IWCEP - Cultural Education Partnership Ident - Teal, Pink and Fern
Fulfilling the creative potential of young people on the Isle of Wight

Andy Booth – Music Industry Liaison

Andy Booth smiling

Employer: Platform One
Middle School: Forelands
Secondary School: Sandown High
Where do you live and work now? Bembridge IOW

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Was there an experience you had at school that made you want to go into the area of work you are in now?

Playing drums in orchestras, bands and school theatre productions. I always had a passion for music, whether that was performing, listening or watching. Isaid yes to every opportunity.

What are the main roles and responsibilities of your job?

My role at Platform One as Music Industry Liaison involves developing relationships with the music industry, building on partnerships with other professionals and ensuring students can get access to the same opportunities as those in more urban and accessible locations. I also lecture on the BA Commercial Music and MA Music Industry Innovation and Enterprise programmes. In addition to my full time employment I also manage an artist called Ulysses Wells, book artists for local festival Rhythmtree, play drums in a function band and occupy a seat on the UK Music Futures Board. 

Could you briefly share a bit about your career journey? (What did you study? How did you end up where you are today?)

Having started my music education journey at Platform One in the early 00’s, I went on to study a BA Commercial Music degree at Bath Spa University. It was here that I was approached to audition for a pop/rock band in London who required a drummer. After a number of rehearsals I was offered the position and swapped Bath for London to pursue a career in a band. Go:Audio signed to Sony Music and we enjoyed a number of UK sell out tours as well as a Top 40 single. Following a crazy few years as a performer I had a brief spell working at Sony in a Junior A&R role. I then, as many people do, missed the island life. I got offered a position at Platform One and returned home, got married and started a family . . . the rest is history.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being able to work with aspiring musicians is exciting, especially when they get to meet and engage with industry professionals. It is always satisfying watching those who go on to have some success in music, it is a tough industry!

What is the hardest thing about your job?

At Platform One I guess it would have to be being honest and transparent with students about the challenges of the music industry, ensuring they know what to expect should they pursue that career path. Sometimes you have to instill the ‘thick skin’ metaphor in order to prepare them for this industry, open and honest feedback on their music etc. For other areas of what I do it would be the competition . . . There are so many musicians and artists all competing for the same slots, radio plays, agents, promoters – you have to be in for the long run. 

What skills or attributes do you believe have been crucial to your success in your career?

Being nice! In all honesty, my ability to network and communicate effectively has probably been one of the reasons I do what I do now. I have never had an issue speaking to people or in front of people and that comes from confidence that has developed over many years. Other key skills are organisation and knowledge of the music industry – if you understand your field anything is possible. 

If you could give advice to someone aspiring to have a job like you, what would it be?

Give everything a go. You will often never get your dream job at the first time of trying, you have to build experience and work out what it is that makes you happy. Being a ‘jack of all trades’ can have its benefits and make you more employable. 

What do you think was a benefit about growing up on the Isle of Wight?

It is probably a cliché but the fact that it is a lot more relaxed than the mainland, it is a beautiful island particularly in the summer. It was also good coming through education here as classes were relatively small and there were plenty of opportunities to play music at the time. 

What was the most difficult thing about growing up on the Isle of Wight?

While I did get off the island regularly with family, it would still prove difficult getting off independently with the cost of travel. It also feels as though you grow up in a bubble, especially when you go to a city and see that it is the complete opposite of the island. 

What do you want to do next?

I want to continue to help Platform One grow and ensure that it is the best place for aspiring musicians to learn, as well as help them form valuable connections. Put simply, I want to do the best job I can in whatever situation I face. Whether this be education, events, artist management or performing. 

How can we connect with the work you do?

Instagram – Platform One: @platformoneiow
Island Music Management: @islandmusicmanagement 

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