The Big Music Project UK 2014 – Cardiff

12 Oct

Hi everyone!

How are we? I hope you’re all well! First of all, I’d just like to start by saying a massive thank you to anyone who read my previous blog post about World Mental Health Day. Sharing my story was something really important to me and I really wanted to make sure I could raise some sort of awareness about Mental Health.

This blog of mine is something I’ve only gotten back into recently so to have 12 views on the blog within an hour was fantastic haha! It may sound like nothing to most but 12 views felt like a hundred to me, especially on a blog post that was so important to me, so for that I thank you!

Fast forward 24 hours since writing that blog post to Saturday the 11th of October, and what a busy day I had! I got a great opportunity to volunteer for The Big Music Project UK as a photographer and what an interesting day it was.

Earlier in the morning, I attended my work induction for my new job at Mothercare in Cardiff, (yay! I finally have a paying job! – for those who haven’t read my previous blogs, it has been quite the struggle up until now to find a paying job so high fives all around!) so after finishing that up, I had a quick changeover and headed down to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. If none of you know which building I’m talking about then you’re missing out! It’s the giant copper building that basically looks like an armadillo and it’s a fantastic venue that’s seen plenty of productions grace its stage such as West Side Story and Wicked.

The Big Music Project UK is something that was new to me. I’d never heard of it before but basically it’s a FREE (we all love free things!) music industry event/roadshow that travels around the UK offering young and old folk the chance to see up and coming artists perform and to network with music industry experts. An absolute gem of an opportunity for anyone aspiring to work in the music industry, it offered DJ masterclasses with the likes of Will Kennard (one half of the epic Chase & Status) and there were workshops and seminars with people experienced in artist management, music recording and also the radio industry.

Companies from all over set up stalls on the main stage area of the Millennium Centre and the famous, musical BRIT school (where the likes of Adele and Jessie J studied!) were also there to give 8 lucky people the opportunity to be in a band for the day and to perform live on stage.

A performance room hosted by Capital FM South Wales’ Matt,Polly & Geraint showed off some of Wales’ local talent with acts such as Peasants King and Kizzy Crawford playing great sets, along with appearances from big chart singers like Becky Hill and Plan B. Becky Hill was the person I was most excited to see as I’m a massive fan of her songs and voice. (I mean seriously, what a voice!) You might have remembered Becky Hill from the BBC series “The Voice” where she was mentored by Jessie J and had that infamous live TV moment where she swore during a song (oops!). Never the less, she’s gone on to achieve great success collaborating with top DJ’s like Wilkinson and Rudimental and more recently she bagged herself a UK number 1 single featuring on Oliver Heldens ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ track. Her set was quite short with only 3 or 4 songs which I was SO gutted about as I could’ve watched her all day but regardless, she did it justice! I stood there with my trusty camera at the very front, snapping away and singing along to all the songs! We definitely made eye contact so yeah, I mean, we had a connection obvs.

Becky Hill

Becky Hill

Becky Hill

Becky Hill

Next up after Becky Hill was a very well known rapper and singer in the industry, Ben Drew, aka Plan B, known for songs such as Ill Manors and She Said. I was under the impression that he was going to perform so was rather excited but unfortunately it was not the case! However, he did come out to the stage to take part in a really insightful and interesting Q&A session with the crowd. He clearly belongs in the business he’s in and his knowledge of the industry was shown through the variety of stories he had to tell (well, one of them was about a heroin addict and a prostitute but that’s for another time…) and the advice he gave to aspiring musicians. He made it quite clear that he thinks shows like The X Factor isn’t the way forward if you want to be a serious musician but he showed no disrespect either by praising some of the people that have come out of those shows. “How do I make it into the industry?” someone asked in the crowd. “Start writing and learn to play an instrument” was the answer from Plan B. He made his beliefs quite clear that for a true musician to get noticed and to succeed, they should really try and write songs and play an instrument. (well hey guess what Mr.B, I dabble in song writing and passed Grade 1 on the piano… hmm, yeah maybe I need to get back to that.) He was also honest about the fact that people need to be realistic and understand that if they’re not a good singer then this industry may not be for them. His advice was honest and true and if he ever does anything like this again in your area then I’d recommend checking it out!

Ben Drew aka Plan B

Ben Drew aka Plan B

The Big Music Project really is a fantastic venture that I think opens the minds and eyes of young people to the music industry in a more positive and realistic way. Unfortunately shows like the X Factor and just general ‘celebrity culture’ makes young people believe that being a ‘popstar’ and a ‘star’ is what it’s all about. The idea of being rich and famous and being a baller (yo.) is all that consumes today’s media but events like The Big Music Project brings it all back down to reality. It’s being honest with the young people of today and telling them what it’s really like. One thing that Becky Hill said that stuck in my mind when she had her little Q&A was “It’s REALLY not what you think it’s like” and she’s probably so right. Everyone has this perfect idea of the music industry when in reality it’s a really tough business that requires hard work and dedication. Most people think that it’s going to be handed to them on a plate so to make young people realise that hard work pays off was really good.

I was really thankful that I got to volunteer at this event and would thoroughly recommend anyone to go to a similar event in the future. Free music, I mean honestly, what more do you want?! I’ll post a bunch of photos down below that I took on the day so check those bad boys out!

Thanks a lot for reading this blog post if you made it to the end!

Stay tuned for more adventures and ciao for now x

South Wales band 'Peasants King'

South Wales band ‘Peasants King’

Kizzy Crawford

Kizzy Crawford

Local talent on the community stage

Local talent on the community stage

Local talent on the community stage

Local talent on the community stage

Local talent on the community stage

Local talent on the community stage

Local rappers on the community stage

Local rappers on the community stage

Local talent on the community stage

Local talent on the community stage

Local choir on the community stage

Local choir on the community stage

View from centre stage of the Wales Millennium Centre

View from centre stage of the Wales Millennium Centre

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3 Responses to “The Big Music Project UK 2014 – Cardiff”

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  1. Cerdd Mawr, Plan B a Llwyth o Botensial | Blog Mawr Cymru - October 16, 2014

    […] edrychwch ar y blog gwych hwn gan berson ifanc a gwirfoddolwr gyda Youth Cymru, Megan Wigley-Jones, a ysgrifennodd am […]

  2. Big Music, Plan B and Bags of Potential | The Big Lottery Fund Wales Blog - October 16, 2014

    […] take a look at this great blog by young person and Youth Cymru volunteer Megan Wigley-Jones, who wrote about her experience on […]

  3. To blogfinity and beyond!! | Megan Wigley-Jones - October 21, 2014

    […] Health Awareness blog post to the Big Music Project UK blog post (oooo click on this fancy button here to take you there if you’d like!), my stats and views on my blog have rocketed! And […]

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