Charlotte graduated from BIMM London with a Music Production Degree in late 2017. Since then, she has been working alongside James Ivey at Location Recordings and has been involved in sessions with Pete Townsend and The National Children’s Choir of Great Britain. We caught up with her to reflect on all that’s led her to this point in her young career.
How did you first get interested in Music Production?
I have been a huge fan of dance music since a very young age, I remember being about 9 years old and my brother was 17 and had just passed his driving test. We would drive around listening to drum and bass on his huge sub (which was deemed cool back then) and since then I’ve been music mad. I had all of the Ministry of Sound annuals, and Pacha and Hedkandi albums. I went to my first club when I was about 12 ! This was in Egypt so everyone thought I was about 21. It was Hedkandi in Hurghada and Lisa Lashes was DJing and I remember the very moment I decided I wanted to be a superstar DJ like her! That dream is still very much alive but I took the production route after taking Music at GCSE and BTEC level and became really interested in how music was made. I’ve always had a versatile music taste, from heavy rock to salsa, and I knew this worked well in the production industry. So when hearing about the BIMM course, I knew it was for me!
What have you been doing work-wise since graduating last year?
I am working at Location Recordings as a freelance studio/production assistant. My day to day job varies and no two days are ever the same. If you’ve heard of a blog called pro-tools-expert.com, I am working for James Ivey. He runs the recording studio and also makes reviews and tutorials for the blog. I am the one behind the camera filming James do his reviews and tutorials, I also edit a lot of the videos on Adobe Premier Pro. I really enjoy this side as it was completely new to me when I started! When we make the reviews, we often write a track to go along side the piece of equipment to show off what it can do. I help write the songs and also drive the sessions when recording.
What have been the main highlights for you since working at Location Recordings?
One of the main highlights was my second day on the job. I was off to Berkshire to film Pete Townshend talking about the Console 1 by SoftTube! It was like something from a film in such a beautiful setting. As we drove up a long country pathway (which turned out to be Pete’s Pathway!) We turned into the driveway to see a huge white mansion and there was Pete telling us that we’d come in the wrong entrance, turn around! (We were terrified that we’d p**sed him off!). We were led into an outhouse where he had a grand piano and every other instrument. I assumed this was The Who’s jamming space. We then walked by the pool and into one of his four studios! He fetched us tea and a kit kat chunky each! He was such a nice guy and I hope to run into him again along my travels!
Another instance was when James was due to go and record the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain’s christmas album in August and unfortunately his family all came down with a terrible virus, so I stepped up and went to do it myself. I had to go to Shrewsbury school, a very posh private school, to record the amazingly talented childrens choir. I was nervous as I hadn’t done anything like it before, let alone on my own! After setting up so many microphones, the producer John Cohen led the sessions which were set up in the school chapel (which had beautiful acoustics) and for 3 whole days we recorded some amazing music! I became so fond of all of the conductors and teachers, they all had special talents. Very recently James and I received a copy of the album in the post and it was such a proud moment to hold something I helped create!
How did your course in Music Production at BIMM help you get where you are now?
My course at BIMM helped me in many ways. It was a huge stepping stone into the industry and I think this was due to the opportunities that were given through the Careers Hub. They helped me see different possibilities for the future and broadened my mind on the different routes I could go down. I learned a lot about how the industry worked and how to use and trust my ears. My confidence grew so much in my final year because after starting my final projects I began to think ‘yeah, I kind of do know what I’m doing’ which is something that took a long time to happen! Neil Pickles (production tutor) forwarded a job application to the year 3 production students, which is the job I am in now! So I am very grateful to Neil for that.
What advice would you offer someone looking to study the subject/follow in your footsteps?
My advice would be, do everything! When you enter the real world, real responsibility kicks in which can sometimes get in the way of doing what you love. Make the most of that student loan, go to as many gigs as you can, focus on yourself and your interests, keep an open mind. And make the most of who/what is around you! Go to the Industry events and meet new people, get your name out there!