In this instalment of our Featured Alumni series, we catch up with Music Business graduate Richard Darbon!

PRSRichard graduated ACM in 2010 with a BA (Hons) in Music Business, and is currently working at PRS within the International Business Affairs team, managing a portfolio of European PROs (Performance Rights Organisations) as well as providing analysis, insight, and leading projects to maximise revenue for PRS for Music and MCPS members, with 2016 ending as a record year.

Hi Richard! Tell us a bit about your background.

I’ve always been fanatically into music of all genres and spent the vast majority of my teens in bands as well as organising and promoting various band and DJ nights around Surrey before attending ACM. I worked as an artist manager while at ACM and caught the bug for the business side of the industry and ever since have been learning more and working closely with various artists, songwriters, managers, publishers, and record labels throughout the music industry. Nothing is more exciting than being part of one of the greatest and most creative industries in the world and I couldn’t imagine not being a part of it!

What have you been involved with since leaving ACM?

After ACM I joined PRS for Music working in the Operations and Live touring side of the business and also consulted for managers of small bands. Currently I am happily continuing to work at PRS for Music within the International Business Affairs team managing and developing the £200mil+ that is generated from foreign exploitation every year from over 90 agreements we have in place globally.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I’m currently in the process of setting up a company which I’m really excited about that aims to benefit, develop, and grow songwriters and artists globally, in various ways, across all areas of their business. Looking to launch later this year!

How did your course prepare you for life in the music business?

In many many ways! You learn so much knowledge about so many facets of the industry that I always felt one step ahead in various situations, which has continued to this day. It has definitely helped me when discussing in depth concepts or deals with songwriters and rights-holders, as being able to understand and communicate large international business implications and opportunities is a skill I learnt a lot of at ACM and have been able to use a lot since, which has in turn helped me to bring in millions of pounds of revenue for PRS for Music.

Do you have any advice for those looking to get into the industry?

Don’t be afraid to reach out. You’d be surprised how many companies and employees are genuinely eager to help you! Also make sure you grow your skill-set as wide as possible, the music world is getting ever more complicated and if you have a skill to help demystify it then that is skill worth hiring!

What motivated you to come and study at ACM?

My love for guitar and the want to develop my passion. I started on the guitar course as I had had friends also graduate from it and highly recommended it, as I then did to many of my friends. It also led to me going onto Business Degree which was a life changing decision.

What was the best part about studying at ACM?

Learning such a wealth of knowledge in such a short space of time with incredibly supportive tutors. It’s a great environment to really push yourself and learn as much as you can to start your career in the music business!

If you’d like to be a student at ACM and kickstart your career in the music industry like Richard, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.

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