Malik McDonald, 17, Surrey
Malik is a music producer with a passion for RnDrill beats. Through taking part in Apprentice Nation he’s been able to share his music, learn more about the industry and has since received two offers on Music Technology courses. He’s been able to overcome barriers with confidence and is working on getting his music out there.
Apprentice Nation has given me the resources to map out and reach my own goals. The group sessions on the Youth Advisors Network have also helped a lot with my confidence, talking to new people and sharing ideas. The webinars have helped me to get a better understanding of what apprenticeships are and how they really work.
It was the Mentor Sessions that got me interested. I thought that it would be great to talk with someone in the music industry, get some advice from them, and talk to them about how they got into music.
Since joining Apprentice Nation, I have applied for two music technology courses, which I have been accepted into. Apprentice Nation has really helped me to gain much more confidence in myself and my music, helping me to progress further towards making music in a career.
What interests you about the music industry? Where has that interest come from?
I enjoy learning about how music is creative and produced. Looking back, I have always had a thing for music, way before I had the thought of going into music production. In school, I was always tapping out a little beat on the table with my pen. Sometimes I wouldn’t even be aware I was doing it until the teacher would tell me. At one point, I found that I had a cousin who was a music producer, and he was willing to show me around where he works and what he does. After that, I knew that I wanted to get into music production. I’ve also talked with my family about a career in engineering, so might have a look at engineering apprenticeships to see what I’d be interested in.
If your lifestyle could be represented in a music genre, what would it be and why?
I would say that my lifestyle could be represented through the RnDrillsub-genre, because those beats are flexible. RnDrill beats can express more than one emotion or sense of excitement, all from one sub-genre of music. Something that can do so much with so little, is what I call powerful.
How has 2020 and the impact of COVID changed your perspective on your career and future?
Music production is a career that isn’t affected by COVID too badly, because a lot, if not all, of the work and collaboration can be done online. However, it is better to work in a studio with other artists and producers as it creates an atmosphere where ideas just bounce around the room, leaving nothing but positive vibes.
I do believe that COVID has shown people in lots of different industries that a lot of work can be done without the need for a commute to a location, and I believe that as technology progresses, that’s where a lot of industries would have inevitably ended up.
What challenges have you faced in shaping your future or at school/college?
At school, I struggled to concentrate in class and at home when doing homework. This was something that I never fully overcame, and stuck with me all through college where it just got worse. I work around this by trying to think of the end goal. Where am I trying to get to? Having this mind-set made it a little easier to focus at home. And working on tasks that I enjoy, like music production, really helps too.
Another issue I faced at college was choosing the wrong courses. I didn’t know that I wanted to go into music production at the time that I was choosing them, and by the time I had realised, it was too late to change them. However, when I leave college, I have been accepted to take a music technology course, so I am excited for that.
How has your confidence ever got in the way of going for an opportunity or pursuing a goal?
Yes it has. I have had a lot of issues with confidence throughout my life. For example, it would stop me from putting my music out there for a potential artist. I would always think that it wasn’t good enough to put out there, so I never did. However, I am starting to overcome this barrier, and I’m working on getting my music out.
Malik’s top tips to get through a challenge:
- When I’m feeling down, I sit down and think to myself for a while. I find it helps to clear my head and come up with solutions to the issues I’m facing.
- I get my inspiration from the people around me. Not just their words, but from the way they react when they see me heading towards my goals and making progress.