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Tips for young composers from Richard Jacques (James Bond 007: Blood Stone, Mass Effect)

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When speaking with Multi-award winning, BAFTA and IVOR NOVELLO nominated composer Richard Jacques about his album ‘Heroville‘, he mentioned a few things to keep in mind when starting out in the entertainment industry. Here are some of his advices:

Work hard, establish your own musical voice and retain value in your music.

Have your own musical voice.

For any young composer it is good to have your own musical voice. I know many people say this but I think it is important. I do compose in quite a few styles but a lot of people can hear my style which runs throughout different musical genres. They can still hear it is my own musical voice.

No one is good at everything but be open-minded.

Some people say you have to do everything and I disagree with that because no one is good at everything. That is why I stick to what I do and that is why some people that only do electronica are so good at that. But I would say, be very open-minded in listening. I listen to all sorts of music in various genres and always have done, and believe it will help fuel ideas and creativity for the music you create.

Keep practicing, experimenting and studying.

Keep practicing. Writing every day is equally important, as well as experimenting with other genres so that you can actually expand your musical pallets. Keep studying because any music that you will write will be expected to be of very high quality.

Know the value of your music.

Know the value of your own music and then other people will realise that value as well. I wouldn’t advice working for free all the time.

Learn the business skills and how to cope with pressure.

Learning business skills are important and also learning how to cope with pressure and deadlines. But there are lots of opportunities for young composers out there reaching from TV, film, games, advertising, a sound installation in a museum, theatre and songwriting. There are lots of different avenues to practice and explore.

About Richard Jacques (website):
Classically trained from a young age at the Royal Academy of Music in London with an extensive repertoire including orchestral, jazz and popular music genres, Richard Jacques is a multiple award-winning composer for film, television and video games.  Best known for his critically acclaimed orchestral scores for blockbuster franchises such as James Bond 007: Blood Stone (Activision), Mass Effect (BioWare), Alice In Wonderland (Disney), Starship Troopers (Empire/Sony Pictures), Headhunter (Sega), and LittleBigPlanet 2: The Muppets (Sony), Jacques’ dramatic music can also be heard in numerous premier TV and movie theatre campaigns for some of the world’s largest media agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and McCann Ericsson, and top name brands such as Audi, Bacardi, Mercedes-Benz and Stella Artois. His music for television includes top brand shows for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

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Based in Berlin, Germany. Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Music Producer at Eon Sounds Productions. Founder of Composers for Relief. Keeps Moving.

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