I’m James, I’m a third year Music Business student at BIMM Manchester and I run the website toomanyblogs.co.uk.
How long have you written/worked for Too Many Blogs?
I started the site in November 2013, so we’ve just celebrated our third birthday! The writing part is taking more of a backseat now though.
Has that always been a passion of yours?
Music always has been, but the actual writing side wasn’t. I always enjoyed going to shows and wanted to be involved in it somehow! After years of friends saying that I should start a site so that I can share recommendations, I took the plunge and decided to give it 12 months. After 6, Green Man Festival got in touch and asked if I’d like be a part of their Rising competition. It was that which made me decide that I should take things more seriously.
I’ve been coming to shows here since I was 14 and moved here 5 years ago. London is always tempting, but I feel like I’ve got a connection here.
It’s not because of Oasis, The Smiths, New Order, The Stone Roses or any of that lot though. I’m really not into any of them.
You’re studying Music Business, why that course?
Like I say, I’ve always wanted to be involved in the industry and I can’t play a thing. I wanted to learn more about the thing that I loved, and also get a degree. It felt like it was designed for me.
Has BIMM helped your career, if so, how?
It has! In a few ways:
Firstly, I’ve learnt loads of things that are useful to me. I can speak to people about contracts, publishing, licensing, and all that stuff without sounding and feeling like an idiot.
Secondly, our stage at Live at Leeds last year came about, in part, thanks to BIMM. Jeff Thompson (one of the best guys you’ll ever meet) brought in Lee Denny from LeeFest. I spoke to him after and got in touch with the festivals PR about doing some stuff for LeeFest. Anyway, long story short, their PR turned out to be the same as the one for Live at Leeds. They liked the work we’d done for LeeFest and so we got asked if we’d be interested in having a stage with them. Yes please!
Thirdly, the tutors. I’ve annoyed Mike Burgess more times than I’d care to admit and he’s always been willing to offer help. Damian is always helpful when I need him too, as was Briggy. Andy Kelham offered amazing information about interviewing artists too, and is just one of the best guys I’ve met.
What plans have you got for the future?
The future was looking like a scary prospect. Running a music website doesn’t make any money (until you’re a big big site), no matter how much I love it. However, a couple of weeks ago I applied for an internship with From The Fields (who run Kendal Calling and Bluedot) and got it! I’m a big festival goer, so it would have actually been one of my first picks!
In terms of the site. We’ve got a decent team now and we’re getting more and more opportunities. Next year has got a TMB event, a house party, and another stage at Live at Leeds on the cards at the moment. We’re also looking to make a lot of changes and bring in some new features.
What advice have you got for new students who want to achieve what you have?
I guess the standard advice that everyone always gives. I suppose they always give it because it is usually the way that these things work.
Just keep doing what you’re doing. Network. Network, network, network. I’ve had so many things happen thanks to a previous 15 minute conversation with someone. Work hard and be passionate about what you do.
And be nice to people. It’s easy to do and it works.