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In conversation with: Craig Jelf

Craig Jelf is a Sync Creative Apprentice at A&G Sync. Craig shares his experience as part of the inaugural BRITs Apprenticeship programme.

Finding out I was one of ten chosen from 700 applications was surreal. Did DiVA have administration problems when choosing the ten candidates and my application had accidentally appeared at the top of the pile? Either way, I’m here and loving it.

For the past six months, I have been at A&G Sync. A&G is a multi-award winning Sync company that’s been running for over ten years. We represent independent artists and Record Labels to place their music within TV, movie, adverts. Major worldwide campaigns for brands include Toyota, Samsung, New Era/NBA, Canon, BMW, Netflix as well as trailers for Suicide Squad and The Girl on the Train. Also, not forgetting independent films and U.S TV shows such as Homeland and Suits.

My day to day activities as a Sync Creative within A&G involve dealing with Client Briefs. This is when industry professionals within TV, Advertising or Film are searching for a specific sounding track which we then provide suggestions from our catalogue. I also have been heavily involved in the A&R process within A&G. Coming from an A&R background within my previous role at an LA-based record label, Waxploitation Records (Gnarls Barkley, Danger Mouse) I was very eager to get dug into A&R at A&G and see what I could learn under the team at the company. Within the past few months, I have played an important role in the company now becoming the exclusive sync agents for multiple labels and artists. A few of these labels include Still Music, a Chicago based House and Disco label which represents titles from 70’s/80’s/90’s and Dirty Hit which is the home of The 1975, Wolf Alice and Benjamin Francis- Leftwich.

The Apprenticeship Scheme in tandem with DiVA has already given us incredible opportunities we would have never of been able to experience otherwise. One of these being this year’s BRIT Awards along with the BRIT Awards Nomination Party. To be at an event, you have watched on the TV since being a child was in a way very surreal and one of the moments where you have to pinch yourself. The DiVA workshops that have been running through the year have been an incredible learning tool. We’ve had guest speakers from all angles and roles of the industry from Senior Marketing Managers at Atlantic Records to Brand Partnership Directors from smaller-scale companies. To connect, speak to these people, understand their background and their thoughts on the future of the industry have been eye-opening and a huge benefit to the Brit’s scheme. I would like to thank DiVA for initiating these events and workshops. The whole structure of the scheme and it’s daily running would be non-existent without the team.

The main piece of advice I would recommend to people wanting to apply for the scheme would be to take the initiative within the area of the industry that you would like to go down. Send an email to a selection of people working within your desired area of the industry, ask if they would be up for grabbing a quick coffee so you can pick their brains for five minutes to truly understand the day to day role. This could lead to you interning for them if you love the sound of it. You would then be gaining some experience within that field, which then will put you ahead of others and benefit you when applying for the BRIT Apprenticeship scheme as recruiters and employers can see how hungry you are for the opportunity and that you have already put in work before starting full time within the industry.