Work hard, don’t rest on your laurels, be nice to people, and have belief in what you’re doing – DJ and owner of RAM Records, Andy C’s career advice and experience in the music industry.
How easy is it to get into the industry compared to when you started?
I’d say it’s pretty much the same, a lot of networking, do whatever job there is available to be part of the industry…
When I started I used to give out flyers, sell tickets, do pirate radio, hang out in clubs in the hope someone would not show up so I could get a set. I’d say it’s the same in most industries, you need to put yourself around the right people and be available to do whatever it takes.
Don’t act as if you deserve to be part of something, just earn the right to be involved.
Do you think males and females are treated equally in the industry, why?
The music industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it faces the same issues that the rest of society does. I’ve always believed that people should be treated equally and that’s something all industries need to work better on.
What does gender representation look like across the industry?
It’s improving. We need to make sure everyone has equal opportunity – that’s the way you find the best talent, you don’t discriminate.
What is your biggest tip on getting into the industry?
Work hard, don’t rest on your laurels, be nice to people, and have belief in what you’re doing.
What is the benefit of going to university or college to get into this industry?
I started my label and was DJ’ing in clubs when I was 16 so university didn’t play a part in my career. That said, I would say education is key no matter what and my children will attend university.
I get to play to a lot of students at Freshers week events etc and I can see the benefits of building your network that can last a life time.
For instance, I’ve played for promoters at university events and within 5 or so years you see the same promoter and or their friends working within the industry at festivals, labels, PR agencies etc due to the relationships they’ve made putting on their events.
What are the perks of your job?
The biggest perk is being able to help people enjoy themselves. Sounds cheesy but that’s the best feeling in the world… you get to entertain people and make them dance and feel free for a few hours of their life each week.
Do you feel pressured to keep innovating, and if so how?
The only pressure really comes from myself. I love what I do and love to keep it fresh so want to challenge myself by learning new mixes, experimenting with new sounds, new equipment etc.
You are obviously a role model to many. What is your message to younger people?
If you see something and you want it, go for it. Only you can make it happen, but be prepared to live and breathe whatever it is, to make your dreams a reality.
What support did you have getting into the industry? (such a finance, family, friends, location, industry connections)
To start RAM I got a small loan from my uncle to press the first release, and with a family friend (Ant Miles) I got more studio experience at a young age than most I guess.
With Industry connections, this was making a nuisance of myself at local record shops, sending out mixes for gigs and when the opportunity rose I would make sure I got to speak to the right people and stay in contact with them in one way or another.