Being a Young Musician with Jess and the Bandits

Munira Rajkotwalla 19 January 2018

Could you please provide us an overview of the upcoming tour? Why Cambridge? 

We are hitting the road all over the UK. From Glasgow, to London, to Cambridge and as many places in between. We’re so excited to perform the new album, finally! We’ve been to Cambridge while supporting other artists but wanted to make out way there for our headlining tour. We are so excited! 

There are many young musicians at Cambridge who aspire to release songs and become professional musicians. What advice would you have for them?

First and foremost, you have to be willing to pursue a career in music even if you don’t make a penny from it. It has to be for the love of what you do and the passion behind it. The hope is always to make money doing what you love but it’s not easy. Second, find out if you are good enough. Don’t go by what friends and family say. I went to some of the biggest critics in the music industry and wanted to hear the truth. I wanted to know if I was good enough and how I could be better. Don’t be afraid to network and put yourself out there. 

What advice would you have for busy university students who are struggling to find a balance between their musical career and university lives?

If you really want this to be your career, you have to go for it and give it your all. If you’re in school, focus n that of course, but gig on the weekends. Spend downtime working with other aspiring artists and start writing songs. You should constantly be working on your craft. 

How do you make the choice between practising music as a hobby versus making it a professional choice? 

If the idea of working for maybe years performing and writing without fame or money as part of it…. make this a hobby. It could happen but most artist have years and years of work before they “make it”. That’s where the phrase 10 year overnight success came from. 

Would you recommend any platforms for such students to start their musical career with? 

Of course any online platform is great. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram are all wonderful ways to start to make a name for yourself. Also find out about competitions. If you’re a writer, enter songwriting competitions. If you’re a singer, find some local competitions to be in. I auditioned for everything possible! Just be careful not to work with people who are just in it to take your money. 

Many British students aren't quite exposed to country music. What according to you are the charms of this genre? 

It’s all about the storytelling. You just don’t see that in many genres outside of country. Every song had a story behind it and it’s usually very clear what that story is. Also the country umbrella is very wide. It can span from anything to traditional country, pop country, rock or even gospel.

What are some tracks that you would recommend for those just getting into country music? 

Check out ‘Every Little Thing’ by Carly Pearce, ‘I Could Use A Love Song’ by Maren Morris and ‘Body Like A Backroad’ by Sam Hunt. These 3 are great tunes to ease anyone into the country music genre!