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After winning ‘Best Newcomer’ at this year’s MOBO Awards and peaking at No. 4 in the UK Singles Charts last year with their debut ‘In2’, WSTRN have embarked on a ‘tour of inspiration’, and on the 17th November they brought their unique masterclass ‘#aWSTRNsideStory’ to ACM London.
The masterclass ran in a Q&A format, with an open platform for students to ask questions to WSTRN – the West London-based collective consisting of Akelle Charles, Haile and Louis Rei. Many different topics were covered during the class, from labels and gigging to social media and contracts. Top pieces of advice shared by the boys included: “Don’t make music to be a hit, make music you like”, “Be open to all opportunities” and “Dont feel silly asking questions, that’s how you learn”.
When asked about whether labels are still needed, each member of WSTRN agreed that you don’t need a label in today’s industry, but dependent on the band/artist and label, they could help you get ahead. They told students that ‘In2’ was big in London, but it was the label who were the ones to push it further. They also shared the fact that Stormzy is a shining example of a successful artist who doesn’t have a label. Their parting advice to students on the subject was to make sure to ask lots of questions before getting into a deal.
One of the key topics in the masterclass was social media. Akelle, Haile and Louis agreed that it was vital to today’s industry and said it was a great way to engage with fans without any middle men. They also pointed out that social media is a great tool to get instant feedback on your music, directly from your fans.
Towards the end of the masterclass, WSTRN shared their top advice to students, stating that some of the best music out there is currently underground and that you just need to keep at it and be patient. They kindly offered to listen to the students’ demos and after the class gave out their email addresses so students could send their music to them.
Akelle’s top advice was “be patient and persistent”. Haile told students to “stay in your lane, don’t focus on others” and Louis advised that the students “shouldn’t let anyone get between them”.
The masterclass drew to a close with students taking selfies and doing a group ‘mannequin challenge’ with WSTRN.
ICYMI, here’s what happened when @WSTRNmusic came to ACM London. Props to @weareGREYWOLF for putting it together! #mannequinchallenge pic.twitter.com/6Yupbnelrl
— ACM (@acm_uk) November 24, 2016
We’d like to thank Akelle, Haile, Louis and Que for coming in to talk to our students, giving them a real insight into today’s music industry.
If you’d like to be a student at ACM and attend masterclasses by some of the top names in the business like WSTRN, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today. But hurry – the UCAS application deadline is Sunday 15th January, so apply now to avoid disappointment!