So many great musicians have inspirational origin stories about meeting their heroes and picking up an instrument or maybe a relative was a musician that they looked up to, but my origin story is a bit simpler than that. I’m originally from the small mountain town of Somersworth, New Hampshire, USA and my first interest in music came from listening to my parent’s vast and eclectic album collection and playing along on pots and pans. Other than playing the snare drum in my middle school orchestra, I was first introduced to drumming by this girl I had a crush on in the neighbourhood. She had this new video game at the time called Rock Band and we would just spend loads of time together playing plastic toy drums.
However, when I was 13 I moved to Southampton, England with my mom and older brother and went through the paces of the British school system doing GCSEs and whatnot. When I graduated from college, I wasn’t too sure of what the next step was for me. I always felt like I was just cruising through school and not really trying my hardest, even in college I was a really bad student – always cutting class or not bothering to do work. I guess my attitude turn around happened in my gap year where I spent every day just doing what I loved, playing drums until the early hours of the morning. I realised what I wanted to do with my life after I studied at a summer drum academy in Winchester where I met James Hester, Head of Drums, who first told me about BIMM. It seemed like it was the right choice for me, just studying the one thing that interested me in life.
I never really was the academic type but when I first arrived In Bristol, it dawned on me that I was out here alone forging my own path in life. Something kinda switched on and I was taking university more seriously than ever before and I must say, deciding to study here was definitely the best decision of my life. I went from having literally no performance experience to regularly doing gigs around Bristol and I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be half the musician I am today if I never studied here. I’ve learned so much about musicianship and general life advice from the tutors here, who act more as personal mentors than the cold, distant lecturers you might find at a larger university. I feel like I’ve made many life-long connections here as well, with many of my gig opportunities coming from either friends or tutors who know they can trust me and that I can get stuff done. I recently played at the London Bass Guitar Show with Stuart Hamm and Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols because I was recommended by people from BIMM. That opportunity mainly came about because I would always be willing to help my peers out with their exams or auditions and I became known as someone who can get stuff done and who is reliable.
BIMM and life in general is always dependant on the work you are willing to put in. Whether you are reading this and currently studying, graduated or yet to study here, I just want it to be known that hard work and connections are key in the industry and if you are willing to sacrifice the time into practicing or connecting with others and have the patience to track your progress over the years, you’ll definitely do well in life. I’m only 21 and I’ve achieved a lot more than I’d ever expect in life thanks to BIMM.