It is not easy to start a music career nowadays because of budget cut and less opportunities, however, you could always find hope from the magic power of music.
Flashing screens, huge numbers of buttons, big black speakers, these are what build up a studio. Instead of beautiful songs, all you can hear at this moment is boring, repeating piece of short sound. It can be really annoying to hear a same song all the time, let alone a piece of meaningless sound. However, for a man who loves music and produces music, this is what his daily work.
“I have always been exposed to all sorts of music my whole life via my family. My mum listened to a wide variety of music ranging from Bon Jovi to Bob Marley to Patsy Cline. So I can remember my house always being filled with music; the first thing my mum used to do in the morning was turn the radio on and it was on for hours every day”, Lee House, a 28-year-old independent music producer, said with a big smile on his face.
As a successful self-employed music producer, Lee is quite young. If you just listen to his story, you may think it’s not a big deal, actually, Lee said: “A lot of people assumed that people working in music and art are coming from privilege where is I haven’t,” he said, “I was brought up on the lowest end of the income scale in this country so money was always difficult, when I was 5 my mum sold most of her jewellery to buy me and my brother presents for Christmas, so the idea of buying musical instruments and getting lessons must have seemed very difficult for her, however she always made it happen.”
“When I started performing music she’d come along to as many gigs as she could to show her support. She’d let me and my bandmates setup drum kits and stack amplifiers in my living room so we could rehearse! And when I think back to the amount of noise I started making when I was learning guitar, I don’t even know how she put up with it!”
“I have been confused too.”
When he was asked for the reason why he loves music, he answered: “Who doesn’t?” But even a music-addicted like he had been confused. “I always knew from then that I wanted music to be a huge part of my life, however, I didn’t believe that it was possible to make a living from music so I always fought the battle in my head of what I wanted and what seemed logical. When I was in school, I decided to take Graphics as a subject instead of music because I thought that graphics was more likely to be a useful skill in a potential career than music.”
“When I left education and joined the ‘working world’ for the first time as an administration officer for the DWP. It gave me a year to experience what being an adult was really like for the first time and I knew from the bottom of my heart that whatever I did in my life it had to be centred around my interest of music.”
Thanks to his passion of music, he stuck to his dream. However, it was not easy for him to pursue his dream. “If you scrap the job title of a music producer 20 years ago between the job title of it now is very different. Apart from my best friend I met in the course I don’t think anyone else from the course who made any sort of career in music after all. Cause there is so little opportunities.”
He was lucky that he got a job right after his graduation and that working experience helped him become a self-employed music producer now. He is also grateful that his family has been very supportive all the time. “My wife has always known me to be pursing music, and she has always encouraged me to keep working at it and considering that being self-employed in this industry can sometimes mean not knowing where my next income is coming from, she’s always just encouraged me to work harder rather than jump to another career, so it’s nice to be motivated by her when I need a push”, he said.
One of the artist he is working with now, is part of a new project which is government funding. It is called “forte” project. Since he became a self-employed music producer now, he determined to do what he really wants. “This suits my future plan,” he said.