My musical journey began when my parents encouraged me to learn an instrument at primary school. The only music tutor who visited my school was a brass teacher, and I was too small for tuba or trombone, so I ended up with a trumpet. This led me to the slightly intense but super fun world of amateur brass banding, which I happily gave most of my weekends to for years. But the real obsession began when I started secondary school and joined my local orchestra and big band.
One of the most memorable musical moments in my life to date was playing with the big band in a concert on the stage of Perth Concert Hall – being part of an ensemble with all my pals making those funky sounds, playing tunes by Earth, Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder, just gave me the biggest buzz. I continued to play jazz after moving to study a music degree at the University of Edinburgh, where joined the Jazz Orchestra and dipped my toe into the world of music administration and marketing gigs. Studying a general music degree also made me start to question traditions and divides within music and the arts that I had always taken for granted, such as the often outdated way classical music is approached, and why we see it as different to ‘lower’ forms of making music, such as popular music.
After a brief foray into teaching English as a second language in Spain, I realised how much I missed the presence of music in my life, and moved to London to study an MA in Popular Music Research at Goldsmiths. I did lots of research into electronic music and gender, and also used this second chance at student life to get involved with the university newspaper and began doing some freelance music writing. In my free time I have been teaching myself how to DJ.
What’s on your playlist right now?
I’ve become quite obsessed with electro and acid house recently as I play a lot of it in my DJ sets, but a load of cheesy disco also makes it into my Spotify playlists. I recently discovered this amazing Italo disco remix of a Bette Midler song that I’ve had on repeat. Oh, and ABBA. Always ABBA.
What do you do with your time outside of work?
I spend a lot of my free time hanging out with my cat, Jason Bourne. I also sometimes force myself to go running, and recently formed a book club with some friends.