#MusicMadeUs

Music organisations can change lives – Lewis McKirdy 🌐

7th February 2020

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Everybody deserves a shot at making their dreams a reality, so how do you get the opportunity?

Music organisations and charities can transform young people’s lives. Being part of an organisation is such an integral part of getting connected with peers and mentors and for a young person it can transform their life and career in the best possible way.

Finding the right organisation is not a chore either.

Getting familiar with industry bodies can be a meaningful way to develop an understanding of how creative industries work before you dive straight into the deep end. Registering with relevant groups can give you access to advice and support, helping you avoid being exploited early on in your career.

I’m sure you know but the music industry is filled to the brim with 50/50 best people ever/worst people ever. Being bolstered by a body is empowering and a great way to remain informed, independent and on track and regardless of your field; there will be an organisation for you. They’re generally internationally linked to other bodies too so you won’t be restricted to domestic scenarios. Non-members are often welcome at forums and seminars so the learning potential and networking opportunities are seldom rivalled.

For anyone shaping unique paths, understanding that opportunities will present themselves if they stay connected and informed is vital. Look at Pirate Studios – they’re one of Europe’s largest growing companies, rapidly expanding their operations across the globe. They rent out studios and equipment for cheap and most importantly give back legal and creative independence. By doing so they’re upset the set up and are redefining how music is recorded and the musical community is being positively receptive to the change.

OFCOM lists over 300 joinable community FM radio stations in the UK. To join a community station plants you at the bedrock of the music industry. Look at Nomad FM in Shepherds Bush for example. It’s one of the newest FM stations and it solely caters to the Somali community of West London. It opened in September 2019 connecting Somali artists, writers, producers, DJs and industry figures with not only each other but a relevant audience. It’s volunteer-ran yet is already creating live spaces for touring artists, workshops and events. No individual can create so much in such a short amount of time.

And have you heard of The Prison Radio Association? It’s a charity that funds the NPR – the national radio station that’s available exclusively to inmates across the UK. It’s ran and funded by the charity and it boasts the highest listenership per cap in the country. The request show is one of the most heart wrenching programs, with requests of songs, understanding and forgiveness in each letter to the DJs that host it from the studio HM Prison Brixton.

For rehabilitating young people, it’s an access point that is enabling them to create and connect again. They’re reducing the recidivism rate with the power of radio, even having produced documentaries for BBC Radio 4 from inside the prison walls.

Author

Lewis McKirdy

Lewis was previously the Assistant Manager of Reprezent Radio. 107.3 FM - The Sound Of Young London.