My name is Ross Carley, I’m 19 years old and I currently live in Shrewsbury. However, I’m moving to Birmingham to study Music Journalism at BIMM Birmingham.
What’s drawn you to study Music Journalism?
I spent a lot of my teenage years from age 15 to 19 attending gigs in Birmingham, as it was the nearest city to me with good venues to attend. So, at least once a month, I would find myself at the Rainbow Courtyard, O2 Institute or The Sunflower Lounge. It wasn’t until I finished my second year of Sixth Form that I decided to start writing about my experiences at gigs and about what music I was listening to.
My friend and I started a very simple WordPress blog called Peace and Indiependence. Over a very short period of time the blog developed into a platform with multiple writers that specialised in music and film. I was searching through Instagram one day when an advert appeared for the Music Journalism course at BIMM Birmingham that really appealed to me. I was currently on a gap year and hadn’t really considered going into education as I was enjoying doing everything by myself. However, the course really intrigued me as a way to progress further in my writing and to develop my skills and create more contacts.
Why have you chosen to study in Birmingham?
The reason I chose Birmingham was, as I previously mentioned, I already visited here a lot to attend gigs and I’d started to make friends with other people there, so I felt very much at home in the city, which is really important to me. I’d looked round other cities when looking at university options and Birmingham felt like the right place for me. Since then, I have joined a band which has become well established as part of the Birmingham music scene. So, to me, it makes sense for me to be living here and stay immersed in the local scene.
You’re also in a band, Echo Beach! Can you tell us a bit about that?
Being in a band is great. It really gives me a sense of belonging. Being backstage and hanging out with other bands, making friends and receiving such a warm reception when you’re on stage really makes it worth all the effort and graft you put into it. It does occasionally start to feel like a full time job when you spend so much time with your bandmates working on new songs, rehearsing and recording. But it’s easily worth every second once you start to see the rewards come in. We’ve recently played our first festival at the Sonic Gun Weekender which was a huge milestone for us and a definite highlight for me as a performer. We’ll also be releasing our debut single ‘She’ soon, which I’m very excited to share with everyone. When you’re in a rehearsal space or on stage, you really don’t hear the song in the same way that the listener does, so there’s always an element of self-doubt about your work. That is until you hear a final mastered recording of your work and you suddenly realise just what you’re capable of as a band. I feel as well, being an aspiring journalist, that being in a band really helps me get my foot in the door with the right people and make important connections that can further my career.
What are you most excited about joining BIMM Birmingham?
I’m most excited about being able to meet new people who are just as enthused about music as I am. I feel like being in a place where everyone is there to enjoy music and do what they love is really going to help motivate me. And I hope that I can motivate others in the same way when I’m there!