In this new series, we're passing the mic to some of our wonderful Youth Music Awards sponsors. Get an insider's perspective about what it's like to work at a leading music industry business and learn how to navigate your career as an emerging creative.
As part of the Youth Music Awards, we offer 18-25 year old creatives paid opportunities to work on the event, alongside a team of experienced professionals. NextGen paid roles include hosting, video editing, production support, and running and all those working at the event will also receive training opportunities to help progress their careers.
We're excited that LCCM (London College of Contemporary Music) has come on board to sponsor these important roles at the Youth Music Awards 2023, in association with Hal Leonard Europe.
To kick off our Sponsor Spotlight series, meet LCCM Principal, Anthony Hamer-Hodges.
What do you enjoy most about working at LCCM?
I have always enjoyed discovering, supporting and helping develop creative talent going back to my time as an artist manager and running record labels over the past 20 years. Now I get to do it on a much grander scale, and love being surrounded by the energy and passion of talented students and a creative team.
And what are some of the challenges that you face in your role?
The industry changes so fast so I learnt early on that there is no point just training the next generation to follow the rules and principles that have worked in the past – you have to educate and inspire a new generation to navigate uncertainty and to feel empowered to make the new rules, pathways and principles that the future industry will follow!
What career moment are you most proud of?
I’ve seen the industry from all sides as an artist manager, DJ, music journalist, record label manager, business affairs exec, and music tech start-up founder. It was only when I channelled all of that formative experience into music education where my CV finally made sense! Leading the London College of Contemporary Music to substantial growth and industry profile is my proudest achievement to date.
Is there anything you would still like to achieve?
Every day! I want to continue to help launch the careers of numerous influential artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and music execs! There will always be another generation of talent coming through.
Looking back, what has your career taught you so far?
I’ve learnt to follow my passion for music. Even when I took a wrong turn or missed an opportunity, by staying true to myself and aligned to my core motivations, it took me on the journey of where I needed to be professionally.
What do you wish you knew about the music industries when you were starting out?
I was far too cocky when I started out! You have to win people over before you can influence them and so you can’t go in all guns blazing with new ideas and revolution from the get-go. I like to think now we arm our business students with the ideas that will take them to the top of the industry, but they will be savvy enough to work the system to get valuable experience and credibility first.
Working at LCCM, you must see so many talented young creatives day to day – but what makes someone really stand out from the crowd and succeed?
First and foremost, and it’s something we can teach, they have to be really confident in themselves and their unique story. There is no point just ‘fitting in’ by doing what others are doing. You are not going to stand out that way. After that it just comes down to desire and work ethic. How much do you want this?
Lastly, what is the best piece of advice you have received?
A conversation I had with my lawyer at the time John Benedict along the lines of, ‘If that’s what you believe, then make it happen’. We were discussing a demo I’d heard of the then unknown soul singer (and future Youth Music ambassador) Nate James. I thought he could be a star. On John’s advice I got in my car the next day and went to see Nate, becoming his manager within a week. We went on to sell 300,000 albums together – the equivalent of a billion streams these days!
Find out more about the Youth Music Awards sponsors and categories: youthmusic.org.uk/youth-music-awards-2023-categories-sponsors