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Since the age of 5, Kriss Baird has always been a self confessed vinyl junkie. But after stints as a vinyl specialist for HMV, a DJ, an event producer both in the UK & Japan and a Mortgage and Insurance Advisor, Kriss wanted to explore the possibilities of the music business still further.
After completing a Higher Diploma in Music Production (2009-2010) he transferred to ACM’s BA (Hons) Professional Music Business course from which he graduated with a first class honours degree in 2012.
ACM caught up with Kriss to chat about his influences, experiences of ACM and what he’s been up to since finishing his studies.
What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
I’d studied music when I was younger, but in my mind, I hadn’t ever finished my education. I had watched friends of mine build careers as DJ’s and Producers (some of my mates were flying all over the globe, playing to thousands every weekend) and I wanted to lay foundations that would put me ahead of the game in an industry I was passionate about. I also wanted to explore my creative side and get to know the music business in depth at the same time.
ACM was the only choice. I’d enrolled in a part-time Saturday Studio Production course a couple of years prior and become enamoured by the Music Machine (and er… Tim Hart).
What was the best part about studying at ACM?
How do I say it… Studying above a pub? Surely that’s the only right answer? Seriously though, there’s been so many parts that I’ll never forget – the easiest way I can illustrate it is by simply saying that for me personally, the ACM opened doors that I just wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. Other folks may get their breaks outside of Uni – but for me, many of mine were definitely as a result of the support that I received.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to since leaving ACM?
Since leaving the ACM my life has changed a lot – for starters I’ve moved to London – and I’m now working with so many talented people and it’s been a very busy time. A day after I handed in my dissertation I began working for Music Ally – the Music Industry’s research, training, strategic consultancy and daily publication for all things digital. I produce quarterly industry events for them.
Music Ally mainly contract me to work on an innovation project called IC tomorrow – as part of the Government funded Technology Strategy Board. In a nutshell I find geniuses and award funding to the best start-up technology businesses, helping them turn their innovative ideas into commercial prototypes, digital apps and products which go on to get trialled by leading industry partners.
I also still working with companies in Japan – helping Eggworm to bring the Audio Oiso Haçienda Festival to life in a sleepy beachside resort just outside of Tokyo last year, and more recently soft launching the tech-baby that I’ve been working on for the last 4 years. A digital company called iFLYER.tv – we let artists, venues, and events organisers simply build the best events promotion pages on the web. In Japan, we already work with over 3,000 venues and 20,000 artists to showcase over 2,500 monthly events and official artist information and content which is served up to our 1 million monthly iFLYER.tv users.
We just opened the site to the UK and any UK artist can now make their own profile and anyone with a gig or a party in the UK can now list an event on iFLYER.
Who have you been working with?
I’ve been working with so many incredible companies over the last year, here’s a few: EMI, Universal, Warner-Chappell, BBC, Rocket Music, AEI Media, UKF, Cookin’ Vinyl, Ministry of Sound, Village Underground, Beggars Group, Spotify, Deezer, Samsung, MTV, C4, YouTube, The Open University, Mozilla, The British Council, Pearson, Cambridge University Press, Musicmetric, Hostess Entertainment Japan, Yikes! Corp, IMI, 77hz, Makelight Interactive, Buddy Bounce, The Backscratchers, Bandapp, Joytunes, Vyclone, Spins.fm, 45 Sound – the list goes on – needless to say most, if not all, of these companies have real-life geniuses behind them and I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many of them.
What’s been your proudest moment/career highlights so far?
Personal highlights have been as a photographer for Peter Hook during performances of both Joy Division albums (‘Unknown Pleasures’ and ‘Closer’) played back to back at last year’s Audio festival in Japan, I realised then, that moments like those don’t come around very often.
I hung out in Studio Two at Abbey Road (March) – equally as momentous. I’m hoping that the proudest moments have yet to come, though getting a 1st for my degree was pretty special for me and my family.
Do you have any advice or tips for our current ACM students?
You absolutely get out what you put in so make the most of every opportunity, be professional and most importantly be nice to folks.
Go out there and make it happen, do not sit back and wait for it to come to you. No one else is gonna give you a free ride and let you join them at the table unless you show them courtesy and that you know your onions.
ACM would like to thank Music Business Degree Alumni Kriss Baird for taking the time to update us on his recent projects and we wish him well for the future.
Follow Kriss on Twitter.