For any determined musician, BBC Introducing is the step onto the ladder that many artists are fighting to get a foot. Have your music played on the radio show, and you know thousands of people will be listening in and hearing your music for what could be the very first time. Last week Creative Artist student Jade Maria and Alumni Production student Joshua Heitzler of Hadron Sounds had their track “Lonely” played on BBC Introducing. We decided to speak to the two artists and find out all about their collaborative experience, their ACM journey, and what advice they have for other acts wishing to get themselves onto the show.
Your single “Lonely” was played recently on BBC introducing, can you tell us a little bit about the track?
Jade: “ Lonely “ was a collaboration with myself and Hadron Sounds. We spent a lot of time perfecting every little detail of this track. The storyline of the track is not a personal story to either Hadron Sounds or myself. The story of Lonely is as follows: A young girl was in a relationship with a guy and the girl leaves the guy because she was mistreated and only now that she has left does the guy realise what he had. It was a good thing and he ruined it for himself. In the song she explains the different “ Lonely “ situations he finds himself in.
Joshua: We’ve written Lonely last year around this time and then worked on it to refine it over the winter and spring. Finally, on Friday 13th July we released it and thanks to Jade also got some coverage in South African Radio where we stayed in the top 10 charts for five weeks.
We understand that you both usually work as solo artists, how did your collaboration for this track come about?
Jade: I had a ADCO session with Kieron Pepper and he gave me the contact information for Hadron Sounds. As I am a singer-songwriter I am constantly looking for new producers to collaborate with. Hadron sounds had a listen to some of my previous original songs that I recorded in Los Angeles, New York and South Africa. He loved the tracks and wanted to start collaborating the following week.
Joshua: We were both in contact with Kieron Pepper and he basically pointed us out to each other saying that this is a potential match, which it was in the end: We came together and after playing around with ideas for a few sessions, it clicked on one of the instrumentals I made and we wrote the song in about an hour.
What was it like having your music played on BBC introducing?
Jade: Having our single “ Lonely “ played on BBC introducing to thousands of listeners was both a humbling and exciting experience. I am truly grateful for being given this opportunity. I previously have had number one singles on radio stations in South Africa, so to now be playlisted in the UK for this single is a great honour.
Joshua: Just unbelievable. Since my music is very Pop, it’s always been harder to get spins by DJs, so radio is what I have to aim for. Obviously it’s not the first radio station to play the track but it’s such huge and renowned one. That’s I guess what makes it so humbling.
How has your course helped you with your career within the music industry?
Jade: I have met a lot of people and made good contacts.
Joshua: Mostly it wasn’t the course content but rather the connections with peers who have similar ambitions as well as the unbelievable valuable and helpful feedback from my tutors, especially Prof. Stretch, Mike McNally and Simon Gogerly.
What would be your advice to other students on how to appear on BBC introducing?
Jade: Don’t just apply because you have a song that you think could potentially be used on the show. First get advice from people other than your family who will give you honest feedback because the last thing a fresh artist needs is to be given false feedback and then apply, not get in and then be disappointed. ADCO and industry link are both available, so USE THEM. They are one of the only people who are going to give that honest feedback and who will push you in the right direction.
Joshua: Send through your music and pray for them to play it… Lonely was the 4th song I’ve sent them and they came back to us about 3 months later. A lot of it has to do with luck I think. And we got extremely lucky, especially that so many people texted in to support the tune as well!
What would be your advice to prospective ACM students?
Jade: Definitely go for a tour of the Uni, it’s a beautiful campus, the staff are very friendly and very helpful and knowledgeable. If you are a student looking to make contacts this is the place to be. ACM allows you to experience the music industry itself, and also meet the people that are going to be a part of its future.
Joshua: Don’t get stuck in what people say about your music. Maybe that it doesn’t make sense or that it won’t work. Work on your technique and craft: everyday, relentlessly. The music industry is a fun place, but only if you’ve put in the hard work and have skills. I used to get up every morning at 06:00 to do my ear training and sound design practice before I went to class etc. For at least half a year, I think that’s what gave me a slight edge….
What are your career aspirations?
Jade: I would like to be a well known artist and be an inspiration to up and coming acts. I want to write songs that people can relate to and feel inspired by.
Joshua: I want my music to change the way people think about each other. I believe the world will be a better place once we stop fighting and start collaborating. In terms of where I want to play, I’m dreaming to tour the world playing my songs with the Hadron Sounds Orchestra.
@jademariamusic and @hadronsounds
You can listen to “Lonely” on the ThisIsACM playlist here!
ACM is small enough to care but big enough to make a difference. If you’d like to learn more about what life is like as an ACM student, take a look at our Open Days page.