In this instalment of our Featured Alumni series, we catch up with Vocals graduate Clare Dove!
Clare completed a Cert HE in Vocals in 2011. Since then, she has been working on her songwriting, making new connections and writing for artists. Clare’s EP, ‘Things I Learned the Hard Way’, is available to stream & download everywhere now!
Check out the E.P’s first single, ‘Freedom’, which features fellow ACM alumna Kirsten Joy, below.
Hi Clare! Tell us a bit about your background, and why you want to work in the music industry?
I’ve been singing and involved in music for as long as I can remember (a cliche statement I know, but that’s the truth!). I performed in choirs throughout all of my childhood and then later, once I’d really fallen for music and the industry, I spent all of my time working towards trying to build a career as a solo act. When I wasn’t in school I was either recording demos in home studios or singing at open mic nights. I don’t think there was ever a moment when I chose music or thought about why I wanted to get into the industry. It was just never a question.
Tell us about what you’ve been involved with since leaving ACM?
After leaving ACM, initially, I used the experiences and new connections I’d gathered there to really drive forward my ventures as an artist. I felt more confident to collaborate with new people and share my ideas and in doing this found myself writing more than I ever had before. I started feeling really comfortable in my own writing, which I think is a hard place to get to. Suddenly producers were noticing this and asking me to come in and write for other artists they were working with. I had no idea this in itself was a job! But the more I explored it, the more I fell in love with writing and I made the decision to focus entirely on building a career as a writer. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to work with incredible artists and producers across the U.K, USA & Scandinavia.
What are your aspirations for the future?
My main aspiration is to become a prolific contemporary songwriter. I’d love to get to a place in my career where I’m working with artists that have massive global audiences so that the music I write can really make an impact. I want to be able to soundtrack people’s lives, be a part of their memories and even affect change. I’m constantly trying to think of new ways that I can do this, and create opportunities for my music to be heard. I’ve just finished a project of songs written entirely by me that features production from a handful of the amazing producers I’ve had the good fortune of working with in my career so far, and vocals of some of my favourite singers – all of whom are actually past or present ACM students! (Kirsten Joy, Zion Wilson & Bran Mazz). I’m hoping this project will be the start of a new wave of songwriters, taking control over their work and stepping out from behind the scenes a little more.
How did your course prepare you for life in the music industry?
Studying at ACM gave me incredible preparation for the industry, mainly because it kick-started much of my career whilst I was still there. Tutors that believed in me starting giving me work opportunities, I was creating music with other students, and I was getting real time career advice from the best in the business! When I finished my course, I felt like all the time I’d spent there, had been really focused on making sure I’d have all the necessary skills and knowledge to make it work in the real world. So when the time came to make the transition from student to graduate, I felt completely ready. Plus I knew ACM had provided me with this amazing community I could always come back to for support (which I definitely utilised!)
Do you have any advice for those looking to get into the industry?
Don’t sit around and wait for opportunity to come to you – go out and find it or create your own. Be nice to work with! You could be a musical prodigy but you won’t get called if you make it difficult for other people to work with you. Develop a thick skin, you’ll hear “no” a lot and you have to learn not to be discouraged by that. And most importantly – be the hardest working person you know.
What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
I knew that I wanted to make a real career out of music, but I wasn’t sure yet exactly what that would look like or how I’d get there. I did know though that ACM graduates had a reputation for industry success – whether that be in music business, session work or becoming chart topping artists. I knew if I could study there I’d have all the opportunities and tools to not only figure out my place in the industry, but how to get there … and I was right.
What was the best part about studying at ACM?
The people! Some of the most important relationships and experiences in my life, personal and professional, have all come through ACM. Namely the ACM Gospel Choir, who are like family and I can’t not mention when I think about the best bits of my college. I joined in 2011 and I’m still performing with them now all over the world alongside my writing. Two of the singers on my E.P are in fact fellow choir members, which is so special.
If you’d like to be a student at ACM to kickstart your career in the music industry like Clare Dove, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.