

In Sweden, most music courses do not emphasise this, so that was the first thing that caught my eye. The second thing was that the teachers and faculty were all still active in the music industry in some way, and the third was that there is a careers team and a student support team to help you reach your full potential.

How are you settling in?

So far, so good. I still need to get more stuff for my room, so it looks more like a home than a bachelor pad. Getting more plants, like Aloe Vera, Snake plants and Peace Lilies to help purify the air. And it looks good with some green plants against a white wall.

How does the music scene in London compare to Stockholm?

There are a lot of musicians and artists in Stockholm, especially if you keep in mind that there are more people in London than the whole of Sweden. And we have a lot of government funded organisations that help with rehearsal space, etc, which is great. But over the last 10-15 years, yes, I´m that old. I’ve noticed that there was something missing. The audience are more interactive with the bands and the bands push more on stage, so give that energy you want when seeing an act live.

Why did you choose to study Music Production?

I started to play in my first band at age 13 and started to write my own music straight away. I chose music as an extra curriculum in secondary school and we had the opportunity to record one song. I fell in love with all the gadgets and all the buttons! Later, when we had other bands and a metal project (which I still have), I got more involved in the whole music production chain and realised I want to be involved in everything. Not just performing, but knowing the desk, equipment and working with artists. So, a Music Production course was the obvious choice for me.

What are you most looking forward to on the Music Production course?

Starting to record a full band in recording studios. Recording has always been fun and to record a real instrument with a good musician is magical. Nothing beats that. And BIMM is full of talented musicians.

What are you most looking forward to about the music community here at BIMM London?

Mostly, I’m looking forward to being recognised for my skills and getting work from that. Plus, expanding my network as much as possible, both with established people and those still new to the industry. You never know when you might meet someone that can help you or someone else that’s great for a collaboration.

Any advice you’d give to someone looking to make the move to study here in London?

  1. If you’re shipping boxes to abroad to London, make sure they durable boxes and tape the crap out of them. You don’t want them to open during transport.
  2. Get a bank account and National insurance number and register with a GP as soon as you can.
  3. Get plants.
  4. Make sure you write your name in the order it is on your passport. In Sweden our middle names don’t have to be in the middle, like in my case. Banks don’t always understand that.
  5. Get prepared early but don’t forget to relax.

Author

Sarah-Louise Burns

After studying Ba(Hons) Photography, Sarah has worked in Social Media Marketing since 2013 - she's now part of the BIMM Social Media Team, and is photographer for the Who, What, Why series.