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Picture Credit – Lauren Marsh Photography
After graduating from the Academy of Contemporary Music’s drum school in 2010, Ben Scott has grasped every opportunity to further himself in the music industry. Since leaving ACM, Ben has solidified himself as the complete session player. Ben has credits on ACM Alumnus Ed Sheeran‘s debut album ‘+’, supported Bruno Mars at the Hammersmith Apollo and the O2 Academies, and featured on Radio One’s live lounge performances.
We sat down with Ben to chat about his musical journey so far…
What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
Music has been something that has taken up most hours of most days ever since I can remember, so it made sense to go where other people felt the same about it. I love so many different areas of music, so when I was told that ACM encourages students to mix between disciplines and tutors – that settled it. I moved down to Guildford from a village the size of my thumb in the middle of the Yorkshire Moors, so it was energising to be around so many creative people all of a sudden.
Tell us what you’ve been involved with since leaving ACM…
Right after graduation I began working with American singer Alex Winston as her studio and live drummer, and co-songwriter for some of her debut album tracks, which included studio sessions alongside Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John. This period is when I learned an absolute ton about the music business in a very small amount of time. A brilliant producer, Charlie Hugall (Florence and the Machine, Kaiser Chiefs, Crystal Fighters), who was producing and recording our studio sessions, began to call me in for sessions he was running for different artists.
Alongside Charlie I had a great time as a sort of ‘in house’ multi-instrumental guy, playing on early studio recordings for artists like Rae Morris, Mahalia, and 2011 John Lewis sync artist Slow Moving Millie – eventually leading to recording drums for Ed Sheeran’s first album ‘+’.
In the middle of all this were tours around the UK and the rest of Europe with Alex Winston; the live highlights being a three date stint supporting Bruno Mars at the Hammersmith Apollo and O2 Academy in Birmingham. Watching those guys perform from behind the scenes is something I’ll never forget as long as I live.
Singing has always played a huge part in what I do, and whenever not in the studio or on tour, I was and still am working along side my friends at Tailored Entertainment, fronting function band Festival Sons.
Right now I’m behind my Sonor drum set with a brand new project on RCA, working with Musical Director Kojo Samuel (Jessie J, Plan B, Tinchy Stryder, Katy B). In between touring I enjoy writing with and producing a number of different artists from my studio in Bethnel Green, as well as drumming for Danish singer Alex Vargas.
How did your course prepare you for life in the music business world?
The course was great at developing a cogs-and-gears understanding of the industry, but just as in music, where no amount of bedroom practice can prepare you fully for playing with other humans – no course on the planet can prepare you fully for what it’s like working in the music business. You just got to get out there and do it, and the Industry Link were always there to facilitate exactly that. Mike Sturgis and Stu Roberts couldn’t have been better tutors, who as well as being an incredible drummers, were brilliant when it came to offering guidance and advice.
What advice would you give to those currently at ACM looking to get in to the industry, especially session work?
Listening to people when they’re talking to you is tantamount to listening to people when they’re playing with you. Don’t rush your practice, stay cool, be conscientious towards others, and get out to some shows and jam nights. Learn from everybody and develop your own sound. But don’t worry too much about what ‘the other guy’ is doing – the reason you’ll get hired is because people like the way YOU sound.
ACM would like to thank Ben for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us. To keep up to date with Ben’s antics follow him on Twitter & Instagram, or head over to his Website. Ben will also be coming to visit in May to hold a ‘Life After ACM’ masterclass – Can’t wait.