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Tom Hollings is an example of how versatile ACM students can be. Although still in his first year studying for a BA (Hons) Music Business & Innovation degree, Tom is also a seasoned guitarist and studio engineer. We caught up with Tom about his exploits on the road, in the studio and in the classroom.

Tell us about your music and Industry Background
I’ve been lucky enough to work at Outhouse Studios in Reading (Enter Shikari, You Me at Six, Architects) as a studio engineer a few years back which was a great experience, and I learned a lot about production from studio owner / producer John Mitchell.

I also play guitar and have toured extensively for The Arusha Accord, The Eyes of a Traitor
(both currently on hiatus) and have recently joined Engine Earz Experiment, which is going
really well.

What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
I wanted to come to ACM to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible to give myself the best chance of having a sustainable career in this industry, ideally performing whilst working as a manager. I think I’m probably a little older than most people on the course (24 now), as it’s taken me from the age of 17 when I left school with the Arusha boys to “make it”, until fairly recently to know it’s not quite as easy as it sounds. I’m really happy to see friends in bands such as You Me at Six and BMTH doing really well for themselves, but it’s not often it works out that way, so education seemed the sensible option and so far it’s definitely proving to be the right choice.

What are your proudest moments/career highlights so far?
This is difficult, but I would say touring India in November with Engine Earz, followed by supporting Enter Shikari on their UK tour in December has got to be up there. I played the main stage at Outlook festival in Croatia last summer was an amazing experience, especially in the middle of an electrical storm. And finally I would say playing guitar for UK hip-hop artist Akala at the Mumbai literary festival has to be up there too.

What’s on the horizon for 2013?
As well as securing my ACM Music Business degree, 2013 is looking a bit mental at the moment if I’m honest! Time management is key by the looks of it. I’ve just formed a management company with former student Adam Biddle (Senior Manager at The Audience) and our good friend Jack Guppy, (bass player of The Kixx) which is going to take up a fair bit of time. We’ve currently got one really talented artist on our roster so it’s going to be interesting to see how far we can push him over the next year.

It looks like it’s going to be a busy year with Engine Earz too with the release of “Rogue Status” featuring MC Orifice Vulgatron from Foreign Beggars on bass music label, “Never Say Die!” (who also have previous ACM student “Zomboy” on their roster) on February the 25th.

Our debut album ‘Symbol’ is also going to be released later this year, with the aim of smashing the glass divides between genres and ideologies, fusing elements of drum’n’bass, electronica, dubstep, alternative rock and indigenous music from around the world. Guest appearances on the album include Nitin Sawhney, Akala, Flux Pavilion, Jenna G, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and ethereal sync queen Kate Havnevik. I’m sure we’ll be on a few familiar festivals too by the looks of things so keep a lookout online.

ACM would like to thank Tom Hollings for taking time out from his busy schedule to update us on his progress and wish him the very best of luck for his forthcoming 2013 projects. Follow Tom Hollings on Twitter.

For more information about Arusha Accord visit their website or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information about Engine Earz Experiment visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.