A reason to SMILE 2012
Over the last four years Southampton Solent University’s celebration of the music business has grown from its low-key beginnings as Solent Music Industries Live Event (SMILE), to a ten day festival.
From 1-10 March music minded students will be producing, promoting and performing live gigs at music venues across the city, and some of the industry’s top players will be sharing their knowledge and skills with those wanting to carve out a career in the music industries.
On the weekend of 3-4 March venues and spaces across Southampton will play host to the SMILE Fringe, a community and arts focussed event producing a programme of music, art, film, comedy events and workshops.
On March 5, super group Producers – Lol Creme (10cc), Trevor Horn (legendary British producer and Solent Visiting Fellow), Stephen Lipson (Frankie goes to Hollywood, Grace Jones) and human drum machine Ash Soan (Adele, Robbie Williams) – will take to the Solent stage for a student Q&A session followed by a live evening performance. This exciting new collective have scored over 200 hit singles and albums over the last 40 years. They are embarking on a series of live performances and interactive sessions at several British universities and colleges ahead of the release of their debut album, Made In Basing Street.
Solent favourite and Visiting Fellow, Colin Lester, will be talking to SMILE about life managing top artists, including Southampton’s Craig David, and some of the leading lights in independent festivals – Bestival co-founder Rob da Bank, Jim Mawdsley (Evolution, Newcastle) and Jo McKay (LarMac Live) – will be showing students how to create their own festival.
Students will get to see a top music journalist in action as Kerrang! editor James McMahon interviews hardcore band The Blackout and former entertainment news presenter on Radio 1’s Jo Whiley Show, Briggy Smale, will be interviewing television and radio presenter Zoe ball.
Always impressed with the University’s talent pool, a panel of industry experts –Oliver Bezadi (former head of A&R Sony worldwide), Johnny Hopkins (Creation records PR), Carl Loben (Associated editor of DJ Magazine and world renowned Southampton-based DJ James Zabiela – will once again be casting their critical ears over the demos of Solent’s performers and producers.
Under expert guidance, students will be taking on a series of challenges during the week. Production and Performance students will take over Solent’s music studios to record an ‘album in a day; music journalism students will attempt to create a ‘magazine in a day’; song writers will be looking to create a ‘song in a day’ and Solent’s DJs will be gearing up to making a remix in a day.
On Saturday 10 March from 12-7pm the festival will culminate with ‘SMILE in the Square’. Organised by students, this mini festival in the Guildhall Square will focus on the concept of the music circle – a stage that welcomes people of all ages, backgrounds and musical experience.
Martin James, Course leader for Music Journalism and SMILE founder says:
“SMILE goes from strength to strength each year. As well as enabling our students to gain an huge insight into and experience the processes involved in being a part of the music industries, it is growing as a community event. Solent has become synonymous with music festivals thanks to our unique links with Glastonbury, Bestival, Blissfields and Glade, so it makes sense to create our own festival which can be enjoyed by the whole community.”