Hugh Murray, 16, West Yorkshire
Hugh is a musician and producer with a passion for electronic music, specifically Drum and Bass. Taking part in Apprentice Nation has helped him to grow in confidence and stay motivated on his career path. He’s also realised the value of networking to help further his career.
Apprentice Nation really inspired me to focus on what I’m passionate about. I’ve always had an interest in music, I started playing drums around age seven and later went on to pick up piano and guitar as well. As I started listening to a diverse range of music, I discovered I had a strong desire to find out how it was made, especially drum and bass music, and this sparked my interest and passion in music production.
Taking part in Apprentice Nation has helped me to self-reflect and in turn, gain both confidence and motivation to keep working on achieving my goals.. The platform has also educated me and helped me develop skills in many areas that will hopefully be beneficial for my career, such as how to network and build connections with people.
I have definitely been more productive since taking part in Apprentice Nation and produced more creative media and music because I found more motivation. I’ve had more structure to my work, particularly by being part of the Youth Advisors Network (YAN).
The YAN group sessions have been amazing for helping me to talk about and realise my ambitions and seeing what other young people around the UK are doing to develop their careers. They’ve also helped me to gain a wider understanding of different people’s backgrounds and speak to people I wouldn’t normally hang out with. Through getting involved in Apprentice Nation, I have learned the importance of individuality and being yourself in order to be successful and gain a following. Hopefully this will allow me to stand out in the future and to be distinct from the crowd.
How has 2020 and the impact of COVID changed your perspective on your career and future?
The main thing I’ve learned is that it’s really important to be able to adapt and have backup options if your current focus collapses. This is especially important in the music industry where lots of djs and artists have started livestreaming because they’ve lost their main source of income as a performer. I’m currently very open-minded about my future career and where I want to be. One industry that I’d really love to go into would be environmental law. I have a huge passion for protecting the natural world, which stems from growing up next to a farm and being constantly surrounded by nature, as well as a love for David Attenborough documentaries. I want to help the environment and fight to combat climate change.
What challenges have you faced in shaping your future?
One of the challenges I’ve faced in school is the lack of musicians and people who are passionate about music. I got quite unlucky with my year, only having four people wanting to study music at GCSE music and three at A-level. This meant I couldn’t do GCSE music, but thankfully they allowed the A-level to run by mixing with the year above. I feel this has hindered my progress as a musician and when shaping my career path. It made me realise how quickly everything can change and how important it is to seize every moment. 2020 showed us the value of normality and how much we take for granted. I’m now much more appreciative of what I have and much more ready to live in the moment. You never know how fast the world can be turned upside down.
If your lifestyle could be represented in a music track, what would it be and why?
My lifestyle is definitely best represented by Drum and Bass music; it’s energetic, fast and is played in clubs and at parties which I feel like are the spaces I’m most comfortable in. The community is all about supporting each other and being respectful which I think is quite rare in lots of other genres at the moment.
I’d say that music impacts lots of the decisions we make in life and in our careers. A track I hear on the radio might affect my mood in a way that means I say yes to something I might have said no to otherwise, allowing me to expand my opportunities. Listening to music also encourages you to relax which can help with networking with people and other social interactions.
Hugh’s Top Tips for staying motivated and confident:
- If I’m feeling demotivated I tend to try and relax to recharge my battery, and tackle the problem when I have enough energy. Sometimes sleeping on it and making sure you’re well rested is more beneficial than carrying on hopelessly trying to solve the issue when you are tired and stressed.I find working out, or even just going for a walk, really helps to clear my head and stop overthinking situations.
- Don’t dwell on projects too long if your confidence levels are low. Share your thoughts with someone else, otherwise you’ll end up going over something again and again when it might already be in a really good state.