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In conversation with: James Summers

James Summers is a Marketing apprentice & Playlisting Campaign Manager at Horus Music Distribution. James shares his experience as part of the inaugural BRITs Apprenticeship programme.

Working in the music industry has been something I have wanted to do for a while. After finishing music college, I continued with my aspirations to be a successful musician while working in retail, or other office jobs. These jobs were great experiences, and I regret nothing. However there was not much of a sense of fulfilment. As cheesy as it sounds, music is and will always be my passion. I did not care whether I was performing, or I was part of the audience, or even helping out with running things, I just wanted to be involved. Living in Leicester, it can be quite challenging to be involved with the music industry, as the majority of attention is always focused on London. This can be in many different cases, from having a large turn out at events or even just finding a job role in the industry. The bottom line is, it is tough regardless of where you are from, but even more tough if you are not based in the capital! This is why this apprenticeship position means much more than just a role or a qualification; it is an opportunity not to be wasted. When I think about it, being one of 10 selected for this course from 700 applicants fills me with great pride and joy.

The experience so far has been brilliant. Learning new skills that are relevant to what is happening currently, and applying them to everyday usage is one of the best parts of the job. Gaining experience to a career path that I feel like I finally fit in is such an amazing feeling. I enjoy the networking events and connecting with new people in the industry, and I always feel like my talents and skills are always being utilised for good use.

I was nervous to start with. I wondered whether having a music industry job alongside my hobby of being an artist would hinder my passion for music. I was also worried that I would be going into a completely new world compared to what I am used to. I knew a very basic amount of knowledge for the role, and I wondered whether this would have an impact on my success. Little did I realise that there was nothing to worry about at all. One piece of advice I would love to pass on to any future people who will apply for the scheme, in the wise words of Bob Marley “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing, is gonna be alright”. You are treated as an apprentice and given the support that you need. You will receive the relevant experience needed, and the experience that you will have will be one that makes you want to stay inside the music industry.

In the future, I would quite like to pursue digital marketing and eventually own my own company that specialises in digital marketing within the music industry. I would love to provide opportunities for young people like myself who may not otherwise get a look in. It is important to recognise that the future of the industry is within the youth and that they may even be based outside of the capital.

I would like to especially thank DiVA, not only for providing the opportunity but because they have also been nothing but supportive with my growth on this course.