Instrumental to the success of Women in Dance Music Collective are our ambassadors and partners. Conscientiously curated to represent the latitude of the industry each brings with them talent and an inimitable set of skills and experience to connect, elevate and inspire our collective. Essential to the success of our ambassadors and partners are the tenacious teams behind them.
As part of our commitment to amplifying women in the industry we are spending time within their organisations - connecting with their teams, highlighting culture and showing how our ambassadors and partners are encouraging and supporting women within the business.
Our Amplified Series continues at the UK's foremost electronic music conference Brighton Music Conference, talking to advisory board member Claire Spooner about her career path into the dance music industry and becoming a DJ, Record Label Owner and Producer.
What do you do for BMC?
This is my third year being part of the BMC, and each year it seems to get bigger and better. This year I’ve been a member of the advisory board, so I have been involved in the planning stages of the conference, and I'm going to be speaking on two panels, as well as performing at the Boiler Room Event at the Arch on Thursday 25th, and then my own label showcase at The Tempest Inn on Friday 26th.
What inspired you to want to work in the music industry?
I was always a music fanatic as a kid, I had a huge vinyl and cassette collection and used to record radio shows in my bedroom (cringe!), so it was always something that I knew I would love to do for a living. Unfortunately my school didn’t have many opportunities to pursue music, and so I ended up studying Sports Science instead. However, music and DJing continued to be a hobby that I was really passionate about, and after playing out in bars and then clubs it gradually began to grow, and then there came a moment when I knew that I really wanted to pursue it as a full time career. At that point I actually went back to University to study Music Technology - it was a big risk and a lot of work, but it has definitely paid off and it’s a great example that it is never too late to go after your dreams :)
How did you go about getting your foot in the door?
I think actually the initial difference was made when I moved into teaching Music Technology (I was previously teaching Sports Science). One of the difficult things when you are starting out is trying to have a music career but also having to pay the bills, so I think having a day job that was actually in the industry made a lot of difference, as even though I wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be career wise, I was living and breathing electronic music every day. Then it was just a matter of time until my production and DJing took over and my days spent teaching became less and less, until I finally quit teaching and became a full time artist.
What do you love about your job and working in the music industry?
Everything really! It’s a pretty tough industry to be working in right now, especially from an artist’s perspective. However I feel so grateful to be able to wake up each day and spend it making music, recording my radio shows, running my label and writing content for my blogs. It has also allowed me to travel the world and have some amazing experiences, and I’ve also made a lot of friends along the way from all parts of the globe. I know I could probably earn more money if I got myself a steady 9-5 job, but I would rather have less “stuff” and keep doing what I love each day.
What’s your favourite electronic dance track out at the moment?
Can I cheat and have 2?! I have been fully obsessed with the Bicep album for the last few months and my favourite track on there is “Rain”. If you head to youtube and watch the official video for it, I’m sure you will be amazed, it is literally a feast for the ears and eyes!
But there is also a track that is about to come out on my label Constant Circles by Onur Özman called “Thinking Miles” which I’m equally in love with, it’s just so beautiful, a masterpiece really, I can’t stop playing it, and listening to it.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced working in this industry?
I don’t think I can say there has been a ‘biggest’ challenge - there have been many challenges throughout my journey, but I look at them all in a positive way as learning experiences. Being successful in this industry requires a huge amount of sacrifices and hard work, and there have definitely been times when I have wondered why I’m doing this and contemplated giving up and getting a “proper job” haha, but I’m glad I stuck it out. Being a female in the industry has also been tough, especially when I first started and I was literally the only girl in most situations! Luckily the tide is definitely shifting on that now.
Best bit of advice for those looking to break into the industry and what to expect?
It might sound cheesy but I think the two most important things are to be true to yourself and to be a nice person. Make the music that you love, don’t follow trends or worry about what people might think, support and encourage others and just be kind. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you focus on these things :)