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We love to use our music industry connections to bring the world’s most talented musicians straight to our students, so ACM was beyond excited to welcome Beyoncé’s bassist and Musical Director, Divinity Roxx, to Guildford’s Bar Thirteen for a very special masterclass.
The event covered Divinity’s career, music business advice and some fantastic stories from her life in the industry so far. Mainly led by students’ questions, Divinity wowed the crowd with some incredible performances ahead of her solo gig at the Jazz Café in Camden later that evening.
Divinity revealed to the students that being a bass player hasn’t always been her dream and she originally trained to be journalist. She told the class that she first got into music when she attended a bass camp run by Victor Wooten. At the camp they were asked to introduce themselves on the bass and Divinity did this by playing a killer bassline combined with a rap about herself. This rapping, coupled with playing the bass, then became Divinity’s signature sound. Shortly after the camp, Divinity began touring with Victor’s band.
During the masterclass Divinity told the students about her solo career, and stated that, on top of being the artist, she is also the manager, booking agent and label too. She went on to tell students about her work with Beyoncé, saying that it’s entirely possible to be a session musician as well as a solo artist, and announcing that many of her friends use session work to fund their own solo careers. Divinity told the audience that it was during her time working with Beyoncé that she became her MD… and while it was an amazing experience, it was also incredibly hard work. She spoke about the 14-20 hour days the band undertook to pull the whole show together. She then expressed the view that hard work always pays off in the end, even when you might feel you want to give up but that it’s those who stick at it who make it in the tough music industry.
When asked about her funniest story when on tour with Beyonce, Divinity spoke about the time when her in-ear monitor belt fell to the floor and disconnected, just as Beyonce was about to slide on stage via a conveyor belt and cue her by shouting “BASS!” Divinity told the students of her horror when she couldn’t hear anything, but said that although she came in a bar early, she managed to turn it around with the help of the drummer, who directed her visually for the rest of the song.
Throughout the class Divinity told our students that music had to be their life if they wanted to make it in the music business. She shared many gems of advice, including suggestions about making friends with MDs, thinking of yourself as a business, and the importance of networking. Divinity also commended ACM on its curriculum and encouraged students to make full use of their time at the college, saying: “ACM is dope! I wish there was a music school like this when I was younger.”
Our students were completely engaged throughout the masterclass and left feeling incredibly inspired about their own musical careers. We’d like to thank Divinity for such a stimulating masterclass session and for taking the time out of her busy schedule to join us.
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If you’d like to be a student at ACM and attend masterclass sessions to help kick start your music career, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit http://www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.