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Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival is arguable one of the UK’s best showcasing opportunities for new music and emerging artists, for both the fan and the music industry. Songwriting and Artists Development alumna, Annabel Allum, will be performing at The Brighton Museum on the Saturday Night of #TGE15. Annabel, managed by Music Business alumna Atlanta Cobb‘s company Four To The Floor, is beyond excited for this year’s festival. We sat down with the pair amid preparations.

So tell us a bit about yourselves and how you formed your working relationship?
Annabel – Atlanta and I made friends from the instant we realised our mutual love of up-and-coming alternative music. We went to a load of gigs together and shared stuff we were listening to. Towards the end of my vocal diploma, I started to look to Atlanta for advice a lot more regarding the industry. In my second year Atlanta’s Music Business course and my course overlapped for an extra curricular project called Discovery and Development. During this time I was really ‘in over my head’ organising gigs and stuff,  Atlanta offered to help out. Now she manages me full time!

Atlanta – Initially we were just mates who shared the same music taste. We met when I was on my second course at ACM studying a production diploma and Annabel had started her first year on the vocal diploma. I’d heard about Annabel through another friend who attended ACM and we’d both seen each other around Guildford a lot. As the business of music has been my favourite part of the industry, I’d help Annabel out here and there along the way, but It wasn’t until I started my Music Business course that I decided to partake in the Discovery and Development project where I founded my management company Four To The Floor and really fell into managing Annabel properly.

How did ACM prepare you both for your careers in the Music Industry?
Atlanta – I joined ACM straight out of high school and completed 3 separate courses (vocal diploma, production diploma, and music business Cert HE) – I met so many talented tutors who taught me about all different aspects of the industry, which made me decide which area particularly interested me. It was all the extra circular bits I got involved in as well (events team, student rep, playlist panel). I think a lot of people expect to turn up to lessons and thats it – but it’s really about how you apply what you’ve learnt in class that day. I went home and did my research, I booked one-to-one tutorials, and rinsed IndustryLink’s opportunities gaining work at Sony Music and Metropolis Studios. I’ve left feeling industry ready.

Annabel – ACM taught me to step up my game and work harder. I learned that if you want something, you’ve got to go out and get it. Good things don’t come easy, but being taught by industry professionals makes you realise anything is in reach. I’ve learned all about Labels, A&R, Songwriting, Vocal Health, and much more from my time at ACM. I even did a lot of philosophy in Martin Gordon’s lessons. He helped keep my mind open to new ideas. The guys in IndustryLink have also helped me out hugely – setting me up with slots at local festivals and putting me in touch with some really cool people.

Excited you’ve made The Great Escape bill?
Annabel – So excited!!! Playing Great Escape is something I’ve always wanted to do. Atlanta and I went down last year and did some work with Columbia Street Team and we fell in love with it! It’s such a buzzy festival – theres so much fresh music everywhere across Brighton, you always feel like you want to be in 5 places at once.

“As the Guildford based singer got on stage the whole room shrunk to the size of an airing cupboard when we heard her voice. With musical talent rivalling fellow redhead King Krule and a voice I cannot describe how strong, Annabel Allum is onto a winner.”
Bleeding Headphones

Atlanta – It’s one of my favourite industry festivals, kinda feels like a massive musical pub crawl! It was only last year we were saying how awesome it’d be if Annabel got on the bill some day… we didn’t think it’d happen within a year! No pressure Annabel!

What are you aspirations for the future?
Atlanta – I love working closely with artists, it’s a real buzz – the ideal would be to be able to make a living off Four To The Floor Management one day. I’ll always be managing artists alongside whatever I do now, but for the near future I’m hoping to work at a label in the A&R department. I’ve done A&R through my whole time at ACM, there’s so much new music out there that I need to discover and sign! I’m so eager to get out into the world and put my skills to good use. Then I’d love to work on live events – tour management sounds real fun! I really enjoy the fluidity of this industry. So many departments excite me, so I’m just going to go with the flow I s’pose.

Annabel Taking every day as it comes. I just got out the studio recording my next EP ‘Absent’ to be co released on Propriety Records and Till Deaf Do Us Party Records. We’re releasing on 10th August so I’m just working towards that at the moment!

“Not many singer-songwriters can silence a room just by tuning up; Allum’s reputation clearly precedes her.”
Musical Melting Pot

Do you have any advice for those looking to get into the industry?
Annabel – Get up and go. Jam with as many people as you can. Go to as many gigs as you can. Meet with as many people as you can. Read as many books as you can. Say yes to more. This industry wont find you, you’ve got to find it.

Atlanta – Learn everything, do everything and be nice to everyone. Don’t be a dick, it doesn’t get you anywhere and people will remember you for it… i’ve met many! Expect to work your ass off for a good few years whilst you learn and graft your skills, and don’t take no for an answer. If you’re good at what you do and believe that you can do it, keep doing it. You’ve got to be innovative and think about what you can bring to the table that nobody else can, so don’t expect to get anywhere if you’re going to hide behind your classmates. It’s a really competitive industry and it’s whoever shouts the loudest wins. So be humble, kind and hard-working, but also – don’t take anybody’s shit.

ACM would like to thank Atlanta and Annabel for taking the time out to speak to us. Keep up to date with Annabel by following Website, Twitter and SoundCloud accounts. Make sure you follow Atlanta’s management company Four To The Floor via the Website, Facebook and their Twitter Profile.