We had the pleasure of speaking with ACM Music Business Tutor, Dave Cronen, who was recently interviewed for a video piece called “Creativity in the Digital Age”, presented by Microsoft. The video shares a firsthand perspective and experience of four accomplished media and entertainment industry professionals. We learnt more about Dave’s career highlights, advice for students and more…

1) How would you define creativity?

It’s open to self-definition. Simplified in my experience it’s about taking your skills and knowledge forward with you to push the boundaries to see what you can discover. Even if you fail it’s still creativity.

2) What led you to become a Music Business Tutor at ACM?

I just got lucky I guess. I did a few masterclasses and covered a lecture and enjoyed the experience. The students seem to enjoy it too so I decided to go for a late-career change and fully focus on it which I do not regret.

3) How did Microsoft approach you to feature in this video?

I met Steve Franklin and Roy Sharples in Portland, OR and we worked on a Johnny Marr project in 2016 and we kept in touch. We discovered that we had a lot in common and shared the same values on creativity. I through that I would only be consulting on the project and only realised a couple of weeks before the shoot that I would be in it.

4) What fuels your creative process and how do you stay focused?

For me, it’s new music and research that keeps driving me. Staying fit also helps this process so I run most mornings to set up the day in my head.

5) What have been your main career highlights?

• Working with amazing creative artists, especially Beastie Boys/Grand Royal, At-The Drive-In and Johnny Marr.
• Working with the Dalai Lama/Milarepa on the Tibetan Freedom Concerts.
• Working at Rough Trade – having artists that have won an Ivor Novello Award.

6) How do you envisage artists writing/producing music over the next 5 years?

Songwriting – Production – Home Studio

I see it as more collaborative with the use of technology and independence.

7) How is digital technology evolving in the music industry?

It’s evolving quickly but not as quick as some of the other creative industries. Some aspects of the industry may fear elements of it especially the ability to be totally transparent.

8) What are you asked most as a Music Business Tutor?

Mainly for career advice and a second opinion. The students are pretty on it and learn quickly.

9) How can students be more proactive and entrepreneurial whilst studying at ACM?

ACM / RALPH ROLLE / MASTERCLASS / ELECTRIC THEATRE LOBBY / Shot by Rob Blackham
Ralph Rolle leading a Drums Masterclass at ACM

Attend and engage! Focus on co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Get your mistakes out of the way early.


Discover what we have to offer on our Music Business Course, and join us for our new Digital Open Day Experience (dates to be confirmed). We’d love to welcome you into the ACM community!