A GRADUATE has started a digital music communications agency after taking a course that teaches people how the music industry works and how they can find their niche.
Grant Brydon from Kingston Park was unemployed when he signed up for the Managing a Music Business Enterprise (MMBE) course with Gateshead College and music development agency Generator.
Now the 24-year-old is heading Fiend Digital, which provides online communication campaigns for bands and artists including North East electronic duo Trafik, hip-hop producer Barzin and indie band This Ground Moves. He also handles the management for London-based producer Distinction and writes for music websites.
Mr Brydon said: “When I finished my degree in contemporary art practices at Leeds Metropolitan University, I knew I wanted to pursue a literary career, specifically one as a music journalist because I love music so much.
“I quickly realised just how difficult it can be making a living from writing. Immediately after graduating I started a hip-hop blog, HipHopFiend.com, as a hobby, I built my way up to interviewing some of the most exciting artists in the genre including Eminem protégé Yelawolf and producer 9th Wonder who is known for his work with Jay-Z and Destiny’s Child, but was still finding it difficult to convert this into an income.
“It was the MMBE course that really gave me an insight into the huge variety of career options available, it really opened my eyes to the work that is done behind the scenes of the music business. The course also gave me the confidence I needed to really go for it and set up my own music marketing agency which would still allow me to utilise the skills I’d already acquired from running my site.”
Phil Richardson from Gateshead College said: “It’s fantastic to see that Grant has been able to make music his career and we’ve really enjoyed working with him while he was studying on the MMBE course and afterwards to provide advice and guidance.
“This is exactly the kind of success story we were hoping for when we teamed up with Generator to offer this fantastic course in the North East.
“There are so many opportunities in the region for people to tap into the music scene and make a career for themselves and the course delivers the skills, know-how and confidence.”
Other graduates of the 13-week course who have started their own businesses include Ben Holland who runs The Polite Room gig nights across the North East, and Troy Slater whose music production company Synchestra was commissioned to create music for the Olympic Torch Relay.