Music industry mavericks join forces
The Academy of Music and Sound and Blast Studios are to open a new centre within Blast Studios – offering hands-on education for music production students, as well as a professional environment for BA and Masters Degree students – to ensure that the north-east will continue to produce generations of new music industry professionals.
Blast Studios is situated in the Ouseburn valley, which is arguably the cultural epicentre of Newcastle (although The Crack is chipping away at this argument by also being based there…).
Born out of Demolition Records, the state of the art studio has a history of recording rock legends from The Quireboys to Therapy?, who finished their latest album there last year.
Designed by world renowned acoustic engineers, and with a range of high quality studio hardware, Blast will offer Academy of Music and Sound students a chance to use the best equipment available in the region.
The Academy of Music and Sound North East is an independent collective of experienced music industry professionals that are keen to give something back at grass roots.
Their staff includes Barry Hyde, the creative spark behind Wearside’s The Futureheads; guitar wunderkind Micky Crystal, who is much in demand on the rock scene playing with The Tygers of Pan Tang; Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy); and Bumblefoot (Guns and Roses).
Students from the Academy have gone on to work with Marco Mendoza and Bumblefoot, and have also teamed up with Newcastle’s legendary Soul Kitchen management to give young people in Tyne and Wear the best opportunities available in the industry.
Blast Manager, Lisa Murphy, said: “I spent years working in music education and knew that I could make more of an impact on young peoples’ lives in the recording industry; this partnership is the perfect merging of two worlds.”
Academy of Music and Sound North East Manager Dan Donnelly (The Wonder Stuff, The Levellers) has come from the opposite angle. With 25 years of music industry experience from the lowest to the highest levels he said: “Having moved into music education from the industry, pairing up with Blast is a perfect combination. This is the type of environment that professional musicians work in, not a school.”
They both agree that the new relationship will provide unique employability opportunities for Academy of Music and Sound students. Budding professionals will get the chance to study in a real life scenario, among seasoned professionals.
In a field such as the music industry, this could be the leg up that cements a lucrative career.