Joss Ryan, 21, a music producer & DJ from East London explains how the Roundhouse has helped him get the job of his dreams.
It's becoming increasingly hard for young people like me to make the jump from education to the work place. Nowadays work experience is becoming vital to get that dream job, (or even just a job), but where do you start? Opportunities are incredibly hard to come by, especially ones that spark your imagination.
I was always interested in music, but didn't know how to turn this into a career, or if it was even really a possibility. A friend of mine mentioned that the Roundhouse, a performing arts venue in Camden, was running a short remixing project, and as I was starting to build an interest in music production, I jumped at the chance.
Fast forward a few months, and I was lucky enough to be part of OnTrack, a music production project where I got to remix an album of new tracks by emerging musicians. I then DJ'd for the album launch at the Roundhouse when it was finished, which was a pretty amazing experience.
While I was doing this course, something about the recording studio really hooked me, probably the big desk and huge speakers. Knowing that you have to make your own luck, I asked if I could do any assisting/shadowing and managed to get a week's studio experience.
The Roundhouse then suggested I look at an 18 month Audio Engineering course at a music school nearby in Camden. Thanks to their help and encouragement I was not only offered a place but even awarded a scholarship to do it. (The course was more than £10,000, so I wouldn't have been able to do it without this).
All of this experience and training has meant that I'm now a music producer creating music that mixes Electronic with Soul, Jazz and orchestral elements. I've been working with the label DVA music for the last year, have had support from Mary Anne Hobbs and Swindle to name a few, and am releasing my second EP plus some other remixes and releases this year.
Alongside this I'm employed as a sound engineer at the Roundhouse's main studio. I get to meet lots of new people - bands, singers and music producers and often really important people within the industry, which is vital for networking. Since becoming a sound engineer I've gained DJ/Music Production skills from industry professionals such as Funk Butcher (Kiss FM) & Jonathan Vears, who has played with artists like Eminem and Rhianna. You could say it's my dream job!
I've mixed with loads of different people in those studios and it's these networks and collaborations that have really helped my music. The Roundhouse have recently done some research that's showed that young people get a lot out of working with people outside of their normal circles - that was definitely something I experienced and made the most of.
So how would I describe my relationship with the Roundhouse now? You could say things are getting pretty serious! I just seem to be getting more and more involved in helping out with the opportunities they provide young people, and at the same time it's helping me to get to where I want to be too.
Working in the music/broadcasting industry is the ambition of millions of young people all over the world. But, as a profession, it can seem almost impossible for young people to get the necessary breaks. My advice is to put in 150%, be prepared to help out and give a little bit extra where and whenever you can and you'll get this back in return. Getting ahead in this industry is about having great relationships with people rather than having a CV with qualifications.
Joss' music can be found at https://soundcloud.com/jossryan
To find out more about the opportunities for young people visit http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/young-creatives/ and to find out how to support their work visit: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/support-our-work/
To read the report go to http://www.neweconomics.org/press/entry/exposure-to-diversity-key-to-young-people-fulfilling-ambitions-finds-nef-an